LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
Francis Horner to John Whishaw, 24 December 1816

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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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.