LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Creevey Papers
Thomas Creevey to Elizabeth Ord, 5 September 1833

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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“Stoke, Sept. 5th.

“. . . I have for the first time boarded an omnibus, and it is really charming. I quite long to go back in one to Piccadilly. . . . Monday brought all Europe under our humble roof at Stoke—at least the great powers of it by their representatives. There was England well represented by Earl Grey, with my lady, Ly. Georgiana and Charles; France by Talleyrand and the Dino; Russia by the Prince and Princess Lieven; Austria by Esterhazy, with the addition of Weissenberg, the Austrian delegate to the Conference; and Prussia by Bulow. But the female Lieven and the Dino were the people for sport. They are both professional talkers—artists quite, in that department, and the Dino jealous to a degree of the other. We had them both quite at their ease, and perpetually at work with each other; but the Lieven for my money! She has more dignity and the other more grimace. . . . The Greys had just come from Windsor Castle. Lady Grey, in her own distressed manner, said she was really more dead than alive. She said all the boring she had ever endured before was literally nothing compared with her misery of the two preceding nights. She hoped she never should see a mahogany table again, she was so tired with the one that the Queen and the King, the Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Augusta, Madame Lieven and herself had sat round for hours—the Queen knitting or netting a purse—the King sleeping, and occasionally waking for the purpose of saying:—‘Exactly so, ma’am!’ and then sleeping again. The Queen was cold as ice to Lady Grey, till the moment she came away, when she could afford to be a little civil at getting quit of her. . . .

“We asked Lord Grey how he had passed his evening: ‘I played at whist,’ said he, ‘and what is more, I won £2, which I never did before. Then I had very good fun at Sir Henry Halford’s expense. You know he is the damnedest conceited fellow in the world, and prides himself above all upon his scholarship—upon being what you call an elegant scholar; so he would repeat to me a very long train of Greek
verses; and, not content with that, he would give me a translation of them into Latin verses by himself. So when he had done, I said that, as to the first, my Greek was too far gone for me to form a judgment of them, but according to my own notion the Latin verses were very good.’ “But,” said I, “there is a much better judge than myself to appeal to,” pointing to
Goodall, the Provost of Eton. “Let us call him in.” So we did, and the puppy repeated his own production with more conceit than ever, till he reached the last line, when the old pedagogue reel’d back as if he had been shot, exclaiming:—“That word is long, and you have made it short!’—Halford turned absolutely scarlet at this detection of his false quantity. “You ought to be whipped, Sir Henry,” said Goodall, “you ought to be whipped for such a mistake.’” . . . At dinner Lady Grey sat between Talleyrand and Esterhazy. I, at some little distance, commanded a full view of her face, and was sure of her thoughts; for, as you know, she hates Talleyrand, and he was making the cursedest nasty noises in his throat.”