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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Henry Grey Bennet, 30 December 1818

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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“Brussels, Dec. 30th, 1818.

“. . . I must advert to the great calamity we have all sustained in the death of poor Romilly. His loss is perfectly irreparable. By his courageous and consistent public conduct, united with his known private worth, he was rapidly acquiring an authority over men’s minds that, had his life been spared a few years, would, I think, have equalled, if not surpassed, even that of Mr. Fox. He indeed was a leader, that all true Whigs would have been proud to follow, however his modesty might induce him to decline being called so.

“And now I am brought to the question you propose me—viz.: what I think of your having chosen Tierney for the leader of the Whigs in the House of Commons. In the first place, I think you deceive yourselves by supposing the leader of the Whigs of England to be an article that can be created by election, or merely by giving it that name. A man must make himself such leader by his talents, by his courage, and above all by the excellence and consistency of his publick principles. It was by such means that Fox was our leader without election and that Romilly was becoming so, and believe me, there is no other process by which a leader can be made.

“With respect to the object of your choice—as a piece of humour I consider it quite inimitable, and I
am sure no one can laugh more heartily than
Tierney himself in his sleeve as Leader of the Whigs; indeed his commentary upon the proceeding is very intelligibly, as well as funnily, displayed by his administering a kind of Luddite test to you, which having once signed, you are bound to your captain for better and for worse. . . .”