It was his maxim not to displace his Marshals, which he had carried to a fault in the case of Marmont, who lost his cannon by treachery, he believed—I forget where. The Army liked him, he had rewarded them well.
Talleyrand had been guilty of such extortion in the peace with Austria and with Bavaria that he was complained against by those Powers and therefore removed—it was he who advised the war with Spain, and prevented N. from seeing the Duke d’Enghien, whom he thought a “brave jeune homme,” and wished to see.
He said he had been fairly
tried by a military tribunal, and the
sentence put up in every town in France, according to law.
Spain ought to have been conquered,
and he should have gone there
himself had not the war with Russia occurred.
Lord Lauderdale was an English
peer, but not of “la plus belle
race.” England will repent of bringing the Russians so far: they
will deprive her of India.
If Mr. Fox had lived, he thought
he should have made peace—praised
the noble way in which the negotiation was begun by him.
The Archduke Charles he did not think a man of great abilities. “Tout ce que j’ai publie sur les finances est de l’Evangile,” he said—he allowed no gaspillage and had an excellent treasurer; owing to this he saved large sums out of his civil list.
The conscription produced 300,000 men yearly.
He thought us wrong in taking Belgium from France—he said it was now considered as so intimately united that the loss was very mortifying. Perhaps it would have been better, he said, to divide France—he considered one great advantage to consist as I—(End of Journal.)
 This account is copied from the old leather-bound journal, in which it was written by Lord John the day after the interview; there is no gap in the account, but the last part appears to have been written later, and is unfinished.
During the session of 1813 Lord John was returned for the family borough of Tavistock. He was obliged, however, principally owing to ill-health, to retire from active life at the end of three years, during which time he made a remarkable speech against the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. It must have been at about this time that he thought of giving up politics and devoting himself to literature, which brought the following “Remonstrance” from his friend Thomas Moore:
(After a conversation with Lord John Russell in which he had intimated some idea of giving up all political pursuits.)
What! thou, with thy genius, thy
youth, and thy name—
Thou, born of a Russell—whose instinct to run
The accustomed career of thy sires, is the same
As the eaglet’s to soar with his eyes on the sun.