Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, first Earl of 3Ialmesbury ; containing an Account of his 3lissions to the Courts of Madrid, Frederick the Great, Catherine the Second, and the Hague; and of his Special Missions to Berlin, Brunswick, and the French Republic. Edited by his Grandson, the third Earl. Volumes III. IV. TILAVELG, Bentley. Vacation Rambles and Thoughts; comprising the Recollections of three Continental Tours in the Vacations of 1841, 1842, and 1843. By T. N. Talfourd, D.C.L., Ser- geant-at-law. In two volumes Macon.
Recollections of Military Service, in 1813, 1814, and 1815, through Germany, Hol- land, and France, including some Details of the Battles of Quatre Bras and Water- loo. By Thomas Morris, late Sergeant of the Second Battalion of the Seventy-
third Regiment of Foot Madden and Co. ricrioN,
Valentine M'Clutchy, the Irish Agent; or Chronicles of the Castle Cumber Property. By William Carleton, Author of "Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry,"
"Fardorougha the Miser," &e. In three volumes. Duffy, Dublin.
DIARIES AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THE FIRST EARL OF MALMESBIIRY.
Tars two volumes now before us complete these instructive, curious, and amusing family papers. Compared with their two predecessors, they have nothing so approaching what connoisseurs call the grand style as the sketches of Frederick the Great and the full-length picture of Cathe- rine of Russia ; but they are more various, and the topics often come more home to us. The larger diplomacy deals more in real public busi- ness. The diary during Lord Mahnesbury's mission to the court of Brunswick is very interesting, not only from its picture of the manners of a petty German court towards the end of the last century, but for its exhibition of the character of the ill-fated Caroline, wife of George the Fourth. The diary and correspondence during the writer's residence in England form a narrative of secret political history during an eventful period, (1801-1808,) in which though little may be told that is abso- lutely new in an historical sense, we have many original documents, many dramatic sketches of dialogues and persons, with numerous anec- dotes of remarkable individuals, setting them in a more funiligr and favourable light.
The volumes consist of four leading sections. The first embraces the mission to Berlin, whose object was to incite the King of Prussia to more active exertions against the Revolutionary French : but it failed, in spite of our subsidies, from the folly of the monarch, the corruption of his courtiers, and the incapacity or disafl'ection of the principal military officers. More honest motives were, the deadly hatred of the Prussians against the Austrians, that prevented any cordial cooperation between the two nations, if indeed one did not rather rejoice at the misfortunes of the other ; and a reforming feeling in Germany, that led all below the courtiers to sympathize with the spirit of the French Revolution, and to render the bulk of the officers and the soldiers averse to the cause in which they were fighting. The negotiations which the British Govern- ment opened with the French Directory at Paris in 1796, and at Lisle In 1797, are historically remarkable for the anxiety for peace which they indicate in Pitt ; who seems to have been willing to make any rea- sonable sacrifice to attain it, whilst Lord Grenville (the Foreign Secre- tary) was still for war—apparently without any other object than a notion of dignity. The characters of the Ministers, too, are pretty clearly indicated. Grenville conies out cold, austere, wshunuta, and only not pompous because he is too proud ; Pitt appears less haughty and less self-willed than general opinion reputed hint, with more of consideration and kindliness to his intimates, and with a great dispo- sition to "give way" for the public good. Canning, who was then Under- Secretary to Grenville, is gay, buoyant, and goodnatured ; with more rational views, we think, than any of the set,—judging things according to their own nature rather than by received opinion or precedents. The despotic character of the two chief Ministers is curiously shown. At Lisle, upon important occasions, Malmesbury had to write two despatches— one for Pitt and Grenville, one for tile Cabinet. The truth of the opinion which Pope formed of ministers, as indicated in a line of his address to Craggs, " Proceed—a minister, but still a man," is curiously illustrated. Two of the French Directory, Camot and Barthelemi, with Talleyrand, were favourable to peace ; and a separate negotiation was covertly car- ried on with one of the French negotiators,whieli, after the 1■.rcible arrest and banishment of Carnot and Barthelemi, would probably have led to the death of all parties concerned if it were known : all the French Plenipotentiaries, too, were on very good terms with Malmesbury, con- ducted the business with great fairness, and made private admissions that might have led to unpleasant if not to serious consequences. Lord Malmesbury was naturally anxious that in publishing the papers nothing Should appear to commit thc negotiators upon confidential matters. Ile felt so strongly on this point, that he wrote to Pitt, suggesting that at least individuals might be concealed under the general term of French Plenipotentiaries. He thus marks the upshot in his Diary. "Saturday, Sept. SO.—Received at nine o'clock a letter from Lord Grenville. From the tone, I find him aware of my sentiments, and that his by no means agree with them in respect to using more caution and more delicacy towards my first tolleag,ues. I wrote to him to state my opinion, and to press strongly the substi- tuting everywhere the words French Plenipotentiaries' for Le Tourneiw, Maret, or Colchen.' I send my letter by Ross [Lord Malmesbiu7's private secre- tary]. Lord Grenville admits him; and, after perusing my letter, consents to the alteration: he says he even thinks it ' more dignified.' "Sunday, Oct. 1.—A letter from Pitt. Agrees with me as to substituting the general expression of French Plenipotentiaries ibr the naming the Ministers, inas- much as it can be done without 'violating the accuracy of quotation.' "
Dignity ! accuracy of quotation ! when character, life, and fair dealing Were at issue.
The Diary during the Brunswick mission is one of great interest from ita various traits of character, and the half comic interest that attaches Se Lord Malmesbury's self-assumed role as a sort of male duenna. It hat also some home pictures, and rather touching instances of natural anxiety on the fart of the Duke and Dateless that their daughter should succeed. The ambassador had evidently misgivings Sat 11fe first as to the prudence of the match. He describes the Princess as_ severely educated by her father, and much in dread of him; but not con- trolled by and half despising her mother, the sister of George the Third,— a goodnatured gossip, of not too decorous conversation. A forward nature, and an active mind devoid of ballast, coupled with the familiarities among her ladies permitted in a petty court, had induced in the Princess great indiscretion, forwardness, and freedom of manners. She had no retenue, no control, but gave way to the emotions of the moment ; and these emotions were of a familiar and often of an indelicate character. She was in fact what the vulgar call "a good soul, not a bit of pride about' her." She dressed badly, piqued herself upon doing it quickly, and it would seem was not over cleanly in her person. Her under-linen was_ coarse, so were her stockings : but this probably arose from the penury or sordid practice of the court of Brunswick. Still, it indicated the tastes and indelicate habits she must have formed, so very contrary to those of the Sybarite George Prince of Wales. She displayed, too, a total disregard' of what the English set such store by, appearances. Lord Malmesbury's conduct in these circumstances was distinguished by great judgment, straightforwardness, and candour. He took every- opportimity of freely pointing out what he thought improper in the be- haviour of the Princess, and indicated the conduct which the change in her position would require towards the British public, as well as the_ manners adapted to please the Prince of Wales. He also endeavoured, during their Journey to England, which was lengthened by diverging to the Elbe to avoid the French armies, to train the Princess by public' receptions to a better style ; but without effect. She could for a short time play the part of princess, but it was only for a time; and even then, if anything came across her, it was like the cat turned into a" woman in lEsop's fable—she was quickly transformed into the free, familiar, lax-mannered, forward -woman.
A full idea of the court of Brunswick, the character of the person-- ages, and the conduct of the ambassador, can only be gained by an at- tentive perusal of the whole of the section devoted to the mission ; but we will endeavour by a few extracts to give an idea of the sort of reading it will furnish.
THE DATJGIITER AND MOTHER, Mc ROUTE.
Princess Caroline very gauche at cards—speaks without thinking—gets too easy—calls the ladies (she never saw) "Mon trout, ma chere, ma petite." notice this, and reprove it strongly. The Princess, for the first time, disposed tci take it amiss; I do not pretend to observe it. Inftehess wants to return to Bruns, wick, and leave us to go by ourselves: this I oppose, and suppose it impossible. "If I am taken," says she, "I am sure the King will be angry.' "He will be very sorry," I reply; "but your Royal Highness must not leave your daughtef till she is in the hands of her attendants." She argues; but I will not give way, and she does. Presidente Walmoden—Princess Caroline affects to dislike her, to call her a bore, &e. I site she ought to ask her to play with her: she does it, but reluc- tantly, and dunng the party whispers and giggles with some of the young women. I notice this to her afterwards, as what I could not approve. I dolt as gently but as strongly as I dare. She at first disposed to contend the point with me, but at last confesses I am right, and promises to correct herself. My freedom at first discomposed her: but, finding me seem very indifferent as to her liking or not lilting what I said, she became herself soon again, and ended by taking it very right, and was in perfect good-humour during the supper.
THE PRINCESS'S TOILETTE.
Argument with the Princess about her toilette. She piques herself on dressing' quick; I disapprove this. She maintains her point. I, however, desire Madame Busche to explain to her that the Prince is very delicate, and that be expects a long and very careful toilette de proprete; of which she has no idea. On the con- trary, she neglects it sally, and is offensive from this neglect. Madame Busche executes her commission well, and the Princess comes out the next day well washed all over.
I had two conversations with the Princess Caroline. One on the toilette, on cleanliness, and on delicacy of speaking. On these points I endeavoured, as far as was possible for a nuns, to inculcate the necessity of great and nice attention to every part of dress, as well as to what was hid as to what was seen. (I knew she wore coarse petticoats, coarse shifts and thread stockings; and these never well washed or changed often enough.) I observed that a long toilette was necessary, and gave her no credit for boasting that hers was a "short" one: What I could not say myself on this point I got said through women; through Madame Busche, and afterwards through Mrs. Harcourt. It is remarkable how amazingly on this point her education has been neglected, and how much her mother, although an Englishwoman, was inattentive to it. My other conversation was on the Princess's speaking slightingly of the Batches.% being peevish towards her, and often laughing, at her or about her. On this point I talked very seriously indeed—said that nothing was so ex -
trendy improper, so radically wrong; that it was impossible, if she rer-
fleeted a moment, she should not be sorry for everything of the kind which escaped; and I asaired her it was the more improper from the tender affection. th Dateliess had for her. The Princess felt all this, and it made a temporary im- pression: but in this as on all other subjects, I have had but too many .op&-4 tunities to observe that her heart is very, very light, unsuseeptible of strong* lasting feelings. In some respects this may make her happier, but certainly not better. I, however, must say, that, on the idea being suggested to her by her father that I should remain on business in Germany, andnot be allowed to attend her to England, she was most extremely afflicted, even to tears, and spoke to me with a kindness and feeling I was highly gratified to find in her.
The bad manners were all on the side of the Princess ; and there seems to have been a taint in her character, which would always have rendered her morals a matter of accident. But the Prince began the moral exhi- bition by a course of conduct which was not only wrong but weak, naming Lady Jersey as one of his wife's Ladies of the Bedchamber. The Prince's crony, then Commodore but commonly called Jack Payne, who conveyed the Princess to England, was disgusted with Lady Jersey's "tricks," and the Princess's " weakness " ; and on their arrival at Greenwich, Malmesbury had to put down the presumption of the lady, rather peremptorily. "Sunday, April 5.—At eight the Princess got into the Royal yacht (Augusta) Pleasant and prosperous sail to Greenwich; where we arrive at twelve o'clock. The Ring's coaches not yet arrived; owing, as I have since heard, to Lady--; not being ready: she, Mrs. Aston, and Lord Claremont, came to meet the Princess. We waited at least an hour for the carriages; and were very attentively baS awkwardly received by. Sir W. Pattison, Governor of the Hospital, and his two
Sisters. 'Lady very much dissatisfied with the Princess's mode of &egg,
though Mrs. Harcourt had taken great palm about it; and expressed herself in a way which induced me to speak rather sharply to her. She also said she could not sit backwards in a coach, and hoped she might be allowed to sit forward: this, (though Mrs. Harcourt MIS servile enough to admit as a reason.) as it was strictly forbidden by the King, I most decidedly opposed; and told Lady —, that as she must have known that riding backward in a coach disagreed with her, she ought never to have accepted the situation of a Lady of the Bedchamber, who never ought to sit forward; and that if she really was likely to be sick, I would put Ma. Aston into the coach with the Princess, and have by that means the pleasure of Lady —'s company in the carriage allotted to me and Lord Claremont."
VIE FIRST INTERVIEW.
I immediately notified the arrival to the King and Prince of Wales: the last came immediately. I, according to the established etiquette, introduced (no one else being in the room) the Princess Caroline to him. She very properly, in con- sequence of my saying to her it was the right mode of proceeding, attempted to kneel to him. He raised her, (gracefully enough,) and embraced her; said barely one word, turned round, retired to a distant part of the apartment, and ca me to him, said, "Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy." said, "Sir, had you not better have a glass of water? "—upon which he, much out of humour, said, with an oath, "No; I will go directly to the Queen," and away he went. The Princess, left during this short moment alone, was in a state of astonishment; and, on my joining her, said, "Mon Dieu! est ce que le Prince eat tonjours comme eels? Je le trouve tres gros, et =Bement aussi beau que son portrait." I said his Royal Highness was naturally a good deal affected and fumed at this first interview, but she certainly would find him different at dinner. She was disposed to further criticisms on this occasion, which would have em- barrassed me very much to answer, if luckily the King had not ordered me to attend him.
The drawingroom was just over. His Majesty's conversation turned -wholly on Prussian and French polities; and the only question about the Princess was, "Is she good-humoured?" I said, and very truly, that in very trying moments I had never seen her otherwise. The King said, I sin glad of it"; and it was manifest, from his silence, he had seen the Queen since she had seen the Prince, and that the Prince had made a very unfavourable report of the Princess to her. At dinner, at which all those who attended the Princess from Greenwich assisted, and the honours of which were done by Lord Stopford, as Vice-Chamberlain, I was far from satisfied with the Princess's behaviour: it was flippant, rattling, affecting raillery and wit, and throwing off coarse vulgar hints about Lady —, who was present; and, though mute le diable n'en Rerclait rice. The Prince was evidently disgusted: and, this unfortunate dinner fixed his dislike; which, when left to herself, the Princess had not the talent to remove, but, by still observing• the same giddy manners and attempts at cleverness and coarse sarcasm, increase it till it became positive hatred. From this time, though I dined frequently during the first three weeks after the marriage at Carlton House, nothing material occurred; but the sum of what I saw there led me to draw the inferences I have just expressed. After one of these dinners, where the Prince of Orange was present, and at which the Princess had behaved very lightly and even improperly, the Prince took me into his closet, and asked me how I liked this sort of manners: I could not conceal my disap- probation of them, and took this opportunity of repeating to him the substance of what the Duke of Brunswick had so often said to me, that it was expedient de la tenir parr&' that she had been brought up very strictly, and if she was not strictly kept, would from high spirits and little thought certainly emancipate too much. To this the Prince said, I see but too plainly: but why, Harris, did you not tell me so before, or write it to me from Brunswick?" I replied, that 1 did not consider what the Duke (a severe father himself towards his children) said of sufficient consequence; that it affected neither the Princess's moral character nor conduct, and was intended solely as an intimation which I conceived it only proper to notice to his Royal Highness at a proper occasion—at such a one as now had offered; and that I humbly hoped his Royal Highness would not consider it as casting any real slur or aspersion on the Princess; that as to not writing to his Royal highness from Brunswick, I begged him to recollect I was not sent on a discretionary commission, but with the most positive commands to ask the Prin- cess Caroline in marriage, and nothing more; that to this sole point, respecting the marriage, and no other, those commands went; any reflection or remarks that I had presumed to make would (whether in praise of or injurious to her Royal Highness) have been a direct and positive deviation from those his Majesty's commands. They were as limited as they were imperative. That still, had I discovered notorious or glaring defects, or such as were of a nature to render the union unseemly, I should have felt it as a bounden duty to have stated them; but it must have been directly to the King, and to no one else. To this the Prince appeared to acquiesce: but I saw it did not please, and left a rankle in his mind.
It was an ill-assorted match, and a difficult case ; but the minor moral would seem to be, that no one who wishes to stand well with the . heir-apparent should undertake the office of bringing home his bride. Ile larger moral goes to the Royal Marriage Act, and choosing by deputy at all. Looking at the great change in public opinion, the very little public danger from the power of mere rank, and present circumstances, now is the time for its repeal. As Queen Victoria has been permitted to follow her own inclination, the same privilege should be allowed to
her children. •
The fourth .section, relating to public affairs in general, especially to English politics, is interesting from its variety of anecdotes and persons, as well as from the insight it gives into the motives, objects, and in- trigues of political parties. Deafness and growing infirmities had in- duced Lord Malmesbury to decline engaging in public business ; but his high reputation, great experience' clear, cool head, with the personal re- gard of the King and the friendship of the Duke of York, made him a Mentor in many matters, especially during the Addington Adminis- tration, when Tories and Conservative Whigs were anxious to get
There appears to be no doubt that Pitt's resignation in 1801, on the real or ostensible ground of the Catholic question, brought on the King's madness at that time. Lord Malmesbury has some curious anecdotes bearing upon this point, as well as on his previous illness.
The King, on Monday, after having remained many hours without speaking at
last, towards the evening, came to himself, and said, " I am I better now; but ivi7,2 remain true to the Church." This leaves little doubt as to the idea uppermost in his mind; and the physicians do not scruple to say, that although Isis Majesty certainly had a bad cold, and would under all circumstances have been ill, yet that the hurry and vexation of all that has passed was the cause of his mental illness; which if it had shown itself at all, would certainly not have declared it- self so violenfl, or been of a nature to cause any alarm, had not these events taken place. Just as the Kinp was taken ill in 1788, he said, after the last levee he held in the closet, to Lord Thurlow and the Duke of Leeds, on the first advising him to take care of himself and return to Windsor, "You, then, too, my Lord Thurlow, forsake me, and suppose me ill beyond recovery; but, whatever you and Mr. Pitt may think or feel, I, that am bores a gentleman, shall never lay my bead on my last pillow in peace and quiet as long as I remember the loss of my Ameri- can Colonies." I had this fact from the Duke of Leeds, who was present; and it describes precisely the state of the King's mind at that moment, as does what he said on Monday, I will remain true to the Church," show beyond a question the object uppermost in it now, and the goad in each case of his delirium. * • * King at Windsor about the 6th or 7th instant. Read his Coronation Oath to his family; asked them whether they understood it ; and added, "If I violate it, I am no longer legal Sovereign of this country, but it falls to the house of Savoy."
STRANGE, IF TRUE.
Prince of Wales, on Sunday the 22d, the second day of the King's illness, and when he was at his worst: went in the evening to a concert at Lady Hamilton's, and there told Calonne, (the rascally French ex-Minister,) "Saves vous, Mon- sieur de Calonue, que mon pere eat au.ssi fou que jamais ? "
THE KING TO PITT ON MIS RECOVERY.
The King, in directing Willis to speak or write to Pitt, said, "Tell him I sin now quite well, QUITE recovered from my but what has he not to answer for, who is the cause of my having been ill at all ? " This, on being repeated, af- fected Pitt so deeply that it immediately produced the letter mentioned above, and brought from him the declaration of Ins readiness to give way on the Catholic question.
This is all very well to say, and without question the King's anger might cause his derangement: but there is little doubt that in the pre- vious summer he had contemplated getting rid of Pitt, and of Lord Gren• vile, whose "authoritative manners" he disliked. Wyndham, it would seem, was to have succeeded Pitt, and Malmesbury Grenville. But several circumstances and Lord Mahnesbury's ill health baulked the scheme.
THE PRINCE AGAIN.
Three p. m. Mrs. Ilarcourt„—Held the language of the Court ; outrageous with Pitt, &c.; said the Prince's behaviour was very bad; always went at a time he was sure he could not see the King, and then complained of being slighted. Yesterday went at an hour he was certain lie should be refused, his Majesty having taken physic; and, on being refused, sent word to Lord Uxbridge, with whom he was to dine, by Jack Payne, that as the King would not see him, he really felt too much to think of dining in company. Sad grimace. They all knew him full well at the Queen's house, yet all loved him. The Princess of Wales had behaved very well.
LORD GRENVILLE. •
On speaking of Lord Grenville, we both agreed that lie was the most close cha- racter possible—never relieved his mind by trusting any one; • that now he was alone at Dropmore, and probably very uncomfortable; but he kept it all to
himself. a • • The King calls the Grenvilles the "brotherhood"; says "they most always either govern despotically or oppose Government violently."
A STORY OF LORD ELDON, NOT PARTICULARIZED IN HIS ANECDOTE-BOOK.
The Chancellor, Lord Eldon, bad mentioned to the Prince the Princess of Wales, and the hopes her dignity and comfort would be attended to. The Prince's reply was, " He was not the sort of person who let his hair grow under his wig to please his wife." On which the Chancellor respectfully but firmly said, " hour Royal Highlitse condescends to become personaIL-I beg leave to withdraw"; and accordingly bowed very low and retired. The Prince, alamed at this, could find no other was of extricating himself than by causing a note to be writ-ten the next day to Lord Eldon, to say that the phrase he made use of was nothing personal, but simply a proverb—a proverbial way of sayinc, a man was governed by his wife. Very absurd of Lord Eldon, but explained' by his having literally done what the Prince said.
SHRINKING FROM ILL NEWS.
I dined with Pitt on 30th October, at Sturges Bourne's and on 2nd November at his own house. Though the nanoiu-s of Mack's surrei;der of his army at Lim had come in so many shapes as to give it hut too much the appearance of truth, Pitt discredited it. I sat next to him each day; and I clearly perceived he disbe- lieved it more from the dread of its being true than from any well-grounded cause. He, particularly on the 2nd, on my still expressing my fears, almost peevishly said, " Don't believe a word of it, it is all a fiction"; and in so loud a voice as to be heard by all who were near us. But on Sunday 3rd November, he and Lord Malgrave came to me in Spring Gardens about one o'clock, with a Dutch newspaper, in which the capitulation of Ulm was inserted at full length. As they neither of them understood Dutch and, as all the offices were empty, they came to ine to translate it; which I did as well as I could; and 1 observed but too clearly the effect it had on Pitt, though he did his utmost to conceal it. This was the last time I some him. lie promised me to come for A few days to Park Place cin his return from Itath, where lie was then going, but was too ill to keep his word. This visit has left an indelible impression on say mind, as his manner and look were not his own and gave me, in spite of myself, a foreboding of the loss with which we were threatened.
The following are front the note-book of Lord Fitzharris, son of the first Lord Malmesbury and father of the present Earl. The useful faculty of a retentive memory, and the habit of strengthening the mind by re- cording its observations and impressions, seem to belong to the family. •
EFFECT OF TRAFALGAR ON PITT.
LORD MELVILLE'S IMPEACHMENT.
I have ever thought that an aiding cause of Pitt'S death, certainly one that tended to shorten his existence, was the result of the proceedings against his old friend and colleague Lord Melville. I sat wedged close to Pitt himself the night when we were 216 to 216; and the Speaker, Abbott, (after looking as white as a sheet, and pausing for ten minutes,) gave the casting-vote against us. Pitt immediately put on the little cocked hat that he was m the habit of wearing when dressed for the evening, and jammed it deeply over his forehead; and I dis- tinctly saw the tears trickling down his cheeks. We had overheard one or two, such as Colonel Wardle, (of notorious memory,) say, they would see "how Billy looked after it." A few young ardent followers of l'itt, with myself, locked their arms together, and formed a circle, in which he moved, I believe unconsciously, out of the House; and neither the Colonel nor his friends could approach him.
Looking back for thirty or forty years, it is impossible to avoid draw- ing a comparison between the years 1760-1770 and 1800-1806, very much in favour of the last date as regards the morality of public men. Something, perhaps, may be allowed to the greater elevation of mind in lifahnesbury, which might keep him more aloof from the wretched jobs and jobbers that abound in Walpole's pages ; but we believe the age is -entitled to a great deal of the credit. The national interest, the man who can best uphold it, and something like public principle or party consist- ency, are the prevailing feelings on all sides except among the "King's friends" ; and though there might be something of hypocrisy in the loftier profession, the public good or public consistency was talked about more naturally than by the contemporaries of the elder Pitt.