LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 21 July 1813

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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
July 21, 1813.

MY DEAR SIR,—I have been some time intending to write you a letter of thanks for your kind reception of me at Easton Grey; but I was desirous of accompanying my acknowledgments with something that might be worth adding to Mrs. Smith’s collection.

I have not been able to get all that I wished; but such as they are you will, I hope, receive them safe in an office frank. I shall not omit any opportunity of picking up any letters or signatures which may appear to be interesting.

Tennant1 has been some days at Cambridge

1 Smithson Tennant, 1761-1815, Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge, was the discoverer that the true nature of the diamond consisted of pure carbon.

Madame de Staël
to settle respecting the chemical apparatus for his lectures. He found it necessary to stay and make some alterations in the furnaces; and I yesterday sent him some potassium for the purpose of trying some experiments which I hope will prove interesting.

The Edgeworths have been succeeded in London by Madame de Staël, whose arrival you must have seen mentioned in the papers. Her career is still more brilliant than theirs; for she is extremely in vogue with all parties, and especially the Ministerialists. She has also been much noticed at Court by the Queen and the Regent, the latter of whom paid her a visit of two hours a few mornings ago. These great distinctions are owing not to her talents or even to her celebrity, but to her hostility towards Buonaparte, her connections with the Crown Prince of Sweden, and the decided change that has taken place in her politics. She is violent for war, considers Lord Castlereagh as a great statesman, and is decidedly adverse to the Catholic claims. She says she is come to England very much for the purpose of giving her daughter1 a religious education, and she is looking out for a clergyman of the Church of England for that purpose.

Notwithstanding all this, which to those who know Madame de Staël’s history or have read her works must look like grimace or hypocrisy, she is to a considerable extent perfectly sincere in these opinions; for she is the creature of passion and imagination and has nothing at all to do with reason. She is very good-natured, and oc-

1 Albertine, afterwards Duchesse de Broglie.

Madame de Staël
casionally, I believe, shows great kindness and benevolence; and she has great ease and frankness in her deportment, though not strictly good manners. Her talents in society are principally displayed in eloquent harangues upon subjects which do not frequently occur in ordinary conversation, such as the excellence of the British Constitution, the Divine Benevolence, &c., &c. Though she has great success at present, it remains to be seen whether her popularity will be lasting; for she appears to require an audience, and to be more exigéante than is quite consistent with the ease of freedom of society.