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The “Pope” of Holland House
Lady Catherine Mackintosh to John Whishaw, 12 November 1829

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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
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,
C. M.