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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 28 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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Produced by CATH
Oct. 28, 1815.

Intending to pass only three days at Holland House, I have been detained most agreeably for ten days; and I have for some time hoped to give you an account of what I have seen and heard.

For the present you must be satisfied with a few anecdotes relative to Buonaparte’s voyage.

Admiral Fleming, who dined yesterday at Holland House, has had a letter from Sir George Cockburn, dated off Madeira, who says that Buonaparte has been in excellent spirits during the voyage, but that he is lethargic and incapable of reading or writing for any length of time. He sleeps fourteen out of the twenty-four hours. He has taken a great deal to playing at cards, of which he was quite ignorant when he left Plymouth, but now he has learnt several games, and plays so well that he beats everybody. Sir George had lost 130 napoleons to him the evening before, and said that if he went on he should be stripped of the whole profits of the voyage.

Buonaparte had ingratiated himself as usual with the ship’s crew during the voyage, and was universally popular. We have had several times Sir Hudson Lowe, the new Governor of St. Helena; an intelligent man and considerable military officer. He will do his
Holland House
duty honourably and liberally, without any unnecessary harshness. He is taking out for Buonaparte a considerable collection of books, in which are many of his own particular choice; especially some mathematical works and a complete set of the best French translations of the classics. There are many novels for Madame