LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 10 August 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
Aug. 10, 1815.

I promised to write something about politics. All accounts agree as to the very disturbed state of France, and the difficulty of establishing the Bourbons. That which now takes place is only a continuation of the error committed by the Allies last year, in which it is melancholy to think that Great Britain took the lead, namely, the restoration of Louis XVIII., without considering whether he was sufficiently supported by public opinion, or had sufficient virtue or talents to enable him to regain the confidence which the family had lost. Whatever may be the crimes of France, or however desirable it may be that there should be a settled and moderate Government in that country, one cannot possibly wish success to this great violation of the great principle of national independence.

It will probably bring with it its own punishment. The Allies are certainly in a very embarrassing state; for they cannot continue to hold France as a conquered
The Duke of Wellington
country very long, and every hour of their stay adds to the difficulties of
Louis XVIII., and diminishes his chances of ultimate success. All letters from Paris state that the English are universally popular as contrasted with the Prussians, who are much disliked both by foes and friends; their conduct has given great disgust even to the rest of the Allies. They are very insolent and pay for nothing; whilst the English, who pay for everything, are at the same time very civil to their hosts.

Blucher, who has established himself at St. Cloud, conducts himself like a captain of freebooters, and in some cases has encouraged his soldiers to new excesses, both by precept and example. The Duke of Wellington, who has interfered very honourably in some cases, is for the most part a calm spectator, and appears to take little real interest in what is passing. He is thus described in a letter from Paris, which I have just seen:—

Le Duc de Wellington, ce héros froid et mediocre, que la nature a crée pour prouver que la science militaire peut exister sans autres talens, et l’intégrité pecuniaire sans autres vertus.” Notwithstanding the epigrammatic turn of this sentence, I believe it on the whole to be a pretty fair representation.