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BY THE MARQUIS OF ABERDEEN AND TEMAIR N EORGE GORDON, fourth Earl of terfered with the flower-beds. Lord Ab- had heard of Lord Aberdeen's high char
JJ Aberdeen, was the Lord Aberdeen erdeen at once bethought him of a his acter, he had also always understood that to whom Byron referred when, in his sat- . toric utterance by King Louis Philippe, he was a man of cold manners and ire on “English Bards and Scotch Reviewwho was once, through some inadvertence, haughty reserve; but before three miners,” he wrote:
surprised by the sudden entry of one of utes of conversation, all Mr. Gladstone's “ First in the oat-fed phalanx shall be seen
the foreign Ambassadors while he, the apprehensions “melted away like snow in The travel'd thane, Athenian Aberdeen.”
King, was romping with his children or the sun,” and that interview was the com
grandchildren on the floor. The embar- mencement of a friendship which lasted Oat-fed and Athenian would seem to rassing moment was relieved by the tact during the remainder of Lord Aberdeen's be a strange, conjunction; but of course of the King, who, drawing himself up, life. Of this friendship Mr. Gladstone Byron was using the former epithet to said to the Ambassador:
also said to me, “I have admired and fit the main drift of his philippic as a “ Et vous, Excellence, vous avez des respected many statesmen, but of your whole; and the somewhat jeering expres enfants ?” And SO Lord Aberdeen, grandfather alone I could say that I sion recalls Dr. Johnson's entry in his adopting á somewhat oracular tone, met loved him.” dictionary where the word “ oats” is thus the point of the complaint by saying: As Prime Minister Lord Aberdeen had explained: “A species of grain used in Mr. Basket, have you any children ?” no easy task. His Government was a England for feeding horses and in Scot which the worthy gardener replied, coalition, which of course usually means land for feeding men;" and it will be re- “Indeed, yes, my lord, and one of my that all the ordinary difficulties of a membered that a repartee to this would- boys is a clerk in an office, and I shall be Prime Minister are inevitably increased, be sarcasm was given by the Scot who,
especially when such an administration on being twitted with Dr. Johnson's defi
includes several members whose previous nition, replied: “Yes, and where will you
careers or attainments cause them to feel find better horses or better men ?"
that they would be quite as fully qualiAfter filling various important offices
fied as the Premier (or, in their own of state during a long spell of public life
opinion, even better qualified) to occupy (which had been commenced at an early
his position. Such, for instance, was apage), Lord Aberdeen became Prime Min
parently the attitude of one of Lord ister at the beginning of the year 1853.
Aberdeen's colleagues, Lord Palmerston. I was then about six years old, and my
During one of my grandfather's weekly recollections of my grandfather are very
visits to the Rangers' Lodge Lady Haddo distinct; and no wonder, for he was es
said to him : “ But, papa, if Lord Palmersentially genial and kind to children. It
ston is so anxious to be Secretary for War, was his regular habit to drive down
why not appoint him ?” “ Well, you see,” from his London house every Saturday
replied my grandfather, “ this is a coalior Sunday to the Rangers' Lodge in
tion Government, and we must keep the Greenwich Park(of which he was Ranger),
balance of parties. Already there are the house being occupied by his eldest son,
seven Whigs to five Peelites ; and the Lord Haddo, and Lady Haddo, to whom
War Office being at such a time as this he was devotedly attached. During these
the most important post next to the visits I used frequently to request him to
Prime Minister's, if I put Palmerston bring me some specially designated toy
there, the effect would be disturbing ; so when next he came to see us, and he
the Duke of Newcastle must be Secretary would then tie a knot in his pocket
for War and Palmerston will have the handkerchief as a reminder. On one oc
Home Office." This was just what Lord casion my request was for “a cow and a
Palmerston did not desire, and he became camel.” Possibly I had seen in some pic
a decidedly restless member of the team. ture-book these animals harnessed to
A little story is told, which, so far as I gether, though one would think that such
know, has never appeared in .print, that a combination would be rare even in From "The Earl of Aberdeen," by The Hon. Sir Arthur Gordon
may possibly indicate that Lord PalmerBible lands; but sure enough my grand
ston did not take a very serious view of father on his next arrival produced a toy very glad if your lordship will use your the duties of his department; at any cow and a camel, though, as he explained, influence to get him promoted.” . rate, it illustrates a certain easy jocuthese were not obtainable yoked together. I have alluded to these incidents as larity which became one of his characterThis occurred during the absorbingly anx indicating how different Lord Aberdeen istics and certainly promoted his later ious and difficult time of his Premiership. was in private life from the austere and successes and popularity. A certain notoIt will perhaps be permissible to recall solemn person that he was widely sup- rious criminal named Palmer had been one other small incident of this period posed by repute to be--and it must be hung for poisoning. The local authorities because it is illustrative of the subject of admitted that his manner and aspect of the town where he had lived, which I my sketch.
were sometimes such as to give to need not mention, considered that it The garden of the Rangers' Lodge was strangers some ground for that impres. would be desirable that the name of the large and well kept. The head gardener sion. Thus Mr. Gladstone used to tell us place should be altered ; and accordingly was named Basket (his real name). He that when, in the year 1837, Sir Robert à deputation proceeded to London to always appeared in a tall hat-no doubt Peel offered to him the position of Under- place this request before the Home Secsomewhat antique. He also wore a blue Secretary for the Colonies—Mr. Glad retary. Lord Palmerston discouraged the apron tucked to one side except when he stone's first important official post—Sir idea, but eventually said : “ Well, gentlewas engaged in potting plants. I am sure Robert added, “You'd better go at once men, if you are bent upon changing the he was a good gardener, but his temper to see Lord Aberdeen," who was then designation of your town, why not let it was not always affable, at least so it Secretary of State for the Colonies; and be named after me, as I happen to be at seemed to us children. And on one occa- Mr. Gladstone declared that he went present the Secretary of State for Home sion he complained to my grandfather with feelings of veritable trepidation and Affairs ?” After brief reflection the deputhat the children were a trouble and in- alarm, because, as he said, although he tation withdrew, and the name of the
the btless thook musk biograpot prepared
town has remained unchanged to this day, war” which he retained for the remain- sponded to by the bestowal of bun and and surely without detriment. der of his life.
jam, these being of course unattainable But if Lord Palmerston was a trouble During all the anxious months while at my much earlier Spartan breakfast in some member of the Cabinet, Lord John the question of war or peace with Russia the nursery.. Russell was not less a disturbing force. was being agitated Lord Aberdeen might . In the autumn of 1857 there was an He frequently threatened to resign, and, truly have said in the words of the episode which cheered and gratified Lord although there need be no question as to Psalmist: “I labor for peace; but when Aberdeen. This was a visit from Queen his sincerity, the course which he event. I speak unto them thereof, they make Victoria, who was accompanied by the ually adopted (namely, resigning at the them ready for battle.” And in March, Prince Consort and most of their family. moment when there was most need for 1854, war was declared by England and Lord Aberdeen's feeling toward the loyal co-operation—that is to say, in the France against Russia.
Queen was always that of a peculiarly face of a motion which was practically a By the beginning of 1855 there was affectionate and loyal devotion. The vote of censure on the Government) was some hope of a reasonable peace being warmth of her Majesty's friendship for most embarrassing for his colleagues. secured, but the motion in Parliament him was no secret, and it was of no
It may be permissible to quote here (already alluded to) for an inquiry into ephemeral sort. I possess a volume (“Life a portion of a letter written some time the conduct of the war, which was tanta of the Prince Consort”), received as a previously by Lord Aberdeen to the mount to a vote of censure, having been gracious gift from Queen Victoria, which Duke of Newcastle:
carried, the Aberdeen Cabinet resigned. bears on the fly-leaf, in her Majesty's “You must allow me, my dear Duke, It is a curious comment, however, on the autograph, these words: very strongly to recommend to you a dis- whirligig of politics and of time that within “To John Campbell Gordon," etc., position to put the most charitable con a very few months most of the members of “Grandson of the Queen's valued struction upon all things. If we are to act that Cabinet found themselves again in friend, the Fourth Earl of Aberdeen. at all with Lord John, it is clear that to office, with Lord Palmerston as Prime
“VICTORIA, R.” do so to any good purpose it must be Minister, and it is worth remarking that Lord Aberdeen's death took place in upon à footing of mutual confidence and in this dénouement Lord Aberdeen, being December, 1860. respect. He may have many failings, out of office, gave his assistance and In the British National Temple of Fame, which we all have, but if I did not think advice in support of Lord Palmerston. Westminster Abbey, his monument is a him essentially honorable and true there When I again saw my grandfather, fine marble bust, and below it are inscribed could be no cordiality between us, and in 1856, at the family home in Scotland, simply his name and one single word in therefore no common action."
he was much changed. No doubt advanc- Greek character-Alkalóratos—“ Most · It is tempting to quote further from ing years had their effect, but I am con- Just." This epitaph was suggested by the correspondence of that period, but vinced that it was the war that broke his Dean Stanley, and no doubt there is an doubtless the indulgence of the editors health and spirits ; and I cannot remem- appropriateness in this mode of attributof The Outlook must not be too freely ber seeing him smile again. A pathetic ing, through the language of the Athenitaxed. Fortunately, a biography of Lord proof of the depth of his feelings on that ans, this high and noble quality. But no Aberdeen is now in course of prepara subject came to light after his death. one single expression could delineate the tion, and its publication may be looked I must premise that the improvements main features of a truly comprehensive for in the near future.
carried out by him on his Scottish estates character, and I venture to conclude by During the winter of 1853-4 ominous bad included the building of schools, quoting some brief expressions from a war clouds were accumulating and a war manses, etc., in addition, of course, to the tribute to Lord Aberdeen which was fever was being fomented throughout erection of numerous buildings connected offered by his distinguished friend Mr. England. The Prime Minister was by with agriculture and the planting of Gladstone: disposition eminently a man of peace. millions of trees. A new church was con “ There were several mental virtues And, even apart from this, he had in templated for the parish of Methlick, in that he possessed in a degree very pecuearly life passed through an experience which Haddo House is situated ; but, to liar; there were, I think, one or two in which indelibly impressed upon him & the surprise of many who knew how con. which he stood almost alone. . . . I will vivid sense of the horrors of war.
genial to him would be the building of a name the following characteristics, one It happened that in the year 1813, new church, which was certainly needed, and all of which were more prominent in before he was thirty years of age, he was Lord Aberdeen indicated that he would him than in any public man I ever knew : intrusted by the British Government with leave that work to be done by his eldest mental calmness; the absence of all egoan important embassy, the primary ob- son when he succeeded to the title and tism; the love of exact justice ; a thorough ject of which was to induce Austria to estate, and after Lord Aberdeen had tolerance of spirit; and last, and most of join the allies in the great war against passed away there was found among his all, an entire absence of suspicion. There Napoleon. This mission (the purpose of private documents something which ex- 'was something very remarkable in the which was attained) involved Lord Aber- plained his attitude ; namely, on slips of combination of these qualities as well as deen's personal presence at the various paper were written by his own hand the in their separate possession. ... This headquarters of the allies during an ex- words of verses in the Old Testament entire immunity from suspicion, which tended period, and during his travels in (1 Chron. xxii. 7, 8): “ And David said to makes our minds in general like a haunted company with the allied armies he wit- Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my place, and the sense of the immunity nessed scenes, especially after the battle mind to build an house unto the name of which he conveyed to his friends in all of Leipsic, which were of an appalling the Lord my God: but the word of the his dealings with them, combined with character. In those days, of course, there Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed the deep serenity of his mind, which ever were no “high explosives," etc.; on the blood abundantly, and hast made great seemed to beguile and allay by some other hand, the arrangements for the wars : thou shalt not build an house unto kindly process of nature excitement in care of the wounded were lamentably my name, because thou hast shed much others, gave an indescribable charm to all defective, and it was such sights as that blood upon the earth in my sight." intercourse with him in critical and difof many wounded men left. lying among But, although the declining years of ficult circumstances. ... All the qualithe dead on the battlefield sometimes for his life were thus saddened, there was ties and parts in which he was great were days together, crying, often in vain, for serenity and the old domestic charm. those that are the very foundation-stones help, that imparted to Lord Aberdeen Being still a small urchin, I used often of our being; as foundation-stones they " that abhorrence of any but defensive while my grandfather was breakfasting are deep, and as being deep they are
to present to him a billiard ball, which withdrawn from view; but time is their 1 The editing of the work has been intrusted by the present Lord Aberdeen to Lady Frances Balfour,
witness and their friend, and in the final daughter of the Duke of Argyle, who held his first placed in the cup-shaped top of an ink- distribution of posthumous fame Lord public office in the fourth Earl's administration. Lady Frances Balfour has already made her mark in litera. stand. There was an interested motive Aberdeen has nothing to forfeit, he has ture. She is a sister in-law of Mr. Arthur J. Balfour. in this attention, for it was gravely re- only to receive.”
yleenwas attalinemission (the war again
WALT WHITMAN — 1819–1919 The poet was born on May 31, a hundred years ago. On page 31 of this issue will be found an article on Whitman's place in American literature
A SUBJECT OF CONTENTION AMONG THE ALLIES—THE CITY OF FIUME, ON THE ADRIATIC Fiume has been the principal seaport of Hungary; it possesses several harbors, upon the improvement of which large sums have been spent. The possession of
this place is a matter of dispute between Italy and the Jugoslavs. See editorial comment