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a pleasant winter. . . .

The following letter from Lord Clarendon was addressed
to Mr., afterwards Sir George Cornewall, Lewis, at this time
editor of the ' Edinburgh Review,' as a commentary on the
proof slips of ' The War in the Crimea ' written by Eeeve
for the forthcoming number of the ' Review ' January 1855.
A reference to the article will show that many of Clarendon's
suggestions were adopted.

The Grove, December 29th.

MY DEAR LEWIS, I thought it best to read the whole
article at once, or it might have been indefinitely delayed.
I like it much ; the public requires to have its judgement on
the conduct of the war guided by reference to facts taken in
their chronological order, and to be reminded that the events
of one month were not and could not have been anticipated
in the month before. This has been done succinctly, with
moderation and with unimpeachable truth. The fault is too
great brevity and not bringing out certain salient points pro-
minently enough e.g. the earnest entreaties of Omar Pasha
to St.-Arnaud and Lord Raglan to come with a large portion
of their forces to Varna ; his declaration that the morale of
his troops required this support, even if it was not given
more effectively ; the intense anxiety felt here about Silistria,
and the utter disgrace that would have assailed the allies if
they had been deaf to the prayer of Omar Pasha, and the
place had in consequence fallen.

Then, enough is not made of the cholera its ravages, so
much greater than any we know of in England the impos-
sibility of active exertion under its demoralising influence.


People here thought they settled that matter when they said
the expedition should have been undertaken sooner ; change
of air and scene with excitement would soon have driven
cholera away ; or let the troops take a trip to sea. But the
ships that put out to sea had the cholera break out on board
worse than in the regiments on shore, and there was no
possibility of undertaking the expedition without the French,
who suffered more than ourselves from cholera.

To proceed actively with the vast preparations for such
an expedition until it was certain to be undertaken would
have been absurd ; but not a moment was lost ; much of the
craft, such as flat-bottomed boats, having had to be con-
structed in the arsenal at Constantinople.

The expedition is not done justice to. Let anyone bear
in mind the numbers at Chobham, 1 and think that nearly six
times that number had to be conveyed across the sea at the
same moment ; let him bear in mind the space occupied by
the ships at Portsmouth naval review, and think that more
than 600 vessels of different descriptions all were laden and
proceeding to their destination at the same moment, while
the British men-of-war were still in fighting trim and ready
to engage the whole Kussian fleet if it had ventured to come
out ; let him also bear in mind that the embarkment and
disembarkment of these troops, horses, guns, ammunition,
stores, &c., were effected without a casualty, and that the
armies were ready almost in a few hours afterwards to fight
and win the battle of Alma, and any impartial man will
admit that the operation was quite without parallel in
ancient or modern history.

The reasons why it was thought that Sebastopol could be
taken with comparative ease should be more insisted upon.
The only certain information we had (and it has been con-
firmed by subsequent Russian despatches) was that Men-
schikoff had but 50,000 men ; and the force with which we
landed was considered quite equal to cope with that. The
first event seemed to prove it ; for we carried in three hours
the position that Menschikoff had promised the Emperor to
hold for three weeks ; but we could not tell that there were
deep ravines on the south-east side of Sebastopol, or that the
1 The precursor of Aldershot.


ground was all solid rock and that every atom of earth to
make the trenches had to be brought from a distance. But
these obstacles gave the enemy time to make works of his
own, and to impede ours, and to delay the siege, till by
incredible exertions nearly 50,000 fresh troops were added to
Menschikoff's army.

It would be useful also to get from Graham the total
number of ships sent to sea (Baltic and Black Sea) ; the
number of transports employed ; the assistance we gave to
the French ; and to take some of Sidney Herbert's returns as
to supplies of ammunition, guns, stores, &c. This would
occupy little space, but would give a great idea of the energy
of the Government working upon a pared-down peace

When speaking of the Militia and Foreign Enlistment
Bills, I think it essential to allude to the factious spirit
displayed in Parliament. Something of the kind is required
to check this when Parliament meets again, and as a
counterpoise to Layard in the ' Quarterly.'

I am afraid I can suggest nothing more pacific, as in fact
I think the latter part of the article tame, and hardly up to
public opinion mark. The part about revolution is very good
our eschewing it at present, but possibly being obliged to
consent to it.

The explanation of the four bases in the last paragraph
is much below the mark, and might cause dissatisfaction. I
should put nothing of this kind ; there is no question at
present of curtailing the territory of Russia ; there is no
question of humiliating her, unless she chooses to regard as
humiliation the intention of Europe to be safe from her
aggression. England, Austria, and France are agreed about
the guarantees upon which that safety will depend : they
consider that Russia must no longer have the right, which
she now possesses by treaties, to enter the Principalities,
and to deal with that portion of the Sultan's territory as her
own ; they consider that the navigation of the Danube must
be secured, not by treaty, as now, which only secures the
accumulation of obstacles to it, but by an independent
authority at the mouths of that stream ; they consider that
Russian preponderance in the Black Sea is incompatible with


the maintenance of the Ottoman empire, and consequently
with the equilibrium of Europe ; they consider that it would
be monstrous to renew that part of the treaty of Kainardji, 1
by the misinterpretation of which the Emperor of Russia
claims to interfere between the Sultan and twelve millions
of his subjects, and virtually to obtain on land the preponder-
ance he has acquired in the Black Sea ; in fact, to displace
the Sultan and become the virtual, until he constituted
himself the actual and inexpugnable, possessor of the Otto-
man dominions.

Is there anything unreasonable in these conditions ? In
demanding them, do England, Austria, and France exhibit
ambition or selfishness ? Do they, in behalf of Europe, ask
too much ? Can they, in behalf of Europe, be content with
less ? Will England and France, after pouring forth their
best blood and expending vast treasure, leave things as
they were, and thus expose not themselves alone but all
Europe to a recurrence of the same dangers within a few
years, but under circumstances far less favourable for pro-
ceeding against them ?

I have written these few hints in a great hurry, as you
will see ; but if you think them of any importance, you will
.best know how to turn them to account.

Ever yours truly,


The year, as usual, was ended by a visit to Farnborough.
But, meantime, the war excitement was turned into indigna-
tion by the daily reports of the sufferings of the army. People
did not and could not understand that officers and depart-
ments, without either theory or experience to guide them,
must necessarily make egregious blunders. They would not
see that the blame lay on the nation for not having insisted,
years before, that the army should be maintained in a state
of efficiency, and they cried aloud for vengeance on the
Government at home, and on the commander-in-chief
abroad. In the House of Commons a commission of inquiry
was appointed. Lord John Russell, the President of the
Council, disclaiming responsibility, resigned on January 23rd,

1 By this treaty, concluded in 1774, the city of Azof and the fortresses of
Kertch, Yenikale and Kilburn were ceded to Russia ; so also was a protectorate
of Moldavia and Wallaohia ; and Turkey pledged herself to protect her Christian
subjects, a clause easily stretched in the direction indicated by Clarendon.


1855, and on the 29th was followed by Lord Aberdeen. The
ministry was reconstituted, with Lord Palmerston as first
Lord of the Treasury, Clarendon remaining Foreign Secre-
tary. It was rumoured that Lord Eaglan was to be super-
seded. The ' Times ' had taken a very prominent part in
the agitation condemning the conduct of the war, and thus
Keeve had a personal as well as a general interest in the
measures now adopted. He had, doubtless, made inquiries,
to which the following was the answer :

From Lord Clarendon

G. C., February 15th. Lord Eaglan is not recalled, and
we should not know who to put in his place ; and with all
his defects I believe he is the best man out there. One thing
he has done which no one else could have done ; he has kept
on perfectly good terms with the French under circumstances
more trying than the public here have the least notion of.

Captain Mahan has taught us to recognise the ' flabby '
nature of coalitions, as affecting the operations of fleets and
the conduct of naval war. Lord Clarendon's letter may be
taken as illustrating one form of weakness on shore. The
commander-in-chief of either contingent must be chosen not
so much for his ability as a soldier as for the sweetness of
his disposition and his readiness to maintain the entente
cordiale. In the spring of 1855 it was commonly said that,
but for this necessity, the command of the army in the
Crimea would have been given to Sir Colin Campbell.

From Lord Clarendon

G. C., February 19/&. Nothing is settled about the
Emperor [of the French] going to the Crimea, but there is
too much reason to fear that he meditates this act. The
matter must be most delicately handled, for he has already
taken great offence at the remonstrances addressed to him.
The absolute necessity of his presence for the welfare of
France, as indicated by the fall of the funds and the panic
throughout all classes at the rumour of his temporary absence
will be the best argument. He can have no better or more
flattering manifestation of public opinion, founded, as it is,
upon a feeling of self-preservation, and to that he might
properly defer.


The article in the ' Times ' is far better to-day. All
attacks on the Government are perfectly legitimate; but
the country, the institutions, the upper classes, all have been
run down by the ' Times ' latterly, and the feeling thereby
created abroad at home, too, I believe is that we are in a
state of helpless confusion, and drifting to revolution.

It was not long before a further reconstruction of the
Ministry was found necessary. Three members of the Cabinet,
whether unwilling to serve under Palmerston or to meet the
public wrath, resigned. Cardwell, President of the Board of
Trade, was invited to take the office of Chancellor of the
Exchequer, which had become vacant. He refused it,
wrongly thought Clarendon, who wrote :

February IZnd. His acceptance would have given
general satisfaction, and I hear that the growlers at Brookes's
were unanimous yesterday in thinking him the man for the
place. But everybody seems afraid of danger now, and gets
away from it under the shelter of a quirk or a sentiment.

Failing Cardwell, the office was accepted by Sir George
Cornewall Lewis, and Keeve undertook to edit the ' Edin-
burgh Beview,' at first as a mere temporary arrangement,
but afterwards as a permanency. From the biographical
point of view, this and to some extent springing out of it
his severing his connexion with the ' Times,' were the most
important events of the year, and Eeeve noted them in his
Journal with some interesting particulars, which must, how-
ever, be postponed for the present. He noted also :

March 2nd, The Emperor Nicholas died.
From M. Guizot

Paris, March 26th.

... I should like the two great English Keviews, the
' Edinburgh ' and the ' Quarterly,' to notice my History of
Cromwell. I ordered a copy to be sent to Sir George Lewis. I
know he was looking for some one whom he could ask to
write this article. Now he is a minister, who will be Editor
of the ' Edinburgh Beview,' and who will be charged to
write on my ' Cromwell ' ? It would be very kind of you if
you would look after this little matter. Does Mr. Wood-
ham no longer write for the ' Edinburgh Beview ' ?

As to public affairs, I have nothing to tell you which you


do not know already. Here, the country is more desirous
of peace than ever, and I think the Government begin
to resign themselves to it. The difficulties outweigh the
pleasure of the dreams. Some day when these things are
recorded in history, it will be said, unless I am mistaken
' Guerre faite sans raison suffisante de part ni d'autre ; paix
faite sans raison suffisante de part ni d'autre.' But if peace
is made, it will be necessary to give the people here some
peace-pageant instead of the war-spectacle of which they
will be deprived ; and the Industrial Exhibition and your
Queen will be asked to re-place the expedition to the
Crimea and the taking of Sebastopol.

The Journal indicates the external circumstances of
Reeve's life at this time. His interest in this particular and
very sensational Derby was his personal acquaintance with
the owner of Wild Dayrell. 1

April ~L6th. Louis Napoleon entered London in state.

26A. Went to Paris. Met Christine there, who had
been to Tours. On May 3rd we dined at the H6tel de
Luynes, with the Circourts and the Duchesse de Chevreuse.
Home on the 5th.

Popham's horse, Wild Dayrell, won the Derby. Dined
with him next day at Twiss's.

May 26/&. Hopie appeared at Countess Bernstorff's
child's ball. Montalembert was in London.

Long attack of gout in June. I purchased the site of
Rutland Gate, and the building began.

From Lord Clarendon

G. C., June 3rd. A despatch to the Foreign Office is just
arrived from Varna, which is, of course, the same as the one
to the Admiralty ; but it says that six millions of rations of
corn and flour destined for the Russian army at Sebastopol
have been destroyed, as well as 240 vessels. I send you
this because I believe that the actual number of rations cannot
have been given in the despatch to the Admiralty ; at least,
in the copy sent to me it was left in blank ; and the point is
very important on account of the deficiency of food it must
soon create.

1 See post, p. 361.


This bloodless success in the Sea of Azof will have
greater results than Alma or Inkerman, and I think it is
highly creditable to Lyons (who, I suppose, commanded)
to have destroyed everything at once, instead of thinking
about prizes, by which a great deal of time would have been
lost, and many vessels might have escaped. It all was done
in four days.

G. C., June 24:th. It has been constantly occurring to
me how much I wished to see you and talk over some events
as they happened, as they must be taken flying, as they are
stale in four-and-twenty hours. I thought you were out of
town, and am very sorry to hear you have been confined
with the gout.

We have not a word of news from the Crimea since the
18th, and we don't know that the telegraph, which was
reported to be utterly useless, has been repaired. The
damage was in the Austrian territory, and despatches had to
be carried by the post from the broken to the sound station.
If anything arrives before 12 to-night you shall have it.

I think just as you do about the reverse, and hope that a
low tone will not be taken. It will only stimulate our
troops, but I am not so sure about its effect on the French.

G. C., July 7th. Have you seen and if not, pray read a
remarkable diplomatic correspondence in the ' Moniteurs ' of
June 30th and July 1st ? It has been published in order to
meet the present cry in France that the war is for English
objects, and that no French interests are involved in it.

These despatches, however, show that France clearly fore-
saw seventy years ago what were the dangers to be apprehended
from Russian aggression, and what were the means of avert-
ing those dangers, while England, on the other hand, declined
to unite herself with France for a European object, and
tacitly abetted Eussia. The proposal of France to limit the
naval force of Russia in the Black Sea is curious at the
present moment ; and, indeed, much of the correspondence
seems as if it was written within the last six months, instead
of in 1783. We learn from it, too, what was the policy of
Catharine at that time, and how steadily it is adhered to still.

The Journal here shortly notes :


July 13th. I definitely accepted the editorship of the
' Eeview.'

August 2nd. Started for Luchon in the Pyrenees, by
Poictiers, Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Pau. Met the Boothbys
going there too. Stayed at Luchon till August 28th. Home
by Paris on September 7th.

The siege of Sebastopol lasted all the summer. The
final attack was made on September 8th.

From M. Guizot

ValBicher, September 8th. . . . I am glad that it is Mr.
John Forster who is reviewing my ' Cromwell.' No one is
better acquainted with those times than he is. We do not
always agree in our judgements of men and events, but I
value his work, have learnt much from it, and took pleasure
in proving it by quoting him.

From Lord Clarendon

F. 0., September IQth. I have been at the Cabinet from
the moment that I received your note, and am now return-
ing to the Grove ; but at 12.30 or 1 on Wednesday I should
be delighted to see you. Sebastopol is now in our hands :
all the ships sunk, all the steamers burnt, the town in con-
flagration, the Russians asking for an armistice, and scuttling
away as hard as they can.

And as it was in the days of Noe, so also was it in this year
of bombardments and sieges ; men feasted and men married ;
as also women. The Journal records :

September 17th. Breakfasted at Twickenham with the
whole royal family of France. Queen Amelie, Nemours and
wife, Joinville and wife, Montpensier and wife and three
infantas, Duchess of Orleans, Comte de Paris. I was the
only stranger there, and sat with the Queen.

October 3rd. Emma Hawkins married to Edward James
Reeve from my house.

From Lord Clarendon

The Grove, October 3rd. Immediate demolition would be
[equivalent to a] public announcement that Sebastopol, and


with it the Crimea, will be ultimately restored to Bussia ;
and whatever the future determination may be, such an
announcement at the present moment would be highly
impolitic. We have come into a property ; and having paid
very dearly for it, it would be unwise to order its destruction
before we even know of what it consists, or to what uses it
may be turned. Demolition, moreover, would not be con-
sistent with occupation ; and no where can the allied armies
and fleets pass the winter more conveniently and economi-
cally than at Sebastopol. It is the best harbour in the
Black Sea, far better placed for such operations as the winter
will permit than the Bosphorus ; detachments can be sent
to occupy Perikop, Kertch, &c., after Anapa and other
fortified places are taken ; provisions are more abundant in
the Crimea than in Turkey, and the climate is quite as good
or better.

In short, there are abundant reasons for not leaving
the Crimea at present. It is our gage materiel, and may be
made useful in a variety of ways. However, we don't know
that the reports upon the terra incognita of Sebastopol and
the Crimea may not lead to some modification of our views.
We might hear, for example, though I don't expect it, that
Sebastopol is hopelessly unhealthy.

I think the public may wait for the details of posses-
sion before disposal is decided upon, and that it will
be sufficient to assume that what has been so hardly gained
will not be lightly parted with.

The Journal notes :

October llth. Thackeray's friends gave him a dinner at
the London Tavern. Dickens in the chair.

This was a farewell dinner on the eve of Thackeray's
departure for the United States. To readers of the present
day, accustomed to the full reports with which they are
furnished when even the lesser lights in the sky of literature
meet to celebrate the temporary extinction or the refulgence
of one of their companions, this bare mention of a dinner
at which Dickens proposed the toast of the evening and
Thackeray replied to it will seem almost irritating. It was
the custom of the age. The dinner was reported in the
' Times,' but at scarcely greater length than in Keeve's


Journal ; and Forster, in his 'Life of Dickens,' only says
that the chairman ' gave happy expression to the spirit that
animated all, telling Thackeray not only how much his
friendship was prized by those present and how proud they
were of his genius, but offering him, in the name of the tens
of thousands absent, who had never touched his hand or
seen his face, life-long thanks for the treasures of mirth,
wit, and wisdom within the yellow-covered numbers of
"Pendennis " and " Vanity Fair."

fc. Went to Kirklands for a fortnight. Shooting
with Sir William Scott and Sir George Douglas.

From M. Guizot

Veil Richer, October 5th. I have just written to my
translator, Mr. Andrew Scoble, to send immediately to
Mr. John Forster the MS. of the three volumes of my
' Histoire du Protectorat de Richard Cromwell et du r&tab-
lissement des Stuarts,' which is in his hands. The work will
be in four volumes, so that Mr. Forster will have seen the
greater part before it appears. I shall be very glad if he
will speak of it beforehand. I have given Mr. Forster's
address to Mr. Scoble, telling him the matter was urgent.
Should he delay, Mr. Forster might ask him for the MS.

I am sorry you should have been obliged to leave the
' Times,' but delighted that you have done so. I am no
longer familiar with the course of thought in England, but
I cannot believe that the stupid violence of the ' Times ' (to
say no more) can be a necessary means of success. If that
were so, England would be in a bad way, and I am confident
that she is not.

I am just finishing the fourth and last volume of my
' Histoire du re'tablissement des Stuarts.' It will appear in
the course- of the winter.

Paris, 19 Novembre. . . . Je vous donnerai volontiers,
quand j'aurais un peu de loisir, quelques articles pour
' 1'Edinburgh Review.' Je suis sur que vous la ferez pro-
sperer et briller.




THE very important and indeed decisive change in Reeve's
literary career, which occurred in the course of 1855, has
been already referred to. It is, however, necessary to speak
of it in greater detail, and this can happily be done in Reeve's
own words, as recorded in his Journal :

January 1856. The year 1855 led to some changes in
my own position and pursuits, but I was so occupied during
the whole of it that I found it impossible to resume this
Journal. Indeed I believe that to write a journal of any
value a man must do nothing else, as Horace Walpole and
M. de Circourt exhale their souls in letters, and I have done
in newspaper articles.

In February 1855, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, who had
just succeeded to his baronetcy, his father's seat, and 4,OOOZ.
a year, became Chancellor of the Exchequer on Gladstone's
quitting the Cabinet. The post was first offered to Cardwell,
who consulted me about it when it was too late. He
declined, chiefly from sentimental motives, and displayed a
signal want of energy in grasping a great opportunity.
However, on his refusal, Lewis took it, and as he was then
editor of the ' Edinburgh Review,' a substitute was wanted
in that capacity. I was asked to perform this duty for two
numbers, leaving Lewis at liberty to resume the editorship
in July, or to resign altogether. 1 On these terms I accepted
it, more from personal friendship for Longman and Lewis
than from any other motive, for I foresaw that I could not
permanently retain all my avocations together, some of which

1 At the time, it was thought highly probable that, after the many resigna-

Online LibraryHenry ReeveMemoirs of the life and correspondence of Henry Reeve (Volume 1) → online text (page 31 of 43)