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just been suppressed, and Louis Kossuth, the popular hero of the insurrection, had taken refuge in England; he was still a young man, handsome, and of noble and picturesque exterior. He spoke with fluency a certain stately and literary English, acquired from the study of books. His somewhat Oriental imagination lent to his speeches a brilliancy which charmed the masses; he was received by the Liberals with an enthusiasm which soon became general. From ladies of the highest rank to the crowds gathered at the doors of public halls to hail him as he went by, all the population of London saluted Kossuth with its applause. He conceived, from this welcome, hopes for his country which were absolutely vain, and very offensive to the Austrian diplomatic service. The rumor even went abroad that Lord Palmerston was about to allow himself to be visited by Kossuth.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs was privately much amused at the alarm of Austria. “ Kossuth's reception,” he wrote to his brother, “must have been gall and wormwood to the Austrians and to the absolutists generally.” The Cabinet feared some inconsiderate step on the part of Lord Palmerston, and he was obliged to promise that he would not receive Kossuth.
For some time the independence of Lord Palmerston's demeanor had excited a certain discontent. The queen was displeased that important dispatches had been received or sent away without her knowledge. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had been called to account by Lord John Russell, but fell into the same fault again, “ not from oversight or negligence,” wrote Prince Albert, “but upon principle, and with astounding pertinacity against every effort of the queen.” A memorandum was therefore prepared by the royal couple, and sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The conduct required of himn by the queen was distinctly and severely indicated. The queen insisted upon her constitutional rights and upon the duty of her minister, a duty which Lord Palmerston had frequently failed to fulfil. Lord Palmerston did not resign, he did not defend himself; he simply excused himself for the delay that had sometimes occurred in the transmission of dispatches from the Foreign Office to the queen's Cabinet, and he added, “I have taken a copy of this memorandum of the queen, and I will not fail to attend to the directions which it contains." "If I had suddenly resigned,” he explained later, “I should have been bringing for decision at the bar of public opinion a personal quarrel between myself and my sovereign — a step which no subject ought to take if he can possibly avoid it, for the result of such a course must be either fatal to him or injurious to the country. If he should prove to be in the wrong, he would be irretrievably condemned; if the sovereign should be proved to be in the wrong, the monarchy would suffer."
Notwithstanding the correct prudence of the attitude which he assumed, Lord Palmerston remained irritated and displeased. His ill-humor showed itself in a reply which he made to the deputations of sympathizers with Kossuth.
The levity of tone equalled the political imprudence of his words. The public infatuation, however, was for the moment in sympathy with the declarations of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The queen, Prince Albert, and Lord John Russell were well aware that the time was not yet ripe to manifest their disapprobation. A conspicuous opportunity to break with Lord Palmerston was not long delayed.
The new experiment that France had made of a republican form of government had been of short duration. The President whom she had chosen had not been long in manifesting views more ambitious than were attributed to him by the mass of those who had aided in raising him to power. Prince Louis Bonaparte was well known in England; it was thence that he had set out for his two attempts at Strasburg and at Boulogne; it was there that he had found refuge after his escape from the chateau of Ham. He had lived there for some time, without fortune and without influence, half-forgotten in the society, more aristocratic than respectable, in which he played an insignificant part. At the time of the great Chartist demonstration on Kennington Common, his name had figured in the list of special constables who had volunteered for the maintenance of order. The English public had regarded with surprise, but not with disfavor, his election as President of the republic. The coup d'état of the 2d of December caused the most extreme surprise throughout England. Its violence and illegality were revolting at once to the good sense and the moral sentiment of the country.
But by degrees, the cordiality of Prince Louis Napoleon towards England, and the anxiety that had been caused by the political vacillations of the Legislative Assembly modified the first spontaneous impressions. The English nation grew more favorable towards the President of the French Republic, - soon to become the Emperor of the French. Lord Palmerston had shared from the first in these feelings of indulgence, and openly acknowledged this to Count Walewski, at that time French ambassador at London, and personally interested in the Napoleonic cause. M. . Walewski hastened to make known at Paris this favorable opinion, which he attributed, as a matter of course, to the entire English Cabinet.
The attitude decided upon in council by the ministry was, however, very different. Lord Normanby, the English min. ister at Paris, was instructed to maintain great reserve and the most exact neutrality; and a few days later, an attitude of prudent observation, without enmity and without sym
pathy, was indicated to him. Faithful to the letter to the policy that had been marked out, Lord Normanby soon found traces of Lord Palmerston's independent procedures; and M. de Turgot, Minister of Foreign Affairs, openly confirmed the suspicion that the English Secretary of State had acted separately and outside of the line of conduct decided upon by the Cabinet. Lord John Russell was required by the queen to ask for explanations from his colleague. The latter did not at once reply, and when he did make answer, it was to acknowledge that he had in fact approved of the course of the Prince President, that he believed it perfectly justified by the manœuvres of the Assembly against him, and that he had expressed to Count Walewski his opinion on this subject. The French minister had supposed that the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of England was not speaking inconsiderately, and that his words committed his government. Hence this misunderstanding, which had embarrassed Lord Normanby, and surprised M. de Turgot. Lord Palmerston's explanations tended chiefly to the defence of the coup d'état, and the establishing of the grounds of his approval of it, without in any way seeking to extenuate the imprudence of his words, contradictory to the attitude decided upon by the entire Cabinet.
This was going too far, and in a matter of too serious importance. Lord John Russell wrote to Lord Palmerston to that effect. “ While I concur,” he said, “in the foreign policy of which you have been the adviser, and much as I admire the energy and ability with which it has been carried into effect, I cannot but observe that misunderstandings perpetually renewed, violations of prudence and decorum too frequently repeated, have marred the effects which ought to have followed from a sound policy and able administration. I am therefore most reluctantly compelled to come to the conclusion that the conduct of Foreign Affairs can no longer be left in your hands with advantage to the country.”
Lord Palmerston was replaced by Lord Granville, an amiable man and popular with his colleagues, and one who would have no disposition to adopt an independent line of policy. The vexation of the fallen minister did not lead him into any unbe. coming manifestations. In the discussions which followed on this subject in the House of Commons, and in spite of the somewhat rude frankness of the attacks made by Lord John Russell, Lord Palmerston observed the reticence which he had hitherto imposed upon himself in respect to his personal disagreement with the queen; he was defeated, and he acknowledged it. “ My turn will come with John Russell," he said ; and in fact the day of revenge was not far off.
The English mind was, however, excited and apprehensive. The re-establishment of the empire, with its trivial reminiscences of the past, awakened thoughts of the long struggles and persistent enmity that had menaced England with ruin, and had imposed upon her heavy sacrifices. In vain the Emperor Napoleon III. proclaimed at Bordeaux : "L'Empire, c'est la paix!” The very name of Napoleon accorded ill with these peaceful declarations, the national instinct was anxious and troubled. As at divers epochs in her history, England had been seized with a panic at the idea of a possible French descent upon her coasts. New corps of volunteers formed everywhere, militia-officers drilled their men, and Lord John Russell presented a Bill for the organization of the militia; it was ill-conceived and inadequate, and Lord Palmerston attacked it vigorously. He proposed an amendment, which passed by a small majority, whereupon Lord John Russell announced that he could not retain power, since he no longer had the confidence of the House, and that he should resign. “I have had my tit-for-tat with John Russell," wrote Lord Palmerston to his brother, " and I turned him out on Friday last.”
The new Cabinet, formed by Lord Derby, was destitute of