LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 1 March 1817

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
March 1, 1817.

I am extremely obliged to you for your kind letter on the loss of my invaluable friend. It is a subject on which I cannot yet speak or write with any tolerable degree of composure. It has spread a gloom over our whole circle of society. Nor is this feeling confined to Horner’s immediate friends. It is universally and strongly expressed, especially in that place where he was pursuing so honourable a career and where his loss is truly irreparable. The House of Commons, all parties, and all individuals unite in bearing testimony to his distinguished talents, his manly and impressive eloquence, and the simplicity, indepen-
Scott’s Novels
dence, and integrity which marked every part of his conduct. You will be happy to hear that by a general understanding throughout the House, and on the suggestion of the Speaker himself, an opportunity will be taken of giving a public expression to these feelings on moving the writ for the vacant seat.

Abercromby is much obliged to you for your kind note on this melancholy occasion.

The divisions upon the suspension of the Habeas Corpus have been much better than could be expected; and the debates on the part of the Opposition have been entirely triumphant. The best speeches were those of Romilly, Burdett, and Lord Folkestone, especially the first, but the speech is miserably reported in the Chronicle. It is much better given in the Times. On the part of the Administration nothing tolerable has been said; and I cannot but hope that the measure will fail in a considerable degree of obtaining the popularity and effect that were expected from it. The Ministers were certainly much surprised at the greatness of the minorities. Still, they have gained a great object in diverting the public attention from subjects of economy and retrenchment.

With respect to the “Tales of my Landlord,” I agree with you that “Old Mortality” is on the whole superior to any of W. Scott’s works, especially those in prose. But I still think it most probable he is the author; and this is the clear and decided opinion of the most intelligent persons, and those who best know him in Edinburgh. His brother, Tom Scott, having failed in his circumstances at home, is now
“Edinburgh Review”
a regimental paymaster in Canada. He possesses some of his brother’s talents, but he is at a distance from books and has no literary experience. Possibly he may have furnished some outlines or sketches which his brother has filled up.1 That Walter Scott has had some concern with the work is not denied, and several of his anecdotes and jokes are recognised in different parts of the novels. It is, therefore, only a question of degree.

Mr. Greenfield, the other person who has been talked of, is considered by the Edinburgh critics who know him, to be quite incapable of writing these novels. His style and the nature of his talents, of which there are some specimens in the Quarterly Review, differ totally from the style and tone of the works alluded to.

Articles in the last number of the Edinburgh Review.

Lord Byron”—Jeffrey.
Catholic Question”—Brougham.
Defence of Usury”—Do.
Commercial Distress”—probably the same.
Buonaparte”—Allen, of Holland House.

In the Quarterly, “Lord Byron” is by Walter Scott, and “Buonaparte” and “Parliamentary Reform” by Southey.