LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 27 March 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
March 27, 1816.

Your conjecture as to the impropriety and impolicy of Brougham’s personal attack on the Regent was perfectly correct. It alienated a great number of the new adherents of the Opposition, disgusted several of the old ones, and is considered as having lost them the question on Wednesday night. This is extremely doubtful, because weak and timid people are glad to avail themselves of any pretexts in such cases; but certainly Brougham’s imprudence afforded them very plausible reasons for declining to act with a party avowing personal hostility to the Sovereign. This unfortunate mistake has been the general subject of conversation ever since. It has revived the drooping spirits of the Courier, has operated as a most important diversion in favour of the Ministers, and has perhaps laid the seeds of a new schism in the party of the Opposition.

You will be glad to hear that Lady Lansdowne is quite recovered, and talks with great animation of their journey to Italy. I was at a very splendid assembly at Lansdowne House last night—the first that has been given there this winter.

It is quite determined that Lord and Lady Byron are to separate, though it is very much against the inclination of the former. His conduct, according to every account, has been very culpable. What is to be said, for instance, of his never sitting down to table with his wife, alleging that he disliked seeing a woman eat, of his taking no notice of her friends, and not even asking her father and mother to his house when they were living at the Hotel a few doors off
Princess Charlotte
for some time last spring? I am afraid there never was any real affection between them. On her part it was a match of vanity; on his, a determination to obtain a prize which so many competitors were in pursuit of. You know that he was once refused, and this, it is said, he never forgave. After he had once obtained her consent, his ardour visibly abated; and his coolness is said to have been visible in his delays previous to his setting out to the North for the celebration of his marriage and in his slow and long-protracted journey.