LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Chapter III.

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
‣ Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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Peace with France was concluded on May 27, 1802. Pitt had been thought by the younger members of his party to give way too much to Henry Addington, whose father’s profession gave him the nickname of “the Doctor.” Addington’s was more or less a Coalition Government. A Coalition Government is a Government which sinks all differences in face of great national danger. When the danger is past it may become in itself a danger.

Peace having been declared the fashionable world of London immediately proceeded to Paris.

Lady Melbourne did not leave England. She received from her friends many accounts of the doings in the French Capital. They seem to have been frivolous enough and remind us in some measure of the days in Paris after the Armistice of 1918. With this difference, however, that in 1802 Paris and Bonaparte stood in the same relationship to us as Berlin and the Kaiser might have in 1918. Bonaparte, it is true, was looked upon as a usurper and a murderer, but just as ladies have been known to offer their hands to famous criminals condemned to
death, so did the ladies of the highest society in England desire to be presented to Bonaparte and his wife.
Lord Morpeth1 was probably in a minority when he prevented his wife, the daughter of the Duchess of Devonshire, from being presented to Josephine whose behaviour while Bonaparte was in Egypt had scandalized many.

It must have been a strange medley in Paris. Lady Holland, Charles Fox and his wife, formerly Mrs. Armistead, went there together. Fox had had relations with Mrs. Armistead before his marriage to her, which took place in 1795, but was not announced till 1802.

Lady Holland, proud of her relationship with the great man, was obliged to accept the presence of his wife. English nobility fraternized with General Massena, called “l’Enfant de la Victoire” by his master,2 with General Menou,3 and General Moreau,4 who was defeated by Sir Ralph Abercromby at the battle of Alexandria in March 1801, and General Andreossi, afterwards Ambassador at the Court of St. James’s.

Lady Holland had mentioned Andreossi in a letter to Lady Melbourne, who answered her on October 15, 1802:

“I shall have great pleasure in making Gen.

1 George Howard, afterwards 6th Earl of Carlisle.

2 Andre Massena, due de Rivoli, Maréchal de France, 1756-1817.

3 Jacques Francois de Menou (1750-1810) commanded the army in Egypt after the assassination of Kleber.

4 Jean Victor Moreau, 1703-1818.

Andreossi’s acquaintance as I hear great praise of him from everybody. I am now remaining in Town for some time & will send to him as soon as he arrives, if that should ever happen—for there are strange reports circulated about armaments at Toulon, & Malta’s not being evacuated—but I suppose it will all be settled in some way or another. Since I wrote I hear great alarms exist in ye City about Bonaparte’s conduct respecting Holland & yt a remonstrance has been sent respecting Switzerland.”

Therese Cabarrus1 gave great dinners to the English gentlemen. It is hardly likely that the ladies called upon this famous beauty, “Notre Dame de Thermidor,” who like the woman of Samaria had had many husbands, but he whom she had then was not her husband. She had married in 1778 the Marquis de Fontenay, who divorced her in 1793. After this, in 1794, she married Tallien the Girondist. He divorced her in 1802. Barras, the Deputy whose heart was softened by Marie Antoinette on the journey from Varennes, became her admirer.

Lady Oxford, who was the wife of the 5th Earl of Oxford and whose children were called the “Harleian Miscellany,”1 was there with her strange cavaliere servente, Arthur O’Connor, an Irish Rebel who had sat in the Irish parliament for Philipstown, and, later, joining Napoleon’s Army, had been created General. Then there

1 “La Caberus” of Carlyle’s French Revolution.

2 Harley, the family name of the Oxfords.

was the
Duchess of Cumberland, formerly Lady Anne Horton, daughter of the Earl of Carhampton, who had married with the Duke of Cumberland, son of Frederick Prince of Wales, in her house in Mayfair in 1771. She had been a great beauty, but came of a strange and eccentric family. Her sister had, after squandering her fortune, been put into prison for debt, where she gave a barber fifty pounds to marry her, and as he thus took on her debts she went free. Lord Erskine, the friend of George Prince of Wales, who was later made Lord Chancellor, though he was ignorant of jurisprudence, was there, and so was the Duchess of Gordon, still smarting over the uncertainty of her daughter’s prospects.

All these figures crowd the canvas of the picture drawn by Sir Robert Adair,1 the intimate friend of Charles James Fox, and one of Lady Melbourne’s most devoted admirers. It would be interesting to know what Bonaparte thought of English Society.

On September 27 Robert Adair wrote to Lady Melbourne:

“First of all let me say how rightly I think you judged respecting a message from the Duchess of Devonshire through me. It was all that could be desired, and would have been taken most kindly, but I have received no authority, & to tell you the truth do not expect any, for my name seems to be the signal of oblivion with a

1 The last surviver of Fox’s friends, died 1855.

certain great and amiable lady, & any promise made to me, or to do anything where I am concerned, is soon numbered with the years beyond the flood. I could much have wished in the present instance that this was not so, as I find since
Lady Holland’s departure that she is not supposed to have behaved by any means kindly to Mrs. Fox. I am so very blind a person that I should not most probably have found it out in a thousand years, but I hear it from foreigners & women who have no sort of interest in telling fibs of her. The grand object of jealousy, I fancy, was the intended presentation to Madme. B[onaparte] on the same day. This Her Ladyship did not much like, & whether Mrs. Fox’s dress really was not ready, or whether she gave the point up I cannot tell, but it did not take place as it had been projected & Lady Holland alone was presented. I take it, however, that she left Paris in great dudgeon, for she fully expected that, after the ceremonial was over, she would have been asked to the private parties. In this she was greatly disappointed, & perhaps Mrs. F[ox] has it all visited upon her. As to Frederick’s account, I do not suppose it will differ much from mine, but as I understand your letter, it seems as if he had mentioned their meeting as something formal. Now I do not agree in this, for they met and dined together continually; and whatever tracasseries have taken place they passed more behind each others backs than face to face. I am hurt at these fooleries, for they vex both Fox & lord H[olland] excessively.

“The Duchess of Cumberland has behaved most infamously, saying and doing all manner of ill-natured things.


“To finish with lady H[olland], I am sorry to confess that I could not have done without her at Paris. I requested the Duchess, as the only favour she had it in her power to confer upon me, to give me letters. She promised them, with the greatest apparent joy to think she could do anything to please me. From that time to this I have heard nothing about them, and not being a very forward person, should undoubtedly have found no means of introduction whatever had it not been for lady Holland. I own I had rather have been indebted to the Duchess, but I cannot be ungrateful where I have received favours.

“I wrote a few words to the Duchess by Sir Francis Baring. I had before written to lady Eliz[abeth] Foster, and given her some account of a dinner we had at Madme. Cabarrus’s. In my letter to her I did not say a word about O’Connor, but between my writing to lady E. & my writing to the duchess, it was all about Paris that Mr. Fox had brought him in his hand, & introduced him as his particular friend. Such an abominable lie made me determine to contradict it, so I wrote to the duchess, to state the fact exactly as it was. It seems that O’Connor is travelling about with lady Oxford, in company with a strange sort of a man whom she has with her to teach her Greek, having heard, I suppose, that it is nothing for a lady to have a turn for philosophy & metaphysicks unless she can read the Greek alphabet. From her rank, & her pretended enthusiasm with respect to Fox, Madme. Cabarrus thought she could not do better than to invite her, & lady O[xford] thought she could do nothing so well as to invite O’Connor. She brought him therefore, greatly to the annoyance
of every body there, especially
Erskine who carried the matter too far on the other side. Since this, the gossips of Paris have talked of nothing else, and I have no doubt that, among ten thousand other misrepresentations, a fine story will be made out of it for the old women of London. It is very singular but I find that excuses are readily received for every body’s conduct except Chas. Fox’s, and if he happens to err on the side of good nature, the clamour is only so much the louder. Does Mr. Pitt conduct the Government from blunder to blunder untill the whole power & consequence of his country is destroyed?—Why people are mighty sorry for it, & trust he will do better another time;—but if Fox is commonly civil to a man who is proscribed by the rest of the world, then it is instantly said that he is making common cause with him, & is just as bad and dangerous a person himself. I used to be worn to death by this nonsense, but it is now over. Thank God his Character is too big to mind these childish Criticisms. I wish indeed it were otherwise, as who does not wish, in reading Shakespeare, that he had omitted many irregularities in his composition? But why is such a cruel exception to be made in regard to Fox, and why, like every other Man, is he not to be judged upon the great total of his Character? I perceive I am getting angry, but Erskine has made me so by helping on all this folly with his fears. . . .

“Among other great men who are walking about the streets of Paris just now, I fell in the other day with General Massena; and of him I will mention an anecdote which he himself acknowledged to Mr. Fox was true. Within ten days of his Capitulation of Genoa, an Austrian General
Officer was admitted into the Garrison upon some business relative to an exchange of prisoners or some other matter of no great consequence. As he was in conference with Massena, he took occasion to tell him that it was very foolish to have held out so long, that no relief was at hand and that the state of their provisions was accurately known in the Austrian Camp. ‘In short,’ said the officer, ‘we know you have only provisions for ten days.’ ‘For ten days,’ said Massena, ‘Why we have not yet begun upon the Monks!’ I like both him and
Moreau very much. They are plain unaffected men, without any fanfaronade. Menou is the stupidest hound you ever saw.”

In her anger at what she feared was the failure of her hopes, the Duchess of Gordon seems to have suspected Adair of having made mischief, and he wrote her a letter which she would not forget in a hurry and of which he afterwards sent Lady Melbourne a copy. On October 2 he writes to Lady Melbourne:

“You will hardly believe that the Duchess of Gordon persecutes me even here. She sent me a message by Gen. Fitzpatrick, the substance of which was that she had received a letter from the D[uke] of Bedford, disavowing everything I had said in his name. The Gen[eral] told her that if she desired it he would certainly deliver her message, but that he was quite sure I had never said anything, purporting to be by the D[uke] of B[edford]’s authority, without having had such authority. Soon after that, I received
a letter from the Duke, telling me the whole circumstance about his writing to her, & the substance of what he wrote, which is exactly the same as he has told everybody from the beginning; and he added to this his great surprise that she should build so much upon his letter, and endeavour to throw so much blame upon me. In consequence of these 2 circumstances, I wrote a letter to the Duchess which I have sent to England for the Duke to forward or not as he likes. I have been very civil but very severe with her, and trust that this disagreeable business will terminate here.

“I asked Fox yesterday about his Election to the Institute. He says he knows nothing more about it than that La Place & some of the great literary men told him it was intended. I have no doubt that it will be so. If any body should abuse Fox for receiving these & other distinctions (I say receiving for he does not in the least covet them) tell him to come & live a short time in Paris, & see with his own eyes the necessity of there being some leading man in the Councils of England to whom France can look up for the preservation of Peace. I promise you that War is half declared with the present incapable Ministers, who are just able to irritate but much too weak to encounter France or gain any point over her. Addington and his little council of youngsters will be receiving continued insults from France, & when they can submit no longer they will go to War about a straw. If Fox were Minister, Buonaparte could not quarrel with him without rendering his views plain to the world, and quarrelling with all the publick opinion of his own country at the same time. And do
not believe that there is no such thing as publick opinion in France. I will not fatigue you with a dissertation upon this matter but say, in one word, that the reason why there is no expression of the publick opinion is simply because there is no avowed Party, acting upon party principles, in France. As yet, no man can trust his neighbour. They must begin with individual confidence—then will follow Combination, next to that comes Party, and with Party all those checks upon the Government which publick opinion produces & which constitutes the real liberty of a State. There are many reasons why publick opinion cannot shew itself in this manner in France, but in a question of Peace or War it would be greatly felt, and yet more perhaps decisively, if it were a question of War with a Government of which Chas. Fox was the head. A war with Addington would be much more easy, and indeed as I said before, is half made already.”

It may be added that when Lord John, afterwards 6th Duke of Bedford, whose first wife had died in 1801, came over to Paris with, it was alleged, a dying message from his brother to Lady Georgiana Gordon, her astute mother seized the opportunity and soon made her daughter Duchess of Bedford after all. Even death seemed unable to defeat her matrimonial purposes.

As the weeks went by the letters from Paris grew even more interesting. More friends left England and wrote to Whitehall, picturing the
same scenes from different points of view.
Lady Elizabeth Foster with her son Frederick had fled from the dullness of Hardwick to Paris. Then followed Lady Bessborough, sister of the Duchess of Devonshire, witty, amorous and charming, though no longer in her first youth, with her daughter Caroline, then about 17, telling how—

Lady Georgiana Gordon appeared out of mourning last night; the D[uche]ss is at home almost every evening & I suppose she may be glad herself to let things be forgotten. She has chose to take up a tone of great civility to me; I shall go to her in an evening sometimes for Caro’s sake. Paris is going to be very gay; hitherto it has been like a new world, & I much fear to me will continue so for I cannot accustom myself to being at Paris & not seeing one face I had ever seen before—the Consul’s. Talleyrand, & I believe Berthier, are going to open their houses—but even there I am told the society will only consist of foreigners, & some Bankers & Avocats wives. The only Woman I wish to know is Madame Cabarrus & her I must not. Mr. Robinson is very much smitten I think with her—tell him you have heard so—she is a singular person certainly. If any English person wants to know Tallien she invites him to dinner—if Tallien is invited to dinner of a Sunday, he says no he can’t, ‘je consacre ce jour-là à ma famille,’ and this family is the wife he is divorced from & children none of wh[om] are his. But he persists in calling her Madme Tallien:—but then she is amiable, generous, delightful I am sure—but I am told it is impossible to go—&
she is by this exposed to the worst set of English Women here. However, luckily, there are other samples of English manners and looks—&
Lady Conyingham, Lady Louisa Gordon & Lady Georgiana Gordon redeem a little. Nothing can be more extraordinary than the look of the Theatres, as in the boxes next you you see Women who appear to be the lowest kind of tradespeople—the Men worse still—& in coming out, even of the Opera, you are surrounded by men whom you would only see at the Hustings. But the spectacles are excellent.”

George Robinson wrote on November 21, 1802:

Dear L[ad]y Melbourne,

I am very foolish in not having written to you before, not that there is much here worth writing about, but it would have entitled me to a letter from you, which at all times, & particularly while I am at such a distance, would be most interesting. I am much obliged to you for your letter to M[a]d[am]e Recamier. She is just come to Paris, & I have left it at her house, but have not yet seen her. L[ad]y Elizabeth Foster] will probably have written you all the news of the society here, & of publick news we have very little, the people seem satisfied with their present government, more from a fear of the horrors which might attend another change than from attachment to Bonaparte. I observ’d at the play a few nights ago that two or three passages which might be obviously applied were very much applauded. One of the passages was (in Voltaire’s Œdipe):
Un prêtre quelqu’il soit, quelque Dieu qui l’inspire,
Doit prier pour ses rois, et non pas les maudire.
And another which is very strongly mark’d:
Comme il était sans crainte, il marchait sans défense:
Par l’amour de son peuple il se croyait garde.
. . . There was another line of a very different tendency, which was very much applauded, speaking of the priests:
Notre crédulité fait toute leur science.

They probably never will get over their aversion to priests though they may to Kings, & I daresay if they cou’d slide quietly into a limited monarchy they wou’d have no objection, though very few wou’d wish to risque another revolution—& France compared to what it was four or five years ago, is in a state of happiness and prosperity. I hope a rupture with England will not take place but from what I hear, le petit bon homme is very sore about english newspapers & the speeches which will probably be made at the meeting of parliament will irritate him. Mr. Fox has been illiberally treated in a Jacobinical paper printed here in English called the Argus, but it is too contemptible a gazette to pay any regard to it, and I hope there is no one here now, who wou’d think it right to answer it. I saw Mr. Fox several times during the short time he staid here after our arrival, & am very sorry he & Mrs. Fox are gone. The D[uche]ss of Gordon has taken their apartments; she has been very courteous to L[ad]y Elizabeth and ask’d all our petite société to a party on Thursday & a ball tomorrow,—‘pug of late so kind is grown’ However this is fortunate, for if she had been for war Ly. E[lizabeth Foster] wou’d
have had the worst of it without the Duchess and her Minerva to protect her.”

And Lord and Lady Conyngham, who had been the lovely Henrietta Denison, in the full lustre of her blonde beauty and matchless complexion, they, too, were in Paris. Lady Melbourne hears that the English ladies at Madame Recamier’s ball looked to great advantage, and that they were certainly much better dressed than the French. Also that Lady Conyngham was much the handsomest woman in Paris and eclipsed them all. The writer thinks

“that Bonaparte’s taste for some of the English who are here has improved the dress of the Women. They are not near so uncover’d as they were—unluckily some English women chuse to dress in the extreme also—but none that can lead at all. We saw Madame Cabarrus the other night: she disappoints at first from her excessive paleness, but her countenance lights up when she speaks, & she is then very handsome.”

Frederick Foster went to the ball and says:

“We have been very gay lately. Last night we went to a Ball at M[adam]e Recamier’s, it was a very pretty one & lasted till 5 in the morning. Vestris1 danced & most excessively well, & there

1 Famous French ballet dancer (1729-1808). He is reported to have said, “There are but three great men in Europe—the King of Prussia, Voltaire and I.”

was some very fine Dancing besides. The House is not very large but is extremely pretty, the furniture of her Bedroom & Boudoir beautiful. She has been as good natur’d as possible to
L[ad]y [E]Liz[abeth Foster] & has promised to invite Moreau to meet us at a small Party. By the bye a person asked Moreau if he ever visited Bonaparte. He replied never, & that ‘il a fait une impertinence à moi & à mon armée’—this is pretty strong I think, & as Mr. Hare told it to us, is I daresay true. We have met Jourdan there a good deal. He was, you may recollect, a Member of the Council of 500 & was intended for Deportation by the Directory, but luckily escaped. He is very Gentlemanlike & pleasing in his manners, & is reckoned a very clever & eloquent man, but by no means in favor at present with the Consul, indeed very few of the famous Leaders of the Revolution, good or bad, are. I met Tallien at a dinner the other day, he seems quite out of humour with Buonaparte & spoke his mind pretty freely about him. He has the appearance of a Gentleman Murderer, & talks of Guillotines & slaughter with the greatest coolness & composure—his manners are very civil & his Conversation & look give me the idea of a Philosophe-Bourreau. He was very communicative & told me that it was their Plan to have murdered the King on the 10th of August but that ‘Judas’ Roederer, as he call’d him, prevented it, by persuading the K[ing] to go to the assembly. I said—mais pour la Reine et la famille Royale, what was to have become of them? O tout ça aurait passé—& then, said he, the Republick would have arisen sage et tranquille, & we should not have
been embarassed by the Trials of the King & Queen &c. The King, he allowed, was the best man in his Kingdom, & that the
Q[ueen] had been cruelly traduced—but he complained of the coldness of her manner to him when he was on guard over them at the Tuilleries & Temple, but that the K[ing] & he agreed very well. He added that it was Cambaceres, now 2d. Consul, Herault de Sechelles, guillotined by Robespierre, & himself who prepared the papers for the King’s Trial. On the 9th Thermidor, when Robespierre was overthrown, he told me that he, Collot d’Herbois & Billaud de Varennes placed themselves, armed with daggers, behind Rob[ert] Couthon & St. Just, determined to have stabbed them, had not the Convention decreed their arrest. He said that Rob[ert Couthon] had great Influence over the Populace, & that they had an Idea of his great Incorruptibility. On the 13 Vendemiere when the Parisians attacked the Convention it was he that recommended Bonaparte to Barras & Freron, to command their Troops, & that B[onaparte] was then so poor that they were obliged to borrow him a Horse & an uniform—& that Bonap[arte] had been very near taking the part of the Parisians—(you recollect how completely he licked them)—but that when Menou wished to parley with the mob & prevent Bloodshed, Bonap[arte] refused, & having waited till they approachd pretty near, opend upon them a tremendous fire of Cannon, & which to use T[aillen’s] own word, completely Balaye’d them. He lamented very much the death of Hoche, said that Moreau had no civil Talents, & mentioned as a good Trait of Gen. Junot, that he was a bon Sabreur, tho’ no great officer. He said that
the Lawyers had done all the mischief in the Assemblys by their Metaphysicks & Law-jargon, & really praised the E[nglish] H[ouse] of Commons for not listening to
Erskine & his crew. His only favorites seem to be Barras & Freron—both pretty scoundrels. Danton he admird but thought that in the massacres of September he had perhaps ‘laisse le peuple trop agir.’ . . . I think I have given you a pretty good dose of Tallien & its not my fault if you don’t think & dream for this month to come, of Tallien, Barrere, Santerre, the Guillotine & Co. I must just tell you that Barrere considers himself as the Virtuous man, persecuted by the Wicked. He said to a Gentleman that he was afraid the Revol[ution] appeared to the World in the light of a Crime éclatante. This Virtuous Martyr, you know, was president of the Committee (of public Safety, I think it was) when in 5 weeks upwards of 1200 people were put to death by its (orders?) & he it was who proposed to ‘balayer’ (the prisons 7).1 I must have done with these (monsters), & say a word about their mighty master the modern Cæsar—whom one can hardly praise or abuse too much. I heard a curious anecdote of him. He told a Gentleman that the Aegyptiens regretted him very much & that their sorcerers predicted his return. We expect to be presented by Lord Whitworth next Monday, & on Thursday I believe to Madame Bonaparte—her son Beauharnais was at M[adam]e Rec[amie]r last night & at the D[uche]ss [of] Gordon’s ball a few nights ago—he seems gentlemanlike & unassuming. By the bye the D[uche]ss Gordon in her happy manner & choice French

1 MS. damaged.

took the opportunity of observing to Mr. Seger whilst Beauh[arnais] was standing close bye him, that Bonap: only waited to equip his fleets to declare War against England.”

George Robinson apologizes later for not writing more often, but said he thought it was the fuss about letters which had given him such an aversion to the post. “Everyone who goes to London is loaded with requests,” he says. “Dear Mr. Green do you know of anyone who is going—can he take our letters—what a delightful man etc.!”

It would seem as if London must have been empty in those winter days; but Lady Melbourne sat at home in her room called a boudoir in these times, but which the Whig ladies would have called her “dressing-room.” She knew that she had done well in remaining with her finger on the pulse of public affairs at home, and was perhaps not sorry that the Argus eyes of some of her cronies could not pierce through the mist surrounding certain schemes she was fostering. The Duchess of Devonshire was also in England, and from Paris Lady Melbourne was told, “You probably have heard all that passes at Devonshire House, as the Duchess must make much of you just now, being the only one of the Sweet Loves left her,” alluding to her gushing way of speaking to the women who surrounded her.


The Duchess and Lady Melbourne were glad that they had remained in England. The Addington Ministry had become contemptible. Pitt was chafing at his inaction; Fox had returned to the House of Commons, and his speech on November 24 on the subject of France and England was, according to Mr. Creevy’s mind, “perfect.”

At Christmas the Duchess of Devonshire wrote from Hardwick complaining of being kept there so long by the Duke’s illness, which she impatiently says was caused by his imprudence; like many another wife she ascribed the length of time they spent in London to her husband’s love for town. But she showed herself anxious enough to be back there on account of the political situation.

“You will already know that we are kept in this melancholy place, (tho not uncomfortable) by the Duke having the gout in both feet & knees. He was not able to be mov’d from his bed for two days but gives me hopes to-day, as he slept better. He was taken ill at Londesboro’ & we were very anxious to get him at once to Chatsworth, where, when he is in his own appartment, everything is on the same floor, & now that stoves are made in the passage to the drawing room he need never be in the cold. But he thought himself able to proceed & had left papers here.

“I do not suppose we shall stay above six weeks, he will be so uneasy at being confind
there again. He is very low & thinks we shall never be able to go to the North again. This I trust is the lowness of a person suffering—but the truth is he does come too late, & his imprudence is inconceivable—with the gout violently on him as it had been at Londesboro1 & Ferrybridge He chose to ride 15 miles from Worksop here, in a cold Novr. Eveg., for he did not get in till half past 6, & I declare to God I was thankful that the gout did not return with such violence for he was so cold I thought he had thrown it from his limbs. He ought to come into Derbyshire about the 10th of July & return to Chiswick in October or Novr. But unfortunately he likes London in Summer & his only field amusement is shooting. I wish to God he had bought Wolmars. The real good thing for him wd. be a place near London & yet more the country than this, but he always says he has too many Houses.

“I ask yr. pardon for this long bore but it is impossible not to be very anxious & also vex’d to see a man throw away such a constitution. If you reflect on the life he leads & recollect how well you saw him at Bath, Brocket & afterward, you will allow that he might be what he would except the gout which also I think he might lessen or alleviate by management.

Caro Pon1 calls this purgatory & Chatsworth Paradise, & we do wander about like uneasy souls.

“I agree with you that Mr. Foxes career has been perfect, & his speech beyond all expectation (not as to goodness but as to his con-

1Caroline Ponsonby, daughter of Lord and Lady Bessborough, married William Lamb in 1805.

descending to explain). I am quite happy at
my Br. having met him—& now dr. Love do you not think that they stand a good chance of coming in—if they will be quiet—but if they were to encorage anything that might be construed into alarming principles & all that nonsense they play Pitts game. I look upon it as quite over with him unless he can persuade his friends the alarmists to be alarmd again, & then they will say they prefer Pitt after all his tricks because they have tried him.

“As to these Ministers, with all their absurdities one must feel too oblig’d to them to abuse them, but I don’t think they can go on long—for after such good fortune as they have had, one may rejoice in but not admire their terms, & they are likely to get into scrapes I think.

“Do not you therefore think we may at least see Mr. Fox in office? It is not only my ardent wish from my opinion of him independent of my love for him, but I have 1,000 reasons for wishing it.

“Bless &c.”