It was agreed upon that on a change of Ministry the Queen would listen to any representation from the new Prime Minister as to the composition of her Household, and would arrange for the retirement, of their own accord, of any ladies who were so closely related to the leaders of Opposition as to render their presence inconvenient. The whole teapot tempest soon blew over: but Lord Melbourne and his colleagues found themselves sadly discredited when they came back into office. The ridiculous nature of the controversy threw for the time a distorting light on all they did or attempted to do. Lord Brougham found it a happy chance for attacking Lord Melbourne, whom he detested and despised, and against whom, as we have seen, he had a bitter grudge. He positively charged Lord Melbourne with having sacrificed the Liberal cause and the best interests of the country to the personal feelings of the Sovereign. This was, of course, extravagant; but it was not more extravagant than most of the talk which went on for a time on both sides of the controversy. Lord Melbourne came back to office - there was no other course for him to take. He could not refuse to form a Ministry when his great opponent Peel found himself unable to construct one, or at least to accept the conditions under which alone he could have made himself welcome to the Sovereign. The remainder of Lord Melbourne's tenure of office was, however, only a gradual descent, and the inevitable end could not be long postponed. He was greatly attached to the Sovereign; and his kindly, fatherly ways had made him welcome to the young Queen when the duties of her high position first came upon her. But the remainder of his political career is of little account in history, except in so far as it helped to develop still further some of the Reform movements which had been set going by men of more statesmanlike intellect and energy. We may take our farewell of him here; a generous, kindly, indolent, well-meaning old man. When he died in retirement in 1848 his death brought to the notice of many the fact that he had once lived, had been a Prime Minister, and had been an almost passive associate in the great work of Reform.
Charles Darwin. I809-I882.