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of reluctance, and unluckily laid the notes on the table. He was quite sure, he said, that if he had offered a bundle of dirty notes, or a cheque, the Duke would have refused still, but the bright, clean notes were too much for his Grace, who placed them, neatly folded, in his pocket-book, saying, “Well, Charles, since you
have a bad time of it, come to me.'
Moralising on Lord Bathurst's death, in 1834, after describing him as a very amiable man, with a good understanding, Greville sets down:
'I was Lord Bathurst's private secretary for several years, but so far from feeling any obligation to him, I always consider his mistaken kindness in giving me that post as the source of all my misfortunes and the cause of my present condition. He never thought fit to employ me, never associated me with the interests and the business of his office, and consequently abandoned me at the age of eighteen to that life of idleness and dissipation from which I might have been saved had he felt that my future prospects in life, my character and talents, depended in great measure upon the direction which was at that moment given to my
mind.' When the celebrated Lord Chesterfield was named Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he chose for his secretary Mr. Lyddel
, "a very genteel pretty young fellow, but not a man of business (this is his Lordship's description), and addressed him thus : *Sir, you will receive the emoluments of your place, but I will do the business myself.' It is not recorded that Mr. Lyddel went astray, and attributed his aberrations to Lord Chesterfield. There was a time when the heads of noble or princely houses, in which young men of family were bred up, were expected to keep an eye to their morals as well as their manners; but it was a little too much to expect a Cabinet Minister to direct the studies or pursuits of a private secretary fresh from Christchurch, singularly precocious for his years, with an approving uncle and a (we presume) not disapproving father to look after him. By way of consolatory assurance to the families of other people, Mr. Reeve states that the Journals contain absolutely nothing relating to his own family. They contain a carefully composed character of his father, who died in 1832: a short graphic outline of his paternal grandfather and grandmother; and several allusions to his mother, who died July 1863, in her eighty-ninth year. Shortly before her death, a celebrated spiritualist, never dreaming that a man of his age could have a mother living, told him, at a séance, that her spirit was in attendance and ready to answer any question he might wish to ask. He coolly replied that this was needless, as he had been
conversing with her in the flesh only two hours before. She was a woman of considerable personal attractions, and the Duke of Wellington took much pleasure in her society.
It was all very well in moments of despondency, after a black Monday at Tattersall's or when laid up with the gout, to lament the want of a mentor «or good angel in the shape of an old Tory statesman; or to exclaim that, like the bard,
'He was born for much more, and in happier times
His soul would have burned with a holier flame.' The direction was already given to his mind: the taint or tendency was too deeply ingrained to be eradicated ; and Lord Bathurst may be excused for not discerning a capacity for better things in a man to whom the management of a Royal racing establishment was one of the noblest objects of ambition at twenty-six.
• February 23rd, 1821.-Yesterday the Duke of York proposed to me to take the management of his horses, which I accepted. Nothing could be more kind than the manner in which he proposed it.
• March 5th.--I have experienced a great proof of the vanity of human wishes. In the course of three weeks I have attained the three things which I have most desired in the world for years past, and upon the whole I do not feel that my happiness is at all increased ; perhaps if it were not for one cause it might be, but until that ceases to exist it is in vain that I acquire every other advantage or possess the means of amusement.
March 22nd.—I was sworn in the day before yesterday, and kissed hands at a Council at Carlton House yesterday morning as Clerk of the Council.'
Two of these three things are obvious; the third is left in doubt. He told a lady who saw the Journal in MS. that the one cause was an unrequited attachment; but,' he added, “ it was best for me as it turned out.' He was sadly compromised in a subsequent love-affair which led to a divorce, and left him a store of depressing memories embittered by remorse. He had ample reason more than once to exclaim with Edgar
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us.' During most of the time covered by the first and second volumes, he lived almost exclusively with the élite of the sporting and fashionable world—with the women who ruled Almack's when Almack's was a power, and the men who congregated in the bay window at White's, when White's was a sovereign authority on manners, equipage and dress.
His Egeria was Madame de Lieven, and his oracle Henry (Lord) de Ros. As
to friendship, he probably agreed with Selwyn, “When I lose a friend, I go to White's and get another.' He imbibed the prejudices and spoke the language of his clique: as when he .admires' an opulent and well-connected" family, at whose country house he was a frequent visitor, for presenting a specimen of contented mediocrity;' or when he calls the Coronation Peers of 1830 .a horribly low set ;* sor speaks of Rogers' • Human Life' as a failure, and Luttrell's Letters to Julia' as a success, although : Human Life' abounds in genuine poetry, and · Letters to. Julia,' nicknamed: • Letters from a Dandy to a Dolly,' are merely clever sketches of society in verse. The fastidious aristocrat stands confessed in such passages as these :
don, February 22nd, 1833.—Dined yesterday with Fortunatus Dwarris, who was counsel to the Board of Health; one of those dinners that people in that class of society put themselves in an agony to give, and generally their guests in as great an agony to
January 2nd, 1831.-Came up to town yesterday to dine with the Villiers at a dinner of clever men, got up at the Atheneum, and was extremely bored. The original party was broken up by various excuses, and the vacancies supplied by men none of whom I knew. There were Poulett Thomson, three Villiers, Taylor, Young, whom I knew; the rest I never saw before-Buller, Romilly, Senior, Maule, a man whose name I forget, and Walker, a police magistrate, all men of moro or less talent and information, and altogether producing anything but an agreeable party. I am very sure that dinners of all fools have as good a chance of being agreeable as dinners of all clever people; at least the former are often gay, and the latter are frequently heavy. Nonsense and folly gilded over with good breeding and les usages du monde produce often more agreeable results than a collection of rude, awkward intellectual powers.'
The reflections are just. But the circumstance to which we wish to call attention is, that Charles Buller, John (Lord) Romilly, Senior, Maule (Sir William), and Walker (author of • The Original'), were, one and all, personally unknown to him in 1831. He never so much as saw Macaulay till the year following, although Macaulay (to say nothing of Cambridge fame) had flashed into full metropolitan celebrity by his article on Milton in 1825.
The Marquis of Headfort, the Earl of Meath, the Earl of Dunmore, and the Earl Ludlow were created Barons of the United Kingdom; and nine Commoners were elevated to the Peerage:-Mr. Fox Maule (Panmure); Admiral, afterwards Earl, Cadogan (Oakeley); Sir George Bampfylde (Poltimore); Sir Paul Lawley (Wenlock); Sir Edward Lloyd (Mostyn); Colonel Berkeley (Segrave); Mr. Chichester, grandson of the second Marquis of Donegal (Templemore); and Colonel Hughes (Dinorben). Here are thirteen heads of families contemptuously disposed of in a sentence. They were in reality a more than ordinarily distinguished set.
Fifty years since the two great parties were separated by a strict line of demarcation, except on neutral ground like Almack's, and for some years after his entrance into the great world, Greville (to use his own expression) · herded' principally with the Tories. His brother, Algernon, was private secretary to the Duke of Wellington, another high Tory tie, which had no slight influence on his early opinions. As he advanced in life he widened his circle and gladly availed himself of his numerous opportunities to cultivate intimacy with men of intellectual mark of every class. Gradually, by dint of tact, temper, observation, and experience, he acquired so high a character for judgment, that he became the popular referee, not only in affairs of honour, but in differences of all sorts, social, literary, and political. Although termed the “Gruncher,' from his habitual tone, he seemed naturally a kind-hearted man, with a wide range of sympathies, and an unfeigned disinterested eagerness to render useful services and oblige. Such, at least, prior to these posthumous indications of character, was the impression of those who knew him best; and the portrait of Sir Gawain, as drawn by the Messrs. Whistlecraft in 1813, might have passed for a flattering likeness of Greville in his prime :
On every point, in earnest or in jest,
His memory was the magazine and hoard
He serv'd his friend, but watched his opportunity.' * * Prospectus and Specimen of an Intended National Work, By William and Robert Whistlecraft, of Stow-Market, in Suffolk, Harness and Collar-Makers.' John Murray. 1817. Canto i., verses xxiv. and xxv. In an entry of June 21, 1818, Greville sets down :-—I dined at Holland House last Thursday. The party consisted of Lord Lansdowne, Mr. Frere, and Mrs. Tierney and her son. After dinner Mr. Frere repeated to us a great deal of that part of " Whistlecraft" which is not yet published. I laughed whenever I could, but as I have never read the first part, and did not understand the second, I was not so much amused As the rest of the company.'
Some clever verses in a less favourable tone that appeared ten or fifteen years before his death, lead to the conclusion that he was not uniformly successful or satisfactory as a referee. We give a specimen :
Greville's freaks invite my song,
Ring the bell and send for Greville.' In 1845 he published a work which fully justified him in thinking that he might have achieved distinction in a higher arena had he not misemployed or frittered away the talents with which God had gifted him. It is remarkable for breadth and soundness of view, good arrangement, complete mastery of the subject, and a clear natural style, occasionally rising into eloquence.*
All things considered, few men could be better qualified for producing a valuable and suggestive record of passing impressions and events. In common, therefore, with the whole round of his acquaintance, we looked forward to the publication of his Journal as to a new source of pleasure and instruction, a rich contribution to history, a repertory of observation and reflexion, a fund of anecdote and wit. Any lurking fear or suspicion that might have been entertained of the anticipated revelations was dispelled by the official position, high character and established reputation of the editor, whose name was accepted as an ample guarantee that the soundest discretion would be exercised throughout, and that no rule of taste or conventional propriety, much less any obligation of honour or principle, would be transgressed. Never, therefore, was surprise greater than ours when we were made acquainted with the contents of these volumes, and learnt from the storm of social reprobation
* Past and Present Policy of England towards Ireland.' One vol., 8vo., pp. 373. 1845. This book speedily reached a second edition, but, being published anonymously, seems to have escaped the notice of Mr. Reeve, who does not mention it, although it constitutes Greville's best claim to authority as a political writer and thinker.