LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 14 January 1817

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
Jan. 14, 1817.

Binda has truly represented to you the opinions of several of the politicians who frequent Holland House. But they are much too sanguine in looking forward to any great ministerial change at present. The present people will contrive to scramble through the Session discreditably enough, and as to minor points, with little difficulty, perhaps, but without any danger of a complete overthrow. For my own part I should almost as soon expect a reform in Parliament as the coming of the Opposition, in the present state of things.

Lord Lansdowne’s absence on this occasion is much to be lamented. I hear that he has purchased a famous statue of Venus by Canova for £1,500 a prodigious sum for a modern work!

Horner writes that the Prussian Minister at Rome, Niebuhr, son of the traveller, has engaged in an examination of the Vatican manuscripts, and has

1Letters written on board the Northumberland, and at St. Helena.” Warden was the surgeon of the Northumberland.

The Congo
discovered some new fragments of the Orations of

The expedition to the Congo seems to have failed from the unfortunate ardour of the principal parties concerned in undertaking a great journey for which they were quite unfitted, and were without any proper provision.1 Two journals are arrived which are said to be curious, and will in all probability be published. Their ascent of the river appears to have been stopped by great cataracts, which are said to be very curious and unexpected; and the description of the river both above and below them is remarkable.