Edward Frederick Leveson-Gower.

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the prayers of her daughter from becoming a
Protestant in order to marry him. Some years
afterwards he lost his life in a riot at Frankfort.

One day the town was startled by the arrival
of Lord Douglas, the handsome son of the Duke
of Hamilton. He had come in lorder to propose
to the Princess Marie in obedience to his father's
injunction to marry a royalty. His advances were
well received, and we thought the affair was as
good as settled, when, to the young lady's indigna-
tion and to every one's astonishment, he suddenly
departed for Rome. The next summer in Germany



1841-42] NICE 33

she all but accepted a friend of my brother, which,
coming to the ears of Douglas, roused his vanity,
and he again came forward and induced her to throw
over his rival and to become his wife. She would
have done better not to forgive him for his previous
behaviour, as he proved an indifferent husband.

Compared with its present condition, Nice was
then in a primitive state. For instance, I was
sometimes obliged to go to parties in a sedan-chair.
The streets were ill-lighted with oil lamps. There
was a good deal of poverty and numberless beg-
gars. Some one lamenting this in the presence
of the Governor of the town, he professed on
the contrary to be much pleased, as it induced
the rich to be charitable. The beggars, if they
were not impostors, probably viewed the matter
in a different light. The Governor was an
Ultramontane, and represented a government
which was at that time the most bigoted in Europe.
At the instigation of the Church every sort of
absurd restriction was imposed. Some years pre-
viously I was at Aix-en-Savoie, when the young
men organised a dance, and ordered a band from
Chambery to play at it. The band duly arrived,
but as it was a Friday, was not allowed to perform.
So we had to dance to the beating of a drum until
twelve o'clock, when the music became permissible.

My brother. Lord Leveson,^ and his charming
wife came to Nice early in spring, and soon
afterwards I accompanied them to Rome in time
* Afterwards second Earl Granville.






34 ABROAD

to be there during the Easter week. My sister-
in-law was remarkably cosmopolitan. Her father,
the Due de Dalberc,s was originally a German
Baron at the head of a distinguished family, but
became naturalised in France, when the first
Napoleon conferred on him the title of Duke.
He took a prominent part in French politics, both
during the French Empire and during the Restora-
tion, when he was credited with Liberal tendencies.
Her mother was a Genoese of the noble family
of Brignole. Her first husband was Sir Richard
Acton, a son of the famous Neapolitan Prime
Minister, the friend of Nelson and of the English
Alliance. She was sister-in-law of Cardinal Acton,
and mother of the late Lord Acton, one of the
most learned men of his time. In consequence of
her many connections I found myself at Rome in
the midst of the leading- society of the place. It
was of course reactionary and clerical. They
fasted strictly, and although the maigre food was
delicious, my brother and I sometimes slipped
away to a restaurant to fortify ourselves with a
little meat. I was given every facility to see the
Church ceremonies, which I admired without being
much impressed. I was a little too much behind
the scenes. I will not describe Rome, or, with
a few exceptions, any of the interesting places I
have visited. They are so well known, owing to
the many books of travel and guide-books that
have been written about them, that it would be
a waste of time to attempt it.



SOCIETY

1840-46

I SOON afterwards turned my face homeward in
order to resume my legal studies. One of
my great privileges in early life was my intimacy
with Lord and Lady Holland. I was as a boy
a frequent visitor at Holland House, and during
her widowhood I saw a great deal of her in
London. I first made their acquaintance when
I was a schoolboy at Brighton. They used to
come there every year, when she often invited
the sons of their friends to visit them. She rather
alarmed us, and put to us questions which were
difficult to answer at once. One day she asked
Cosmo Russell, the Duke of Bedford's son, what
profession he would prefer. He answered without
hesitation, " The Church." — " What text, my
dear, would you choose for your sermon ?" — " The
wages of sin is death." — The answer was, perhaps,
more ready than tactful.

When later I stayed at Holland House Lord
Holland used to chat with me most pleasantly.
Lady Holland was particular about my going
to church, as she knew my mother would wish
it, especially as I was living in a house reputed

35



36 SOCIETY

to be the temple of unorthodoxy. On returning
one clay from church, I, in the innocence of
my heart, asked Lord Holland who the pretty
girls were who sat behind his pew. As he
never went there he could only answer with a
smile, " I do not know." What was remarkable
in him, beside his intellect and great culture,
was his good humour and the patience with
which he bore his wife's teasing ways. I see
him now, gesticulating and finishing a story, as
he was by her orders being wheeled backwards
by the footman out of the room ; and he re-
mained perfectly unmoved when, as would some-
times happen, she told the footman to take away
the unfinished food that was before him.

Lord Holland died in 1840, and left his widow
disconsolate. During many months I frequently
saw her in tears, and after my mother, who did
not like her, had paid her a visit on her return
two years later from abroad, she observed, " That
woman has suffered much, and I will never again
say she has no heart." She was a staunch friend
and always ready to do a service to those she liked.
It must, however, be admitted that she had no
great affection for her own children. Her son
Charles one day said to me, " I wish she loved
us as much as she loves all of you." I do not
think she ever resided at Holland House after
her loss, but she continued to entertain in Stanhope
Street all her former habitui^s, none of whom ever
failed her, which proved that they appreciated her



1840-46] LORD AND LADY HOLLAND 37

good qualities. At that time I was living in a
small lodging in Charles Street, reading for the
law. Nothing could exceed her kindness to me. I
dined with her whenever I liked. I had only to
send word in the morning that I would do so, a
permission of which I frequently availed myself.
Of course I never uttered a word at dinner,
but listened with delight to the brilliant talk, to
Macaulay's eloquence and varied information, to
Sydney Smith's exquisite jokes, which made me
die of laughing, to Mr. Rogers' sarcasm, and
to Mr. Luttrell's^ repartees. — "Will you make a
little room, Mr. Luttrell?" — "It will have to be
made,'' he replied, " for it does not exist."

All the Whig ladies visited Lady Holland, and
many of them were charming and agreeable. She
was very fond of my cousins. Lady Carlisle's
daughters. One day she exclaimed, " What is the
use of education ? Your cousins know very little,
yet how perfect they are ! " I think she hardly
did them justice, as, without being learned, they
had cultivated minds.

I once asked Lady Holland whether it ' would
frighten her to see a ghost. — " Oh no ; it would
delight me, as proving the existence of a future
life." — She could not bear the idea of leaving
this one. She said she would exchange her
present position for that of a crossing-sweeper

' Mr. Luttrell was believed to be a natural son of Lord Carhampton.
He had sat in the last Irish Parliament, and died about 1855 at a ^'^"^y
advanced age,



38 SOCIETY

who was young. She never would allow the word
" death " to be uttered in her presence. I once
went with her to the play to see an after-piece.
We arrived too early, and the funeral in Hamlet
was being performed. She immediately left the
box. She entreated Lord Carlisle to raze to the
ground the beautiful mausoleum at Castle Howard,
which is visible to all the country round, and
which, she said, made her too sad. And yet I
was assured she met death with perfect calmness.
But she was not courageous, particularly in a
carriage. Her coachman once told her he could
go backwards, but could not go slower. When
he said, "no fear, my lady," she answered,
" Perhaps there is no danger, but there's a great
deal of fear." — She was the only person ever
known to have the drag put on when driving
alon<r the boulevards at Paris. For a Ion"- time
she refused to travel by railway. At last she was
induced to go to Bowood by the Great Western
line, when she got Mr. Brunei, the eminent engineer
who had constructed it, to accompany her, and
held him by the hand the whole of the journey.
Mr. Brunei was a great friend of hers, and she was
much concerned when his life was endangered by
his swallowino: a coin. At the time of this occur-
rence, Sir Arthur Aston, who had been our Minister
at Madrid, was dining with Lady Holland, when
he told in relation to it the following amusing story.
A youth at Madrid having swallowed a coin was
surrounded in the streets by a crowd, when efforts



1840-46] LADY HOLLAND 39

were made to extract it ; upon which some one cried
out, " Send for the Queen-Mother, she will get at
it ! " Her Majesty was reputed to be very grasping,
and to be amassing a large fortune.

Lady Holland was much attached to Mr. Allen,
who was Lord Holland's private secretary and lived
during many years under their roof. He was very
learned, talked well, and gave one the impression
of great benevolence. But he was much abused
on account of his holding sceptical views. I can
only say that those who do not think that beliefs
are necessary for salvation would maintain that he
deserved it, for his life was blameless. One day
during his last illness he got much better and
was supposed to be out of danger, which put Lady
Holland in great spirits. " Let us imitate," she
said, "Tom Jones" — who, it maybe remembered,
got drunk upon Squire Allworthy's recovery. But
Mr. Allen had a relapse and soon afterwards died.

She was not always respectful to her physician,
Sir Stephen Hammick. — "Where do you dine
to-day, Sir Stephen ?"— " At my club."— " What is
the name of your club ? " — " The Union." — " I have
never heard of it. Frederick, is there such a
club ? "

At one time she took to dining out, which she
had rarely done before. She went to many of
the most fashionable houses, whether Whig or
Tory. She often got me invited in order that
I might accompany her. We once dined at
Chesterfield House, after which she told her old



40 SOCIETY

friends that she had never before understood what
constituted good society. I need not add that she
only said this to tease them, for never was there
known a more dehghtful society than that which
surrounded her.

I have always cherished a grateful recollection
of Lady Holland. I was much touched by her
leaving me a legacy of two hundred pounds with
which to purchase books, a graceful intimation
of her affection for me, which never varied. She
heard so much of the well-deserved popularity of
F. Charteris, when he first went into society in
London, that she was curious to see him, and
told me to bring him some day to dine with her
at Holland House. The invitation gratified him,
and we accordingly went, when she received him
graciously. Upon our taking our departure we were
already on the staircase, when she called me back
and whispered, " Never mind, my dear Frederick ;
good looks are not everything in this world."

I only hope that my remarks about Lady
Holland, which are perfectly truthful, may convey
a better impression of her than that which has
been generally entertained. People have been
forgetful of her merits, and paid too much attention
to her eccentricities.

I gradually became a great favourite with my
uncle, the Duke of Devonshire, who wished to
have me constantly with him. To pass my time
at Devonshire House, Chatsworth and Chiswick
was much more attractive than to study law in



1840-46] SIR JOSEPH PAXTON 41

Lincoln's Inn. The Duke, as the owner of every-
thing that rank and fortune can give from the time
he came of age, had always the world at his feet.
He was clever and amusing, and, had he not been
very deaf, might have played a conspicuous part
in public life. In consequence of the adulation he
received he was socially rather dictatorial, but at
the same time very amiable and liking to see the
enjoyment of others, particularly if conferred by
himself We were all much attached to him.

The relations which subsisted between the Duke
and his gardener, Paxton, were of a delightful
character. The Duke was fond of botany, and
spent much time in the Horticultural Gardens
which adjoined his villa at Chiswick, and which
the Society rented from him, when he often con-
versed with Paxton, who was there in a subordinate
position. The Duke was so much impressed by
his intelligence that he appointed him to the
important post of head gardener at Chatsworth.
According to the Duke, Paxton employed his first
morning there in the following manner. He
inspected the garden and saw all the gardeners,
instructing them as to their respective duties, and
he fell in love with the housekeeper's niece, whom
he subsequently married. There is another version
to the effect that at their first interview he pro-
posed to the lady and was accepted ; but that was
improbable.

He soon proved himself superior to an ordinary
gardener, and carried out many improvements



42 SOCIETY

apart from his immediate duties. At Chatsworth
he rebuilt nearly the whole of Edensor, the
village at the park gates. He constructed the
great conservatory, the largest in the world, and
the " Emperor," the highest fountain. He laid
out the vast rock shrubbery, which, although of
doubtful taste in a country of rocks, was well
devised and is very pretty. Apart from Chats-
worth, he doubled the accommodation of Bolton
Abbey, and enlarged and improved Lismore Castle.
His principal achievement was, as is well known,
the building he designed in imitation of the
Chatsworth conservatory for the Exhibition of
1 85 1. The architects had failed to produce any
suitable scheme, and I believe it was due to
Paxton that it was possible to proceed with the
Exhibition.

During my absence in India my uncle most
kindly wrote for my benefit a most entertaining
daily journal. In it there are several references
to the Exhibition. The first mention of it is as
follows :

" I don't know who answered the question as
to what Prince Albert thought of affairs, but the
answer was — ' He thinks of nothing but his palais
en verve et contrc tout! "

He subsequently says :

" The Exhibition becomes too interesting.
There is a colossal Amazon in bronze on horseback
about to spear a lion that has fastened on her
horse's neck, made at Berlin by one Kiss. I
was gazing at it when a small woman accosted



1840-46] THE EXHIBITION OF 1851 43

me. 'Ma'am?' said I — and Ecco ! it was the
Queen. She walks there most days among the
workmen and exhibitors and is very popular.
Albert looks stupified."

There is this other passage, written after the
Opening :

" I am hardly recovered from May Day

I was satisfied for Paxton, and so must he have
been when at the mention of his name Victoria
turned towards him and made a gesture of appro-
bation. She did her part astonishingly well, with
such composure and yet with joy in her face.
She was wonderfully well got up, and contrived
to be so dignified that it had the effect of beauty.
The climate was perfect, there was no crowd, there
was not a hitch except that you were not there,
with which well-turned compliment I shall conclude
my account.

" After the Oueen had left I descended from
the gallery, where my capital place had been, to
parade the architect about. He wore his dress
and his cocked hat as if he had been so clad
through life. We were incessantly stopped and
surrounded with overflowing greetings. It tickled
John Ussher's ^ fancy to hear those who did not
know him personally before saying ' Look, look,
there's Mr. Paxton ! ' in a very loud voice ; and
then, more gently, ' There's the Duke of Devon-
shire.' "

Soon afterwards Coventry sent Paxton as its
representative to Parliament, where he did not
play a conspicuous part ; but as he only spoke on
subjects he was well acquainted with, he was always
attentively listened to. His cockney pronunciation

* A young friend of the Duke's.



44 SOCIETY

and misuse of the letter h were a disadvantage.
He once said that his employer had the heye of
an 'awk, and when it was proposed to build a
church which was much wanted in his neigh-
bourhood he offered to 'eat it. Nothing could
exceed Paxton's devotion to the Duke, who was
much attached to him, and placed in him un-
limited confidence. Of this the following occur-
rence is an example. He one day asked the Duke
to lend him twenty thousand pounds, which he
promised to repay in a few days, but said he could
not tell him for what object he wanted it. The
Duke at once gave him a cheque for that amount
on his bankers, Messrs. Paul, and Paxton drew
out the money. The next day the bank failed,
and on the following day Paxton refunded the
money. He had been told, under the most solemn
promise not to reveal the fact, that the bank was
on the eve of failure. I am not certain that the
transaction was quite correct, but I am certain both
parties to it were convinced that it was. Paxton
became intimate with a group of literary men,
including Dickens, Mark Lemon, and Douglas
Jerrold, and joined in starting the Daily News,
The Duke consequently struck up a friendship with
them, and at one time saw a good deal of them.
This resulted in a play written by Douglas Jerrold
being acted by these authors at Devonshire House.
I once missed meeting Dickens at Chatsworth,
who left on the day of my arrival. Thackeray came
that same afternoon, and was anxious to hear about



184046] THE RAILWAY KING 45

Dickens' visit. He wondered whether he had
toadied the Duke very much. My impression is
that, though professing to be friends, these two
great novelists did not care much for one another.
I once met Dickens at a large dinner at Mr.
Motley's/ but did not get introduced to him.
Thackeray I often met, both in society and at
the Cosmopolitan Club, and it was always with
great pleasure, for, besides being an admirable
writer, he was a brilliant conversationalist. If I
were asked which of these two novelists I pre-
ferred I should consider it a difficult question to
answer, their merits being so distinct. But if
pressed I should perhaps say that Dickens is the
most humorous, but that Thackeray gives us a
truer representation of life.

The Duke gradually invited not only Paxton but
his family to his dinners and parties in town and
country, which was not approved of by some of the
vulgar fashionables, and was rather resented by the
doctor's wife, as she did not like to sit at the same
table with a man who had been an under-gardener,
and his wife, who was the niece of a house-
keeper. It was only by degrees that the Duke's
intimacy with Paxton grew. The Duke, writing
from Wynyard at an earlier date, said, " Paxton has
declined to come here till next week. I thought
he would not like to be my vis-a-vis at dinner."

Paxton introduced to the Duke the railway
king, Mr. George Hudson, which I think was a

1 The American Minister and historian.



46 SOCIETY

mistake, but I fancy that his purchase of a portion
of the Duke's Londesborough estate had something
to do with it. Mr. Hudson's popularity was great
during the early period of his career. Banquets
were held in his honour, which were attended by
individuals of high character and station. The
chairman on one such occasion referred to him as
the chief supporter of railways, although no one
could describe him as a " sleeper." He was
welcomed in every quarter, and Sunderland sent
him to the House of Commons. If he had confined
his railway undertakings within reasonable limits,
his proceedings would have been legitimate, but
he did not do so. He started vast speculations,
which more than absorbed the annual savings of
the people, the only fund which enables public
works to be carried out. He, moreover, dis-
tributed a number of shares among influential
people, which was not business and was unfair to
the public. I was present at a large party at
Chatsworth to which he and Mrs. Hudson were
invited. I cannot say whether any of the
fashionable guests who were there assembled
partook of his bounty.

Mrs. Hudson was a homely old lady, to whom
were attributed many funny sayings. One of them
was that, " People in Turkey should do as the
Turkeys did." Another was that when ordering
'A gateau of a French confectioner she said to him,
in answer to his question, " De quel grandeur le
voulez-vous ? " — " Aussi grand que inon derriereT



184046] THE QUEEN AT CHATSWORTH 47

At last a crash came, which ruined Mr. Hudson
and a great number of people. His last days
were spent at Calais, where he every day awaited
the arrival of the steamer in the hope of meeting
some of his former acquaintances, to whom he
might confide his misfortunes and his hope that
he would soon retrieve his fallen fortunes by
some new speculations.

In 1843 I was present at a memorable gathering.
The Queen and Prince Albert did my uncle the
honour of paying him a visit at Chatsworth, and
he was good enough to include me among his
guests. The house was so full that I slept in my
brother's dressing-room. The party included Lord
Palmerston, Lord Melbourne and various other
distinsfuished members of his late administration.
The Duke of Wellington was also present at it.
Lord Melbourne was so much broken in health
that he was nearly in a state of second childhood.
I believe he had not met Her Majesty since he
ceased to be her Minister. Her manner to him
was very kind ; still, he bitterly felt the change in
the situation, and it was sad to see him with tears
frequently in his eyes. It was a splendid enter-
tainment, and everything very well done. One
evening there were fireworks, when I placed
myself in the embrasure of one of the drawing-
room windows in order to get a good sight of
them. I was soon joined by an individual who
seemed to enjoy the spectacle more than I did, and
gave way to exclamations of delight. This was



48 SOCIETY

no less a personage than the Duke of Wellington,
who talked to me on a variety of subjects. I
wish I could remember what he said. This was
the only time I ever had the honour of conversing
with the great warrior.

After my father's return to England in 1843
he took up his abode in the first floor of his house,
Number 16, Bruton Street, leaving the ground floor
to be inhabited by my brother. Each lived as if in
a separate house and had a distinct establishment,
and they often invited each other to dinner, an
arrangement which was frequently, and may still
be, carried out in Paris. This house, in which I
was born, was formerly occupied by John, Duke
of Argyll, and therefore, if Jeannie Deans had been
a real person it was there she would have gone
when she appealed to him on behalf of her sister.
When we lived there a large escutcheon of the
Argyll arms was attached to the wall of the stair-
case, but has since been removed.

My father died in 1846, to the inexpressible
sorrow of his family. He was greatly beloved by
us all, and was the most indulgent parent — possibly
too indulgent. Himself a younger son, although
I cannot say that his own case was a hard one,
he sympathised with me for being one of that
unfortunate class. It may have been this feeling,
combined with much affection, that made him
leave me well provided for. He did not follow
the example of Lord Buchan, who boasted that
his brother, Lord Chancellor Erskine, owed his



1840-46] DEATH OF 1ST EARL GRANVILLE 49

success in life to him ; and being asked in what
way he had contributed to it, said, " By steadily
refusing to increase his allowance when strongly
urged to do so." I much question whether if I
had been left to earn my bread by my own exer-
tions as a lawyer I should have succeeded.



LAW

1841-48

IT was my father's wish that I should adopt
the law as my profession, which I believe
was partly due to the following circumstance. The
Prime Minister, Mr. Canning, to whom my father
was much attached, came to stay a few weeks at
the Paris Embassy during the autumn which
preceded his death. I was then quite a child.


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