MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF HENRY REEVE, C.B., D.C.L
JOHN KNOX LAUGHTON, M.A.
HONORARY FELLOW OF GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY IN KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON
IN TWO VOLUMES
CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME
PORTRAIT OF HENRY REEVE AET. 68.
From a Photograph taken by RUPERT POTTER, Esq.
XIII. THE WAR IN ITALY (1859-60)
XIV. LITERATURE AND POLITICS (1860-3)
XV. LAW AND LITERATURE (1863-7)
XVI. CHURCH POLITICS (1868-9)
XVII. THE FRANCO-GERMAN WAR (1869-71)
XVIII. THE GREVILLE MEMOIRS (1871-4)
XIX. FOXHOLES (1874-9)
XX. OUTRAGE AND DISLOYALTY (1880-2)
XXI. THE FRENCH ROYALISTS (1883-5)
XXII. RETIREMENT (1886-9)
XXIII. THE ONE MORE CHANGE (1890-5)
LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF HENRY REEVE
THE WAR IN ITALY
How far the murderous attempt of Orsini, on January 14th, 1858, was connected with the political relations of France and Italy it is as yet impossible to say. It was, and still is, very commonly believed that in his youth Louis Napoleon had been affiliated to one or other of the secret societies of Italy, that he was still pledged to this, was bound to obey its orders, and that Orsini was an agent to remind him that the attainment of high rank, far from releasing him from the bond, rendered it more stringent, as giving him greater power and facility for carrying out the orders he received. The independence of Italy was aimed at; and it had been intimated to the Emperor that Orsini's was only the first of similar messages which, if action was not taken, would be followed by a second, with greater care to ensure its delivery.
All this may or may not have been mere gossip. What is certain is that, during the latter months of 1858, secret negotiations had been going on between the Emperor and Victor Emanuel, the King of Sardinia, or rather his minister, Cavour; and that an agreement had been come to that Austria was to be attacked and driven out of Italy. Accordingly, on January 1st, 1859, at his New Year's reception of the foreign ministers, Louis Napoleon took the opportunity of addressing some remarks to the Austrian Ambassador which, to France and to all Europe, appeared threatening.
Similarly, at Turin, it was allowed to appear that war was intended; and on both sides preparations were hurried on. In France, as in Austria, these were on a very extensive scale. A large fleet of transports was collected at Marseilles; troops were massed on the frontier of Savoy; and, on the part of the Austrians, 200,000 men were assembled in readiness for action. On April 23rd Francis Joseph, without—it was said—the knowledge of his responsible ministers, sent an ultimatum to Turin, requiring an answer within three days: at the expiration of that time the Austrians would cross the frontier. The allies utilised the delay to complete their preparations; and before the three days had ended the advance of the Franco-Sardinian army had begun.
The campaign proved disastrous to the Austrians, whose half-drilled and badly-fed troops and obsolete artillery were commanded by an utterly incompetent general. They were defeated at Palestro on May 31st; at Magenta on June 4th; and again at Solferino on June 24th. Nothing, it appeared to the Italians and the lookers-on, could prevent the successful and decisive issue; the Austrians would be compelled to quit Italy. Suddenly Louis Napoleon announced that he had come to an agreement with the Emperor of Austria and that peace was agreed on. The disappointment and rage of the Italians were very great; but, as Louis Napoleon was resolved, and as Victor Emanuel could not continue the war without his assistance, he was obliged to consent, and peace was concluded at Villafranca on July 11th.
For the next eighteen months much of the correspondence refers to the inception and result of this short war, mixed, of course, with more personal matters, and at the beginning, with news as to the state of Tocqueville's health, which was giving his friends the liveliest anxiety. The Journal for the year opens with:—
January 6th.—We went to Bowood. It was the first time Christine went there. The party consisted of the Flahaults, Cheneys, Strzelecki, the Clarendons, Twisletons,[Footnote: The Hon. Edward Twisleton, chief commissioner of the poor laws in Ireland. He married, in 1852, Ellen, daughter of the Hon. Edward Dwight, of Massachusetts, U.S.A.; and died, at the age of sixty-five, in 1874.] and Leslies. What agreeable people! For a wonder we shot there on the 10th, and killed 140 head.
January 12th.—We had a dinner at home—Trevelyan, just appointed governor of Madras, Phinn, Baron Martin, Huddleston, W. Harcourt, Merivale, and Henry Brougham.
From Lord Brougham
Cannes, January 3rd.—I grieve to say Tocqueville has been worse. His doctor dined here t'other day and T.'s brother came for him at ten o'clock. I have as bad an opinion of the case as possible.
Cannes, January 9th. The Italian affair is very naturally cause of anxiety, but I feel assured this, for the present, will pass away. I find there is a strong feeling getting up of the Austrian army being as good as the finances are bad, but the French finances are not likely to be very much better. However, though the present alarm will pass away, what a sad thing for the peace of the world to depend, not on the general opinion and feeling, but on the caprice, or the jobbing, or the blunders of a few individuals! Who can be quite sure that Morny's stockjobbing has had nothing to do with the late most silly conversation? [Footnote: Presumably, the sinister remark addressed to the Austrian Ambassador on New Year's Day.] L. N. himself is quite clear of all such blame. He tries all he can to prevent M. and others from their pillaging, but he never can succeed. However, it is to the risk of more blunders that I look as placing peace in greatest jeopardy. I don't believe L. N. or any one of them would, if they knew it, run the risk of a general war (and the least war means a general war); but they may any day get into a scrape without intending it, for they have not the security of free discussion to warn them.
From Lord Hatherton
Teddesley, January 12th.—Do me the kindness to write me one line to tell me what you know of the state of M. de Tocqueville. Is it dangerous? There is no man out of this kingdom who possesses so much of my admiration and regard.
This general lull after the late Reform agitation is very natural. There are four parties waiting each other's moves; three, at least, exclusive of Bright's, which is the least. There are the present Government, the late Government, and the country—which, as I read it, has little in common with any of them, but is at present without a leader. Any very powerful man, who had been living by, would now have had a great field before him.
I attended the day before yesterday a very remarkable meeting of the Birmingham and Midland Institute at Birmingham. Lord Ward [Footnote: Created Earl of Dudley in 1860.] in the chair. The report, and all the officials and speakers, especially those from the town, complained of the indifference of the artisans, mechanics, and labourers of that town to instruction and education generally. It seems, on the showing of Bright's friends, that these fellows, the noisiest of their class about Reform, are the most ignorant and the least desirous of improving themselves. Such is the report of Bright's own friends. Mr. Ryland, the vice-president and real manager of the institution, who is also Bright's friend there, is the loudest in his complaints of this body. Ryland further told me that he believed there was not a workman in the town who, if consulted individually, would express his approval of all Bright's principles. Mr. Ryland is a solicitor.
I am all anxiety to see your January number.
To the Marquis of Lansdowne
62 Rutland Gate, January 25th.
My dear Lord Lansdowne,—I have omitted, but not from forgetfulness, to express to you the very high gratification Mrs. Reeve and myself derived from your most kind reception of us at Bowood, and I am sure we shall always retain the liveliest recollection of this most agreeable visit. But, in truth, I waited till something should occur which might have the good fortune to interest you, and I think the accounts I continue to receive from France, on the present threatening aspect of affairs, may be of that nature. M. Guizot says to me, in a letter of the 23rd inst.:—
'Jusqu'a ces jours derniers je n'y voulais pas croire. J'essaye encore d'en douter; mais c'est difficile. Ce sera un exemple de plus des guerres faites par embarras de ne pas les faire bien plus que par volonte de les faire. Je suis porte a croire que l'Empereur Napoleon serait charme de ne plus entendre parler de l'Italie; mais pour cela il faudrait qu'il n'y eut plus d'assassins italiens, plus de Roi de Sardaigne, plus de cousins a marier, plus de brouillons revolutionnaires a contenter. Aujourd'hui, et malgre toutes les paroles contraires, il me parait probable que ces causes de guerre prevaudront sur la moderation naturelle, sur le gout du repos voluptueux, sur l'avis des conseillers officiels, et sur le sentiment evident du public. Que fera l'Allemagne? Le tiendra-t-elle unie? La est la question. L'Angleterre y peut certainement beaucoup. Je ne vois plus que la une chance pour le maintien de la paix.'
These words are so remarkable, coming from a man whose disposition is ever so much more sanguine than desponding, that I have quoted them at length.
We have all been greatly touched by the close of Mr. Hallam's most honourable, useful, and I may say illustrious life. [Footnote: He died on January 21st, 1859.] It so chanced that my sister-in-law, Helen Richardson, who has been to him a second daughter for the last few years, came up from Scotland on Thursday [January 20th]. On Friday she went down with Mrs. Cator to see him. He perfectly knew her, and seemed charmed to see her again; but before she left his bed-side the light flickered in the socket, and he expired a short time afterwards in their presence, conscious and without pain to the last. I thought the notice of him in the 'Times' of Monday very pleasing, and was inclined to attribute it to David Dundas, but I know not whether I am right....
I remain always
Your obliged and faithful
From Lord Clarendon
The Grove, January 26th.—I am much obliged to you for M. Guizot's letter, [Footnote: Apparently that of January 23rd, quoted in the previous letter to Lord Lansdowne.] which Miladi and I have read with interest, as one always does everything he writes. I showed it to G. Lewis and C. C. G., feeling sure you would have no objection. It is impossible not to agree in his gloomy view of things. It must be owned that the position the Emperor has made for himself is one of extreme difficulty. His idee dominante has been how to pacify Italian conspirators by bringing away his army from Rome, without having the Pope's throat cut or letting in an Austrian garrison there; and he determined that driving the Austrians out of Italy was the indispensable preliminary step. He was urged to do this and to think it easy both by Russia and Sardinia; and we may be sure that the Sardinians would not have committed themselves as they have done, and incurred such inconvenient expense, if they had not received promises of active support. How would it be possible then for L. N. to recede? Cavour would show him up, and fresh daggers and grenades would be prepared for him. I look upon war, therefore, as certain. We have only to hope that Austria may continue to act prudently, and not furnish the cause of quarrel which her enemies are looking for, and which might turn against her those who, for decency's sake, wish to remain neutral; and next, that Germany may be united by a sense of common danger. This may tend to limit the area of the war; but altogether it is a deplorable gachis, out of which L. N. can no more see his way than anyone else.
From Lord Brougham
Cannes, January 26th.—I must throw myself and the cause of law amendment on your kindness, under a great evil which has befallen us. The 'Quarterly Review,' under Mr. Elwin, was so favourably disposed to law reform as to resolve upon inserting a full discussion of the subject on the occasion of Sir E. Wilmot's volume on my 'Acts and Bills;' and Bellenden Ker had undertaken it, and was, as a law reformer and as, under Cranworth, in office as consolidation commissioner, certainly well qualified to do the article. But he made such a mess of it; in fact, treating Eldon, Ellenborough, &c., and other obstacles to law reform not introductory, but, as I understand, making a whole article upon that. The consequence has been that the whole has failed, and this most valuable opportunity been lost of having the Tory journal's adhesion to law reform now. It is barely possible they may take it up hereafter. But surely the natural place for this statement is the 'Edinburgh Review,' and I should feel great comfort for the good cause if I thought you would thus help us. The matter in Sir E.'s book renders it very easy to show what has been done of late years.
Poor Tocqueville is one day a little better, another a little worse; but I have little or no hope of his getting through it.
Shortly after this Lord Brougham made a flying visit to London. A note in the Journal is:—
February 26th.—I dined at Lord Brougham's, and met Dr. Lushington, Lord Glenelg, Lord Broughton; all—with our host—over 80.
But the state of Tocqueville's health continued, for Reeve, the most engrossing personal consideration, and just at this time the deadly malady took a favourable though delusive turn. Tocqueville—says M. de Beaumont [Footnote: Gustave de Beaumont: Oeuvres et Correspondance inedites d'Alexis de Tocqueville (1861), tome i. p. 116.]—hoped for the best. 'How could he do otherwise when all around him was bursting into life? and so he kept on his regular habits, his schemes, his work. He read, and was read to; he wrote a great many letters, and devoured those which he received in great numbers. There was not one of his friends who did not receive at least one letter from him during the last month of his life.' The following is his last letter to Reeve. The writing is painfully bad, the letters often half formed, or crowded one on top of another; even the orthography is imperfect; but the words and ideas flow in full volume.
Cannes. le 25 fevrier.
Cher Reeve,—Il y a un siecle que je ne vous ai ecrit. Je n'etais pas libre de le faire. Le mois de janvier tout entier s'est passe au milieu de la crise la plus douloureuse. Je ne crois pas qu'il y ait aucun mois de ma vie qui merite mieux que celui-la d'etre marque d'une croix noire dans l'histoire de mon existence privee. Jetons dans l'oubli, s'il est possible, des jours et surtout des nuits si cruels, et bornons-nous a demander a Dieu de n'envoyer rien de semblable desormais, soit a moi, soit a mes amis. Depuis trois semaines j'occupe fevrier a reparer les mefaits de janvier. Je vais aussi bien que possible: mes forces sont en grande partie revenues. Les bronches semblent en voie de guerison rapide. Ainsi n'en parlons plus.
I have just been reading an excellent article on the Catacombs, in the 'Edinburgh Review.' It is a subject which has always interested me, but very likely I should not have begun with this particular article if I had not known it was by you. Circourt wrote to me about it, and so deprived me of the pleasure of finding it out for myself, which I think I could have done. But, in any case, the article is exceedingly interesting ... Though I have been enjoying myself in following you underground, what is now going on on the earth's surface calls for close attention. I am here hard by one of the old military roads which have led into Italy from time immemorial, as at this day. I hear that great preparations are being made all along the valley of the Rhone and the neighbouring country. What I am sure of, because it is taking place under my very eyes, is, that the railway from Marseilles to Toulon is being pushed forward at an unheard of rate. It is the only link wanting to complete the chain of communication between Brest, Cherbourg, Paris, and Toulon. There was no expectation of this railway being finished before the middle of summer; but now it is understood that it will be ready within a few days—an instance of doing the impossible. Such efforts presuppose some great object which it is desired to accomplish at once.
I am told, perhaps incorrectly, that Prussia has decided to remain neutral—at first, at any rate; and, by the same authority, that Russia will be neutral, but in a spirit friendly to France. This would be very serious; for Russia gives nothing for nothing. If it is so, the Emperor's project would appear less silly. It would explain how an ambitious prince, whose throne is tottering, who is bound to excite the admiration of France and to gratify the national vanity, [Footnote: Fleury, one of the most faithful and attached of the Emperor's followers wrote in words almost identical (Souvenirs, tom. i. p. 330): 'C'etait par une serie de faits grandioses par des spectacles flattant l'orgueil et les instincts du pays, que Napoleon III allait, pendant de longues annees, non seulement occuper, rejouir la France, mais encore fixer l'attention, l'etonnement et bien souvent l'admiration du monde.'] who is stopped by no scruples, might find it an excellent opportunity for bringing on a personal war—if I may say so; for driving the Germans across the Alps and naming himself the Dictator of Italy. It is true that no great material advantage can result from it; but L. N. is sufficiently well acquainted with France to know that the glitter of such a course would probably content her. All this would be easy to understand if Maria Theresa reigned at Vienna, Frederic at Berlin, and Mme. de Pompadour at Versailles; in a word, if we were in the eighteenth instead of the nineteenth century. But being, as we are, in the nineteenth century, the designs which are ascribed to the Emperor are to be condemned as in the highest degree treasonable to humanity and to France. Kings can no longer claim to be guided only by their personal interests and passions; and now—when it is agreed that England cannot remain neutral in a war between France and a great Continental Power; when it is admitted that a Continental war, however short, would surely awaken the hatred of all princes and all neighbouring people, and would end in a coalition against France—now, I say, to plunge into such an adventure would be not only the most silly, but the most wicked thing which a Frenchman could do.
La longueur un peu desordonnee de cette lettre, mon cher ami, vous prouvera mieux que tout ce que je pourrais dire les progres de ma sante. Je vais ecrire a Mme Grote. Rappelez-nous, je vous prie, tout particulierement au souvenir de Lady Theresa et de Sir C. Lewis. J'espere que Lord Hatherton ne m'a pas oublie. Mille et mille amities a tous les Senior. Je n'ai pas besoin d'en dire autant pour Mme et Mile Reeve. Tout a vous de coeur, A. T.
Reeve replied immediately:—
62 Rutland Gate, 1 mars.—Votre lettre me fait le plus sensible plaisir. Les nouvelles indirectes de votre sante qui me sont parvenues de temps en temps m'avaient excessivement preoccupe. J'ai su que le mois de janvier avait ete mauvais, et quoique j'eusse bien des fois l'envie de prendre la plume, elle m'est tombee des mains lorsque j'ai reflechi que j'ignorais malheureusement dans quel etat de corps et d'esprit ma lettre pourrait vous trouver. Pendant tout l'hiver j'ai recu par lettre et de bouche une infinite de demandes sur votre etat. Vous ne sauriez croire a quel point tous vos amis d'Angleterre, qui sont encore plus nombreux que ceux dont vous avez une connaissance personnelle, m'ont temoigne pour vous d'interet, de consideration et d'affection. Aussi votre convalescence est une bonne nouvelle pour nous tous—les Lewis, les Hatherton, les Grote, Knight-Bruce et tant d'autres. Je me permets cependant de dire que le sentiment que j'ai eu toutes les fois que je me suis transporte par la pensee a votre chambre de malade est bien autrement profond. Mon amitie pour vous est une des affections les plus vives qu'il m'ait ete donne de conserver. Je n'ai rien de plus cher. Et l'idee que vous souffriez tant de mal, sans qu'il me fut possible de vous offrir le moindre soulagement, m'a ete extremement penible. Pour un malade la lecture de mes 'Catacombes' ne me parait pas excessivement gai, mais je reconnais la votre aimable souvenir de l'auteur. Bref, vous etes en convalescence. Le soleil printanier, meme dans nos climats, luit d'un eclat extraordinaire. Deja au mois de fevrier les arbustes poussaient des feuilles. Dieu veuille que cette douce chaleur de l'annee vous rende bientot a la sante et a la Normandie.
There is no doubt that the state of public affairs is more serious than it has been since 1851. [Footnote: Sc. in France, before the Coup d'etat.] The meaning of what has lately been going on in public, and of the secret plots which have been hatching for a long time, is very clear. As to France, I say nothing; for, after all, she has the chances of success, which will smooth away many apparent difficulties. But the peace of Europe depends on Germany and on England. Shall we succeed in maintaining it? The attitude of England is, I think, good. Without any hostile demonstration, she has shown very clearly that she will be no party to any breach of the treaties. Lord Cowley's mission to Vienna has been arranged between him and the Emperor, but I have no faith in it. It is merely a device to make people think he is acting in agreement with the English Cabinet, and so conceal a scheme to which the English Cabinet is totally opposed. Opinion here is unanimous against French intervention in Italy. Unfortunately, we are in a very bad position at home. The Cabinet is deplorably weak, and it has just lost two of its principal members. The Reform Bill, brought in yesterday, raises more questions than it answers; but it will probably serve to give prominence to the dissensions in the Liberal party. 'Tis a real misfortune; for a disunited party cannot assert any influence in Europe.
Lord Brougham is returning to Cannes, though with little inclination to stay among such grave causes of anxiety. So long as France is free to act by sea, the road to Italy does not lie through Var, but in the ports of Toulon and Marseilles. Shall you soon be hearing the guns of the second Marengo?
The action of England at this important crisis was curious, but characteristic. The destinies of Europe were shaking in the balance; the fortunes of France, of Italy, of Austria, probably also of Prussia, and very possibly of Russia, were at stake; so the English Government thought it a suitable opportunity to tinker the constitution and introduce a Reform Bill—which nobody seems to have wanted—mainly, it would seem, to 'dish' the Whigs. It was, however, they themselves who were dished. Mr. Henley, the President of the Board of Trade, resigned on January 27th. So also did Mr. S. H. Walpole, [Footnote: Mr. Walpole died, at the age of 92, on May 22nd, 1898.] the Home Secretary, who wrote to Lord Derby: 'I cannot help saying that the measure which the Cabinet are prepared to recommend is one which we should all of us have stoutly opposed if either Lord Palmerston or Lord John Russell had ventured to bring it forward.' None the less, the Bill was introduced on February 28th. On the second reading it was negatived; a dissolution and a general election followed; and on the meeting of Parliament, in June the Ministry were defeated on an amendment to the Address, and resigned.
But though the want of confidence appeared to be based on the question of the Reform Bill, there is no doubt that there was a widespread mistrust of the foreign policy of the Government. For some years past, perhaps ever since Mr. Gladstone's celebrated Neapolitan letters in 1851, successive waves of sentiment in favour of Italian independence and unity had passed over the country; and Lord Derby, or Lord Malmesbury, had perhaps fancied that this sentiment might be invoked in their defence. They had not, indeed, taken any overt action, but there was a general idea that they were inclined to favour the designs of Italy and of France. Now, to favour the cause of Italian independence was one thing; to favour the ambitious and grasping schemes of France was another; and the leaders of the Liberal party were not slow to denounce the Government, which—as they alleged—was ready to plunge the country into war for the sake of currying favour with the master of the insolent colonels of 1858.
Reeve's own view of the questions at issue may be gathered from the letters which he wrote to the 'Times,' [Footnote: January 19th, The Policy of France in Italy; April 28th, The Policy of France, both under the signature of 'Senex.'] and more fully, more carefully expressed in the article 'Austria, France, and Italy' in the 'Edinburgh Review' of April. In this he distinctly combats 'what is termed the principle of "nationalities"' as unhistorical. The theory is, he says, 'of modern growth and uncertain application;' and he goes on to show in detail that it is not applicable to any one of the Great Powers of Europe.
'Of all the sovereigns now filling a throne, Queen Victoria is undoubtedly the ruler of the largest number of subject races, alien populations, and discordant tongues. In the vast circumference of her dominions every form of religion is professed, every code of law is administered, and her empire is tesselated with every variety of the human species.... But above and around them all stands that majestic edifice, raised by the valour and authority of England, which connects these scattered dependencies with one great Whole infinitely more powerful, more civilised, and more free than any separate fragment could be; and it is to the subordination of national or provincial independence that the true citizenship of these realms owes its existence.... It is the glory of England to have constituted such an empire, and to govern it, in the main, on just and tolerant principles, as long as her imperial rights are not assailed; when they are assailed, the people of England have never shown much forbearance in the defence of them. Such being the fact, it is utterly repugnant to the first principles of our own policy, and to every page in our history, to lend encouragement to that separation of nationalities from other empires which we fiercely resist when it threatens to dismember our own.'
He then goes on to speak of the administration of such nationalities, and continues:—'The spirit of the Austrian Government in the Italian provinces we heartily deplore. All things considered, it would have been better for Austria herself if England and the other Powers had not insisted in 1815 on her resuming the government of Lombardy, or if the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom had been erected into a distinct State; but that consideration is utterly insufficient to justify a deliberate breach of the public law of Europe.'
And he adds a note:—'We believe that we are strictly correct in stating that the Emperor Francis, foreseeing the difficulties his Government would have to encounter in Lombardy, and anxious to avoid causes of future dissension with France, expressed his strong disinclination to resume that province; but it was pressed upon him by the other Powers, and especially by the Prince Regent of England, as the only effectual mode of excluding the influence of France from Northern Italy.'
The argument, throughout, is that the attack on Austria about to be made by France and Sardinia was an unprovoked aggression, a violation of European treaties; on the part of Sardinia, for lust of territory, and on the part of France, for a desire to remodel the map of Europe, to annex Savoy— which was to be the price of her assistance—and to carry out the ideas 'conceived at the time of his early connexion with the Italian patriots in the movement of 1831.'
From Lord Hatherton
Teddesley, March 5th.—I have been from home two days....Pray excuse my not having thanked you before for your kind announcement of Tocqueville's convalescence. But the same day brought me a letter from a friend of Tocqueville's brother, ... telling me the accounts were very unpromising. I hope and believe yours is the more reliable account.
I have not a doubt that L. Napoleon means war, and will not be baulked of it. It is a disagreeable thing for England to know that, if he succeed, he will have acquired some valuable experience in the embarkation and disembarkation of an armament of 45,000 men, with as many more to follow it; and that if they are not wanted in the Mediterranean, they may be used elsewhere, while we are totally unprepared; and I fear, through the weakness of our Government, from the nature of our institutions, for purposes of defence in times of peace, are likely to remain so.
From Count Zamoyski
Paris, March 29th.
My dear friend, I am not surprised at your regret; my own is very keen. Throughout his whole life Sigismond Krasinski was obliged to conceal his true self. Out of regard for his father, who was always a pitiful courtier of success, he denied himself the liberty of saying what he thought, acknowledging what he wrote, or showing to whom he was attached. I was one of those whom he supported by his zealous co-operation. You knew him as a poet; he had become a politician, and seemed destined to exercise a great influence. His loss is irreparable. To me he was a friend and a brother-in-arms.
His widow, his two sons—of twelve and thirteen, and his daughter, of seven, are here. She is occupied in collecting all her husband's writings, with the intention of publishing all that is of value. She thinks, and rightly, that a judicious selection of his letters would be especially interesting as containing the secret of his life—a secret which he guarded so carefully. If, therefore, you will send me what you have, or bring them when you come here in a month's time, you will oblige both his widow and friends. His sons had never been separated from him—which will assure you that their early education has been well cared for. Their mother proposes that they should continue their studies here, attending a college, and having lessons in Polish history and literature, which can be had here better than in Poland.
So it is settled that we are to have a congress! But what will it do? What can be done in such a matter in so short a time? The 'Moniteur' has rightly pointed out that it is necessary to 'study the questions.' For that, time is especially wanted. It would need something like a council sitting through years, reigns, wars, to bring about salutary and lasting results. I am told that nowadays everything must go by steam—this, as well as the rest. To which, I answer that the result will be nothing but water mixed with blood....
I am sorry to see the English Press more and more unjust to the Emperor Napoleon. It is really silly to keep on schooling France—not the Emperor—for preferring an imperial to a parliamentary government. If the English had the institutions which in France seem to be but the concomitants of despotism, they would educe from them a large amount of political liberty. But if the French—like the woman in Moliere prefer being governed, it would be wise for the English peers to accept the fact; and instead of sneering at and irritating France whenever she wishes to do some good, to get out of the beaten track, to conquer hearts, not territories, it would be better honestly to co-operate with her, and thus attain valuable results—a profitable success, and the deliverance of France from the fatal support of Russia, which she accepts as a pis-aller, but which in the long run can only be to her hurt. More than all others, the English Press, which is so proud—which has good reason to be proud—should assist in the 'study of the questions;' should anticipate the negotiations; should elevate and elucidate them by judicious suggestions, basing everything on a firm alliance of the Western Powers.
But alas! where is the English statesman, where is even the great writer or the newspaper capable of inaugurating such a policy? For lack of these, we see England vying with France in courtesy to Russia—in anxiety to please her. But to this the Emperor Napoleon does at least add his theory of nationalities, which is sufficient to reassure us on the score of his flirtation with Russia; does the English Government or the English press do anything of a similar nature? Alas! Alas! England is certainly great, but it is selfishly for herself. Will she never be able to offer other nations—whatever the circumstances may be—anything but insults, or her own institutions as patterns.
Pardon de ce bavardage et mille amities—avec tous mes compliments pour Mesdames Reeve.
Je joins un mot de la Ctsse. K. pour vous, recu a l'instant.
From the Countess Krasinska
Paris, 29 mars.—Le Comte Zamoyski a bien voulu me communiquer votre lettre, monsieur, et j'ai ete bien sincerement touchee du souvenir d'affection que vous conservez a un ami qui n'a cesse non plus, je puis vous le garantir, de vous porter un sentiment inalterable et sincere. Bien souvent, en me parlant des jours de sa jeunesse, mon mari me parlait de cette amitie qui vous unissait et qui en a ete un des meilleurs rayons. Il m'avait aussi parle des manuscrits que vous aurez, et je vous avoue que vous allez au-devant de mes desirs et de ma priere en voulant bien les communiquer. Je tiens infiniment a recueillir tout ce qui a echappe a ce grand coeur et a cette vaillante plume, et je commence un travail qui ne sera sans doute complet que dans quelques annees. Je vous serai donc on ne peut plus reconnaissante si vous vouliez bien confier entre mes mains ce que vous possedez, soit en copie, soit original, comme vous le voudrez, m'engageant a vous remettre ce precieux depot des que nous en aurons fait usage, et des que vous le reclamerez.
J'espere lorsque vous viendrez a Paris que je pourrai vous presenter, monsieur, les deux fils de Sigismond et sa petite fille, et vous demander pour les enfants un peu de ce coeur que vous aviez pour le pere.
From Lord Brougham
Cannes, April 9th.—I fear I have but a bad account to give of poor Tocqueville; he has been worse again, and to-day he received the Communion. Dr. Maure has just told me he hardly thought he could live over the month, but he (Dr. M.) has always been much more desponding than the other physician. One great evil has befallen him. Beaumont, who had really been a nurse to him these three weeks, is suddenly called away to Paris by the telegraph, owing to some illness in his own family, and this is an irreparable loss to Tocqueville.
We are all here in great anxiety about peace and war. Cavour, whose conduct—and that of his master—is as bad as possible, has no doubt received strong assurances of support from L. N. and his vile cousin; and the war party at Turin are exulting, considering that the Congress can do nothing to prevent the outbreak with Austria, upon which they reckon for certain, and, I fear, with some reason. The utter want of good faith in L. N. becomes daily more manifest.... Yet, though even the military men are crying out against the war, and all other parties, without any exception, are against him, one sees nothing that can effectually shake him, unless he were to be defeated in the war he has been endeavouring to bring about. The whole prospects are as gloomy as possible for the friends of freedom and of peace.
From Lord Brougham
Cannes, April 10th.—Many thanks for your letter, which gives me information much beyond what my other letters give, but far from agreeable either as to home or foreign affairs. This destruction (I fear I must call it) of the Liberal party by the personal vanity, which they call by the higher name of ambition, of two persons is truly deplorable; and the conduct of the Government in dissolving is such as can hardly be exceeded in folly. We shall have an increased split, I fear, of the Liberals, and a weaker Government than ever. I grieve to say that matters look as ill for peace in this country and Italy as ever. The conduct of Cavour is abominable.
I grieve to give you a worse account than ever of Tocqueville. Dr. Maure had condemned him from the first, but Dr. Seve had sanguine hopes, at least, of a long time being given. But I have just seen him, and he now says it is an affair of days. So all is nearly over. Mme. T. is also very ill, and Beaumont being forced to leave them is most vexatious.
From Lord Clarendon
G. C., April 10th.—Do you chance to have a proof-sheet of that part of your article which treats of the rights of Austria to Lombardy and Venice and her reversionary rights to the other States, and, if so, will you lend it to me? You have made the whole case so clear that I should like to read it over again, as it may be necessary to say something on the subject in the House of Lords when Malmesbury makes his statement, and I see that the 'Edinburgh Review' will not be out till Friday, otherwise I would not trouble you.
G. C., April 13th.—Many thanks for the proof-sheets, and Schwarzenberg's despatch and Duvergier's letter, which I enclose. I was kept at home by a slight attack of gout yesterday, and did not see Malmesbury, but on Monday he told me that he had hopes of being able to announce a disarming of the three would-be belligerent Powers. Until he makes that statement I shall not believe in its probability. Palmerston and Lord John seem well aware that any encouragement to war would be most unpopular at home, and I don't expect that there will be much discussion on Friday.
From the Duc d'Aumale
Orleans House, April 11th.
On my return from Claremont I find your letter. With my brothers I had just been deploring the great loss sustained by the Liberal party. [Footnote: The death of Tocqueville was prematurely announced a week before it actually took place.] Of all the men of mark in our deliberative assemblies, M. de Tocqueville was certainly the most stainless. He had the rare advantage of not being obnoxious to any of the parties existing in France, by which I mean all self-respecting parties, such as will be taken into account on the day when France shall become herself again. He would certainly have been one of the most important members of the first free government in our country. Even as things are, he was one of our public characters whose voice carried most weight, and who was best fitted to enlighten the minds of others. God has taken him from us before his time. Forgive me for retaining so much selfishness and party spirit before the coffin of so good and amiable a man; for regretting his public more than his private virtues.
From M. Guizot
Paris, April 15th.—... France does not understand, approve, or wish for an Italian war now any more than she did six months ago. I persist in thinking that in his inmost soul, and of his own judgement, the Emperor Napoleon would also be glad to be rid of it, provided it should be quite clear that it is not of his free will that he backs out of his promise, and that, in remaining at peace, he is yielding to imperious necessity, to the interest, will, and influence of Europe. On Europe, therefore, the matter depends; and, in this, Europe is England, for Prussia will follow England. It is, therefore, towards you that all of us who are friends of peace and good sense now turn our eyes. Do not fall a prey to the disease which has mastered all the politicians of the time. Do not be afraid to take the initiative, to incur the responsibility; decide and act according to your own opinion, instead of waiting for circumstances to decide and act for you. On this condition alone the peace of Europe will be saved; without it, it will not. And of this be sure: that if war does break out, we shall feel, no doubt, that you have been wanting in the foresight and resolution which would have prevented it....
From Lord Brougham
[Cannes] April 17th.—Poor Tocqueville died this morning, not at Hyeres, as the papers which announced his death a week ago say, but at a house a mile from Cannes. His two brothers were with him; and his poor wife is so ill that she will not long survive him.
People in high quarters in England seem bent on believing that the Congress will do wonders. I don't expect it. There is such bad faith in the man on whom it really all turns, and he is in such a state, by the universal opinion of France and of Europe being against him, that I should not be surprised at any desperate act to regain the place he has lost. You may naturally suppose the preparations which, chiefly naval, are going on must mean something, and he seems resolved that no restraint on them shall be imposed when others agree to disarm. Why should he not agree to stop, and not to add to his means—as everyone that comes from Marseilles tells us he is doing, though gradually? The reason he will suffer no restriction to be imposed is that the army would regard this as a concession, and he won't risk any offence in that quarter. The worst of it is that they—the officers—though just as averse to an Austrian war as the country at large, would by no means dislike a dash at England, and I cannot get out of my mind the risk there is of his making that attempt when we are unprepared. The perfidy would be overlooked in the success, though temporary. And in the midst of all this we have Malmesbury at the F. O. and Derby premier!
From Lord Clarendon
G.G., April 19th. I am delighted you approved of what I said last night,[Footnote: In the House of Lords.] and much obliged to you for letting me know it. I thought Derby's speech excellent, though perhaps a trifle too bellicose in the latter part for John Bull, who always wants a little preparation before he is taken over rough ground. He is under the strict neutrality delusion just now, and has not yet thought of realising his role in a European war.
Your article is attracting great attention, and seems to be working a great deal of good. Where did you get the information contained in the note to p. 566? [Footnote: See ante, p. 13.] I meant to have used it, and to have appealed to Aberdeen to confirm the statement, but thought it prudent to ask him beforehand whether he agreed.
The article on 'Austria, France, and Italy,' in the April number of the Review brought Reeve the following letter from Mr. Edward Cheney, till then a mere acquaintance, though between the two a friendship quickly sprang up which was broken only by death. Mr. Cheney had lived for several years in Italy, and his letters—always interesting, frequently amusing—commonly relate to Italian affairs; but he was a well-read, accomplished, and large-minded man, and in his judgement on literary questions Reeve had great confidence.
Audley Square, April 20th.
My dear sir,—At the risk of appearing intrusive, and perhaps impertinent, I cannot resist my strong inclination to express the great satisfaction with which I have read the article in the last number of the 'Edinburgh Review' on the Italian question. I do not presume to attribute the authorship to yourself, though the clearness of the style, the closeness of the reasoning, and the candour of the deductions would naturally lead me to that conclusion; but, in truth, its merits are far beyond its technical excellencies, and I rejoice peculiarly on its appearance at a moment when public attention is concentrated on the affairs of the Italian peninsula, and when the public, too, has so much need of enlightenment. A man who writes as the author of that article has done confers an incalculable benefit on his countrymen; and, as one not altogether incompetent to form a judgement on the subject, I beg to offer him my congratulations.
I have lived many years in Italy, am minutely acquainted with every part of it. I have many friends and intimates amongst its natives. I admire the country, and like its people; and, while doing justice to many of their excellent and amiable qualities, I cannot be blind to the fact that most of the misfortunes which have befallen them are attributable mainly to their want of constancy, their want of ambition, and—the word must be spoken—their want of courage. They are now on the eve of another and more serious revolution; they are rushing with reckless indifference upon a danger the extent of which they cannot realise to themselves, but which must inevitably overwhelm them. A European war must be the consequence, a war in which England must ultimately take a part; and the man who calmly and dispassionately endeavours to open the eyes of his countrymen to the truth, and who, regardless of passing obloquy, dares to assert it, is their real benefactor; and though, at the first moment, he may share the fate of those who tell unwelcome truths, justice will ultimately be done him, though not, perhaps, till the cry of regret is raised that his warning and advice were both neglected. I would conclude my letter with another apology for having thus far intruded on your valuable time; but you yourself will be able to suggest my best excuse in the deep interest which we both take in the subject.
Believe me, my dear Sir,
Very sincerely yours,
From M. Guizot
Paris, April 21st.—J'ai recu et lu votre article il y a deja plusieurs jours, et je l'ai trouve excellent. Il est impossible de mieux resumer les faits, de mieux etablir les droits et de faire mieux pressentir la bonne politique. Lord Derby et Lord Clarendon vous ont donne pleinement raison. Ils ont garde, l'un et l'autre, chacun dans sa position, une juste mesure, tout en parlant avec une grande franchise. L'effet est grand ici.
The question is how to get clear of this imbroglio, the handiwork of a lot of mischief-makers, who are at once timid and rash, obstinate and unenterprising, conscious of their weakness, yet persisting in their folly. We are waiting impatiently for the decisive answers from Turin and Vienna; and then the congress; and then your elections; and then—what? I have passed the best part of my life in doing, and am not yet accustomed to waiting without knowing what for....
From Lord Brougham
[Cannes] April 21st.—I am extremely obliged to you for sending the article, which I have read with the greatest satisfaction. There are one or two things of minor importance on which I differ. The matter of Genoa as connected with Piedmont, I need not say, is not one of these. Indeed, it might have been put stronger, and without reference to Lord W. Bentinck; for, if I rightly recollect, when I, in 1817, attacked Castlereagh on the misdeeds of the congress in 1815, I put the surrender of Genoa to Piedmont in the very front of the charges against the congress—independent of Lord W. B.'s proclamation, and on the ground of the Genoese hatred of Piedmont. I again referred to this the first night of the session.
I broke through my rule of never attending funerals yesterday. The last time I broke it was my dear friend Follett; this time it was Tocqueville. I should have been the only member of the Institute, but Ampere had set out from Rome on receiving T.'s letter, and arrived the day after his death. He is carried to Tocqueville—near Cherbourg, as you know; one of his brothers and a nephew accompany it. Mme. T. is not nearly so ill as was believed. It is bronchitis, not lungs; so she expects to go by slow journeys in a few days.
April 22nd.—Since I wrote yesterday I have received an account which, whether true or not, shows the opinion they have in Italy of our great ally. A man who had stood his friend and prevented the King of Holland from disinheriting him, has lately been at Paris, and was kindly received by him. So far is certain, and his kindness to those who befriended him formerly is a good quality he really possesses. But it is added that he told him to tell his nation not to be disheartened by the congress, because care would be taken to make proposals which must be rejected, and that he was as ready as ever. I really believe there is nothing too base in the way of perfidy he would scruple to do, if his resolution was fixed and it appeared clearly to be his interest. There has, however, been a change in him of late, as to determination. He is more easily swayed by others than he was, and he falters more when left alone. Altogether, it is a cruel calamity for the world to have such a person to depend upon. I wish someone would show how much he appeals to the multitude—the mere mob. He is still a socialist in practice; and if anyone will read the Robespierre papers, he will see that there is a deliberate design to make the poor—the persons without property—rule. One man whom I afterwards knew (Julien de Paris), and who had been a philanthropist exalte, states, in one of his reports to the Committee of Public Safety, that those who have no property are the great majority, and therefore must govern. There could be no greater service to France than a full exposition of these principles—the ones which L. N. adopts; and at the same time a full account of the abominable character of the first Napoleon, of which the materials are abundant in the correspondence with Joseph, [Footnote: Memoires et Correspondance politique et militaire du roi Joseph (6 tom. 8vo. 1854).] and also in the printed, but unpublished, vols. of his whole correspondence.
[Cannes] May 4th—I suppose some folks will now have discovered what reliance there is to be placed on a capricious and absolute man. It was clear from the first that he had resolved upon this Italian speculation, and that as soon as he could mitigate the universal feeling and opinion against him, he would have his way. The congress, whether suggested by him through Russia or not, was only one means of delay till all was ready, and one way of putting Austria in the wrong, or making an outcry against her as if she was—for really, except in the clumsy way of doing it, I can see nothing to blame in her refusal. She is treated as the aggressor. Now all she has done, or could do, was in her own defence, and nothing in the world can be more absurd than pretending that she is the cause of the war. If she beat the allies ever so much, she does not gain one inch of territory, while their real object is to strip her. As for L. N. considering himself aggrieved by her breaking off the negotiation and beginning to defend herself, it can only be on the supposition that he has a right to interfere on behalf of the Italians. Indeed, the same thing may be said of Sardinia. It is considered that she is aggrieved if the other Italian States are aggrieved; and now comes this rising in Tuscany and the smaller duchies to embarrass one party and so far help the other. But there is no reason to believe that any rising in Lombardy will take place.
The unaccountable part of it is the Austrians delaying their attack. It seemed clear that their plan would be to march upon Turin before the French could get up, and yet they have suffered 40,000 men to be landed at Genoa, and a considerable force to cross by Mont Cenis, without doing anything. Can it be that the sudden notice to Piedmont was an act of the Emperor without his ministers being consulted, and that they are less prepared than was supposed? Bunsen's son, who is in the Prussian mission at Turin, wrote ten days ago that the Government was ready to remove to Genoa, expecting the Austrians to come before the French arrived, and knowing Turin to be indefensible. It now seems that there must be a battle before Turin can be taken. All the road from Paris to Marseilles has been encumbered with troops, and all the steamers have been taken by the Government, and more men will be sent if wanted. The usual effect of a war has been perceived—namely, making the multitude rally round the Government—consequently there is less outcry against the war than there was, except amongst thinking people and those who are suffering from the suspension of all trade. The Emperor himself will probably join the army when they are prepared for an advantageous movement. He is playing a game that may be desperate. This Russian alliance is denied, but substantially it is true, and I have little doubt that some undertaking is effected to give leave to Russia in Turkey, on condition that she does something for Poland (one of L. N.'s hobbies) and helps some Italian arrangement for the cousin.
The next letter is endorsed by Reeve—'An affectionate record of a long friendship. I have inserted it in the copy of his Journals.'
From Mr. C. C. Greville
May 6th.—I will not delay to thank you warmly for your kind note. Your accession to the P. C. office gave me a friendship which I need not say how much I have valued through so many years of happy intercourse, which I rejoice at knowing has never been for an instant clouded or interrupted, and which will, I hope, last the same as long as I last myself. It is always painful to do anything for the last time, and I cannot without emotion take leave of an office where I have experienced for so many years so much kindness, consideration, and goodwill. I have told Hamilton that I hope still to be considered as amicus curiae, and to be applied to on every occasion when I can be of use to the office, or my personal services can be employed to promote the interest of any member of it. Between you and me there has been, I think, as much as possible between any two people, the 'idem velle, idem nolle et idem sentire de republica,' and in consequence the 'firma amicitia.' God bless you, and believe me always,
Yours most sincerely and faithfully, C. C. G.
From Lord Brougham
[Cannes] May 18th.—I really begin to feel anxious about the peace of Europe, and not without some alarm as to our own position. There can be no doubt that for the present (if not more permanently) this man [the Emperor], working on the French feeling, has got the mob, military and civil, with him. The war has ceased to be unpopular, and all reckon upon victory. If they succeed, he will, for a while, be satisfied with the gratification of his vanity and the strengthening of his power; but soon after he will be pushed by his unruly supporters, and will try a deeper game. Of this they are as much convinced in Germany as of his existence, and even Prussia will not persist holding back. If she does, and if the Russian alliance continues, she will be destroyed as soon as Austria is weakened. I, therefore, expect to see Prussia take timely precautions. They are prepared at Frankfort to split with her if she does not.
I am now satisfied that the Austrians intended only a razzia to Turin, and then to carry on only a defensive contest; and having been prevented—partly by the floods, and partly by our untimely intermeddling, and partly by their old error of having one head at Vienna, and another with the army—they have now given up the razzia, and will act on the defensive. This will not prevent them taking advantage of any opportunity of attacking, should they be able to do so with a certainty of success; but for any such dash I look rather to the French than to them. Certainly the Man is in a great difficulty if the Austrians steadily pursue this plan; for the expectations are wound up to a high pitch in France—especially in Paris and the great towns—of his doing something speedily, and the French nature is not to wait with calmness and patience. Even in this remote quarter, the thousands of fine troops passing raises a great feeling for the war.
_To Lord Brougham
C. O., May 21st_.—To the very best of my belief, the Queen's Speech will not be delivered till June 7th, but I speak without authority.... I have the greatest doubt whether it will be possible to unite all those sections of the H. of C. which are not to be regarded as Lord Derby's supporters, in a direct adverse vote—on the address or otherwise; and if the attempt is made—as it probably will be I think it will fail. [Footnote: The attempt was made, and did not fail. The Ministry was defeated on the amendment to the address by 323 to 310.] The Government say they have 307 men on whom they can rely, and a fair chance that fifteen or twenty more men will not consent to take part in an active, offensive campaign. Indeed the country gentlemen say pretty generally that they will not attempt to turn the Government out, until they are satisfied that a more stable Government can be formed. But how is this possible when the numbers are—on one side a compact body of more than 300, and—on the other side, a divided body of 350? What we hope, therefore, is this: that John Russell and the Radicals will take a course on the subject of Reform which will be resisted by the moderate Liberals; and that the result will be a fusion between the moderate Liberals and the large Conservative phalanx. For it is clear that without some degree of support from the Conservatives, no other government can be carried on. As for any lasting or sincere union between Lord Palmerston and Lord John, it is quite hopeless, [Footnote: The event falsified this forecast. In the Ministry which Palmerston now formed Lord John was Foreign Secretary, and continued so till Palmerston's death in 1865.] and the desire to keep the latter out of office is so general and intense, that it is probable he would fail to make a Cabinet, even if the Queen sent for him—which she will certainly not do until the last extremity. On the other hand, there is the great objection to Palmerston that he holds language about the Italians and the French—to whom he is entirely devoted—which is quite at variance with the convictions of every man of sense in the country. There can be very little doubt that the war will spread. The whole of Germany is burning with ardour to support Austria; and if the French gain a battle on the Po, nothing will prevent the whole strength of Germany from coming to the rescue. [Footnote: Louis Napoleon's fear of this is a sufficient explanation of his ambiguous policy after Solferino.] The position of France is, in reality, most critical, for all her best troops are in Italy, and she would have great difficulty in placing 100,000 men on the Rhine, where she may have to confront half a million of combatants.
Hortensius' [Footnote: William Forsyth, Q.C., for many years standing counsel to the India Office. As the author, among other works, of Hortensius, and residing, as he still resides, at 61 Rutland Gate, Lord Brougham, in writing to Reeve, invariably refers to him as either 'Hortensius' or 'your neighbour.' In 1872 he published Letters from Lord Brougham to William Forsyth, with some facsimiles to show his 'extraordinary hand.' 'I think,' wrote Mr. Forsyth, 'the hieroglyphics will puzzle most readers;' but the samples he has given are as copper-plate compared with some of the letters to Reeve of about the same date.] appointment was, I believe, purely an act of Lord Stanley's, and I dare say your kindness in mentioning his name had due effect. Hortensius applied, by letter, for the appointment, and about three weeks after came a letter to say he was appointed.
From Lord Brougham
[Cannes] May 24th. I have been reading over again your excellent article on the subject of the day, and I may say of the place; and the more I reflect on it, I come the nearer to your view in all respects. Really the more we consider this abominable man's conduct (and his accomplice Cavour is quite as bad, though not so foolish), the greater indignation we feel at the unprovoked breach of the peace. The audacity of the pretence from a despot and usurper exceeds precedent. What can be said too of Russia, which keeps her hold of Poland only ten years longer than the settlement of 1815! It really would be important, now that the attempt has been made to represent [the first] Napoleon as the friend of oppressed nationalities, that we should direct men's attention a little more to the enormities in that man's whole history. Party motives arising out of our English divisions to a certain degree prevented the real truth from being generally felt respecting him. There was the usual exaggeration on both sides. One party painted the devil blacker than he was, crediting to him crimes which he never committed. The other, because their adversaries thus painted him, would allow nothing against him, and exaggerated his merits—though it were difficult to overrate his capacity, and his military genius especially. But the more his moral guilt is examined the blacker it will appear, and the late publication, which you call candid, I believe has been true and full owing to careless superintendence. When I say publication I mean printing, for it is not really published, though copies are freely given. The publication of Joseph's memoirs is also full of important matter.
Now from these and the existing materials, a full and plain account of the man ought to be prepared, [Footnote: This is what M. Lanfrey began to do, and was going on with at the time of his lamented death, at the age of forty-nine, in 1877.] and you may rely on it that great effect against the present man would be produced; for he ostentatiously connects his policy with the former one's, and there is the greatest care taken to suppress attacks on Napoleon I. in the periodical publications—at least in the newspapers. But if the English and German and Belgian press are full of the facts, and repeatedly lay them before the world, no policy of the French press can long keep the truth from reaching the public. However, I am drawn away from what I had intended to mention—the present state of the public mind on the war question in this country. The giddy and warlike nature of the people, and his going to the army, has produced an effect not only in removing the unpopularity of the war, but in raising a warlike spirit—at least for the present. If victory comes, this will be increased. It is probable he may for the present be satisfied with the strength which he will derive from it; but the army will probably join with the mob in wishing for further proceedings, and then we shall find that Germany will be attacked, and I must even say that we shall do well to be prepared in England. I believe, however, that the Austrians in Italy will make it a lingering affair by defensive operations, and this will exhaust the French patience. The lies of the Sardinian press, and indeed official accounts, make it impossible to tell how far they have at the beginning suffered a check. But I plainly perceive that, if something brilliant is not done, L. N. will be shaken.
* * * * *
From Count Zamoyski
Paris, May 28th. May is passing and your plans are not yet realised; we still await your arrival. Mme. Krasinska is leaving Paris for Warsaw, and has charged me to forward you the enclosed, in which she gives you the address of the person here who is ready to receive the papers you have promised her, which both she and the friends of the deceased await with lively interest.
Having written thus much on the matter in hand, Zamoyski turned again to politics and the discussion at some length of the situation in Italy, out of which many of the Poles fondly hoped their freedom was to come. The English mistrust of Napoleon, he argued, was as injudicious as unfounded, and could do nothing but harm by forcing France into the arms of Russia. One of the many wild suggestions afloat at the time amounted to little less than a complete remodelling of the map of Europe. Austria, deprived of her Italian provinces, was to be compensated on the lower Danube; as a balance to which, Russia was to occupy Constantinople, and, to mark her friendship to France—who was entering on the war for an idee—would restore freedom to Poland. And there were some who believed it. Zamoyski was clearer-headed; but his mind also was warped by sense of wrong, and his fancy was as wild as the other. If England, he urged, will not act in concert with France, let her at least emulate the noble example France is setting. She is preparing to free Italy; let England, as her part in the generous rivalry, free Poland. Russia is still England's enemy. This is England's opportunity. And he seems to have persuaded himself that, if she did not avail herself of it, she would be a recreant to the cause of liberty and humanity. It is very curious.
From the Countess Krasinska
Paris, 26 mai.—Je vous remercie infiniment, Monsieur, de votre bonne lettre et de tout ce que vous voulez bien me dire de celui que nous ne cesserons pas de regretter, et qui m'a bien et bien souvent parle de vous et des annees de jeunesse passees avec vous dans une etroite et sincere amitie. Ce souvenir a ete constant dans son coeur! Je regrette infiniment aussi que les evenements politiques vous aient empeche de venir a Paris, comme vous vous le proposiez. Je suis obligee de partir pour Varsovie, et crains de vous manquer si vous venez bientot ici. Dans tous les cas, si vous vouliez bien confier vos precieux manuscrits [Footnote: If sent to M. Okrynski, the letters were returned; for they were afterwards given to Sigismond's grandson, the present Count Adam Krasinski (see post. p. 389).] a M. Victor Okrynski, Rue de la Pepiniere 66, je vous en serai bien reconnaissante. C'est chez lui que je laisse en depot ce que nous avons rassemble jusqu'ici.
It would seem from the following note that Lord Macaulay had spoken to Reeve of Dr. Thomas Campbell's "Diary of a Visit to England in 1775; by an Irishman;" a small book—little more than a pamphlet—which had been published at Sydney in 1854. It had struck Reeve that such a "Diary" might be the text for an interesting article in the "Review;" and the correspondence respecting it derives a peculiar value from its near approach to the close of Macaulay's labours.
From Lord Macaulay
Holly Lodge, Kensington, June 1st.
Dear Reeve,—Before you determine anything about Dr. T. Campbell's Diary, you had better read it. I have lent my copy, which is probably the only copy in England, and do not expect to get it back till next week. When it comes, I will send it to you, and we will then talk further. Ever yours truly, MACAULAY.
From M. Guizot
Val Richer, June 11th.—... On the Continent, it seems to me, there is now only one question—Will Austria remain obstinate? If she does, if she is determined to fight on, although beaten; not to give up her Italian possessions, although she has lost them in Italy, and to impose on the conquerors of Milan the necessity of being also the conquerors of Vienna—in that case the actual beginning of the war is a trifle; we are advancing towards a general war and European chaos. The mere continuance of the struggle will be quite sufficient to make it impossible for anyone—for Lord Derby as much as for Lord Palmerston—to stop it or to foresee where it will lead. Has Austria the will and the strength to prolong the struggle? Or will she be alarmed and intimidated by her first defeats, and be persuaded to make such concessions as will give, if not Italy herself, at least her patrons for the time being, a decent pretext to declare themselves satisfied, and to retreat in triumph? I repeat this seems to me the only question. If I were to judge by the reports that reach me from Germany, no doubt is there felt. Austria, both emperor and country, are said to be perfectly determined to fight to the last extremity, being convinced that in their extreme peril, and when, in their persons, European order is endangered, they will find allies and a chance of safety. But I do not put much faith in rumours which promise a somewhat heroic firmness. Great things are apt to come to nothing nowadays, and it may well be that the Italian question will fall through, and all this noise end in some transaction which will be neither a true nor lasting solution. Italy has long been the scene of events that end thus....
From Lord Clarendon
G.C., June 13th.—You have always taken such a kind and friendly concern in my affairs that I think you will like to know how I stand. Palmerston, by the Queen's desire, insisted on my returning to the F.O., and I felt that, though most unwilling to accept the offer, I had no sufficient plea for declining it. But when Palmerston very properly placed any office at the disposal of Lord John, he claimed the F.O. as his right. I gladly recognised that right and the superiority of his claims to my own.
I was most warmly pressed by Palmerston and my former colleagues to take any other office; but for that I saw no necessity, and I was sure I should best consult the public taste by making way for some one who had not been in Palmerston's former Government. The Queen sent for me, and very kindly tried to shake my determination; but it had not been lightly taken, and she did not succeed. So I am still free, and great is my happiness thereat.
From Lord Macaulay
June 27th.—If I were to renew my connexion with the "Edinburgh Review" after an interval of fifteen years, I should wish my first article to be rather more striking than an article on Campbell's Diary can easily be. You will, no doubt, do the thing as well as it can be done.
Some other hand, therefore, supplied the article on "A Visit to England in 1775" which appeared in the October number of the "Review."
To Madame de Tocqueville 62 Rutland Gate, June 30th.
Dear Madame de Tocqueville, [Footnote: Mme. de Tocqueville was an Englishwoman, and the correspondence was naturally in English.] I reproach myself exceedingly for having delayed so long to express to you, or, rather, to endeavour to express to you, how strongly Mrs. Reeve and myself participate in that sympathy and sorrow which your irreparable loss has inspired to the whole world, but most of all to those to whom the friendship of your husband was one of the blessings of life. I cannot accustom myself to the thought that the intercourse I had the happiness to maintain with him for twenty-five years is really at an end; and that the events of the world in which he took so constant and enlightened an interest are still rolling onwards, while his pure intelligence has passed to some higher and nobler sphere. We now look back, indeed, with a pleasure that heightens our regret, to those delightful days we spent at Tocqueville in 1856, and to his visit to England in 1857. Nothing, indeed, was wanting, either to his fame or to the love he inspired those who knew him; and to both these sacred recollections our thoughts will be directed as long as we survive. What, then, must be the loss and the void to you, who lived, as it were, in that light? I dare not think of it, were it not that your thoughts will rise to that source which has consolation for all earthly sorrows. I have heard of you, and seen your admirable letters to Mrs. Grote and Mrs. Merivale, which assure me of the resignation and piety that still support you. Mrs. Reeve and Hopie desire to join in the cordial expression of their affectionate regard; and I remain Your most faithful servant,
The Journal here notes:—
In August I left town for Ambleside and Abington, to shoot. Thence I went to the George R. Smiths', at Relugas; near Forres. Shot there, and then crossed the Moray Firth to Skibo and Uppat. Then I went on to Langwell, in Caithness, which the Duke of Portland had lent the Speaker (E. Denison), and spent some days with him. Returned to town by sea from Aberdeen. Shooting in September at Chorleywood and Stetchworth—the latter first-rate; then to Roxburghshire; afterwards to Raith.
To Lord Brougham
Relugas, near Forres, August 26th.—Your very kind note of the 23rd has followed me here, where I am spending a few days on my way to Sutherland. Towards the latter end of October I shall be returning to England, with Mrs. Reeve and my daughter, and if you are still at Brougham at that time, and disposed to receive us for a day or two in this patriarchal fashion, it will give us the greatest pleasure to come.
Louis Napoleon's amnesty appears to me to be the most judicious act of his reign, and, if he would only follow it up by giving a more legal character to his administration, I think he would soon rally many persons to himself. All that the French seem at this time to require is that the Government should observe the laws it enforces on other people—a very moderate request.
I will endeavour to find out about the Chancery Evidence Commission. It is a monstrous absurdity that your name should not appear in a commission destined, if anything, to give effect to the principles you have so long and constantly advocated.
C.O., September 26th.—I sincerely hope that, whatever day the Edinburgh banquet takes place, I may have the honour of attending it. I shall probably be at Raith at the time. Considering what you have been, for more than half a century, to the "Edinburgh Review," and the connexion which was thus so long maintained between yourself and Edinburgh, I am most anxious, as the humble representative of that journal at the present time, to do anything in my power to contribute to a mark of respect paid you in Edinburgh; and I should have gladly attended the dinner, even if I had not been, as I probably shall be, within easy reach of it.
From Lord Brougham
Brougham, September 27th.—Many thanks for your great kindness about the Edinburgh dinner, which I look forward to with some dismay; for the requisition, which was signed by the heads of all parties, and in very kind terms, makes it impossible not to attend, and, beside the plagues incidental to all such proceedings, I have the excessive suffering from the blanks by which I shall be surrounded. To go no further than what you allude to, it may possibly be October 25th, and certainly not later than 26th; and that is the anniversary of the "Edinburgh Review" fifty-seven years ago. Then Jeffrey, Horner, Smith, Allen, Murray, Playfair, Thomson—all gone; and of later years, Cockburn, your father, Eyre. It is really a sad thing. And then, beside our set, there were A. Thomson, Moncreiff, T. Campbell, Cranstoun, Clerk, D. Stewart, W. Scott—all, except Horner, Playfair, and Scott, D. Stewart and A. Thomson, T. Campbell, alive in 1834, when I was last in Edinburgh. I must struggle the best I can, but this feeling nearly overpowers me.
I send you by this post a Paris paper I have just received, evidently sent on account of the article marked, which is so far gratifying that it is by a very eminent man, who signs it; but I chiefly value it on account of the attack upon England for not having raised a monument, [footnote: Lord Brougham was at this time greatly interested, and indeed excited, about a proposed monument to Sir Isaac Newton. His letters frequently allude to it.] and on account, also, of the statement that he was the greatest of all men—which will not be very agreeable to our friends of the Institute.
The Journal records:—
Lord Brougham was elected Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. I attended a banquet given him there on October 26th. I then went from Raith to Brougham and Appleby, High Legh, and Teddesley, shooting at all these places, and at Crewe likewise, where I began to shoot with a new breech-loading gun. I must have shot thirty-five or forty days this year, and paid a great number of visits in country houses. We did not go abroad.
Lord Macaulay had meantime received some further particulars as to the MS. of the 'Visit to England,' and sent them to Reeve with the following:—
Holly Lodge, November 11th.
My dear sir,—I have just received the enclosed letter, which may, perhaps, interest you. It might be worth while to put a short note at the end of the next number of the 'Edinburgh Review.'
Very truly yours,
Endorsed—Lord Macaulay. His last note to me. He died December 27th [really 28th].
The note referred to appeared in the number for January 1860, with the sympathetic remark: 'This very note was, in fact, his last contribution to these pages, made within a short time of his death.'
To Lord Brougham
62 Rutland Gate, December 29th.—I communicated to Mrs. Austin your very kind intention of writing some notice of Mr. Austin in the 'Law Review,' and she has sent me the enclosed paper—very striking, I think it, especially considering the state of physical exhaustion and mental grief in which she lies. Nothing can equal her devotion to his memory. She has, I think, omitted to state that one portion of the lectures delivered by Mr. Austin at the London University were published by Murray in 1832, under the title of 'The Province of Jurisprudence Determined' You are aware that this book retains a very high position, and, as John Austin never would republish it in his lifetime, copies of the volume fetch seven or eight guineas. I hope now it will appear again, with additions, as all the drafts of his lectures are in existence, most carefully elaborated by himself. Hortensius has written a very nice article for the 'Edinburgh' on the progress of legal reform and on your bills. I hope you will like it. The Review will be out on January 14th.
I forgot to say just now that, as Mrs. Austin and I have no copy of the enclosed paper about her husband, we should be much obliged to you to preserve and return it to us.
The pamphlet 'Le Pape et le Congres' has certainly astonished the world. My Catholic friends call it the pamphlet of the Emperor Julian; and certainly, considering what the Pope has done for him, and he has done for the Pope, it is an act of apostasy. To engage in a contest with Rome is, however, still no small enterprise, and I question if the Emperor has strength of purpose to carry it through. The Popes protested, in their day, against the Treaty of Westphalia and the Treaty of Vienna; multo magis, will they protest against the decisions of the Congress of Paris? It must be acknowledged that matters look more favourably than they did for our own policy and influence in the Congress.
_From Lord Brougham
Cannes, January 1st_, 1860.—First of all accept for yourself and Mrs. R. all the good wishes of the season from all here. Next, let me say how gratified I am with the very interesting, and, in the circumstances, extraordinary communication of Mrs. A. It is of the utmost importance, and confirms me in the design I had newly formed, of making my account follow this. It could be made for the next number of the 'Law Review;' in the present number giving a short notice, lamenting the great loss, and announcing a full article for next number. I had intimated the probability of this to Francis—the editor—and what I have received this morning from you strongly confirms me. There will, therefore, be only a general statement this time. Really I feel the deepest interest in the subject, when I regard the strong and stern virtues of the man, beside his great talents and learning.
Poor Macaulay, I would give as a foil—of course, only to yourself, privately. He had great abilities; and though I widely differed with him in his views of history—which I, being of the science school, thought should be different from an anecdote book, yet I admit the great merits of his work, and especially of his essays. But I much objected to his running away from our death-struggle in 1834, though his defence was that his sisters would have to go out in the world as milliners if he stayed to fight with us. I had myself made such sacrifices that I felt entitled to complain. However, I pass over that on the ground he gave. But, then, what is to be said of two sessions in the House of Lords without one word of help to the Liberal cause, or indeed to any cause? What but that it was owing to the fear of making a speech which would be thought a failure—that is, would be injurious to his former speeches. Now, such a consideration as this J. Austin was wholly incapable of allowing even to cross his mind. He acted on what he conceived were just principles, and sacrificed to them all regard for himself. How differently did those men act of whose set Macaulay was!—his father, Stephen, H. Thornton, &c. However, his loss is a very melancholy one, because he goes out of the world in full possession of his faculties, and in more than just appreciation of his merits.
The Journal for 1860 begins:—
The new year opened at Chevening on a visit to Lord Stanhope. The party consisted of the Morleys, Hayward, Goldwin Smith, and afterwards the Grotes.
I went to Chevening again in 1862; and for a third time, with Christine, in 1885; the host changed, but the same hospitality.
We sent a round-robin to the Dean of Westminster, begging that Macaulay might be buried in the Abbey. He was buried there on January 9th. I was there. The same day we started for Paris by Southampton. Saw the Circourts, Rauzans, Guizots, &c.
Charles Greville had introduced me to Fould, then minister of finance. On Sunday, January 15th, Fould told me of the conclusion of the treaty of commerce with England, and the same evening we all dined at M. Chevalier's, with Cobden, Lavergne, Passy, Parieu, and Wolowski—the promoters and authors of the treaty. The next day (16th) I dined with Fould at a state dinner; Metternichs, Bassanos, Auber, Ste.-Beuve, Bourqueney. I took down Mrs. Baring. Lord Brougham was also in Paris.
Albert Pourtales, my old fellow-pupil at Geneva, was now Prussian ambassador; saw a good deal of him. This was a very interesting visit to Paris.
In some very rough notes, Reeve jotted down the particulars he learned at this time. They amount to this: That between January 16th and 21st, 1859, a treaty was signed between France and Sardinia, by the 5th, 6th, and 7th articles of which Savoy was to be ceded to France when Lombardy and Venetia were conquered and given to Piedmont. Nice was to be ceded when Piedmont got the rest—of what, is not stated—presumably, of Italy. This treaty was known only to the Emperor, Niel, and Pietri, in France, and in Sardinia to the King and Cavour. It was afterwards made known to Villa-Marina, on condition that he should seem to know nothing about it.
On July 8th, 1859, when the Emperor returned to Valeggio from Villafranca, he told the King of Sardinia that peace was made. The King said he would not accept it, and would continue the war on his own account. The Emperor shrugged his shoulders and said 'Vous etes fou.' Afterwards, however, in telling the story to the Queen of Holland, he declared that he only said 'Vous etes absurde.'
It appears to have been in conversation with Pourtales, on January 17th, that Reeve picked up this curious story. During the past few years many State papers at Berlin had been stolen: amongst others, a letter from the Tsar to the King of Prussia, written in the summer of 1855, to the effect that Sebastopol could not hold out another month. This was sent to Paris by Moustier just in time to revive the drooping spirits of the French Government, after the repulse of June 18th.
Supposing this to be true—as Reeve certainly believed it to be—it was only paying off Prussia in her own coin; for at least under Frederick II.—the Prussian agents had shown a remarkable skill in obtaining secret intelligence, either by purchase or by theft. In one case, in 1755, ten important papers and the key of the cipher were stolen from the Count de Broglie, the French ambassador, by his colleague and intimate friend, Count Maltzahn, the Prussian ambassador, who obtained access to his rooms in his absence. 'There is no doubt,' wrote De Broglie, 'that we are indebted for this to the King of Prussia. I am quite sure that Maltzahn would not have done it without an express order.' [Footnote: Le Secret du Roi, par le Duc de Broglie, tom. i., p. 131]
_From Mr. C. C. Greville
January 15._—I am very glad to hear that Fould has responded with such alacrity, and I shall be most anxious to hear from you again after your interview and dinner with him. I told him in my letter that you had been acquainted with the Emperor when he resided in England, and I hope he will report your arrival to H.M., and that you will be summoned to the imperial presence; it would be very interesting to have a conversation with the great man himself, and you might enlighten his mind, and correct some of the erroneous impressions he is likely to have formed from Cobden's conversation.
So far as I understand the line taken by our Cabinet, they are acting properly enough. I suppose France will want our support for the annexation of Savoy, and Palmerston will be for giving that, or doing anything else to obtain the transference of the revolted states and provinces to Piedmont; the aggrandisement of Sardinia and the humiliation of Austria being his darling objects, for which he will sacrifice every other consideration, unless he is kept in check, and baffled by the majority of the Cabinet. In the beginning of this week there was very near being a split amongst them, which might have broken up the Government; but I conclude matters were adjusted, though I do not know exactly how. P., J. R., and Gladstone go together, and are for going much further in Italian affairs than the majority of the Cabinet will consent to; and, as the latter know very well that their views will be supported by public opinion, I trust they will get the better of this triple alliance. As Austria appears to have admitted her inability to draw the sword again, the Pope seems to be left without any resource; but it does not follow that Austria will consent to such an aggrandisement of the King of Sardinia as France may be willing to consent to, and, as we shall, I suppose, earnestly advocate. She would probably more easily consent to the promotion of a new North Italian kingdom; and I much doubt if Tuscany really wishes for annexation to Piedmont. She would probably much prefer the promotion of a fresh state, of which Florence would be the capital, and Tuscany the most influential member. How impossible it is to form any opinion as to the tortuous, ever-shifting policy of L. N.! The only thing we ought never to lose sight of is to keep quite clear of him, and to be always on our guard. If the natural limits of France are to be extended again to the Alps, how long will it be before they are extended to the Rhine also?
I went to see Mrs. Austin yesterday, and found her very well and in very fair spirits; very anxious to talk about him, and much gratified at the letters she has received from various friends, bearing testimony to his great merits and high qualities, particularly one from Sir William Erle. Brougham is writing a notice of him for the 'Law Magazine.' She seems very unsettled in her plans, and says she changes her mind continually. Lady Gordon is better, and Mrs. Austin is going to Ventnor, to her, in a short time. She means to be much occupied with the papers he has left, which appear to be all about law, and it is very doubtful whether they will, if published, be very interesting to the world in general.
The Journal notes:—
We returned to London on January 23rd. Parliament opened next day. London dinners began. Dined at Thackeray's, Milman's, Galton's, Lansdowne House.
From Lord Clarendon
The Grove, February 2nd.—I am much obliged to you for De la Rive's brochure [Footnote: Le Droit de la Suisse, by William de la Rive, son of the celebrated physicist, Auguste] which is written with great force and spirit; he makes out an excellent European case for the slice of Savoy he claims for Switzerland, and he manages to gives an agreeable impression of those unpleasant people, the Swiss. It is a valuable work at this moment; for the annexation of Savoy to France is a serious affair, not only because it makes Italy French, but because it is the first step towards the remaniement de la carte.