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whole tenor of my correspondence from the year 1793 down to my latest letters of July 1797, what my notions are concerning Italy. I have always thought that it is a great and important object in the contest between the French Republic and the rest of Europe, that Italy in whole or in part should neither be annexed to France as dominion, nor affiliated in the shape of dependent republics; and I have considered a superior British fleet in the Mediterranean as, amongst others, an essential means for securing Italy and Europe from such a misfortune.
These are my politics, and I have every reason to be satisfied that Your Grace and all His Majesty's Ministers have uniformly entertained and indeed avowed the same sentiments. They have, indeed, been a ruling principle of your measures during the three years that I have been honoured with the confidence of Government. To the general principle I must now add a particular one founded on perhaps temporary circumstances, that the possession of Porto Ferrajo is highly desirable if a British fleet is to remain in the Mediterranean, and to be employed, amongst other objects, in protecting Italy. If other services more important and more urgent make it impossible to maintain any longer a Mediterranean fleet, I then agree with General de Burgh entirely in the inutility of retaining this harbour.'
The British fleet at least was not slow to justify what Nelson had said of it. Sir Gilbert left Gibraltar in the · Minerve, with Nelson, in order to join the admiral, Sir John Jervis, on his way to England. They found the admiral off Cape St. Vincent on the eve of that battle which gave him an imperishable name. Sir Gilbert, transferred to the · Lively' frigate, which was detained to take home the despatches, witnessed the action, and his descendants still possess at Minto the sword taken from the captain of the San Josef' by Nelson himself, and presented by him to his friend. The 5th March 1797, when the . Lively' anchored in Plymouth Sound bearing these memorable despatches, was one of the darkest days in English history. The Bank of England had suspended cash payments the day before, and the mutiny at the Nore was impending. To these calamities, the victories of the fleet opposed, at least, a beam of glory, and demonstrated that the true basis of our operations in the war was in the harbours of the Mediterranean and on board our own hearts of oak. But such was the depression prevailing at that moment in Plymouth, that the sum of fifteen guineas was raised with difficulty to enable the Viceroy and the herald of the battle of St. Vincent to reach London.
We have exhausted our space, without exhausting the interest of Lady Minto's narrative. Indeed a whole volume remains untouched by us, in which she relates the accession of Sir Gilbert Elliot to the peerage in October 1797, which was the reward of his services in Corsica; his nomination to the embassy at Vienna, where he remained till the victory of Marengo crushed the last hopes of the Allies for the independence of Europe; the part he subsequently took in the social and political life of England and in opposition to Mr. Addington's Ministry; and finally his appointment under the Ministry of all the talents to the Governor-Generalship of India, whence he returned in 1814 to die, before he could again reach the well-beloved crags and glens of Minto. His Indian experience and services Lady Minto has reserved for a future publication, but we cannot pass them over in complete silence.
On the formation of Lord Grenville's Administration in 1806, the Presidency of the Board of Control was offered to Lord Minto-probably because it was assumed that the part he had taken in the impeachment of Warren Hastings had given him some insight into the affairs of India, and that he shared the views of his illustrious friend Burke, as to the government of that great dependency. But upon the arrival of the news of Lord Cornwallis's death, which reached England soon after the formation of the Cabinet, it was resolved to send out Lord Lauderdale to succeed him. The Court of Directors strenuously resisted this appointment, because they alleged that it savoured of a political job, and because they had been led to hope that Sir George Barlow, a servant of their own, and an able one, might be raised to the highest office in India. This the Government refused to permit. To settle this dispute, it was arranged that the President of the India Board should himself take the office. "The character
of the Governor-General,' says the historian of British India,* delighting in the milder glories of internal prosperity, the * amenities of domestic society, and the cultivation of litera'ture and the arts, accorded with the spirit in which it was expected that his government would be carried on. At the same time, Lord Minto was not of a disposition to shrink from ' expense or exertion when they were required by the interests of the state over which he ruled; and various important transactions, arising out of Indian and European politics, signalised his career.' Into the details of his Indian administration we do not now propose to enter, but the almost simultaneous conquests, in 1810, of the splendid islands of Bourbon, Mauritius, and Java, by the naval forces of the Crown acting under the orders and direction of Lord Minto, were exploits of no common
Wilson's continuation of Mill's 'British India,' vol. vii. p. 172.
lustre, and they were rewarded by his elevation to the Earldom of Minto in the following year. The expedition to Java was undertaken on his own responsibility, upon the representations submitted to him by Mr. Raffles, and never was a daring enterprise more fully justified by the result. Lord Minto himself accompanied the expedition as a volunteer' in the . Modeste' frigate, for his old intimacy with Nelson, and his experience off Cape St. Vincent, had given him a more than common interest in naval operations. The fleet mustered above ninety sail, and carried 12,000 men. On leaving Madras, the setting in of the southwest monsoon rendered it inexpedient to attempt the navigation of the Straits of Banca. It was feared that the expedition would be retarded, and even postponed for that year. Raffles and Captain Greigh, who had surveyed the passage along the southwest coast of Borneo, recommended that route. The chief naval authorities pronounced it to be impracticable. Lord Minto, upon this, interposed his authority in favour of this inner passage and led the way in the Modeste.' The fleet cleared the channel without a single accident. Upon this act of resolution the success of the expedition turned. It was taken with a courage not unworthy the friend of Nelson, and we know of nothing in Lord Minto's career which gives us a higher opinion of his character.
The Governor-General of India, now first Earl of Minto, returned to Europe in 1814, at the moment of the visit of the Allied Sovereigns to England, to celebrate the triumph of their arms and the fall of Bonaparte. He was one of the very small band of survivors of those
who had witnessed and opposed the aggressions of the French Revolution from its outset. He had resisted it in Parliament; he had attacked it in the Mediterranean; he had swept it from the Eastern seas. At the moment of his return, an era of peace and freedom seemed to be dawning over Europe-a life of happiness and repose seemed to await him amidst scenes the dearest to his heart. But in these melancholy sentences Lady Minto closes her interesting volumes :
* At that very moment of hard-won triumph Lord Minto returned to England, where the allied sovereigns had met to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon ; but from national rejoicings, from personal honours, and even from the joyous welcome of children and family and friends, his thoughts turned longingly homewards, where his wife waited for him in redemption of a pledge, given when they parted, that their re-union should take place at Minto, thenceforth to become the abiding-home of their remaining years. Vain words! such as stir to scorn the unseen powers who dispose of mortal fate.
'A chill caught at the funeral of Lord Auckland, suddenly dereloped the seeds of a disease already latent in his system. Having hurried away from London in spite of medical advice, he grew rapidly worse, and sank at Stevenage, on the first stage of his journey to Scotland, in the presence of the elder members of his family. It fell to the lot of the son who had accompanied him from India to carry down the mournful and incredible tidings to the country alive with preparations for his reception. In the town of Hawick the people were in readiness to draw his carriage through the streets; on the hills the bonfires were laid, and under triumphal arches the message of death was borne to her who waited at home.'
The space we have been able to allot to these volumes is quite inadequate to do justice to their varied interest. The letters of Lady Elliot and her sister Lady Malmesbury are full of vivacity and wit; those of Mr. Elliot of Wells are models of political good sense; and Lord Minto's own record of his life in London and in Vienna is an animated picture of the society in which he lived. Those who love, as we do ourselves, to mingle in these shadowy groups of former generations, will find themselves in excellent company throughout these three volumes, and will be indebted to Lady Minto for a most amusing and instructive page in the history of the last century.
Art. VIII.-1. Report of Committee of Council on Education,
1871-72, and 1872–73. 2. Report of School Board for London to Education Depart
ment, March 1872. 3. Report of Statistical Committee of London School Board,
July 1873. 4. Report of Bye-Laws Committee of the London School Board,
Sept. 1873. 5. Report from Select Committee of House of Lords on the
Elementary Education Provisional Order Confirmation Bill,
1873. 6. Summary of Three Years' Work by London School Board,
Nov. 1873. 7. Summaries of Work done by School Boards for Liverpool,
Manchester, Salford, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Bristol,
Stockport, and Macclesfield, 1872 and 1873. THE The three years which have passed since the adoption by the
Legislature of the Education Act of 1870 have been memorable years in the history of English Society. They have not merely witnessed the first assumption by the community, as such, of a directly Educational function, distinct from the office of inspection, examination, and reward, with which the State had formerly been content. But they have affected our social relations; first by extending very largely the sphere of that local self-government, in which De Tocqueville finds the best security against a centralised democratic tyranny, and next by introducing, for the first time, the principle of direct interference with individual liberty and parental authority—a principle familiar enough to Continental governments, but in England hitherto all but unknown, and opposed to many of our oldest traditions. Nor can we be blind to the fact that the Education question has very seriously affected the internal condition and the mutual relations of our great political parties, because, in fact, it has foreshadowed a conflict, social far more than political, which must ere long engage in deadly strife principles very different from those which have hitherto found their battle-ground in English politics. This division has been more distinctly seen in the Liberal party, simply because they have had to face the necessity and the responsibility of Ministerial action ; but we believe that it will be almost as much felt by the party which calls itself Conservative, whenever it has to cross from the left hand to the right hand of the Speaker's chair. Comparatively quiet as the last three years have been, they have really produced some very important specimens of the * Revolution under form of Law, which is said to be so characteristically English.
The time has now come when we may fairly take stock of the first fruits of the new system. The Boards elected under the Act have, in all the most important towns, surrendered their trust and given an account of their stewardship; and their successors are just ready to begin their work, with the experience of the past to be at once their guide and their warning. Now the initiation of the Board system naturally forced upon us several questions. What was the amount of work actually to be done? How would the new machinery work? What would be the effect on the old organisation which had so long occupied the ground? To what extent would the new element of compulsion succeed in its application to English society? What changes (if any) would be wrought in the principles hitherto dominant in English education, and especially in the great principle of religious instruction? These were questions which men were eagerly asking in 1870, and in a great degree making ‘ their wish father to their • thought' in the answers which they gave. It is our duty,