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1792 a daughter of Lord de Clifford; the bridegroom being twenty and the bride sixteen. There issued from that early union numerous progeny, of which the writer of these Memoirs is the fifth child, third son, and eldest survivor of the family.' He was born on the 13th of June, 1799, in the parish of Marylebone, but his earliest childhood was passed principally at Elveden Hall, Suffolk, an estate bequeathed to his father by Viscount Keppel, and now the property of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh. Euston Park is about four miles off, and some of Lord Albemarle's earliest reminiscences relate to the Junius' Duke of Grafton. The Duke was a keen sportsman, and admits in his autobiography that he preferred hunting to politics.

His principal kennel was in Northamptonshire, but he used to bring his hounds to Euston for a part of every season. He had a great aversion to our broad ditches with their honeycombed banks, and used to call them "Suffolk graves.' Indeed, the whole country is a mere rabbit warren, and still goes by the name of the holey (holy) land.

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In the field the Junius Duke was a strict disciplinarian. Woe betide the wight who uttered a sound when the pack was making a cast. His nephew, General William Fitzroy, told me that on one of these occasions an old gentleman happened to cough; the Duke rode up to him, and taking off his gold-laced hat, said to him, in a voice in which politeness and passion strove for the mastery, "Sir, I wish to heaven your cold was better."

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This is almost as good as Charles Lamb's reply to the fellowpassenger in a stage-coach, who querulously exclaimed that he (Lamb) had a very bad cough: Yes, Sir, but it is the best I can give you.'

Another acquaintance, dating from the Elveden period, was Sir Robert Adair, the diplomatist and chosen butt of the wits of the 'Antijacobin,' his surest title to fame. It has hitherto been a received fact, despite of his own strenuous denial, that he went to St. Petersburg on a kind of officious or amateur mission from Fox. Hence the stanza in which, figuring as a goose, he soliloquises:

'I mount, I mount into the sky,
Sweet bird, to Petersburg I fly,

Or if you bid to Paris.

Fresh missions of the Fox and Goose
Successful treaties may produce,

Though Pitt in all miscarries.'

Lord Albemarle positively asserts that Adair, after making the tour of Europe, took up his residence for a time in the Russian capital to acquire a knowledge of Continental politics.


We ourselves have heard him, when an octogenarian, throw out tolerably plain hints as to the intimate footing on which he stood with the Empress Catherine, but Lord Albemarle says that he was not favourably impressed with her personal appearance, and used to describe her as vulgar-looking and shabbily dressed,'

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'Adair once accompanied Lord Whitworth, the British Ambassador, to a dinner which her Imperial Majesty gave at Tzarskeselo. The hour of the meal was at three in the afternoon. After dinner the guests lounged about the gardens till sunset. One of the ladies of the company wishing to show her friends an ornamental box which lay on her toilet table, a general officer sent his aide-de-camp to bring it down. Unfortunately for the young man he fetched the wrong one. Whereupon his chief began boxing his ears and pulling his hair. The aide-de-camp fell upon his knees and implored pardon for his blunder; but the general was implacable, and kicked him while in the posture of supplication. "This is not a scene for Englishmen to witness," said Lord Whitworth, significantly, and he and Adair each turned upon his heel.'

A different version has been printed on his authority:

'The late Sir Robert Adair used to relate that, during his mission to St. Petersburg, he and the French Ambassador were sitting with Potemkin, when an aide-de-camp, a young nobleman, brought him a disagreeable note or missive of some sort. Potemkin started up, and actually kicked the innocent messenger out of the room.'*

A good story of a canny Scotchman is told on the authority of Sir William Keppel, a cousin and annual guest at Elveden:

'The name of Sir William recalls to remembrance a brother knight and one of his oldest friends, the late Sir David Dundas. This officer had served under my grandfather at the reduction of the Havannah, and succeeded to the chief command of the army during the temporary retirement of the Duke of York. Sir William told me that, being one day at the Horse Guards, the Duke expressed a wish to know whether he or Sir David were the tallest. The ex-Commanderin-Chief and the Commander-in-Chief elect stood back to back. Sir William, who measured them, declared they were exactly of a height. When the Duke retired, Keppel asked Dundas why he did not keep his head still while under the process of measuring. "Well man," was the reply of the wily Scotchman, "how should I just know whether His Royal Highness would like to be a little shorter or a little taller?""

In 1805 he was taken to London by his mother to No. 9, South Audley Street, the residence of his grandmother, Lady de

* Diaries of a Lady of Quality.' Second edition, p. 62, note.


Clifford, within a stone's throw of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the wife, as far as the laws of the Church could make her so,' of George, Prince of Wales:

'But my visits to No. 6, Tilney Street were less intended for the mistress of the mansion than for a little lady of my own age, who even then gave promise of those personal and mental attractions of which she became so distinguished in after life. This was Miss Mary Georgiana, or as she was called by her friends, "Minnie" Seymour, afterwards the wife of Colonel the Hon. George Dawson Damer. She was daughter of Lord Hugh and Lady Horatio Seymour, who, dying nearly at the same time, appointed Mrs. Fitzherbert the guardian of their orphan child.'

Colonel and Mrs. Damer better deserve a passing notice than many of their contemporaries who have received honourable mention in Memoirs' and 'Reminiscences.' Handsome, distinguished in look and air, with manners exquisitely winning and high-bred, good-natured, good-tempered, always eager to please or do a service, always ready to be pleased, buoyant and elastic in spirit, hopeful and bright by temperament, they gladdened wherever they came: they were welcomed with a cordial smile in all circles, and presented in their own persons the strongest possible example of the discriminating power of Fashion, which, carefully watched, will be found to set aside or make light of every other social consideration for agreeability. We are speaking not of her capricious and temporary preferences, but of the fixed position or distinction which she confers. Although well born and well connected, the Damers were not pre-eminent in birth or rank: they were not rich: indeed, they occasionally resorted to temporary retirement (abroad or in the country) to economise. But the maxim 'out of sight out of mind' did not apply to them: the moment they reappeared, they resumed what seemed their rightful place as cherished guests and the most liberal and graceful dispensers of hospitality.

If in any sense they were exclusive, it was without intending to be so: upon a principle of natural selection or attraction which drew round them all that was choice, cultivated or accomplished, whilst instinctively repelling pretension and vulgarity. With the lives of the sisters (Berry),' remarks Lady Theresa Lewis, 'closed a society which will be ever remembered by all who frequented those pleasant little gatherings in Curzon Street.' With the lives of the Damers closed a society which will be ever remembered by all who were admitted to those pleasant dinners and afternoon or evening gatherings in Tilney Street.

The father of the reminiscent was the faithful adherent and intimate friend of Charles James Fox, who obtained for him the appointment

appointment of Master of the Buckhounds when the ministry of all the Talents' was formed on the death of Pitt in January, 1806. Lord and Lady Albemarle, with their children, passed the ensuing Easter holidays at St. Anne's Hill:—

'It was at the time of our visit that the symptoms of dropsy, the disease of which Fox died a few months later, began to show themselves. His legs were so swollen that he could not walk; he used to wheel himself about in what was called a "Merlin chair;" indeed, out of this chair I never remember to have seen him. .

'He wore a single-breasted coat of a light grey colour, with plated buttons as large as half-crowns; a thick linsey-woolsey waistcoat, sage-coloured breeches, dark worsted stockings, and gouty shoes coming over the ankles.

'Fox was not visible of a morning. He either transacted the business of his office, or was occupied in it, or reading Greek plays, or French fairy tales, of which last species of literature I have heard my father say he was particularly fond.

At one o'clock was the children's dinner. We used to assemble in the dining-room; Fox was wheeled in at the same moment for his daily basin of soup. That meal despatched, he was for the rest of the day the exclusive property of us children, and we all adjourned to the garden for our game at trap-ball. All was now noise and merriment. Our host, the youngest amongst us, laughed, chaffed, and chatted the whole time. As he could not walk, he of course had the innings, we the bowling and fagging out; with what glee would he send the ball into the bushes in order to add to his score, and how shamelessly would he wrangle with us whenever we fairly bowled him out!'

It is laid down by Dr. Johnson that 'the value of every story depends on its being true. A story is a picture of an individual or of human nature in general: if it be false, it is a picture of nothing.' Lord Albemarle's stories have so far the stamp of truth that, when he does not speak as an eye-witness, he almost always vouches his authority. But it may fairly be made a question whether the recollection of a boy of nine years old is a sufficient authority for such a story as the following:

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To the rear of the Rutland Arms, Newmarket, is a house called "the Palace." It was the residence of Charles the Second during the races, and was used for the same purpose by George, Prince of Wales, when he was on the turf.

'Mr. Tattersall, the founder of the celebrated establishment that goes by his name, had a breeding farm at Ely, called "Red Barns." Here stood his famous horse, "Highflyer." The Prince, who was very intimate with Mr. Tattersall, and joint proprietor with him in the "Morning Post," was a frequent though an uninvited guest at


Red Barns. His Royal Highness used to take his own party with him, and the consumption of port wine on such occasions was something awful.

Mr. Edmund Tattersall told me that his uncle Richard, the grandson and successor of the founder of the firm, when he was a boy of about nine years old, saw a post-chaise and four drive furiously up to the "Palace" door one day, William Windham riding leader and Charles Fox wheel, while the Prince of Wales, too full of Red Barns port to be in riding or even sitting trim, lay utterly helpless at the bottom of the chaise.'

Lord Albemarle was sent to Westminster School in his ninth year, and fully confirms the worst accounts of the fagging system which prevailed in his time. The main interest of his schooldays, however, centres in the Princess Charlotte, whose acquaintance he made at the house of his grandmother, her governess, in 1808:

'It was on a Saturday, a Westminster half-holiday. From this time forth for the next three years many of my Saturdays and Sundays were passed in her company. She had just completed her twelfth year. Her complexion was rather pale. She had blue eyes, and that peculiarly blonde hair which was characteristic rather of her German than of her English descent. Her features were regular, her face, which was oval, had not that fulness which later took off somewhat from her good looks. Her form was slender but of great symmetry; her hands and feet were beautifully shaped. When excited, she stuttered painfully. Her manners were free from the slightest affectation; they rather erred in the opposite extreme. She was an excellent actress whenever there was anything to call forth her imitative power. One of her fancies was to ape the manners of a man. On these occasions she would double her fists, and assume an attitude of defence that would have done credit to a professed pugilist. What I disliked in her, when in this mood, was her fondness for exercising her hands upon me in their clenched form.'

He goes on to say that, unlike her grandmothers, the Duchess of Brunswick and the Queen of England, she was generous to excess. She gave him his first watch and his first pony, besides being prodigal of 'tips;' and this at a time when she was allowed only ten pounds a month for pocket-money, as she tells him in a kind and sensible letter of warning against extravagance. His description, from hearsay and correspondence, of her general treatment and position, may be read with advantage in connection with Lady Rose Weigall's valuable 'Memoir.' But we can only find room for those illustrations of her character which were drawn from direct personal knowledge.

Lady de Clifford had an excellent woman cook, quite a cordon bleu, on whose performances she had been complimented by the Prince : 'One

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