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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Eleanor Creevey, 23 January 1810

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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“23rd.—Parliament met. The King’s speech very long, and capable of being worked to the devil. . . . Lord Barnard moved the address, Peel seconded it, and made a capital figure for a first speech.* I think it was a prepared speech, but it was a most produceable Pittish performance, both in matter and manner. I perceive we shall by no means cut the figure to-night that Tierney has held out. . . . Castlereagh started from under the gallery, two rows behind Canning, and everything that related personally to himself he did with a conscious sense of being right, and a degree of lively animation I never saw in him before. Base as the House is, it recognised by its cheers the claims of Castlereagh to its approbation, and they gave it.

* The Speaker, Charles Abbot [afterwards Lord Colchester], pronounced it to be “the best first speech since that of Mr. Pitt.” Peel was only two and twenty.

When he came to his expedition, he fell a hundred fathoms lower than the bogs of Walcheren.

Canning was sufficiently master of himself to let off one of his regular compositions, with all the rhetorical flourishes that used to set his audience in a roar; but he spoke from a different atmosphere. He was at least two feet separated from the Treasury bench, and in the whole course of his speech he could not extort a single cheer. . . . Whitbread was stout and strong—upon Wellington particularly. . . . Notwithstanding Tierney’s calculations and prophecy that we should be in a majority, we were beat by 96. . . . Their strength was composed of five parties—the Government—Castlereagh’s—Canning’s—the Doctor’s and the Saints. In looking at the majority going out, Castlereagh said with the gayest face possible:—‘Well, Creevey, how do we look?’ . . .

“We had a grand fuss in telling the House. The Princess of Wales, who had been present the whole time, would stay it out to know the numbers, and so remained in her place in the gallery. The Speaker very significantly called several times for strangers to withdraw; which she defied, and sat on. At last the little fellow became irritated—started from his chair, and, looking up plump in the faces of her and her female friend, halloaed out most fiercely:—‘If there are any strangers in the House they must withdraw.’ They being the only two, they struck and withdrew. . . . In the Lords, Grey made an admirable speech, disputed the military, moral and intellectual fame of Lord Wellington most capitally, and called loudly upon the Marquis [Wellesley], as the Atlas of the falling state, to come forward and justify the victory of Talavera.