LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 5 April 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
April 5,1 1814.

Politics have taken a decided turn since I left London, and the negotiation has been actually broken off with a perfect cordiality and good understanding among the Allies. This seems to show that Buonaparte has displayed his usual obstinacy and violence of character; and put himself in the wrong in the negotiation. His present military position is very singular, and as it appears to be of his own choosing, he evidently intends to strike some great blow. In this he may perhaps succeed, but his peril is extreme; he is a desperate gamester, and the same defects of character that were ruinous to him at Dresden and Moscow may perhaps ultimately prevail against the energy and military talents which he has now so strikingly displayed, and which, if he

1 The day on which Napoleon abdicated.

The Allies
had any portion of ordinary prudence, would have secured him firmly on his throne.

Whilst I am writing I hear all sorts of reports of successes of the Allies, and of their having actually entered Paris on the 30th. I mean, therefore, to send you an evening paper, which probably will contain very important intelligence.

Madame de Staël continues to be very popular, and her parties are numerous and splendidly attended. Her success has been prodigious, and beyond all former example with people of all parties. I know of no exceptions but Lady Spencer and the Grenville family. Very lately Lord and Lady Ellenborough, who had held aloof for a long time, paid her a first visit. She has certainly great good temper, and is occasionally very brilliant and eloquent.