LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 17 October 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
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Oct. 17, 1815.

London is very empty, and I have seen very few people; but I am going to Holland House for a few days to-morrow, and shall then be in the way of hearing what is going on. There are evidently great complaints of the Duke of Wellington for his conduct respecting the pictures and statues, in the removal of which he contrived to take the principal share without any necessity or any advantage to the British nation. He is the object of eternal lampoons and placards, and has rendered himself and the English thoroughly unpopular in Paris. Caldwell,1 who was there at the time, says that nothing could be more striking than the complete change of opinion and manner towards the English, which the proceedings at the Louvre occasioned. In the principal part of the transactions our countrymen were very conspicuous; and the English engineers assisted the Austrians in

1 George Caldwell, of Jesus College, Cambridge, graduated B.A. 1795, being tenth wrangler, and senior Chancellor’s medallist. He took orders, and was for many years fellow and tutor of his college.

Duke of Wellington
the removal of the great horses from the Tuilleries. It was very right that the works of art should be restored to their proper owners; but this should have been done by a formal declaration of the Sovereigns, or rather, by distinct treaty; and it should have been done in the first instance, instead of being, as it now appears, an act of arbitrary and capricious violence. The Duke’s letter makes out a very indifferent case; where there is a positive treaty it is idle to talk of understandings between the two Sovereigns; and the lecture that he reads to the French on the folly and vanity of a spirit of conquest, considering the circumstances under which it is published, is one of the greatest insults ever offered to a nation. Though much that he says is very true, the publication is equally offensive and injudicious.

The terms of the Peace (as it is called), of which the outlines are already known, will be very popular with the readers of the Times and Courier, who think that the rights of conquest cannot be pushed too far or France too much degraded. It is the most wretched termination of a great and successful contest that the world has ever seen, and the difficulties in which the new arrangement will involve us will afford the best practical comment on the impolicy of the present war, and the injustice and impropriety of interfering in the concerns of independent nations.

You know that an Ambassador is going out immediately to China. Lord Amherst, who is appointed to this service, is a particular friend of Lord and Lady Holland, and, on their suggestion, has offered the appointment of Physician to the Embassy to Dr.
Holland, who is now on the Continent, travelling with the Philips. Letters are despatched after him in every direction; and I hope he will accept the offer. It may be the means of giving the public a good book on China, whilst it furnishes him with a very sufficient pretext for putting an end to his unpleasant connection with the Princess.