LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 18 February 1816

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
East India College,
Feb. 18, 1816.

You will be glad to hear that the divisions among the Opposition are likely to be less serious than was at one time to be expected. Lord Grenville is decidedly favourable to economy and low establishments, and however incompatible these opinions may appear with his attachment to the Bourbons, we must regard his inconsistency in this respect as a very fortunate circumstance. He has lately shown a great indisposition to separate from his present friends, and has sent the draft of an amendment to Lord Lansdowne and Lord Holland for the motion which is to take place to-morrow upon the Treaties. This step was wholly unexpected, for it was thought a short time since that Lord Grenville would support the Address and range himself on this question, as on the question of the War, with the Administration. His amendment will in substance be adopted.

Brougham has distinguished himself very much, and has shown many of the talents of a leader; but he has not yet made himself acceptable to the older and regular part of the Whigs. He is somewhat rash and imprudent, as, for instance, in the Motion against Ferdinand of Spain; but with all his faults, which experience will gradually correct, he is an invaluable acquisition to the country.

Paul’s Letters

Lord Lansdowne has distinguished himself very greatly by his speeches, and still more by his conduct respecting the representation of Calne. In consequence of a vacancy for that borough made by Jekyll, he has determined to bring in Macdonald, a most excellent member of the Opposition, who has lately been turned out of Parliament by his uncle, Lord Stafford, for refusing to go over to Ministers. This conduct of Lord Lansdowne has been highly and justly applauded, in proportion as that of Lord Stafford has been universally and loudly reprobated.

Paul’s Letters to his Kinsfolk,” by Walter Scott, appears to be a trifling commonplace work, written, like the poem of Waterloo, for the sake of reimbursing to the author, with some profit, the expenses of his continental journey. Lord Byron has just published two poems hastily and somewhat carelessly written, but marked with his characteristic merits and defects. You will lament to hear that a separation is likely to take place between him and Lady Byron, an amiable and excellent person, whom I am afraid he has treated with great neglect and unkindness.

On Scott’s poem of Waterloo, by Lord Erskine
“How vast the heaps of prostrate slain
On Waterloo’s immortal plain;
Yet none by sabre or by shot
Fell half so flat as Walter Scott.”