LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 25 October 1814

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
Oct. 25, 1814.

The accounts I hear from Paris are not pleasant or satisfactory. The Bourbons do not advance in popularity; and the opinion of the weakness, indecision, and bigotry of their Government seems rather to increase.

Their cause also receives great injury from the outrageous proceedings of the Pope and their Bourbon ally King Ferdinand. At the same time there is a great outcry at Paris against the English and their
“Edinburgh Review”
late conduct at Washington1; respecting which I am afraid there is only one opinion throughout Europe. This unfortunate contest,2 which interrupts the pacification of the civilised world, cannot be sufficiently lamented. It is disgraceful in its failures and not glorious in its successes. No credit can be gained by it, and it is so unpopular throughout Europe that if long protracted it will involve us more or less with the maritime Powers.

I augur nothing very favourable of the Congress. The nominal independence of Poland will give an additional strength to the overgrown power of Russia and Saxony and Italy; countries far more estimable and important will be made subject to Prussia and Austria—such at least is the general opinion as to the result of the negotiations.

In mentioning the writers of the different articles in the Edinburgh Review I should have said that Playfair was the critic of the “Essai sur les probabilités” which is the best, perhaps the only good, article in the collection. In general the number (Edinburgh Review) is a very indifferent one, and some of the articles particularly objectionable, especially in the reiterated and systematic attacks on the Regent, which disgust by their exaggeration and defeat their own object. Brougham’s long and very indifferent

1 The English had captured Washington and destroyed the Capitol and the public buildings in revenge for similar burnings on a smaller scale by the Americans in Canada.

2 The United States had declared war in 1812, in spite of the repeal of the Orders in Council as they were aggrieved at the action of the British Government in stopping American vessels from trading with the Continent unless they first put in at British ports.

Lord and Lady Holland
article on the Queen Consort is singularly ill-timed, just after the Princess has deserted her daughter and her station in the country, and is exposing herself by her levities in the face of all Europe. A friend of mine who lately met her in Switzerland speaks of her as being in high spirits and triumphant in having got out of England surrounded by a strange Court in which there was no reasonable or respectable person but Dr. Holland.