LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
Chapter XIII: 1806-40

Chapter I: 1813
Chapter II: 1814
Chapter III: 1815
Chapter IV: 1816
Chapter V: 1817
Chapter VI: 1818
Chapter VII: 1819
Chapter VIII: 1820
Chapter IX: 1821
Chapter X: 1822
Chapter XI: 1824-33
Chapter XII: 1833-35
‣ Chapter XIII: 1806-40
Chapter XIV: Appendix
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From Sir James Mackintosh, 1806, from Bombay, where he was Chief Justice (describing our rule and conquests, an “Avatar” and “Maia” and Indian theology)—From Sir James Mackintosh, 1811, on the Regency, and referring to his historical projects and Asiatic researches—From Dr. Holland, 1812, describing our army in the Peninsula—From Henry Warburton, 1814, on his Geological discoveries in Suffolk—From J. L. Mallet, 1815, on Napoleon—From Francis Horner, 1816, from Pisa, on literary subjects—From Sydney Smith, 1818, on Hone and Lord Ellenborough and Sir J. Mackintosh at Haileybury—From Sydney Smith, 1818, on Canning and an anonymous pamphlet—From Lady Mackintosh, 1828, on politics—From H. Hallam, 1828, on Murray’s publishing firm, and Politics—From Hallam, on Politics—From Lady Mackintosh, 1829, from Paris, the Abbé, Grégoire, and the Bourbons—From J. L. Mallet, 1831, on Politics—From Sydney Smith—“King of Clubs.”
From Sir J. Mackintosh to Mr. Whishaw.
Parell, Bombay,
Feb. 21, 1806.

MY DEAR SIR,—During the two last years that have passed since we met, you are likely to have heard so often of me from our friends at the “King of Clubs,” that I shall not repeat to you the
From Sir James Mackintosh
few events which have occurred to le in that time. Neither shall I speak of the great and terrible news from Ulm and Cadiz, which is fresh to me at present, but which must be so obsolete before this reaches you. When I say obsolete, I mean if the apparent destruction of Austria be not even at that time too terribly felt in England to suffer the memory of these dreadful calamities to grow faint.

India is at length pacified by a compromise between the system of Lord Wellesley, to which the present Governor is inclined, and that of Lord Cornwallis, which he durst not totally reject. The Province of Bengal, Oude, Agra, Guzerat, and part of Delhi, with the whole Peninsula from Cape Cormorin to the Tapty and the frontiers of Berar, are directly or indirectly subject to England. The country between the Chumbal and the Tapty with the Rajpoot Principalities is left as a theatre for the ambition and turbulence of Scindia and Holkar. The Nayr Princes in Malabar and the Polygar Chiefs in the Southern Carnatic have at length been suppressed, though I fear not without great perfidy and atrocity. The Sikhs, the Rajpoots, and the two Mahratta chieftains are the only independent powers in India and without concert, seaports, or European officers they neither are nor can be formidable. India does not seem to me to contain any source of danger to the British authority. You can easily guess my opinion of the means by which this vast Empire has been acquired. I have been very desirous to know its effects, and perhaps you will not be displeased to hear the result of my inquiries, which have been
extensive, though my own opportunity for observation has been confined to one journey to Poona. There seems no reason to doubt that this revolution has been everywhere beneficial to the body of the people, and has bestowed on them a degree of security to which they and their ancestors in their most boasted days were strangers. Prejudice against foreigners and conquerors of different colour, manners, and religion, do, notwithstanding, render our Government generally unpopular. It seems, indeed, that many Indians prefer the occasional power of oppressing, even though attended with the chance of being oppressed, to the inflexible impartiality of equal government which covers them with a constant shield, but imposes on them a constant curb. They have been so long accustomed to favour and resentment that they have a disrelish for cold, unbending rules. Long experience has taught the people of Bengal to feel the value of security. The British Government is popular in that great Province. Justice is administered and revenue collected often not within a hundred miles of a soldier. The same thing may be said of this island, where we have perhaps a dozen Hindoo and Parsee merchants of fortunes from one to two hundred thousand pounds. That they have made some progress you will also allow when I tell you that several of them say they would purchase and cultivate estates in the rich and beautiful, though now almost deserted, island of Salsette, if it were subject to the Recorder’s Court, where no man can do what he pleases, but that they did not wish to risk their money under a Governor who might change his measures as he thought fit. I have said that our
From Sir James Mackintosh
Government is beneficial to the body of the people. To the higher classes, to all those who are candidates for power and greatness, it is intolerable. With the exception of the few degraded offices at the Courts of the tributary Princes, the lottery of ambition is shut against them. One able and versatile Brahmin, who has successively served
Hyder, Tippoo, and our Raja, administers Mysore, it is said, with great success, though not, I believe, without some instances of severity very repugnant to European usages.

You must not infer from what I have said that our Government, especially in distant countries or new conquests, is what you or I would call good. I only mean that it is far superior to any Asiatic Government. In many of the countries of India any European authority is a blessing. The Mahratta country, for instance, which I lately visited, was a scene of such constant rapine and civil war, that any change which controlled the freebooting chiefs must be beneficial. I saw too clearly the marks of general misrule and the ravages of the recent civil war and famine. Almost all the villages were laid waste chiefly by Holkar, who is the most perfect model of a Mahratta warrior; and even at the distance of fifteen months, skeletons scattered pretty profusely over the fields showed how dreadful the devastation and famine had been among a people who hold in such extraordinary reverence the rites of sepulture.

I must say that I also saw some of the good effects of the control for the first time established among these plunderers. The plains round Poona, which were appropriated and constantly employed as the
encampment of the several chiefs of the Empire, which for a century were a scene of almost daily bloodshed, have at last been restored to the plough, and I saw the first corn that perhaps for hundreds of years had grown upon them.

I may as well tell you of two personages whom I saw in my journey, a martial Brahmin, and an Incarnate God.

The first, a chief of the name of Goda, who came to pay his respects to me, was one of the sternest and most ferocious-looking barbarians I ever saw. He was fully armed, mounted on a fierce Candahar horse, and had a deep scar across his brow from a dangerous wound which he had received in battle about two years ago. His conversation corresponded with his appearance. He told me that he hated to live in cities, and loved the life of the field, where alone either honour or profit was to be got. He has about 3,000 horse, not in his pay (for they are supported by pillage), but under his command. This gentleman does not well correspond with the European ideas of a Brahmin. Of the Incarnate God at Chinchore you must have read in the seventh volume of “Asiatic Researches.” The present incumbent is a handsome child of eight or nine years old, who could scarce be kept awake to converse with us. The benefice is a rich one. The pagoda in which he resides is endowed with lands of which the rents amount to 50,000 rupees (or £6,000) a year, which remain like a fertile spot in a desert, having been spared by Holkar when he spread desolation all around. He is an Avatar, or incarnation of Gunnesh (the same deity
From Sir James Mackintosh
Sir W. Jones labours to identify with Janus). The incarnation has continued for eight generations in the family, and is itself the eighth of the Avatars of Gunnesh. A pundit of some learning is employed in teaching Sanscrit and theology to the young God. I asked what the event of the war in Europe would be. The pundit on the part of the Deo, or God, answered that the question required consideration. I asked how a god came to need consideration. The pundit seemed to feel the difficulty, and defended his master as well as most Doctors of Divinity. He said that an image of the sun in a vessel of water would be shaken as often as you shook the vessel, but the sun was unshaken and immovable. In like manner the Deity when incarnate was necessarily affected by the imperfections of the vehicle. Knowing the almost unanimous opinion of the pundits when they speak esoterically to be that neither gods nor men, nor indeed anything else material or spiritual, has real existence, that all is Maia, or illusion, the effect of the action of Brimh, the vast one, on himself (whom they call God, but by whom they mean only to express an infinite energy which produces the infinite variety of illusive appearances which give a fallacious notion of separate existence, and make up what is called the universe). I ventured to ask the pundit in the temple in the presence of his god, and what was more material of a crowd of votaries, whether the Deo as well as every one else was not Maia. He immediately and without the least hesitation answered that he was. Gunnesh and the other gods, even Bramah, Vishnu, and Siva, were, he said, acknowledged and
revered in theology, but in philosophy they must be owned to be mere Maia. I suppose that this may be the first time that ever a priest made such a confession in such circumstances. But the pundits never dissemble this opinion, though my friend at Chinchore seemed at first a little astonished at an European talking of his secret and philosophical doctrines. I intended to have given you a short specimen of the morality and public feeling of our English Indians, by an abridged account of a trial for peculation which I have lately had here. But
Sir Edward Pellew, who convoys our Indiamen down the coast of Malabar, is so resolutely determined on sailing to-morrow morning that I must refer you for this politico-juridical history to my letter to G. Wilson. You will then see a whole settlement so interested in an old rogue of notorious and long-stigmatised character, who with an office of which the fair, or at least the allowed, profits were £10,000 a year, had received bribes for the clandestine exportation of grain during the famine, as to raise the most illiberal and blackguard clamour against me, for having merely done my duty in preventing the escape of so scandalous a delinquent.

And now, my dear Sir, I am obliged hastily to conclude, but not without humbly requesting that you will refresh me sometimes by the reason, knowledge, and liberality of your letters, which I should estimate anywhere as they deserve, but which I shall indeed value in this vile place. Mention me kindly to the “King of Clubs” and to all its members; remember me to Scarlett and Creevey. I should be obliged by
From Sir James Mackintosh
your conveying my best respects and congratulations on his marriage to
Lord King, whose most excellent pamphlet I have read twice since I have been here, where we suffer under the same malady, of a fallen exchange from excessive issue of paper money. I could not read it without thinking at least, if not exclaiming, “Di Patrii quorum semper sub numine Troja,” &c.

Lady M. begs her best remembrances to you.

I am, my dear Sir,
Very truly and respectfully
Your faithful friend,
James Mackintosh.
From Sir James Mackintosh to Mr. Whishaw.
Bombay, Aug. 13, 1811.

My dear Whishaw,—I have always considerable apprehension that my language may not be thought at a sufficient distance from hyperbole when I write to a person of your vigilant good sense. I need all the force of such a restraint to moderate the expression of my gratitude to you for your attention to Lady Mackintosh. As she went home for me such attention was the most delicate sort of kindness to me. To tell you the truth, I thought this sentiment joined to her merit would have procured more attention and from more people than it seems to have done. My obligation to you is so much the greater.

Your excellent letter in October would itself have been a sufficient reason for thanks. Your calm views of literature and politics are peculiarly adapted to satisfy a distant observer. Mere remoteness exempts
us from those passions which it requires all the soundness of your sense to escape. This country is a school of Toryism. The tendency of the system of government gives slavish principles and habits to men of naturally active understanding and high spirit whose character was destined for liberty.

Your letters are the only compositions which, though always at war with their prejudices, I have observed to compel their approbation if not their assent.

I should like to have had a précis of the discussion and intrigues occasioned by the Regency from such a pen as yours. Of the intrigues I, of course, know nothing. The general question of legal metaphysics seems to be shortly this—whether there be a right to be Regent by legal analogy in the next heir, or whether a right by necessity to create a Regent devolved on the remaining members of the supreme power? At first sight there seems to be some distinction. But it vanishes almost at the next glance, for it is admitted that the two houses were morally bound to nominate the next heir. If that duty had been imposed by his superior merit, it would only have amounted to a conscientious exercise of an elective right. But this is not pretended, they are bound to nominate the next heir as such; that is, they nominate him because there is a parity of expediency and an analogy of law between hereditary Regency and hereditary Monarchy. Then the question is, whether the analogy is so strong as to justify the decision of a court of law, or only so strong as to be a motive for an exercise of a discretionary power. But the partisans of the two Houses allow that their right can only be exerted in one way
From Sir James Mackintosh
in all ordinary cases, and the partisans of the heir admit that there are extraordinary cases in which he may be excluded from the Regency as well as from the Monarchy.

The question in this form and with these reciprocal admissions must be left to the decision of some legal Aquinas. Yet stript of all the exaggerations of passion and eloquence to this it seems to be reduced.

The project of limitations, the avowed existence of a Government without a King for three months, the strange discovery of Royal power exercised in his name without a power of consent, and the general suspicion that will now attend the King during his life, are all circumstances that will one day powerfully act against Monarchy. That day, indeed, we shall never see. Military despotism will be the prevalent system of our times.

But the time will come when this combination of circumstances, but especially the anecdotes of the state of George III. during Lord Eldon’s reign in 1804, will have a great effect in dispelling monarchical illusions. Hereditary Monarchy is an absurdity established to prevent inconvenience. As such I approve it and think it necessary in the present state of Europe. But the seat of the throne is in the imagination and feelings of men. These anecdotes are little spoken of at present, but the next time the current sets towards democracy they will be valuable materials for the Tom Paine of the day.

There are no facts in history that tend so palpably and personally to destroy all reverence for Royalty. When Kings are said to do without understanding,
nations will begin to think that they can do without Kings.
Lord Eldon and Perceval will thus obtain a name in history of which they have otherwise so little chance.

The Regency from which I anticipate these effects has retarded my return to England, and may do so for a few months longer.

If the Regency continue for any time either the Ministers must slide into the Prince’s confidence, or the pledge of such a publicly proclaimed distrust with the daily irritation of a forced intercourse, must widen the breach and render it utterly irreparable.

I should not think the former event impossible, but if the latter takes place it will throw the Prince more completely into the hands of the Opposition than any other combination of circumstances, and render them more certainly and permanently his Ministers on his accession than if they had been in power during the Regency. If I rightly recollect, the Princess Charlotte will be of age at eighteen. It will, therefore, be of considerable and perhaps lasting consequence whether the King lives for these three years in which time the Prince may die. The system of her reign may be decided by the hands into which she first falls.

I speculate pretty dispassionately on these contingencies. I see no chance that I shall be tempted to quit my own plans of studious retirement. My project is the history of Great Britain from the English Revolution of 1688 to the French Revolution of 1789. I hope that it may be contained in three quartos. The first from the Revolution to the Accession.1 It

1 Of George the First.

From Sir James Mackintosh
is a very great subject, the establishment of a free Government in England completed by the Accession and the security of the liberties of Europe imperfectly obtained by the Peace of Utrecht. When the character of
King William is delivered from misconception, and that of Lord Somers displayed in its proper lustre, these noble objects will appear to be pursued by able counsels at home and glorious undertakings abroad, with disappointment and vicissitude enough to exercise and prove the fortitude of the great statesmen and captains who are the heroes of this action. The second volume will extend from the Accession to the Treaty of Paris in 1763, and will represent the quiet and prosperous administration of that free Government closing with the brilliant war of Lord Chatham, and clouded just at the end by a second Peace of Utrecht. The third is a struggle between the principles of all established authority and the rising spirit of the age, terminated by all the preparations for the tremendous contest which occupied the next twenty years.

The histories of North America, of Ireland, and of British India are scarcely episodes. Such sketches of the great events of Continental history as an English reader requires appear indispensable to render the history of England interesting.

Whether I shall be able to combine the outline of events which alone remains in the memory of posterity with the occasional particularity which makes description interesting, how far I may succeed in weaving into one narrative the distant and dissimilar transactions of a modern State which the form of
annals throws into utter confusion, and above all whether I may catch any portion of the simplicity and majesty of the historical style, these are matters on which I cannot think without the greatest apprehension of failure. But it is almost presumptuous to express such fears, for what are they but apprehensions that I do not possess the historical genius, and shall not be placed among the few historians whose works will continue to be read by a distant age. Without these qualities of the highest class I may write a book that may serve for a time as the popular history, and after it ceases to be read by the public may be useful to the historian.

I have some advantages of a secondary kind. My understanding has been chiefly employed on speculating on history. The Government and general laws of England have been my principal study for twenty years. All the studies of my life have been preparations for such a work. All the fragments of my undertakings will be materials for it. An historian ought to mix active life with business. I have seen colonial establishments and the manners of nations the most dissimilar to those of Europe. My curiosity has been a little directed to the theory of land and sea war. I have reflected on commerce and revenue. I at least know enough of these subjects to abridge what the masters of each art have taught in such a manner as to be intelligible to the general reader, and more would be misplaced in history. I may apply the same observation to criticism on works of science, or literature, of which the appearance is in reality an historical event when they affect general opinion and
From Sir James Mackintosh
conduct, or even characterise general sentiment and display the condition of a people. I know a little of the manner in which foreigners regard English transactions, and I can avail myself of those materials of European history which are contained in the principal languages of Europe, and which have been unknown or neglected by former English writers.

These are some of my substitutes for historical genius. The plan will require the whole of my life. A situation which would add a little to my income and yet leave me some leisure would undoubtedly be most desirable.

But I expect nothing. I must live either near enough to London for access to books on which my demand will be immense, or in London, notwithstanding the expense, for the sake of my children’s education.

On the choice I should wish to be much guided by you.

I need not say how anxious I shall be to see the papers of Aston in my scene. The Marlborough or Spencer families or both must have most curious papers of the great Duke and of the two Sunderlands. I do not quite believe the common story of the perfidy of Sunderland the father. His character requires to be explained. Lord Hardwicke must still have unpublished paper, some, perhaps, of Lord Somers, but certainly many of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke. The collection of the Grenville family are unquestionably large. Would there be any possibility of access to that of Lord Chatham? Who has those of the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pelham? Have Lord Stanhope
Lord Harrington any? I dare not at present hint at any more modern.

It would be the greatest of all favours if you were to do what you can before I return towards ascertaining what papers exist and what might be accessible to me.

Besides my own plans I have little novelty to send you from India. In the eleventh volume of the “Asiatic Researches” the true source of the Ganges seems to be ascertained. Several hundred miles of an imaginary course are obliterated. I read the paper with pleasure, not only as ascertaining an important position, but as an additional blow to the credit of Hindoo legends and monks. Colebrooke,1 who is the Sanscrit Porson, is shortly going home and leaves the throne vacant. Leyden2 has a most unparalleled talent for classifying languages which I daresay he abuses. He has no minute, perhaps no accurate, knowledge of any language, for which some exact students charge him with imposture without considering that this minute knowledge would be an impediment to the success of his plan. He takes a glance at the general features of a language that he may class it according to its family likeness. Linnaeus did not study comparative anatomy like Cuvier or Home.3

1 Henry Thomas Colebrooke, 1765-1837, was the first great Sanscrit scholar in Europe. His essay on the “Vedas” was the first authentic amount of those ancient Scriptures.

2 John Leyden, 1775-1811, celebrated Eastern linguist, settled in Calcutta in 1806. Accompanied Lord Minto to Java as interpreter, and wrote grammars of and translations from Malay and many other languages. 3 Sir Everard Home.

From Sir James Mackintosh

Mr. Elphinstone (brother of Lord Elphinstone), now Resident at Poonah, has been employed on a mission to the King of Cabul which will add much to our knowledge of the globe and of mankind. He did not penetrate beyond Peishawer, but he collected much information. His survey extends with more or less accuracy from 24 to 40 N.L. and from 60 to 78 E.L., or, in other words, from the mouth of the Indus to the sources of the Jaxartes1 and from a line drawn along the western frontier of Chinese Toorkestaun and the eastern frontier of the Punjaub to Persian Khorassan and the desert separating Ballochistan and Segestan from Persia. He was attended by two uncommon men, Lieutenant Macartney, who constructed his map, and who to the manners of a wild Irishman adds a sagacity in conjecturing bearings and distances which Danville would have noticed with approbation, and Lieutenant Irving a Scotch “Feelowzoofer” who came to India to philosophise on manners, and who has drawn up a physical survey and philosophical statement of the characters of the tribes of this vast country to which I know nothing equal but Volney.2

Elphinstone3 will publish all this if the hyper-Chinese jealousy of the Court of Leadenhall Street does not strangle it. My friend and neighbour, General

1 Now known as the Sir-Daria.

2 Volney, Comte Constantin, 1757-1820—French scholar and traveller—author of “Recherches nouvelles sur l’histoire ancienne” and other works.

3 Mountstewart Elphinstone, 1779-1859—Indian administrator and traveller—author of “History of India,” and other works.

Malcolm, will also publish a very entertaining book on Persia, and fill up the chasm between Elphinstone and the Tigris. I do all I can to keep him from useless and fabulous nonsense, and as he is a very lively and acute man, I have no doubt of his success in painting manners and relating the untold part of Persian history. His materials for Persian geography, both from the actual survey of European officers and the innumerable routes of native travellers, far surpass anything before brought to Europe, at least since the time of Chardin.1

I take the liberty of enclosing a Bombay newspaper, which contains (what I hoped at the time would be) my farewell charge to my grand jury, in which you will see the result of a seven years’ administration without a capital punishment. I offer it as my small experiment. It proves that no immediate mischief has arisen, that the experiment may, therefore, with safety be more and more enlarged till at length it may afford some great result to be used in a better age.

You may use the charge in any manner you please. Perhaps the fact may interest Romilly, or may be thought worth publication in some magazine.

Remember me with great kindness and esteem to Scarlett and Lushington. I long very much to see you, and I am, my dear Whishaw,

Your most obliged and grateful Friend,
J. Mackintosh.

1 Chardin, Sir John (1643-1713), a Parisian by birth, who settled in England. He travelled in Persia and wrote a valuable narrative of his discoveries. In 1681 he was knighted by Charles II.

From Dr. Holland
From Dr. Holland to Mr. Whishaw.
The Mediterranean, Aug. 12, 1812.

You see, my dear Sir, a very indefinite date for a letter, but the truth is I can give no other, as no land at present appears in sight from which to derive a name to the place where I now am writing. I may tell you, however, in the outset that I am on my passage between Gibraltar and Sicily, that the vessel on her voyage will stop a day or two at the capital of his Sardinian Majesty, and that I purpose to leave there for a conveyance to England. This, among other letters which the leisure of a voyage will enable me to write. I trust you will not consider this long delay in addressing you a breach of the promise I made when last I saw you in London. For the three months just elapsed I have been passing so rapidly from one object to another that though moments of leisure have now and then come in between, I have always been disposed to wait till the tide was completely gone by, more especially as the leisure was not always accompanied with secure means of transmitting the letter I might have written. There are two sides of some questions in Portugal as well as elsewhere, if one chooses to say a little on both, it is well to know that a letter gets into no other hands than those to which it is addressed. Having thus shortly explained to you my reasons for delay, I will mention a few of the circumstances which struck my attention while travelling through Portugal, such only, however, as I conceive may interest you from the connection with the great
contest we are at present carrying on in the Peninsula. My object, you probably know, in throwing myself so near a scene of warfare, was to see the practice of the military hospitals, from which I conceived that a great deal of practical advantage might be derived, and so in fact I have found it. Of these great establishments, I do not speak to you further than to say that they are in the highest degree creditable to the military system of the country. I have seen hospitals in England, Scotland, and Ireland, but none superior, or even equal, in their arrangement and interior economy, to some of those which I visited in Portugal; and I would particularly mention those at Santarem and Alicantes, as complete models of what such establishments ought to be, whether military or otherwise.

Of Portugal and the Portuguese at large what shall I say to you? Nature has created a fine country, and a soil teeming with riches; the progressive changes of national form and character have covered it with people, whom their own sufficiency and the courtesy of other nations have called civilised, but who are in truth still living in the Middle Ages, who want the energy to become great, and who, in their modes of society, their literature, and their arts, are unquestionably among the lowest in the scale of the communities of Europe. If I were called upon for an epithet, I should say that the Portuguese was a paltry character; his physiognomy is poor, with little expression but that of an ignorant self-sufficiency; his dress carries the same features with it, a slovenly tawdriness, without propriety or
From Dr. Holland
meaning; his conversation is insipid and ill-informed; he crouches equally under the oppression of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny; he is indolent in his habits both of body and of mind. I am aware of the caution that is necessary in speaking of national character, and especially when it is a stranger who speaks. I would request you, therefore, to consider the opinion just given as a very general one, and to make all the deductions from it that you think proper.

If Portugal survives the present contest she will come out of the furnace with many of her impurities done away. The monks are every day declining in number, wealth, and reputation, freedom of thought and speech are gradually extending, the aristocracy of birth is in some way giving way to that of merit, and the restoration of the military character to the nation may introduce some of those sterner virtues which nevertheless separated from their origin are virtues among a people.

Of the war in the Peninsula and its prospects I am at a loss how to speak to you, and it is not impossible that your judgments at home may on the whole be more accurate than the often partial ones which are formed on the spot. Even at this time you may have heard of the victory of Lord W. near Salamanca, and before you receive my letter will be acquainted with all the more immediate consequences of this event. They cannot fail to be very important at a time when the distant occupation of the French armies prevents any considerable reinforcement being given to those in Spain. From all the information I have been able to collect in Portugal, and more lately
in Gibraltar, I am induced to believe that before
Marmont’s defeat, the actual number of the French in Spain was about 120,000 men, of whom 30,000 continue with Soult in Andalusia. Reduced now to 100,000 men, supposing this statement to be correct, there is every reason to believe that they are insufficient to maintain their ground over the extent of the Peninsula. Diminution of numbers, in fact, is a threefold evil to them; since, beyond the immediate injury, it has the effect of facilitating the desertion of foreigners from their army, and of increasing the amount and activity of the guerilla force, which is composed of Germans, Poles, Swiss, and Italians, as well as of Spaniards and which has comparatively little efficiency against a numerous army broken, dispirited, and declining in numbers. Speaking of discretion, I can mention to you a fact on the best authority, that between the entrance of the French into Andalusia and the present time, upwards of 12,000 men from the armies, chiefly Germans, have fled into the garrison of Gibraltar. The perseverance of Soult in the south of Spain is wonderfully great, arising, it is said, from the positive orders of Napoleon, on no account to relinquish the siege of Cadiz. Every one admires his talents in meeting the numerous difficulties opposed to him, the necessity of maintaining the siege, the army of General Hill, the troops of Balisteros1 and the difficulty of provisioning his soldiers, this situation would now appear to be critical in the extreme; and I doubt not that before you receive this letter you will have heard of his

1 Commander of the Spanish forces.

From Dr. Holland
having withdrawn before Cadiz, a mortifying circumstance to the French, who have constructed works there on a vast scale, and have just attained the means of throwing their shells from distances of four miles into the very heart of the city. Even when at the mouth of the Guadiana, I listened with a sort of awe to the dull, heavy sound of their distant artillery, and near to the bay of Cadiz the report of their morning and evening bombardment became tremendous.

You will conjecture from what I say that I have hopes of the eventual success of the cause in the Peninsula. I certainly have so, and yet I can hardly persuade myself that the Spaniards deserve or that they will adequately avail themselves of the liberty which they seem not unlikely to obtain. I have not myself seen much of them, but every account I have obtained bears testimony to the general indifference they show as to the issues of the war, and speaks also of the strong dislike they frequently manifest to their English allies. I hope that recent events may make some change in this feeling, but it has certainly hitherto existed to a great extent. The Spanish regular armies are slowly recruited, badly officered, and deficient, it would seem, with the spirit and discipline of war. At Alicantes, in the centre of Portugal, I saw a brigade of their artillery which had come there without order, and for no other evident purpose than that of plundering the English commissariat stock. Balisteros is unquestionably one of the most active and independent of their generals. He has at present 12,000 troops with him in the
neighbourhood of Gibraltar, but judging from those I saw, they must be in a wretched state of equipment. The guerilla bands bear only a partial testimony in favour of the native exertion of the Spaniards. They are, as I have remarked before, variously composed, and not a small part of them by deserters from the French service rendered desperate by their circumstances. The importance of the guerilla warfare, however, cannot be too highly noted, and if Spain should finally obtain good generals, and men of enlarged public talents, they will probably be drawn from this source.

As regards our own part in this extraordinary war, if I were asked what circumstance I have thought of greatest importance in it, I should say, the amount of the property tax, and the life of Lord Wellington. Even knowing the total supernumerary expense of the Peninsular War to England, one cannot help being astonished and confounded by the magnitude of the items, as they strike the attention in passing through the country. The commissariat department, for instance, which carries provisions 2, 3, or even 400 miles, for an immense moving population of more than 50,000 people exclusive of the horses in our cavalry, and all the innumerable beasts of burden attached to the army. Nearly 1,000 boats, 10,000 mules, besides oxen and asses, are perpetually employed in that great service of transport. I do not exaggerate the fact in saying that the expenses of the muleteer establishment alone fall little short of £1,000,000 a year. If Mr. Vansittart1 can keep this

1 Chancellor of the Exchequer.

From Dr. Holland
up, well and good; I hope he can, for it is indispensable to the existence and activity of our armies in this country.
Mr. Perceval, in as far as we can understand the ground of dispute between him and the Marquess of Wellesley, seemed to have had his doubts on the subject. Then with respect to Lord Wellington, the best testimony to the superiority of his talent is the general impression that were anything untoward to befall him, all must be given up. He undoubtedly is one of the most extraordinary men we have had in these our later days of history, and with certain characteristics which admirably well fit him for his present exalted but difficult situation. One remarkable quality which distinguishes him is the singleness of his decisions, and the steady resolution with which he carries his decisions into effect. Not even his generals know until the moment of action what is to be done, A division or a regiment march a hundred miles, without being aware how other divisions or regiments are employed; they are astonished when, at a certain spot and time, the whole army is instantaneously assembled from different places and lines of march. Some generals, it is said, are offended by this perpetual reserve in their leader, but the confidence of the army at large is kept up, and every attempt at espionage rendered fruitless. This you will recognise as the feature of a great mind. Another striking fact in Lord Wellington’s military character (and on that I have myself had several opportunities of knowing) is his singularly minute attention to every department in the army. He knows more of his commissariat, of his army hospitals, of his waggon train, &c, than any
person even immediately connected with these several departments, and there is no transaction relating to any one of them which does not pass more or less directly through his hands. This gives a unity and a fitting in of parts which were before very little known to the British army. With these great qualities as a general, Lord Wellington is said to have the further one of a remarkably even temper, or at least to have a facility in assuming that tone of countenance and manner which suits with the occasions of the time. In short, whatever
Mr. Cobbett may say, there are features about the man’s character which entitle him to command, and that on a great scale. I fancy, from what I heard his friend Mr. Sydenham say (who is lately come to Portugal from Cadiz), that it is likely the Spanish Government will now entrust him with some administrative powers of a more enlarged kind.

With respect to our army as distinct from its general, it is a brave army, and a well-disciplined army, superior to the French in equipment, and in many points of military conduct. But I believe we pride ourselves too much in England on the idea that our soldiers are superior to the French in generosity of feeling, in refraining from plunder, and from the various outrages common to military campaigns. I would willingly believe, and I do believe, that our officers would not have permitted under any circumstances the dreadful work of barbarity and destruction which was not only permitted but incited and encouraged by the principal French officers during Massena’s retreat. But I imagine that the common soldier is much the same in all countries and ages of the world,
From Dr. Holland
The work of war has everywhere one object, and the lower agents in it, whatever their original national habits and feelings are in the progress of time, pretty much identified in character. That English soldiers in Portugal will plunder if they can, and that even young English officers can behave in the most uncourteous and brutal manner to the population of the country, I am reluctantly compelled to admit by the instances I have myself seen; but at the same time I will state it as most highly to the honour of
Lord Wellington, and the principal officers of the army that they assist themselves in every possible way to moderate and abridge these almost necessary evils. Lord Wellington’s efforts of this kind have been great beyond measure, risking in some degree even his popularity with the army. He has deserved and obtained the gratitude of the Portuguese nation, who, I believe, are all sensible to his endeavours on their behalf.

I wish that those among our countrymen who think little of the importance of Ireland were present for a short time with our army in the Peninsula. At the time I first came to the military hospitals in Portugal, they were filled with the wounded from Badajos, and I think I do not exaggerate the matter in saying that half the whole number were Irishmen. It is, indeed, probable that the proportion in the army at large may be somewhat less considerable, but even this is a demonstration what are the troops resorted to on the most trying and desperate occasions.

I had intended to say something to you about the state of the country in Portugal, but I have not left
myself room to do this. In a few words I may say that it is everywhere marked by the ravages of war. I have been at Santander, which for some months was the headquarters of Massena. It is a ruined city, I have followed the track of his army in various directions; the track is marked by deserted villages, by roofless houses, by the misery of the remaining inhabitants. I have seen the sepulchres of the Portuguese kings torn open by their hands and the bones scattered abroad. The deplorable poverty and wretchedness of the people on the frontiers is equally great. This district has so long been the scene of contest, of alternate advance and retreat, that everything in it is ruin and desolation. The difficulties of travelling through the country are very great, and I have now and then been subjected to grievances as great as any I recall to have experienced in Iceland.

An interval of a few days has expired in the midst of this letter which gives me the means of telling you that we are near Alicante, in Valencia. The day before yesterday I landed at a small village in Murcia, and amused myself by dancing fandango with the peasants, a noble race of people, open and generous in feature, strong in limb and nerve, who merit all the amount of contrast which Lord Byron draws between them and the Portuguese.

With respect to my future plans I can tell you little more than that I think of spending two months in rambling through Sicily. I once thought of Greece, but I believe I must give that up—non cuivis homini contingit adire corinthum. It is not improbable that this letter may reach London when
From Dr.Holland
you are absent from it, but for want of another I must necessarily use the direction to Lincoln’s Inn.

How much of extraordinary event has occurred among you since I left England, and how much is still on the tapis! I do hope all may end well but they are strange times in which we live.

Adieu, my dear Sir,
Ever believe me most truly yours,
Henry Holland.
From H. Warburton to Mr. Whishaw.
Woodbridge, Aug, 22, 1814.

My Dear W.,—You will be surprised at my date, and at hearing that I have not yet reached my aphilion, so much have I miscalculated my orbit. I am in the field twelve hours every day, and have met with no impediments in my journey; but flat enclosed country so conceals everything, that you want wings or the use of the divining rod to see deeper than other people. My researches began at St. Osyth, from which I have coasted as far northward as Orford; and have come inland from Harwich to this place. I am going to Aldborough, Dunwich, Lowestoft, and Yarmouth, thence to Norwich, and then I must read my letters to see whether I can complete my intended excursion to Hunstanton or not. The whole country I have traversed is very uniform in the appearance of its surface and in its geological character. Hillocks of sand or gravel resting on an irregular base of blue clay, similar to that of London or Southend, compose the whole of the Eastern maritime district. Except where sandhills form the coast, the sea is everywhere encroaching on these perishable materials, and where there is a cliff, the air is still more destructive to the blue clay, which is full of pyritous wood, than the water. The collecting the pyrites, that is washed out of the fallen clay for the use of the vitriol makers, affords a livelihood to some of the women and children that live on the coast. They sell it at the low price of 2d. a basket of about half a cubic foot capacity. The other
From Henry Warburton
product of this clay is the septarium, which is burnt to make Parker’s cement. The Ordnance have a very expensive apparatus with steam-engine for grinding it at Harwich. They send the cement thence to the different Government works in the kingdom. You may see the organic remains of this bed at the Society. On this coast I have not found the animals’ reliques numerous, though I believe I have obtained some that are new.

The most curious bed of this district is the gravel which covers the blue clay, and which is no other, I believe, as to the date and manner of its formation, than that which you disregard every day in Hyde Park. In some loamy varieties of this at Walton-le-Soken, I have collected some magnificent remains of the elephant, the elk, the hippopotamus, the buffalo, and the stag. You may judge that they are found pretty abundantly, by my obtaining in one day two teeth, one tusk of the elephant, three horns of the elk, one of the stag, one of the buffalo, and two jaws of the hippopotamus. Have the goodness not to talk about this to our geological friends at present, as I have set some little pensioners to work to collect for me what they may meet with, and by which I hope to make our cabinet at the G.S.1 more perfect. By the time that my present one is arranged, they will have probably found all that the beds of Walton yield, and may open the door to the public. I have found the same remains less perfect, and in fragments very numerous, in the gravel beds as far as my researches have extended north-

1 Geological Society.

ward; but after leaving Walton they are found mixed with the great beds of marine shells, which form another important feature in the gravel. These beds of shell, or crag, as they are called, extend over the whole maritime district north of Harwich, running several miles inland, and varying from ten to a hundred feet in thickness. The shells are mostly broken, and are mixed with a red ferruginous sand. Fragments of the septaria of the subjacent blue clay, are very common in this crag, and therefore iron is probably derived from the decomposed pyrites of the clay. The crag is very extensively used in this district.

I have seen the extract from the new corn report in the newspapers, and it is very true as there stated that the state of agriculture in this district is more improved than in any other part of England. This is evident to the most careless eye. It is not, however, equal to that of the south of Scotland—longo intervallo. The proximity of the London market by means of water carriage, and the lightness of the soil, rending labour more productive, are two principal reasons for this improvement. There is very little of the appearance of the splendid opulence of the manufacturing counties: and yet a great deal of good substantial comfort. It is not a little proof of wealth that I found myself most comfortably located in all the little public-houses in which I lodged along the coast. They have lowered the price of labour 6d. per diem in many parishes in Essex. The importations from the Dutch coast of corn, meat, and poultry have been very small, although with every facility for
From Henry Warburton
effecting them. Beef had been imported at Harwich for 6½d. the pound, and was said to be very good, but not to be well killed or clean in its appearance for the market. I did not expect to be so long engaged in this survey, but, having begun, am desirous of completing it. I fear I may have disappointed you in your hopes of a companion, whom you must secure another time before he undertakes a fortnight’s journey. I know how imprudent it is sometimes to have limited oneself to a day in these expeditions; I should have missed my elephants at Walton had I done so according to my first intention. It cost me two days to prepare the coffins for these mighty bones.

H. W.
From H. Warburton to Mr. Whishaw.
18, Cadogan Place,
Sept., 1814.

My dear W.,—I reached Norwich on Monday evening last, where I found your three letters, which I have not answered as I returned on Tuesday morning through Bury to town; I arrived at my den last night. You will be curious to follow me from Woodbridge. I went on an etymological scent to Cretingham, in search of the boundary of the chalk; which, however, I did not find, although I discovered its rubbish. I have told you of the blue clay and the crag pit and the elephant beds which I traced in the southern part of my excursion. These were continued without much variation, with some interrup-
tions to Yarmouth. At Southwold I found an elephant grinder; and understood that after the fall of the cliff, bones were numerous. Many of the shells of the crag pit north of Aldborough retain not only their nacre, but also their colour. But to return to my chalk rubbish. From Cretingham to Aldborough, thence to Yarmouth, all over the country south of Norwich, and thence as far south in the interior as Braintree, in Essex, the surface is covered by the rubbish of chalk, some of the organic remains of the beds immediately below the chalk being also intermixed. This rubbish about Lowestoft is nearly 100 feet thick. There is a doctrine, you know, that maintains that the earth was made like an onion, with numbers of beds lying contiguous one over the other. Their continuity has been since broken, and the lower beds have thus been disclosed. Without going to this length, it is pretty clear that these beds were once much more extensive than they are at present, and I have found the rubbish of one of them. I thought on looking at the rubbish that covers the hills in Cambridgeshire, that there had been a torrent from the west, and I am inclined from what I have seen in my last tour the more to believe it, as that is the direction in which the chalk is defective.

On a lower level, at a more remote period, and in the bed, or nearly so, to which the elephant’s bones belong, I have found, mixed with chalk, numerous fragments and boulders of primitive beds, some two feet in diameter. This about Lowestoft. In what direction these and the bones have come I cannot venture to conjecture.

From H. Warburton

So much for Geology: for fear of missing what was curious, as no one could give me any information concerning the country I have traversed, I have been much longer about it than would otherwise have been necessary.

My praise of the agriculture of these counties ought to end with Woodbridge. Thence to Yarmouth I saw very little to admire, and much to blame. The neighbourhood of the little corporate towns seems to be always inferior to the rest of the country. The owners of the boroughs have, I suppose, more interest in the prevention than in the encouragement of wealth and population. Dunwich may vie with Old Sarum. In spite of its two members it scarcely yielded me a dinner of eggs and bacon. The number of voters is reduced to 24; a few moss-grown houses, instead of more than a hundred which it formerly contained. The sea has done much in the work of destruction, which the patrons have never wished to repair. At Yarmouth I recovered, in sight of that magnificent opulence which I had begun to forget: more visible in the suburbs than in the town, but in the town very wonderful. There are more than 250 sail of shipping in the roads, the wants of which alone would make a town. I was glad to find at Acle and at Norwich so much complaint against the steamboat, it was likely to ruin the coach trade.

For England there is a moderate appearance of wealth at Norwich. I should conceive that accident had placed the woollen trade there, and that the superior activity and power of the coal districts is causing it to decay. The Flemish refugees, you
know, brought it there. I was rather surprised at the silence and little appearance of bustle in so great a town. It is very possible that there may be somewhat less of a disposition to spend in display their wealth among these Anglo-Belgians. I understood that the woollen trade had improved here since the peace. Send
Malthus to Long Melford and Sudbury when he praises an agricultural population; except a little straw plaiting, the wants of the surrounding farmers seem alone to maintain these towns. I hardly believed that there existed such, on so great a scale so near London.

I shall call and see you to-morrow.

H. W.
From J. L. Mallet
From Mr. J. L. Mallet to Mr. Whishaw.
Sloane Street, Jan. 28, 1815.

My dear Sir,—I return you Lord Holland’s letter1 with many thanks for its perusal. It is with great diffidence that one ventures to differ from so good an observer and so superior a man, but I think that the bias given to his opinions by party politics is very discernible. An impartial reader would certainly conclude upon weighing Napoleon in Lord Holland’s scales, that his fall is upon the whole a loss to Europe, or at least to the countries he governed. From this conclusion I must differ.

Bonaparte’s career towards absolute despotism and corrupt government was progressive, and had made rapid strides within the last five years. The people who admired him most in France acknowledge this. Lord H.’s observations might apply with propriety to the first part of his reign, when even greater credit might be given him under one head of deserved eulogium passed in silence by his lordship; namely, his having arrested the oscillations of the French Revolution, and restored France to the benefits of a stable and regular administration. But if one is to judge of the future state of France by the experience of the last years, it was far from holding out cheering expectations to the friends of good government. A system of personal devotion to the Emperor, as unprincipled in its nature as it would have proved fateful in its consequences, was rapidly gaining ground, and was encouraged by every species

1 There is no trace of this letter in Mr. Whishaw’s papers.

of favour. Hence the discarding of such men as
Talleyrand, who were not mere tools, and the influence and authority of such a man as Count de Molé,1 whose counsels were considered as having greatly contributed to Bonaparte’s fall.

Every branch of administration felt every day more and more the effects of this system. How are we to explain otherwise the apathy of the French in the invasion of their territory?

Louis XIV. and Charles XII. were born in the lap of power, whereas Bonaparte selected his own course. To say that he was not so bad as Nero, and better than Charles XII., is really leaving the mind quite wide of the question.

Lord Holland takes no notice of Bonaparte’s antipathy to commerce, and that great feature of his government, the prohibitory system, and the means by which it was enforced. His want of good faith in financial operation, his over-reaching maxims, were totally destructive of public credit.

Whatever good effects the Revolution might have produced with regard to education and intellectual advancement, it appears to me that the system of military education universally enforced within the last ten years was to have tended materially to check them. The sameness of the education, and the narrow policy of the Government with regard to the liberty of the Press, must have had in the course of time the worst moral and intellectual effects.

1 Born 1780; died 1836. Author of “Essais de Morale et Politique,” which attracted Napoleon’s notice; in 1813 was Minister of Justice; 1836, Prime Minister of Louis Philippe.

From J. L. Mallet

It is no great praise of any Government in France that it allowed liberty of speech. The French have always enjoyed it more or less; and the influence of liberty of speech in checking despotism and erroneous policy is not to be compared to the influence of the Press.

Lord Holland does not stoop to inquire what would have been the consequences of the consolidation under one despotic power of the immense conquests of Bonaparte, and of the assimilation of laws, institutions, and commercial and military policy in so large an extent of country. The probable consequences of such a state of things appears to me almost to decide the question. Who would not rather have lived under any of the Governments of Europe during the last century than under the best of the Roman Emperors?

I was a little surprised at the repeated mention by Lord Holland in a manner rather unqualified of the gratification of national glory, as one of the advantages of Bonaparte’s government. Too much stress is also laid upon public works, in a country where there are no cross-roads or canals.

Believe me ever yours,
J. L. Mallet.
From Francis Horner to Mr. Whishaw.
Pisa, Dec. 24, 1816.

My dear Whishaw,—Your writing to me was an act of great kindness, for your letter gave me much gratification.

Thank you for your attention in sending me the books you mention; our correspondent at Leghorn has received notice of some packages for us, which I hope contain those you selected. I am impatient to read Mackintosh’s article1: the subject was full of topics for him, and must have given scope for his fine discrimination in the philosophy of morals and politics, as well as recalled him upon an old subject to his former copiousness of eloquence, which in his late writings he has perhaps too much restricted.

I brought Mr. Stewart’s dissertation with me, and have sent it to M. Sismondi at Peschia. Tell me something about Dumont’s2 new works, for I suppose I have no chance of seeing them till I get back to England.

1 Article in the Edinburgh Review for September 16th, on Dugald Stewart’sDissertation on the Progress of Philosophy and the Revival of Letters,” published 1815.

2 Etienne Dumont, author of “Souvenirs sur Mirabeau.” In 1816 he published “Tactique des Assemblies Legislatives et des Sophismes” of Jeremy Bentham. “Dumont was much more than an editor or populariser; he placed other gifts at Bentham’s disposal besides a clear style and a turn for happy illustration. Out of the chaos of manuscript confided to him ... he composed a lucid narrative. Above Dumont’s literary gifts, though great, was his enthusiasm for Bentham, who was to him a law ... his approval of his teaching was expressed in the saying, ‘C’est convainquant, c’est la verite, meme, c’est presque “Benthamique.”’” (“Dictionary of National Biography,” Jeremy Bentham.)

From Francis Horner

I must trouble you with some messages to my friends, for I have not permission to write as many letters as I should like to do. Let Hallam know, when you see him, that I received his letter; I heard of Elmsley1 being at Florence when I first came here, and I begged Lord Carnarvon, who was going there, to inquire for him, but he could hear no tidings of him. He is probably gone to Rome, where I hope he will go to work in the Vatican. The Prussian Minister, Niebuhr, son of the traveller, has betaken himself to that most innocent branch of the diplomatic art, the exploring of ancient manuscripts, and he is said to have met with some encouragement to proceed in his search by the discovery of some fragments of the Orations of Cicero. That is not what one would have wished for first. It is said that no complete catalogue has ever been made of the MSS. in the Vatican; in other words, that they have never been all examined. Give my very kind remembrances both to Malthus and to Mackintosh, of whom I never think but with great regard and attachment.

For the last week I have kept the house on account of the coldness of the weather; I have, however, been rather better during this time than I have felt since I came here.

Yours, my dear Whishaw, Ever affectionately,
Fra. Horner.

1 Rev. Peter Elmsley (1773-1825), classical scholar, wrote for Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews. In 1823 he was made Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, Oxford, and Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University.

From Rev. Sydney Smith.
Sedegley, Jan. 7, 1818.

My dear Whishaw,—We have been at Philips’ for about a fortnight. The company who come here are chiefly Philippical, as there is an immense colony of that name in these parts. They seem all good-natured worthy people, and many of them in the Whig line. In these days, too, every lady reads a little, and there is more variety and information in every class than there was fifty years ago. About the year 1740, a manufacturer of long ells or twilled fustians must have been rather a coarse-grained fellow. It is not among gentlemen of that description I would at present look for all that is delightful in manner and conversation, but they certainly run “finer” than they did, and are (to use their own phrase) a superior article.

The acquittal of Hone gave me sincere pleasure, because I believe it proceeded in some measure from the horror and disgust which excessive punishment for libel have excited, and if jurymen take this way of expressing their disgust, judges will be more moderate. It is a rebuke, also, upon the very offensive and scandalous zeal of Lord Ellenborough, and it teaches juries their strength and importance. In short, Church and King in moderation are very good things, but we have too much of both. I presume by this time your grief at the death of the Princess1 is somewhat abated. Death in the midst of youth is always melancholy, but I cannot think it of the smallest political importance. I dread a popular

1 Princess Charlotte.

From Sydney Smith
King, because they are always popular from some low and pernicious art, and anything which weakens the power of the crown, seems to be a good.

I am very glad the Hollands have sent Henry from home; he is a very unusual boy, and he wanted to be exposed a little more to the open air of the world.

Poor Mackintosh,1 I am heartily sorry for him, but his situation at Hertford will suit very well (pelting and contusions always excepted.) He should stipulate for pebble money, as it is there technically called, or an annual pension in case he is disabled by the pelting of the students!2

By the bye, might it not be advisable for the professors to learn the use of the sling (Balearis habena)? It would give them a great advantage over the students.

We are all perfectly well, with the usual January exceptions of colds, sore throats, rheumatism, and hoarseness.

I shall be in town in March and make some stay, but pray write to me before if you have any leisure.

Ever your sincere friend,
Sydney Smith.

1 Mackintosh was Professor of “General Polity and the Laws of England” in the European department of the East India College, Haileybury, from 1818 to 1824. He used to come down for his lectures on two days a week, and he occupied temporary rooms in the passage where Professor Johnson also had rooms close at hand. Here he often rehearsed his speeches for the House of Commons, and on one occasion after a splendid peroration, Johnson heard him finish with the comment, “The hon. gentleman resumed his seat amid loud cheers from all parts of the House.” (“Memorials of Old Haileybury College,” pp. 203-4.)

2 The College had been celebrated for its “rows” and disorder.

From Rev. Sydney Smith to Mr. Whishaw.
Foston, York, April 13, 1818.

My dear Whishaw,—I am very much obliged to you for your kind offer, I have, however, made numerous inquiries and believe I am tolerably well instructed in the ways of Westminster. If any of your friends have a son at Westminster who is a boy of conduct and parts, I should be much obliged to you to recommend Douglas to his protection. He has never been at school, and the change is greater, perhaps, than any other he will experience in his future life.

I entirely agree with you as to Brougham’s crusade in Westmoreland. I believe he was very much piqued by Lord Lonsdale when the Whigs were in power, and his hatreds are not among the least durable of his feelings.

My astonishment was very great at reading Canning’s challenge to the anonymous pamphleteer. If it were the first proof of this kind it would be sufficient to create a general distrust of his sense, prudence, and capacity for action. What sympathy can a wit by profession, a provoker and discoverer of men’s weaknesses, expect for his literary woes?

What does a politician know of his trade whom twenty years has not made pamphlet-proof? In short, such an act of absurdity and madness I have never witnessed in my time. It far exceeds the fondest wishes of Job upon the subject of writing. I cannot form a guess who has written a pamphlet that could provoke Canning to such a reply. I should scarcely
From Sydney Smith
suppose any producible person, but I have not read it, and am therefore talking at random.1

1 This pamphlet was printed in 1818, and was suppressed the day after publication. It was entitled, “A Letter to the Right Hon. George Canning.” It contained the most violent abuse of one of his speeches and denounced the utterer of it with the most furious invectives. When Canning read it, he wrote the following letter to the anonymous author, through the medium of the publisher:—

Gloucester Lodge, April 10 [1818].

Sir,—I received early in the last week, the copy of your pamphlet, which you (I take for granted) had the attention to send to me.

Soon after, I was informed, on the authority of your publisher, that you had withdrawn the whole impression from him, with the view (as was supposed) of suppressing the publication. I since learn, however, that the pamphlet, though not sold, is circulated under blank covers. I learn this from (among others) the gentleman to whom the pamphlet has been industriously attributed [Sir Philip Francis], but who has voluntarily and absolutely denied to me that he has any knowledge of it, or of its author.

To you, sir, whoever you may be, I address myself thus directly, for the purpose of expressing to you my opinion, that you are a liar and a slanderer, and want courage only to be an assassin.

I have only to add, that no man knows of my writing to you; that I shall maintain the same reserve so long as I have any expectation of hearing from you in your own name; and that I shall not give up that expectation till to-morrow (Saturday) night.

The same address which brought me your pamphlet will bring any better safe to my hands. I am, Sir, Your humble servant,

For the author of “A Letter to the Right Hon. George Canning.”

(Mr. Ridgway is requested to forward this letter to its destination)

Of course no answer was returned. This pamphlet was generally ascribed to Mr. Hobhouse, and in 1820 Canning on a suppositious ground of injury, heaped scorn upon scorn on “the Honourable Baronet, Sir Francis Burdett and his man,” and said that “in six months the demagogue admitted to this Assembly finds his level and shrinks to his proper dimensions” (“Life of George Canning,” by R. Bell, pp. 275-6).


If the Hollands keep Ampthill I should doubt if they will be any richer for their legacy. The temptation I admit to be great, but they ought to resist it.

Our excellent friend Philips appears to be somewhat hasty upon the subject of the spy in the chaise drawn by the warriors, but his conduct was very manly and respectable in advocating the cause of the Democrats, who, by their knavery and folly, are very contemptible, but are not therefore to be abandoned to their oppressors.1

I have been fighting up against agricultural difficulties, and endeavouring to do well what I am compelled to do, but I believe the first receipt to farm well is to be rich. Soon after May 12th I hope to see you, and shall be happy to converse with you on the subject of our poor friend’s2 papers, though the general leaning of my mind is to leave his name where it now stands upon its political base.

Of Hallam’s labour and accuracy I have no doubt, but he has less modesty than any man I ever saw, and with talents of no very high description is very apt to attempt things much above his strength, and is wholly without any measure of himself. I like and respect Hallam as much as you do; his success will surprise me but please me very much. This opinion I write in confidence. I remain, my dear Whishaw,

Ever most truly yours,
Sydney Smith.

1 On March 5, 1818, George Philips had brought forward a motion for enquiry into the conduct of spies and informers, and a long debate ensued. It was defeated by 69 votes to 62. Mr. Philips had previously stated that a spy of the name of Dewhurst had been carried to General Byng in that officer’s carriage, but he now acknowledged that the statement was incorrect.

2 Francis Horner.

From Lady Mackintosh
From Lady Mackintosh to Mr. Whishaw.
No date.

Dear Mr. Whishaw,— * * * I was very glad to find by the papers last night that all was quiet at Constantinople four days after the account of the battle of Navarino had arrived there. Is it possible that Lord Grey means to head the opposition against his old friends, and that they are to make their first attack on the ground of this battle? I can’t think it possible. How I should have liked Lord Lansdowne to have been in Lord Goderich’s place.1 How came that not to be? When, months before Canning was Prime Minister, Lord L. was talked of for that place, though Lord G. never, though no doubt a very able man. If that friend had been in his place I should have confidently looked for the salvation of Ireland, which I verily believe is necessary to the stability of England. But there is surely some fatality attending that unhappy country, and every measure in regard to it. Can Lord Anglesey be thought a good Governor for it in its diseased and wretched state? Is he not a man, from the irregularity of his passions and his stern temper, likely enough to introduce triangles and tortures and all the etceteras of that iniquitous Government which we were obliged to cover with a Bill of Indemnity? What I have most interesting at this moment to tell you, I have kept to the last, because I should not have been able to have written on any subject afterwards.

1 Lord Goderich resigned on January 9, 1828, owing to differences with his colleagues as to Admiral Codrington’s action at Navarino. He was succeeded by the Duke of Wellington.

We had last night from my
sister1 the melancholy intelligence of poor M. de Staël’s2 death; she and M. Sismondi are quite overwhelmed with grief, and never was any loss so mourned. His gentleness and kindness of disposition and temper, his upright views and generous feelings on public questions, formed altogether a most endearing character. His unhappy wife is near her confinement. As she had the greatest admiration of her excellent husband, her affliction and that of the Duke and Duchess of Broglie will be very great.

I wish you would have the kindness to send this sad account to Mr. Brougham from me. I am sure he will feel for him, who admired England so much. You will direct your next to Ampthill, from whence it will be forwarded to me.

Ever most sincerely yours,
C. M.

1 Madame Sismondi. 2 Son of Madame de Staël.

From Hallam
From Mr. Hallam to Mr. Whishaw.
Rome, April 28, 1828.

My dear Whishaw,—Murray’s apologies would be more satisfactory if I could reconcile them with the rest of his behaviour. But he has not written to me, though he evidently told you that he would do so; and under all the circumstances this is really an unparalleled neglect. Were it a mere matter of business as to the publication of the octavo edition and the sale of the present, I might expect to be consulted by my publisher; much more by a person who professes to value my acquaintance, after what he admits himself, gives me a strong prima facie ground of complaint against him. I am also much dissatisfied at the delay in printing the second edition. It was commenced as early as last April; and Taylor had the whole corrected copy in his hands before I left England in August. It is plain that Murray must purposely have checked him. Pray do not give yourself so much trouble about my affairs as to correct the proofs; this ought not to be required if the printer is tolerably careful; and I shall arrive in England in time, I hope, to put forth the edition early in the summer. What you tell me of M.’s subjection to Lockhart had occurred to me, and is probably in great part true; though I can hardly think he can have lost the power of remonstrance in such a case as the present. This is like what sometimes happens in the management of private property, a weak man employs a very cunning one, and ends by being in the power of his own agent. Murray took Lockhart just as you
would take your servant, though probably with a worse character; it was one of his very silly speculations, and he expected wonders from the support of
Scott. I believe, however, that the Review is declining, and such articles as Southey’s will not restore it. I shall certainly (unless my friends in England advise the contrary) limit myself to a few pages prefixed to the second edition. From some expressions of yours, I judge that others as well as the Quarterly reviewers take exception to some of my opinions. These, I presume, are almost entirely ecclesiastical objections, for I think real Tory doctrines do not at all prevail among the laity. I have not the slightest alarm about my ultimate success. The slow sale I attribute chiefly to the high price, which was owing to Murray, and to the general expectation that an octavo edition would be published. I had calculated that by far the greater part of the quarto edition of my former work must be in private libraries, and that the owners would wish to add the present in the same form, but probably the book clubs had taken a larger proportion than I had supposed.

Guizot, I am told, is translating the whole work with notes, which I hold no slight honour. I am also reviewed in a new journal, La Revue Universelle, so that I really have much more honour out of my country than in it. I am sorry for Macaulay’s inability to finish his critique, which would better have fallen to Empson.

Nothing could give me more unexpected pleasure than the repeal of the Test Act, chiefly as it most essentially affects the Catholic question. I believe
From Hallam
some of the bishops, &c., fancy they shall now have a stronger support of the dissenters on that point; but it is evident that the Houses see it differently. They are aristocratic assemblies, and have always had a greater dislike, if not a greater jealousy, of the dissenters than of the others.

I am, in somewhat a less degree, but still very much delighted with the Manchester Bill.1 This House of Commons is really an excellent one. I fear, however, that the present Cabinet will be as little able to master the Tories in one House as the Whigs in another. This is, I expect, the opening of a new era in our Constitution, and of such a collision between the aristocratic and popular parties as has hitherto been prevented by the strength of Government. A strong Government we neither have nor shall again see—at least, unless more commanding talents should appear than seem to be producible at present. The Corn Law is, on the other hand, a complete triumph of the aristocracy, and makes Huskisson pass sub jugo.

Foreign affairs are, as you say, immensely embarrassing; but I cannot blame Canning about Portugal.2 On the other hand, the present men, by giving way to Miguel’s usurpation, have exchanged an ancient ally

1 The Manchester Bill, 1828, was for transferring from the borough of Penryn in Cornwall to the town of Manchester the right of returning two members to Parliament. Under the auspices of Lord John Russell it passed through the Commons, but was negatived without a division in the Lords on June 20, 1828.

2 In 1824 the King of Portugal had applied to England for assistance. Canning was unwilling to send troops to Lisbon, but thought a squadron might be sent to the Tagus; by this means he frustrated the coup d’état planned by Don Miguel, the son of the Queen of Spain.

for an interested enemy, and lowered the dignity of Britain all over Europe. Perhaps they could have done nothing, which I own seems rather a military question; for if we were strong enough, I really think we should have been warranted in seizing the persons of Miguel and his mother; and yet I am much for the law of nations, and did not like the Greek treaty, as I have told you before. As it is we must not dream of interfering against Russia. Perhaps the duty of her possessing Constantinople has been overrated, as dangers from abroad usually are. Her Empire is already unwieldy, and if a younger branch should reign in Turkey, as will probably be preferred, it may not in the long run be injurious to the rest of Europe. At all events we cannot prevent it without exciting a war that may be almost as long as the last.

Yours most truly,
From Mr. Hallam to Mr. Whishaw.
Munich, June 2, 1828.

My dear Whishaw,—I was not without hopes of finding a letter here from you, but you have really been so very kind in writing frequently and fully that I shall have felt almost ashamed of the trouble I caused you.

I received one at Florence, and thank you for the information it contained. English politics seem to be in a strange state, and this resignation of Huskisson, of which the newspapers have been so full, must totally unsettle the hopes of the Government. I
From Hallam
expect to find a good deal of depression as to the prospects of the country, which, in truth, are far from encouraging, though our stockholders seem to act as if they thought the contrary; yet I cannot help hoping that the Catholic question is in a more favourable wind than it has hitherto been. It seems evidently impossible to form a Cabinet possessing general confidence, or with any tolerable union among its Ministers, until this important point is settled. Whatever might have been done by the established influence of
Lord Liverpool, no other man will hold together a set of persons pledged to the most opposite opinions on a subject perpetually varying, and a merely anti-Catholic Ministry could not probably exist long. Except those already on the stage, there are no men of the least eminence to take up that side. Meanwhile, the delay is so mischievous that, when at length the concession is made, it will perhaps do far less good than its advocates anticipated, and certainly will not prevent now, whatever it might have done at the Union, a struggle against the preponderance of the Irish Church. I fear, indeed, that the original wrong of that establishment against the wishes and wants of the people, like West Indian slavery, cannot be atoned by any reparation that we know how to make. Though in both instances, I am too timid a politician not to acquiesce in the convenient maxim, Fieri non debuit, factum valet. As to the repeal of the Test, it is only good if it tends to the relief of the Catholics, as I think it must; for if the latter perceive that they alone are prohibited as an odious class, while the abstract principle of Church
ascendancy is given up, it can only exasperate them to fury, and turn the question still more into a theological one than it has most absurdly been made at present.

Very truly yours,
From Lady Mackintosh
From Lady Mackintosh to Mr. Whishaw.
Chene, Nov. 12, 1829.

Dear Mr. Whishaw,—You were the only English person I sought in Paris, and I was sorry not to find you. I looked out for you in the sunny part of the garden of the Thuilleries which they call “Provence,” as the only place in which I had any hopes of meeting you. I lodged latterly at a hotel facing the gardens of the Luxemburg, where there was no chance of finding you. Yesterday we dined and talked much of you with your friend Madame Achard. I was glad to see the interior of a Swiss family en famille, for days of state are the same, or nearly so, in every country and house, and I was pleased to see a pretty little girl placed in a vacant seat at the bottom of the table, break a glass with the best grace imaginable without having her nerves in the least way affected by the accident, as it was a proof how tenderly she had been brought up.

I saw no person of any consequence in Paris but the celebrated Abbé Grégoire,1 who in his 84th year is a most remarkable person, and seems as if he were waiting for another Revolution. Whatever he really was in the last, he seems now to be purified into an

1 Bishop of Blois, b. 1750, d. 1831. Was among the first of the clergy to swear fidelity to the Constitution. He distinguished himself in the Constituent Assembly by the boldness of his opinions regarding both civil and religious liberty. During the Reign of Terror he stood forward as the supporter of religion. He opposed the accession of Napoleon. On the restoration of the Bourbons he was excluded from the Institute and deprived of his bishopric. He was the author of many historical and political essays.

excellent man. But the occasion of my renewed acquaintance with him was not on account of his talents or virtue, but of that of an intemperate sally of mine towards him when we visited Paris during the Peace of Amiens, which he might well have taken for a singular impertinence in such a one as myself. He seemed to have forgotten my offence, but I never have, through all the years that have succeeded it, and I have been as much gratified by his forgiveness as by his conversation.

The Marquis de Lafayette was coming to call on me the day I changed my lodgings from the Hôtel Britannique to that of the Luxemburg, owing to which I am afraid I lost seeing him. He is infinitely more talked of, and I believe more thought of, than Charles X. or any of his family. They might still be at Hartwell for any sensation that their presence at Paris occasions. The very people that crowd the Gardens of the Thuilleries seem not to know whether they are there or not, till they look up to see if the white flag is waving.

From the appearance of the ill-looking men, of by no means the lower sort, which gather in knots all over the gardens and galleries of the Palais Royal, calling for and seeming to devour with intense interest the Opposition papers, one might augur anything but a peaceful parliamentary session in Paris, and some pains are said to be taken on the pretence of the Hall of Chamber of Deputies wanting repairs to prevent its meeting at all; at any rate, I think your session of Parliament is likely to be more quiet. Since the Times has absconded from the popular and generous
From Lady Mackintosh
side in foreign politics, it is in vain to think of its being upheld to any purpose in or out of Parliament. You may easily imagine how the conduct of the English Government is reprobated here and generally through the Continent. Nothing is more worthy, certainly, of astonishment than its conduct for the last two years, without it is that of the Russian Emperor’s moderation. But it is too early perhaps to write of these matters, some lovers of liberty and the human race may yet get up in both your Houses of Parliament, if it meets soon enough, to advocate these sound causes, and prevent the countries which have just been emancipated from being thrown back into the hands of the cruel and treacherous Mahomed, whom the Times is pleased to designate as unfortunate only.

At this distance from London I was rejoiced to see announced and praised the pamphlet of Mr. Gally Knight,1 which the Times so unwillingly praises, the quotations from which is the only part of it I have yet seen.

It is a great pity that some of our distinguished young Englishmen were not here this autumn to make a conquest of a Mademoiselle Klustine, a young Russian lady of high rank and great fortune and still more remarkable accomplishments, whose conversation bewitched all the learned professors here.

You have heard, of course, of the noble offer of M. Eynard, on the refusal of the French of the Greek

1 Henry Gally Knight, a country gentleman of great wealth and still remembered for his works on architecture, published a letter to Lord Aberdeen on his foreign policy. His “Oriental Tales” exposed him to the satiric strokes of Byron.

loan, to advance the whole of the money himself, if the French Government would allow him the means of transporting it. How such an instance of generosity makes one long to be rich!

Did you observe the remarkable advertisement in the French papers, about a month ago, as coming from a person who was the next heir to a great personage; which was said at Paris to be from a daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Orleans who was exchanged immediately after her birth for a male child, the present Duke? I was much struck by it, as it seemed a facsimile of the story current about the Duke of Devonshire.

I heard since I came here an anecdote about our lamented friend Dumont which gave me great consolation on his account, and is calculated to give pleasure to all who tenderly regret him, as we and so many others do. When he made his will, three years ago, he began it by thanking the Almighty for his long and happy life, which had been alternately cheered by the delights of study and by constant intercourse with so many beloved friends. Tell Miss Fox of this, with kind remembrance at little Holland House.

Our best wishes attend you.
Ever yours,
From J. L. Mallet
From Mr. J. L. Mallet to Mr. Whishaw.
Malvern, Sept. 8, 1831.

My dear Whishaw,—The Times has taken up some clauses of the Reform Bill, the division of counties, and the giving votes to the tenants-at-will who occupy land or houses of the value at least £50 a year, with an extraordinary degree of violence, and has done its best to damage the whole measure in public opinion. I do not know a more capricious and unprincipled paper. The Bill, however, proceeds, and will get through the Commons in the early part of the ensuing week, and the quiet manner in which it has gone through the Commons (at least this session) is mainly due to Lord Althorp’s admirable temper and quiet good sense. He received last week a most flattering tribute of respect as to the conciliatory manner in which he had conducted the discussions from Peel and Wynne and several other members.

I am not sure that Brougham’s transference to the other House, notwithstanding his superiority and great talents, has been advantageous on the whole: and I am afraid that his sarcastic manner and Lord Grey’s irritable disposition will prove very formidable circumstances in the Lords: irritate the Opposition, and irritate the public against the Peers. Not a word calculated to excite angry feelings has escaped Lord Althorp.

You will see the list of the Commissioners who are to report on the division of counties, and on the districts to be allotted to boroughs. Abercromby is at
the head;
Gilbert,1 Littleton,2 and, very odd to say, Hallam are three of the principal persons; John Romilly, young Ord, Bellenden Ker, young Drinkwater,3 are among the members: I do not know, but it appears to me that Bentham’s laboratory and the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge have furnished no inconsiderable quota.

Speaking of Bentham, there was a letter from him in the Courier newspaper some days ago animadverting on a criticism in the Spectator on Bowring’s4 report on French finances. I had suggested to Huskisson, when he was Secretary of State, some enquiry on this subject, and it appears from Bentham’s letter that he followed it up, and that when at Paris he had endeavoured to get some information as to French accounts. But, says Bentham, “Huskisson was all stiffness, haughtiness, coldness, and repulsive, and did not succeed. Bowring is all attractive.”

There is a pamphlet of Senior’s on the subject of Irish affairs, particularly with reference to the Poor Laws, which I have not seen, but which has been

1 Davies Gilbert, M.P., of Cornwall.

2 First Lord Hatherton.

3 J. E. Drinkwater Bethune, well-known counsel to the Home Office and member of the Supreme Council.

4 Sir John Bowring (1792-1872), an intimate friend of Bentham. In 1828 was appointed Commissioner for reforming the system of keeping public accounts. His appointment was cancelled by the Duke of Wellington. In 1831 was associated with Sir H. Parnell in the duty of examining and reporting on the public accounts of France, and appointed Secretary of the Commission for inspecting the accounts of the United Kingdom. This Commission was the foundation of all the improvements since made. (“Dic. Nat. Biography.”)

From J. L. Mallet
a good deal read and animadverted on in the
Times and Chronicle, both of which papers will hear of nothing but Poor Laws. Senior has severely criticised Dr. Doyle’s evidence and publications, which are chiefly remarkable for eloquent declamations and mistaken philanthropy; and no doubt the Doctor will reply and lay it on the economists. The most unexpected part of Senior’s panacea for Ireland is the decapitation of the Irish Church and the transferring of the revenues of five or six sees to the support of the Catholic clergy. This coming from Oxford has made people stare; and Stanley took an early opportunity of protesting in the House against the appropriation of any of the revenues of the Church to any save Church purposes.1

I am always truly yours,

1 This refers to Senior’sLetter to Lord Howick on a legal provision for the Irish poor, commutation of Tithes and a provision for the Irish R.C. Clergy.” In it he suggests that eighteen out of twenty-two existing sees should be suppressed. Dr. Doyle was the R.C. Bishop of Kildare who wrote under the initials J. K. L., in support of a legal provision for the poor.

From Rev. Sydney Smith to Mr. Whishaw:
Combe Flory, Aug. 26, 1840.

My dear Whishaw,—I read the death of the Bishop of Chichester1 with sincere regret; a thoroughly good and amiable man, and as liberal as a bishop is permitted to be. I am much obliged to you for mentioning those circumstances which marked his latter end, and made the spectacle less appalling to those who witnessed it.

Modest Milnes2 has been here, and left a deep impression of his diffidence on us all; to him succeeded our friend Mrs. Grote, who is now here and very agreeable.

I send you by this post my letter to the Bishop of London. It will not escape you that the “King of Clubs” was long in a state of spiritual destitution, as were the Edinburgh reviewers—all except me.

Mrs. Sydney is much better than she was this time last year. The ventilation she got at Brighton still continues to minister to her health.

I am scarcely ever free from gout, and am still more afflicted with asthma, but keep up my spirits and laugh a good deal. I am truly glad to hear such good accounts of your health, and

Remain, dear Whishaw,
Ever sincerely and affectionately yours,

1 Bishop Otter. 2R. Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton).