LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 10 November 1815

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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Produced by CATH
Nov. 10.

I was interrupted the night before last, and could not resume my pen yesterday. I am now writing at a very early hour and hope to finish before breakfast. Before I go again into politics I must tell you that I
The Peace
dined yesterday with
Warburton,1 and had a very agreeable day with him and Howard. He spoke with great praise of Easton Grey, but was very severe on your neighbours and on provincial society in general. A stranger hearing him would have supposed that he was a great admirer of the polished conversation of the Metropolis, the only difference being that he extremely dislikes the one society and entirely neglects the other. We talked a little about politics, but both he and Howard (especially the latter) seemed to fall considerably short of the proper degree of indignation against the conduct of the Allies, which is felt by yourself, Abercromby, Benyon, Horner, the Hollands, and I think also by Lord Lansdowne. The Treaty of Peace, as it is called, is said to have been signed and will arrive in London early next week. I am afraid that it will be very popular. The sentiments of many real friends of liberty are unfortunately much warped by their hatred of Buonaparte and the French nation. Of this I have observed several melancholy specimens.

Of the travellers lately returned from the Continent,

1 Henry Warburton (1784?-1858), friend of Dr. Wollaston and Ricardo, supported Brougham in founding the London University, was member of its first council in 1827. In 1826 was returned for Bridport, and made his first speech on November 30th, on foreign goods. Was re-elected in every election till 1841, when he resigned his seat on the ground that a petition would have proved gross bribery against his colleague, in which his own agent would have been implicated. He was reckoned one of Lord Althorp’s most confidential friends. His collection of minerals, including those belonging to Wollaston, was presented in 1858 to the Mineralogical Museum at Cambridge. (“Dic. Nat. Biography.”)

The Romillys in Paris
the account given by the
Romillys is the most interesting and the strongest against the Allies. His tour, considering that he was absent for little more than two months, was very extensive, but he saw most things extremely well. They were highly delighted with Italy, but especially with Genoa, its grand marble palaces, its fine mountain situation, and the tranquil magnificence of the Mediterranean, on which they sailed several times. Throughout Lombardy and the Sardinian territory they were much struck with the great works of Buonaparte and the benefits he had conferred on the Italian dominions; most of which will now be lost by the changes which have lately taken place in those unfortunate countries. At Geneva, Romilly became much acquainted with Sismondi, whom he found an agreeable and intelligent man, although he has been very injudicious in his conduct with respect to French politics. He understood him to be possessed of many curious notes of Buonaparte’s conversations during last spring at Paris, which he will hereafter publish. At Paris, Romilly lived chiefly with Gallois,1 Lafayette, and others of the Liberal and Constitutional party, and fully confirms the account which Abercromby had given of that virtuous but feeble body of men. The last account of the causes of Napoleon’s return to Paris in March last, as it is understood by Romilly and believed by Lord Holland, appears to be the following: that intrigues and plots were forming for a change of Government, which was intended to take

1 Jean Antoine Gallois, born 1755, died 1829. Author on jurisprudence and politics.

Return of Napoleon
place in May following, but were very far from being matured. They seem to have determined on nothing positive and distinct beyond the deposition of
Louis XVIII. His successor was somewhat uncertain, but probably would have been Napoleon II. with a Regency, as a measure likely to conciliate the Austrian Government. Buonaparte hearing of these movements, and having also good reason to believe that a proposition had been made by France at the Congress, and seconded by Spain, for removing him to St. Helena, determined on trying this, his only chance for recovering the Throne. His sudden appearance was quite unexpected by the Revolutionists, whose schemes it entirely deranged, but he was immediately espoused by the military, and in a great degree by the population at large. They found it necessary to acquiesce and do the best that they could; that is, to put him under a strict constitutional discipline. The result was, that during his short reign he was never entirely the master, and after his failure at Waterloo they easily compelled him to abdicate; weakly supposing that the Allies would be satisfied with this sacrifice and would interfere no further with the internal affairs of France. Romilly brings many striking instances of the insolence of the soldiery and the hardship suffered by the Parisians, but I have no time to enter into such details. He seems to apprehend some great explosion. No traveller of any party affects to deny that Louis “l’inévitable” (as he has been called) has any support in France except the arms of the Allies. On the other hand, the Royalists are quite as furious against these their friends and supporters as any other
Dr. Holland
body of men in France.
Count de Bournon, a great Bourbonist and friend of Blacas, who is lately arrived, says that the cruelties of the Prussians have effaced all recollections of Buonaparte’s tyranny, and that the conduct of the Allies, and especially the Duke of Wellington, will infallibly produce a new and more widely extended war. He confidently expects that Russia will separate from the rest, on some point of internal interference and unite with France. You will probably have heard Tennant speak of Bournon, and know that his opinion is not worth much except in mineralogy; but I quote him as speaking the language of the high party at the Court of the Tuileries.

Dr. Holland has declined the offer of going to China, as interfering with his prospects of medical practice. It seems, indeed, very doubtful whether the Embassy will after all be admitted, so great is the alarm and indignation in that empire on account of our war with the Nepaulese.

I must tell you that Dr. Holland, having entirely quitted the Princess of Wales (though quite amicably), means to settle in London this winter. He is now for a short time at Cheltenham, and will probably go to Bowood. I have told him that Easton Grey will be on his way, and that you will assuredly be glad to see him. If you talked of Dr. Holland at Easton Grey at the time of receiving my former letter he would probably be criticised with some severity by Abercromby and Warburton, nor was he much liked by Tennant. His manner is certainly too courtly and “douceroux”; but he is very obliging and possesses
Holland House
great funds of information—qualities which, with a view to the ordinary intercourse of life, sufficiently atone for these defects.

The treaties seem to be as bad as possible, but unfortunately they are very popular. I am apprehensive of great schisms among the Whigs. I send you these lines written with a diamond on one of the windows in Holland House by Mr. Frere. The last line seems to me particularly good:—

“May neither fire destroy, nor waste impair,
Nor time consume thee till the twentieth heir,
May taste respect thee, and may fashion spare.”1