LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 15 March 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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March 15, 1815.

The political prospect on the Continent appears to be very alarming. The advance of Buonaparte to Lyons, which I quite believe (notwithstanding the discredit thrown on that intelligence by the Morning

1 On the Corn Laws.

Return of Napoleon
Chronicle), seems to show that the troops cannot be relied on, and that there are no means of opposing his march. I am afraid, therefore, that we must look forward to his marching on Paris with as little difficulty as he has done to Lyons, and that he will be reinstated without any delay. The bulk of the people may perhaps be against him (although this is doubtful); but it is upon the soldiery that he depends, and if the spirit that has manifested itself in many of the regiments should be generally prevalent, we may perhaps have a new revolution at Paris in a few days, and the Bourbons in England in a week. If I recollect right, I told you long since how very weak the Government was; having no support either from public opinion or from military force. I doubt whether there will even be a civil war in their favour.

It is stated in the French papers that in consequence of an intimation that the Congress were to dispossess Murat, he had signed a treaty with Buonaparte, and was advancing towards the north of Italy. In that case a general insurrection and revolution may be expected in that country. I am very uneasy about some of my friends who are at Naples.

If Buonaparte is once re-established he will remain; and we must expect an immediate war respecting Belgium. To establish a new confederacy will be difficult; nor would it now possess the same spirit as in 1813 and 1814, having lost a great portion of its moral force in consequence of the acts of the Congress. Buonaparte, on the contrary, will have
Return of Napoleon
the advantage of coming forward as a new man, to deliver his country from the disgrace of the Bourbon Government.