Mr. Samuel Rogers to Lord John Russell
April 15, 1852
MY DEAR FRIEND,—How could you entrust me with anything so precious, so invaluable, that when I leave it I run back to see if it is lost? The work of two kindred minds which nor time nor chance could sever, long may it live a monument of all that is beautiful, and long may they live to charm and to instruct when I am gone and forgotten.
The next entry from Lady John’s diary is dated March 14, 1852:
Yesterday John read a ballad in Punch giving a very unfavourable review of his conduct in dismissing Lord Palmerston, in bringing forward Reform—indeed, in almost all he has done in office. He felt this more than the attacks of graver and less independent papers, and said, “That’s hard upon a man who has worked as I have for Reform”; but the moment of discouragement passed away, and he walked up and down the room repeating Milton’s lines with the spirit and feeling of Milton:
I not a jot of heart or hope,
But steer right onward.”
My brother and I have here added a few recollections of our old home.
Pembroke Lodge, an old-fashioned house, long and low, surrounded by thickly wooded grounds, stood on the ridge of the hill in Richmond Park overlooking the Thames Valley and a wide plain beyond. It was approached by a drive between ancient oaks, limes, and evergreens, and at the entrance was a two-roomed thatched cottage, long occupied by a hearty old couple employed on the place, so careful and watchful that an amusing incident occurred one day when our father and mother were away from home. A lady and gentleman who were walking in the Park called at the Lodge, and asked for permission to walk through the grounds. The old lodge-keeper refused, saying she could not give access to strangers during the absence of the family. The lady then told her they were friends of Lord and Lady John, but still the old guardian of the place remained suspicious and obdurate; till, to her surprise and discomfiture, it came out that the visitors to whom she had so sturdily refused admission were no other than Queen Victoria and Prince Albert walking incognito in the Park.
Just outside the Lodge the Crystal Palace on the height of Sydenham could be seen glittering in the rays of the setting sun. In front of the house, eastward, were two magnificent poplars, one 100 feet, the other about 96 feet high, rich and ample in foliage, and most delicately expressive of every kind of wind and weather. They could be seen with a telescope from Hindhead, about thirty miles south-west. Grand old oaks, of seven hundred to a thousand years, grew