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The Creevey Papers
Charles Callis Western to Thomas Creevey, 9 February 1816

Vol. I. Contents
Ch. I: 1793-1804
Ch. II: 1805
Ch. III: 1805
Ch. IV: 1806-08
Ch. V: 1809
Ch. VI: 1810
Ch. VII: 1811
Ch. VIII: 1812
Ch. IX: 1813-14
Ch X: 1814-15
Ch XI: 1815-16
Ch XII: 1817-18
Ch XIII: 1819-20
Vol. II. Contents
Ch I: 1821
Ch. II: 1822
Ch. III: 1823-24
Ch. IV: 1825-26
Ch. V: 1827
Ch. VI: 1827-28
Ch. VII: 1828
Ch. VIII: 1829
Ch. IX: 1830-31
Ch. X: 1832-33
Ch. XI: 1833
Ch. XII: 1834
Ch XIII: 1835-36
Ch XIV: 1837-38
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“9th Feb., 1816.

“. . . I have often marvelled at the want of sense, discretion, judgment and common sense that we see so frequently accompany the most brilliant talents, but damn me if I ever saw such an instance as that I have just witnessed in your friend Brougham. By Heaven! he has uttered a speech which, for power of speaking, surpassed anything you ever heard, and by which he has damn’d himself past redemption. You know what my opinion of him has always been: I have always thought he had not much sound sense nor too much political integrity, but he has outstripped any notion I could form of indiscretion; and as to his politicks, they are, in my humble opinion, of no sterling substance (but that between ourselves). He has been damaging himself daily, but to-night there is not a single fellow that is not saying what a damn’d impudent speech that of Brougham’s—four or five driven away—even Burdett says it was too much. He could not have roared louder if a file of soldiers had come in and pushed the Speaker out of his chair. Where the devil a fellow could get such lungs and

* Francis Horner, M.P. [1778-1817].

† Reference obscure.

such a flow of jaw upon such an occasion as this surpasses my imagination.

“I was sitting in the gallery by myself, and he made my head spin in such a style I thought I shd. tumble over. He quite overcame one’s understanding for a time; but when I recovered, I began to think—this will never do—impossible—I will go down and see what other lads think of it: perhaps my nerves are a little too sensitive. I soon found, however, that everybody was struck in the same way, and even more. Now, when I say that he has damaged himself past redemption, I mean as a man aspiring to be Leader, for to that his ambition aspired, and for that he is done now. By Heaven! you never saw men so chopfallen as Ministers—Castlereagh beyond belief, I see it in every line of his face. They wd. have been beaten to-night, I do believe, again. Brougham has put them up 20 per cent.; that is to say, by inducing people more to support them to keep [the] Opposition out, just as they were supported upon [the] Walcheren business to keep us out. Our fellows all run the savage too keen for the game to succeed in bagging it. There is never more skill necessary than when the fox is in view. They are for running in upon him at once, and they will run a chance of being totally thrown out in the attempt. They fought the Property Tax well, though it was done out of doors completely. Glorious victory that! If you are not set out, come directly; we shall have a famous session. . . . It is a pretty tight fitt for me, but ruin overwhelms the farmers. I feel convinced a national bankruptcy will be the consequence. I declare I believe it firmly. I shall drive at the whole of the Sinking Fund. . . . I have not any hopes of Midsummer rents, and the generality of landowners will be minus the best part of their interest, without a wonderful alteration. . . .”