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The Creevey Papers
Earl Grey to Thomas Creevey, 13 December 1827

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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“Howick, Dec. 13, 1827.
“My dear Creevey,

“. . . Sefton’s conduct can only be explained on the supposition that he feels himself bound not to abandon, in their difficulties, an administration which he originally promised to support; but I do not think this feeling can prevail long against his own opinion and the increasing opinion of the publick. At present, according to all appearances, they will not be able to extricate themselves from this Turkish scrape. I have a letter to-day from Paris saying that the Russian army has crossed the Pruth, with the intention of permanently occupying the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. This, in their diplomatick jargon, they say is not to be considered—any more than Navarin—as a measure of war, but as a moyen d’ exécuter le traité de médiation. This is not very unlike the case of a man who should knock another down, and then say—‘I did not do it with an intention of hurting you, but only from the most friendly desire to keep you quiet.’ Whatever the explanation may be worth, of the fact I have no doubt, and as little that the Russians will not again abandon the possession of these countries. These [illegible], notwithstanding the gloss which it is endeavoured to put upon the measure, as well as a general apprehension of the increasing power of Russia, which has been quickened by her late successes in Persia, have already produced speculations on the necessity of a combination to resist her projects, and there seems no great improbability in supposing that the cannon fired at Navarin may prove the signal of another general war in Europe. The best chances against it are to be found in the general poverty of
all the Great Powers. Austria can hardly find the means of moving an army; we are no longer in a condition to give subsidies; and even Russia, in the countries in which her armies will have to act, could not find immediately the means of defraying the cost of their maintenance in active service, and some compromise may thus be produced at the expense of the poor Turks who will be plundered both by friends and foes, and whose helpless imbecillity deprives them of all hopes of a successful resistance. This is the only way which I can at present foresee for the Ministers to escape from the difficulty which
Mr. Canning’s much-lauded policy has brought upon them, but which would require more energy, more skill, more union and more wisdom than I think likely to be found in our present Councils.

“As to Brougham—I believe him to be mad. Our correspondence has ceased, but I have lately seen, under his own hand, things that would surprise even you . . . that Canning had no more to do with the treaty of the 6th of July than you or I, and that it was entirely the Duke of Wellington’s . . . that there is a complaint of the King’s unconstitutional interference with the patronage of the Ministers. If this should be proved to be so (the if is good) nobody wd. be more for resisting it than himself; and, if requisite, he should be glad to see a union of the respectable men of all parties, headed by Lord Grey, for that purpose. . . . All this I have seen actually in black and white—does it furnish a case to justify my suspicion of madness?

“At the end comes out the true solution of the riddle. He is full of indignation at Phillimore’s being put over Lushington’s head, because the latter was counsel for the Queen. No thought of himself, of course! nor any reference to his own situation, proving indisputably his claim to the acknowledgment of disinterestedness, which you may remember in his letter to me. . . . The Duchess of Northumberland told Mrs. Grey the other day that about Navarin the King had said that the actor deserved a ribband, but the act a halter. A pleasant distinction for his My.’s Ministers! Lansdowne, however, I hear is in favour ever since he submitted about Herries,
but that the King spoke neither to
Tierney nor to Mcintosh at the Council when the latter was sworn in.

“Ever yours,