LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Creevey Papers
Ch XI: 1815-16

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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After the stern realities of war, home politics and social gossip read flat enough. The crowning victory of Waterloo brought no strength to the Opposition. There were troubles enough ahead for the Government, arising out of the fall in prices consequent on the peace and the thousands of idle hands thrown on the labour market following on reduction of the forces; but, meanwhile, the country was aglow with enthusiasm for the Government and the army. It was when their prospects were at the lowest that the Liberals received a cruel blow in the suicide of one of their chief representatives in the Commons, Mr. Samuel Whitbread.

Hon. H. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [at Brussels],
“Whitehall, July, 1815.

“. . . Nothing could be more droll than the discomfiture of our politicians at Brooks’s. The night the news of the battle of Waterloo arrived, Sir Rt. Wilson and Grey demonstrated satisfactorily to a crowded audience that Boney had 200,000 men across Sambre, and that he must then be at Brussels. Wilson read a letter announcing that the English were defiling out of the town by the Antwerp gate; when the shouts in the street drew us to the window, and we saw the
chaise and the Eagles. To be sure, we are good people, but sorry prophets! The only consolation I have is in peace, and that we shall have, and have time, too, to look about us, and amend our system at home, and damage royalty, and badger
Prinny. I will venture to say he will long again for war abroad, as we will give him enough of it at home in the H. of Commons, so I beg you will be preparing for battle in the ensuing campaign. Peace we are hourly expecting. The [illegible] want to stop the French frontier, [illegible] to pillage Paris, and the ladies of the fashionable world to massacre its inhabitants. I assure you we are very bloody in this town, and people talk of making great examples, as if the French had not the right to have, independent of us, what government they liked best.

“You will be sorry to hear that Sam [Whitbread] looks and is very ill. He has lost all spirits, and cannot speak. I hear he vexes himself to death about Drury Lane. I am told a bill is filed against him by the [illegible] to the tune of £25,000. . . . I hope it is Drury Lane and not bad health that destroys his spirits.”

“Whitehall, July 7.
“My dear Creevey,

“It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you that you have lost your friend Whitbread; and though I hardly know how to name it, yet I must add that he destroyed himself in a paroxysm of derangement from the aneurism in the brain. He had been for the last month in a low and irritable state. The damned theatre and all its concerns, the vexatious opposition he met with, and the state of worry in which he was left—all conspired together to [illegible] his understanding as to lead to this fatal step. On Wednesday night the 5th I had a note from him written in his own hand, and as usual. He spoke on Tuesday in the H. of Commons more in his usual style than of late. . . . On Wednesday he passed all the evening with Burgess the solicitor, discussing the theatre concerns—walking up and down the room in great agitation, accusing himself of being the ruin of thousands. As you may well imagine, he did not sleep,
but got up early on Thursday in a heated and flurried state—sat down to dress after breakfast about 10, and, while Wear was out of the room, cut his throat with a razor. When Wear returned, he found him quite dead. Is it necessary to say what the blow is to us all? To lose him in any way, at the maturest age, would have been a cruel loss, but in this manner—one feels so overpowered and broken down that the thing seems to be but a frightful dream. To me, the loss is greater than that of
Fox, for the active, unwearied benevolence—both public and private—of our poor friend surpassed all the exertions of any one we ever knew. He lived but for mankind—not in showy speeches and mental exertions alone, but there was not a poor one or oppressed being in the world that he did not consider Whitbread as his benefactor. . . . I never heard of his equal, and he was by far the most honest public and private man I ever knew. . . .”

“July 11.

“. . . I am not astonished at Grey’s losing his heart, as this day he is to attend Sir W. Ponsonby’s* funeral, and at night he is to go down to Southill to attend our poor friend’s to-morrow. . . .”


“. . . I delay sending this to say that Tavistock moved yesterday the writ in the most perfect and [illegible] manner: there was not a dry eye in the House. Wilberforce said he always considered Whitbread as the true [illegible], possessing all the virtues of the character, tho’ with its foibles, and that he was one of the public treasures. Vansittart deeply regretted his loss, and allowed that, when most in opposition to them, he was always manly, honest, [illegible] and true, and that he was an ornament to his country. Thus ended the saddest day I have yet seen in the House of Commons. Tierney sobbed so, he was unable to speak; I never saw a more affecting scene. . . .”

* Major-General the Hon. Sir William Ponsonby [1772-1815] commanded the “Union” brigade of heavy cavalry at Waterloo, and was killed in their famous charge upon d’Erlon’s column.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey [at Brussels].
“Friday, July 14, 1815.

“The message I sent you by C. Grey three weeks ago must have prepared you for this dreadful calamity which has befallen us, though nothing could reconcile you to it. Indeed one feels it more, if possible, as a private than a publick loss. . . . It seems as if the Opposition lay under a curse at this time—not merely politically, but physically. Romilly last winter was bled out of a violent inflammation of the lungs, and I think him damaged by it, next winter will show whether permanently or not, but at 58 such things are not safe, and he continues to work as hard as ever.* Ossulstone has been most dangerously ill. . . . The anxiety and labour Grey has lately had make one fear a severe attack of his spasms—indeed he had one a few nights ago, having been on Monday at Sir W. Ponsonby’s funeral, and having to set off for Whitbread’s at 4 the next morning. The attack was in the night, and he went notwithstanding.

“I hardly can venture to mention myself after these cases, but I have been very ill for 4 or 5 months, hardly able to go through common business, and now forced to give up the circuit. . . . I can only give you a notion how much I am altered by saying that I have not made such an exertion in writing for three months as this letter is, and that I already ache all over with it. . . . To continue my catalogue, Lord Thanet has been alarmingly ill, tho’ now somewhat better; and such dismal accounts of the Hollands are daily arriving that one of my chief reasons for writing to you now is to ask you how the poor boy is. . . . In this state of affairs and of my own health, when there seems nothing to be done, and when, if there were, I am not the man now to do it, you will marvel at my coming into Parlt., which I have been overpersuaded to do, and which will have happened almost as soon as you receive this.† The usual and unchangeable friendship

* He committed suicide in 1818.

Brougham remained out of Parliament after his defeat at Liverpool in 1812, until returned for Winchelsea, a borough of Lord Darlington’s, in 1816.

Ld. G[rey] obtained the seat, but I am not at all satisfied that I have done wisely in accepting it, for the reasons just hinted at. All I can say to myself is that I may recover and be again fit for service, in which case I should think myself unjustifiable had I decided the other way. But 20 years hard work have produced their effect, I much fear, and left little or nothing in me. . . .”

Lord Ossulston, M.P.* to Mr. Creevey in Brussels.
“Walton, July 31, 1815.

“. . . Buonaparte still remains at Plymouth, but it is expected that the ship which is to convey him will sail very shortly. I believe he is allowed to take 3 persons (besides servants) with him, excepting those who are named in the list of proscribed. The general feeling, I think, here is that he ought to be placed out of the reach of again interfering in the concerns of the world, tho’ it is difficult not to feel for a man who has played such a part, if he is destined to end his days in such a place as St. Helena. Seeing the other day a list of intimate friends invited to meet the P. Regent at Melbourne House—viz. Jack Manners, Ld. Fife, Ld. Headfort, &c., I could not help thinking what a strange fortune it was by which Buonaparte shd. be at that moment at Torbay, waiting his destiny at the Prince’s hands. . . . Kinnaird is in town. His account of his arrest by Buonaparte is that, hearing of the battle of Waterloo, he had said in society—‘Now the French have nothing to do but to send for the D. of Orleans;’ which being reported to Buonaparte on his return, he sent to Kinnaird to quit Paris in 2 hours, and France in 2 days. Kinnaird upon this asked leave to go to Fouché, who told him not to stir, for that in two hours he would hear something which wd. surprise them—that was Buonaparte’s abdication. . . . Whitbread’s eldest son comes into not less than £20,000 per ann.—so Brougham told me. Whitbread, however, in the last year had outrun his income by £14,000—probably the theatre. . . .”

* Afterwards 5th Earl of Tankerville.

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey.
“London, Nov. 7, 1815.

“. . . What chiefly moves me to write is some conversation that Ossulston* and I have had concerning the state of the Party in one material point. The Jockey† is gone—you may lay that down. It is a question between days and weeks, and he cannot possibly see the meeting of Parlt. Baillie says if things go favorably he may last six weeks, but that he won’t insure him for ten days. In short, it is a done thing.

“Now upon your friend B[ernard] Howard’s succession to this most important publick trust (for so I consider it), it is plain beyond all doubt that old Mother Stafford‡ will be working by every means to touch him—at all events to neutralize him. She will make the young one§ turn Protestant—a most improper thing in his station; for surely his feeling should be—‘I will be in Parlt., but it shall be by force of the Catholic emancipation;’ and, viewing this as a personal matter to himself, he should shape his political conduct mainly with reference to it. But I fear that is past praying for, and all we can hope is that the excellent father should remain as steady in his politics as he is sure to be in his adherence to his sect. . . . Now what strikes both O. and myself is—that at such a critical moment your friendly advice might be of most material use towards keeping the newcomer on his guard against the innumerable traps and wiles by which he will assuredly be beset, and if you intend (which of course you do) to come over this session, perhaps it would be adviseable to come

* Afterwards 5th Earl of Tankerville.

Eleventh Duke of Norfolk.

‡ Wife of the 2nd Marquess of Stafford, who was created Duke of Sutherland in 1833, she having been Countess of Sutherland in her own right.

§ Eldest son of Bernard Howard; became Earl of Arundel on his father succeeding to the dukedom, and in 1842 became 13th Duke of Norfolk.

a little sooner so as to be here before
the Jockey’s death, for the above purpose.”

Creevey, however, continued to live in Brussels for the sake of his wife’s health, resisting many pressing entreaties from his friends to come over and rouse the flagging spirits of the Opposition. He and Mrs. Creevey received many letters from London containing the gossip and speculations of the day.

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey [in Brussels].
“Holland House, 1st Jany., 1816.

“. . . According to the song, ‘London is out of town;’ the country houses are overflowing. The love of tennis is come so strongly upon Lord Holland that he has persuaded me rather reluctantly to go once more to Woburn for 3 or 4 days, in order that he may play a few setts. The plea which makes me yield is that I believe exercise keeps off the gout.

“The most violent people here even rejoice at poor La Vallette’s escape. What an abominable proceeding it has been. That tygress the Duchess of Angouleme in talking of Madame de la Bedoyere observed—‘Elle a été elevée dans des bons principes, mais elle nourrit le fils d’un traitre’—an envious reproach from her sterile Highness, who can never enjoy the poor widow’s maternal felicity. There is a strong feeling getting up in the country at our permitting the capitulation to be broken, altho’ none are sorry Ney suffered.*. . . Lady Waldegrave is dying of water in the chest. Her death will cause the disclosure of the secret whether Lord Waldegrave is married or not. . . . I want a handsome Valenciennes

* Such was not Lord Holland’s sentiment. Among Creevey’s papers is a very long letter from Lord Holland to Lord Kinnaird, declaiming against the Duke of Wellington, “in whom, after the great things he has done, even so decided an opponent of the war as myself must feel some national interest,” for permitting the execution of Ney and Labedoyere.

collerette, either made up, or lace to make it. Remember, my throat is thick, and it is to wear over the collar of a pelisse. . . .
Sir Hudson Lowe has married a beautiful, and for him a young, widow. She is the niece of Genl. Delaney—quite a military connexion”

[No date.]

“. . . The new bishop is to be Legge, the Dean of Windsor, familiarly called by the Regent ‘Mother Frump.’ . . . Lord Craven embarks with all his family in his own yatch for the Mediterranean, giving a good chance to his brother Berkeley, especially as he will rely much upon his own skill in the management of the vessell. He sets off at the already incurred expense of forty thousand pounds—a brilliant debut; 70 souls on board, including men, women, children and ship’s company. . . . Lord Warwick’s marriage with Lady Monson is all settled. It is so advantageous to the minor that the Chancery will not enforce the cruel limitations of the malignant will of Lord Monson against her. . . .”

Henry Brougham to Mr. Creevey [in Brussels].
“Temple, Jany. 14, 1816.

“. . . You naturally must be desirous of learning what appearances there are of work for the session. I augur very well. Whether Snoutch* comes over or not, I can’t tell; but in the event of his not coming, I have communicated to Grey the wishes of many of the party including the Mountain,† that Lord G. Cavendish should be our nominal leader, with something like a house opened to harbour the party in. In fact, a house of rendezvous is more wanted than a leader. But if Snoutch comes, indeed whether he does or not, our merry men are on the alert, and we shall see that no half measures prevail. I really wd. fain hope that Tierney and Abercromby at length will see the folly of their temporising plans, and will act always and systematically as they did during part of last session. But nothing must be left to chance, and

* ? Lord Grenville. † The Radicals.

—‘speaking as an humble individual’*—I am quite determined (tho’ ready to meet them half way for peace and union sake) that the game of the country and the people shall be played in good earnest—if not with their help, without it—by God’s blessing.

“The plan of campaign which presents itself to me on a review of the state of affairs and the temper of men’s minds is of this description. As to foreign affairs—to act as a corps of observation and take advantage of all openings, not very much courting debates on those matters which the country never feels at all, and on which recent events tend greatly to discredit the Opposition; but ready always to expose the enemy’s blunders. E.g., the d——d absurd plan of the peace, which sows the seeds of war broadcast—the systematic plans of interference, &c. Above all, the grievous proceedings of our Ferdinand† agt. the very allies we had fought with in his behalf. . . . As to home politics—here we should make our main stand; and the ground is clearly Retrenchment—in all ways, with ramifications into the Royal family, property tax, jobs of all sorts, distresses of the landed interest, &c. In short, it is the richest mine in the world. A text has been put forth in the Edinr. Review, to which I refer you. . . . Last of all, but not least, the proposal of measures and inquiries unconnected with ordinary party topics, whereby much immediate real good is done to the country, and great credit gained by the party, as well as, ultimately, a check secured to the Crown and to abuses generally. For example—prison reform—education of the poor—tithes—above all the Press, with which last I think of leading off immediately, having long matured my plan. . . . It embraces the whole subject—of allowing the truth to be given in evidence—limiting the ex officio powers, both by filing informations and other privileges possessed by the Crown, and abolishing special juries in cases of libel, or rather misdemeanour generally. . . . But the material point is—won’t you come over to our assistance? You are more wanted than my regard

* A sarcastic allusion to Tierney’s style in speaking.

King Ferdinand VII., who was availing himself of his restoration to the throne of Spain to indulge in harsh and tyrannical despotism.

for your modesty will allow me to say. Really you must come. . . . There are many uncomfortable things, beside the dreadful one of our irreparable loss of poor Sam [
Whitbread]—now to be really felt. Nothing, for instance, can be more unpropitious than the plan of carrying on the party by a coterie at Lady Holland’s elbow, which cannot be submitted to for a moment, even, I shd. think, by those who belong to her coterie; at least I know no one but the Coles, Horner* and the Pope† (who are of her household) who can bear it. Do, then, let us hear that you mean to come over. . . .”

The following refers to the speech on the Treaty of Paris, whereby, on 9th February, Brougham marked his return to the House of Commons.

Mr. Western, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [in Brussels].
“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. . . .”

Mr. J. Whishaw, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Lincoln’s Inn, Feb. 10th, 1816.

“. . . We have had two distinguished foreigners for some time in London—General de Flahaut and Genl. Sebastiani. The former was one of Napoleon’s
chief favourites, and is the reputed son of
Talleyrand by the present Madame de Souza, formerly Madame de Flahaut. He does not inherit the talents of his parents, but is a handsome, accomplished and very agreeable officer, a flattering specimen of the manners of the Imperial Court, which assuredly could not boast of many such ornaments. Sebastiani is nearly the reverse of all these, with somewhat of an air of pedantry and solemn importance, of which you may recollect some traits in his famous dispatch. It is a little curious to sit at table with a person formerly so much talked of, and who contributed so much to the war of 1803. You may remember that he was one of Pitt’s principal topics on that occasion. . . .”

Mr. Western, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [in Brussels].
“House of Commons, Feb. 17, 1816.

“. . . As to the general proceedings of the Opposition, I can say little. There is no superior mind amongst us; great power of speaking, faculty of perplexing, irritation and complaints, but no supereminent power to strike out a line of policy, and to command the confidence of the country. Brougham has shown his powers rather successfully, and exhibits some prudence in his plans of attack; but I cannot discern that superiority of judgment and of view (if I may so express myself) which is the grand desideratum. Tierney is as expert, narrow and wrong as ever; Ponsonby as inefficient; Horner as sonorous and eloquent, I must say, but I cannot see anything in him, say what they will, though he certainly speaks powerfully. A little honest, excellent party are as warm as ever, and only want a good leader to be admirable. Grenvilles and Foxites splitting—all manner of people going their own way. As to foreign policy I came to a conclusion that the Bourbons cannot keep their place, and that their proceedings are abominable, as I told you in a letter from Paris; and then what may happen no man can calculate. If they had any wisdom or firmness, they were safe, but they must kick the thing over.


“In regard to our internal—Agriculture, &c., is getting into a state of despair absolutely and distraction. . . . I assure you the landed people are getting desperate; the universality of ruin among them, or distress bordering on it, is absolutely unparallel’d, and at such a moment the sinking fund is not to be touched for the world, says Horner—no not a shilling of it: and yet—taxes to be taken off, rents to come down, cheap corn, cheap labour—how can a man talk of such impossibilities? The interests of all debts and sinking fund together amount to
Establishment 29,000,000
Now, cut the Establishment ever so low, we shall have four times as much to raise as before the war. It is not to be done out of the same rents, &c., &c. It is absolute madness to talk of it. . . . By the bye—there never was a moment for the exertion of yr. talents in the job-oversetting way, and fighting every shilling of expenditure. This is the time, never before equalled. They cannot resist on these points, and the carrying them is valuable beyond measure, prospectively as well as immediately. Whenever you blow one jobb fairly out of the water, it presents a hundred others, and this is the moment!”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [in Brussels].
“Temple, Thursday [May, 1816].
“Dear C.,

“I think it better to trust this to the post than to any of their d——d bags. [Here follow some minute details concerning Creevey’s seat for Thetford, which he seemed to be in some danger of losing, owing to changes of plan on the part of the Duke of Norfolk and Lord Petre, who had the disposal thereof]. . . . All I desire is that you put me personally wholly out of your view. I am worked to death with business, and, for my own comfort, care little whether I remain out this session or not. The labour would
1815-16.]BROUGHAM’S VIEWS.253
be a set off agt. the pleasure of revenging myself agt. certain folks, and even the sweets of that revenge would be dashed with bitterness, for I foresee a rupture with
Grey as by no means an unlikely result of doing my duty and taking my swing. We have lately had rather an approach to that point, in consequence of my urgency agt. Adam’s job, Lauderdale’s general jobbery and other tender points, including the Cole faction, and their getting round him (G.). The Whigs (as I hold) are on the eve of great damage from the said jobs, and I conceived a warning to be necessary, with a notice that the Mountain and the folks out of doors were resolved to fire on the party if it flinched. Some very unpleasant things have passed, and the discussion is only interrupted by his child’s death. Now—come when I may into Parlt., it must be wholly opposed to the Coles, who have a lamentable hold over his mind. . . . A Westminster vacancy would be awkward; on the other hand, a Liverpool vacancy would be still more so, were I out of Parlt. The merry men are all up, and I should inevitably be dragged into the scrape. There are overtures from both parties—Gladstone* would support a moderate Whig—with us; the Corporation and Gascoigne would prefer a Mountaineer as most agt. Canning and favorable to their undivided jobbery. That we may put in a man is clear, but I really cannot give time enough to the place. This matter concerns you as well as myself, but then if you remain out of the way for two sessions, it would not be easy to bring you in. Moreover, if you take Liverpool and quit your present hold you can’t so well resume it in case of accident. . . . I have written a hash of a letter, without giving an opinion, having really none to give, and wishing to leave you to yourself. You alone can decide. . . . I have served Prinny with a formal notice from his wife that in May she returns to Kensington Palace. . . .”

* John Gladstone of Liverpool, created a baronet in 1846, a leading Tory in that town, and father of the late Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.


“If Mrs. C. can possibly let you come for a few weeks, for God’s sake do come! It is morally certain you can come in for L’pool. . . . If you don’t come in there, you are out altogether, with some other good men—as Mackintosh, Ossulston, &c., and, for anything I know to the contrary, myself. For who can answer for a county like Westmorland, where there has been no contest for 50 years? and where I have all the parsons, justices, attorneys, and nearly all the resident gentry (few enough, thank God! and vile enough) leagued agt. me, besides the whole force of the Government. The spirit of the freeholders, to be sure, is wonderful, and in the end we must beat the villains. Govt. complain of L[onsdale] for getting them into it, and he complains of them for not dissolving. My satisfaction is that he is now bleeding at every pore—all the houses open—all the agents running up bills—all the manors shot over by anybody who pleases.”

Lady Holland to Mrs. Creevey.
“Holland House, 21st May, 1816.

“. . . Lord Kinnaird carried over the singular libel published by Lady C. Lamb against her family and friends.* It is a plaidoyer against her husband addressed to the religious and methodistical part of the community, accusing him of having overset her religious and moral (!) principles by teaching her doctrines of impiety, &c. The outlines of few of her characters are portraits, but the amplissage and traits are exact. Lady Morganet is a twofold being—Dss. of Devonshire and her mother: Lady Augusta Lady Jersey and Lady Collier: Sophia Lady Granville, who had 6 years ago a passion for working fine embroidery, and she marks

* Lady Caroline Ponsonby [1785-1828], only daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough, married in 1805 the Hon. W. Lamb, afterwards Viscount Melbourne and Prime Minister, but her temper was so bad that they separated in 1813. Glenarvon, the romance referred to in the text, was published anonymously in 1816, and reissued in 1865 under the title of The Fatal Passion.

1815-16.]A LADY’S LETTER.255
most atrociously her marriage with
Lord Granville. Lady Mandeville is Ly. Oxford: Buchanan is Sir Godfrey Webster: Glenarvon and Vivian are of course Lord Byron. Lady Frances Webster is sketched and some others slightly. Lady Melbourne is represented as bigotted and vulgar. The words about Mr. Lamb are encomiastick, but the facts are against him, as she insidiously censures his not fighting a duel which her fictitious husband does. The bonne-bouche I have reserved for the last—myself. Where every ridicule, folly and infirmity (my not being able from malady to move about much) is portrayed. The charge against more essential qualities is, I trust and believe, a fiction; at least an uninterrupted friendship and intimacy of 25 years with herself and family might induce me to suppose it. The work is a strange farrago, and only curious from containing some of Lord Byron’s genuine letters—the last, in which he rejects her love and implores an end to their connexion, directed and sealed by Lady Oxford, is a most astonishing performance to publish. There is not much originality, as the jokes against me for my love of aisances and comforts she has heard laughed at by myself and coterie at my own fireside by years. The invasion of Ireland is only our own joke that when we were going out of Bruxelles with such a cavalcade the inhabitants might suppose we were a part of the Irish Army rallied. The dead poet is Mr. Ward’s joke at Rogers having cheated the coroner. I am sorry to see the Melbourne family so miserable about it. Lady Cowper is really frightened and depressed far beyond what is necessary. . . . The work has a prodigious sale, as all libellous matters have. Even General Pillet’s [?] satire upon the English was bought for two guineas the other day by Mr. Grenville.

“I know Lord Kinnaird also took over the Antiquary and the new play, otherwise I would send them to you; but if Moore’s poem is good you shall have it.

“We have been returned to our delicious old mansion above a week. Foliage and birds are the only demonstration of a change of season from December, as the cold, piercing easterly winds are still dreadful. . . .”

“Holland House, Tuesday.

“I take the opportunity of Lady Lansdowne’s departure to send you a small parcel of rubbish for your friend Gina, and, what is not rubbish, some verses by Mr. Rogers to add to his poems. . . . The town has been much occupied by a very strange affair which led to a duel between Ld. Buckingham and Sir Thos. Hardy. It is a mysterious business, but I sincerely hope quite over for ever. It was the charge of Ld. B. being the author of some very scandalous, offensive anonymous letters to, and about, Ly. Hardy. You would naturally suppose that the character of a gentleman, which Ld. B. has never forfeited would have been a sufficient guard to have repelled such a charge; but the Lady was angry. There are various conjectures about the writer of these letters; but, except just the angry parties, the world generally do justice to Lord B., from the impossibility of a man of character and in his station of life being capable of such an abominable proceeding. It is not the mode of revenge which a man takes, however he may have been jilted, or believed himself as so. But all these stories you will have heard from the Tierneys, who meant to spend some days at Bruxelles. . . . We are going to make a northern excursion . . . we shall make Lord Grey a visit of a week at Howick, and if Lord Lauderdale should not be philandering in these parts, stop at Dunbar. . . .”

Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Temple [no date, 1816?]

“The opinion is prevalent that the fête after all won’t hold; at any rate that P.* won’t venture. His loyal subjects are sure to attack him, and the burning of the temporary room, with the whole fashionable world, may be the consequence. Indeed a small expense, laid out in one squib, would bring about this catastrophe, so they will probably take fright. . . . I dined on Saturday at Dick Wilson’s, who was pleased to give the Pss. of W.’s health immediately after the King’s (the D. of Sussex being there), and he

* The Prince Regent.

then, with his accustomed patriotism, gave ‘The Rights of the People.’ . . .
Young Frog* was t’other day made remarkably drunk by a savage animal of the name of Wirtemburg (son of the pickled sister, your friend), and in this predicament shewn up to young P.† among others. The savage took the opportunity of making love on his own score, and has been forbid C[arlton] House in consequence.”

Hon. H. G. Bennet, M.P., to Mr. Creevey.
“Walton, July 21.

“. . . The last session has been very damaging to the country. . . . The Opposition has made no way and the Government are certainly stronger than ever, for all the tinsel and lace have rallied round them. At the same time, these attacks on the constitution have made the liberty boys feel more kindly towards us. But we must allow that, tho’ the Government are hated, we are not loved. . . . As you may imagine, our friend Brougham has done everything this year with no help, for there literally is no one but Folkestone who comes into the line and fights. Our leaders are away—poor Ponsonby from idleness and from fatigue, and Tierney from ill health. I fear he will never show again as he used to do. Who is to lead us now? God knows! Some talk of Ld. George Cavendish,

* The Prince of Orange. Princess Charlotte of Wales.

which I resist, because I think his politicks are abominable and his manners insolent and neglectful; but also because the Cavendish system, with the
Duke [of Devonshire] at the head, is not the thing for the present day. They are timid, idle and haughty: the Duke dines at Carlton House and sits between the Chancellor and Lord Caithness, and I have no doubt will have, one of these days, the Ribband. Then the Archduchess (as they call him) is a great admirer and follower of Prinnie’s, and presumes to abuse the Mountain, and as I am in duty bound to protect myself, he singles me out as the most objectionable person in the H. of Commons, and says my politics are revolutionary. This last offence determines me to submit to no Cavendish leader. Milton is named, and Tavistock,* who would be the best of all, but I fear he loves hunting too much, and has not enough money, for we must have a leader with a house and cash. So amid all the difficulties, I propose a Republic—no leader at all! . . .”

From Henry Brougham, M.P., to Mr. Creevey [in Brussels].
“Aug. 15, 1816. Geneva (uninhabitable).
“Dear C.,

“. . . I have been here for some time and in the neighbourhood. It is a country to be in for two hours, or two hours and a half, if the weather is fine, and no longer. Ennui comes on the third hour, and suicide attacks you before night. There is no resource whatever for passing the time, except looking at lakes and hills, which is over immediately. I should except Mme. Stael, whose house is a great comfort.

“You may wish to know the truth as to Mother P. They resolved, under Mrs. Leach’s auspices, to proceed. I rather think the Chancellor and ministers were jealous of Mrs. L.; at any rate they were indisposed to the plan, but on it went, and a formal notification was made to little P.’s husband† and herself. I believe they were to have begun in Hanover, to

* Afterwards 7th Duke of Bedford.

† In May of this year Princess Charlotte of Wales had married the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

1815-16.]“YOU MUST COME OVER!”259
have something to show to Bull and his wife and daughter. But steps were also taken in England. Being advised of this from the best authority, I deemed it proper, according to the tacticks we have always adopted, not to wait to be attacked, but to fire a shot of some calibre, and you will by this time have seen more of it, tho’ you may not have guessed whence it came. . . . As for Mrs. P.* herself, she won’t do any more; but the daughter is a strong force and will carry the old lady through. Mrs. P. is, I believe, among the Ottomans, but I have no sort of communication with her. . . . Tell
Kinnaird that Lord Byron is living here, entirely cut by the English.”

“Rome, 14th Nov., 1816.

“. . . I agree in your view of the high importance of this session. Lord [illegible], who is here, holds that it will be one of expedients and shifts, and that the grand breakdown won’t happen yet. I don’t much differ from him; but still, it will be the session, for their shifts and struggles and agonies will be the very time for work. The illustrious Regent meantime has been suffering in the flesh as well as the spirit, and I rejoice to find that his last defeat (which was a total one) has greatly annoyed him. I suppose you are aware of the secret history of it, and of Mother P. having miraculously been found fit for service once more. However, this time I must say she was rather a name than anything else, and little P. in reality bore the brunt of the day. I rejoice to say that Lord Grey views the divorce question in its true light, as do the party generally, i.e. in its connection with little P. and upon more general grounds. Both Carlton House and Hertford House now say the matter is finally at rest. . . . There are too many of the party abroad this session. Lord Lansdowne is here and remains all the winter in Italy, unless some very imperious call should take him home. The Jerseys and Cowpers come in a few days with the same plans. . . . Lady Jersey’s absence is very bad for the party. She alone had the right notion of the thing, and her great influence in society was always honestly and heartily exerted with her usual excellence

* The Princess of Wales.

of disposition. Ill as we can spare speakers, we can still less afford such a loss as this. . . . All this brings me to my text. You must come over; it won’t do to be absent any longer, therefore make up your mind to take the field. Meet me at Paris or Calais, if I can’t come to Brussels, and I can take you easily if you don’t fear the squeeze of three in a carriage. . . . When you get to London, if you please you may have my chambers for as long as you stay, with the laundress and man. I take lodgings in Spring Gardens during the session, and only am in chambers now and then for half an hour to look at the statutes. . . .”

Mr. Allen* to Mr. Creevey.
“Maidenhead, Sat., Nov. 20th.
“Dear Sir,

Lord and Lady Holland are in very great affliction, and you who knew the dear little girl they have lost and how much they were attached to her, will not wonder at their sorrow. . . . It is a satisfaction to hear that Lord Derby’s fears are subsiding, and from what I observed before I left town I think several others who were in the same predicament are recovering from their alarm. This mud bespattering of the extra Radicals at their last meeting has made people ashamed of their fears, and if the Whigs most inclined to popular courses adhere steadily to their determination of having no communication with the Radicals of any description, I trust the session may pass over without any schism among Opposition, and that ministers will have revived this alarm to very little purpose. But all depends on the discretion of the two or three first days of the session. One violent speech, received with approbation by the more eager members of the party, would cause the same break-up as in 1792, and give Jenky† and the Duke of Wellington the same despotic authority that Mr. Pitt exercised from that period to the end of his administration. . . .”

* John Allen, M.D. [1771-1843], political writer, a regular inmate of Holland House; of whom Byron said that he was “the best-informed and one of the ablest men” that he knew.

Lord Liverpool.