Believe me always, yours affectionately,
Mr. John Bright to Lady Russell
June 1, 1878
DEAR LADY RUSSELL,—... What I particularly observed in the public life of Lord John—you once told me you liked his former name and title—was a moral tone, a conscientious feeling, something higher and better than is often found in the guiding principle of our most active statesmen, and for this I always admired and reverenced him. His family may learn from him, his country may and will cherish his memory. You alone can tell what you have lost....
Ever very sincerely yours,
Lady Minto to Lady Russell
June 4, 1878
I have been thinking of you all day, and indeed through many hours of the night.... I rather wished to hear that the Abbey was to have been his resting place—but after all it matters little since his abiding place is in the pages of English history.... What none could thoroughly appreciate except those who lived in his intimacy was the perfect simplicity which made him the most easily amused of men, ready to pour out his stores of anecdote to old and young—to discuss opinions on a level with the most humble of interlocutors, and take pleasure in the commonest forms of pleasantness—a fine day, a bright flower. Nor do I think that the outside world understood from what depth of feeling the tears rose to his eyes when tales of noble conduct or any high sentiment touched some responsive chord—nor how much “poetic fire” lay under that calm, not cold manner.... I remember often going down to you when London was full of some political anger against him—when personalities and bitterness were rife—and returning from you with the feeling of having been in another world, so entire was the absence of such bitterness, so gentle and peaceful were the impressions I carried away.
Lady Russell went with her family early in July to St. Fillans, in Perthshire, for a few months of perfect quiet among the Scotch lakes and mountains. Queen Victoria’s kindness in asking her to remain at Pembroke Lodge was a great comfort to her.
Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal
PEMBROKE LODGE, June 30, 1878