LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 16 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Aug. 16, 1815.

You will rejoice to hear that Louis XVIII. has consented, though with some unwillingness, to the total abolition of the Slave Trade. For this we are unquestionably indebted to the return of Buonaparte, who has lately been heard to say that he was satisfied
from accurate inquiry that the trade was in no way beneficial to France, being carried on with British capital. It is certainly a great triumph. The only two countries where this traffic has not now been abolished are Spain and Portugal.

The treatment of Buonaparte, which has the appearance of being in some respects harsh and rigorous, has produced a good deal of sympathy in his favour; much of the conversation which you have read in the papers is given with tolerable exactness; though several of the questions are rude and offensive, when Napoleon’s situation is considered. These were chiefly put to him by Lord Lowther and Mr. Lyttleton, member for Worcestershire, but principally the latter. Almost every one who has come into contact with Napoleon has been fascinated by his manners and deportment. No one more so than Captain Maitland, of the Bellerophon, who writes to his friends, that he never met with a man more agreeable and engaging, and few so well informed. Sir Henry Bunbury, who communicated to him the resolution of the Cabinet, states that he received the intelligence with the utmost composure; after which he addressed Lord Keith in a speech of some length, remonstrating against the hardship of the decision with great ability, and in a strain of feeling and eloquence. The impression which he made on them was, upon the whole, very favourable. The parting scene with Savary, Lallemand, and the Polish officers was very affecting; and several of those present shed tears. He talked much with Lyttleton respecting Whitbread and the cause of his death, and asked whether Ponsonby would succeed him as leader
The Allies
of the Opposition. He desired him to describe the peculiar eloquence of Lord Grey.

For my own part I must confess that my heart is a good deal hardened against this deserter of the cause of freedom, and profligate and inveterate warrior. But I entirely disapprove of all unnecessary harshness, such as keeping his friends from him, and taking away 4,000 gold napoleons, lest he should attempt to bribe the soldiers.