LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Last Days of Lord Byron
Chapter X

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
‣ Chapter X
Chapter XI
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“Lord Byron awoke in half an hour. I wished to go to him, but I had not the heart.
Mr. Parry went, and Byron knew him again, and squeezed his hand, and tried to
express his last wishes.”—Count Gamba’s Narrative.



Reasons for noticing Colonel Stanhope’s attack on Lord Byron—Nature of this attack—Probable reason why Lord Byron’s Friends have not defended him—Circumstances of the case—Lord Byron’s reasons for his conduct—His attacks on Mr. Bentham—Their amount—Colonel Stanhope anxious to obtain Mr. Bentham’s favour—Source of the Greek Committee’s want of confidence in Lord Byron—Unjustifiable time of Colonel Stanhope’s attack—Criterion for deciding betwixt them—Colonel Stanhope’s expenses in Greece—To what purpose directed—His unpleasant interference—Wants to rule in Greece—What he effected—Comparison between the consequences of his Departure and Lord Byron’s Loss—Consistency of the two Gentlemen—Lord Byron only zealous for the Welfare of Greece—His Faults traced to his birth and education—Apology for some of his Errors.

I should never have thought of bringing the gentlemen mentioned at the head of this chapter before the reader in juxta-position, but for the fact of Colonel Stanhope having laboured to cast a considerable degree of censure on Lord Byron, chiefly, as it appears to me, because he was not an admirer of Mr. Bentham. Knowing, as I do, the circumstances on which Colonel Stanhope differed with Lord Byron, and knowing the
opinions of the latter, both with regard to Colonel Stanhope and Mr. Bentham, I think it becomes me who was honoured by Lord Byron’s confidence, to vindicate his memory even from the slight imputation of not respecting the Westminster philosopher.

With a large class of the community, I am aware Lord Byron needs, on this account, no vindication. Either from not knowing Mr. Bentham, or from not understanding his works, they completely share Lord Byron’s opinions, and, like him, rather ridicule Mr. Bentham’s oddities than discuss his principles. With them, therefore, it will be no disparagement to Lord Byron, that he differed with his friend Colonel Stanhope on this subject. But this class of persons are opposed to Lord Byron on almost every other point. They are not partial to those general principles for which he wrote and fought; neither do I suppose that he would be extremely anxious to secure their good opinion. It is not to them, therefore, I address these few observations; I appeal, on the contrary, to those who admire the principles Mr. Bentham advocates. I would justify the poet of liberal principles in the minds of those who worship at the shrine of liberty, from the imputation of wanting proper respect for the philosopher whom they place at the
head of their party. I speak to those who reason, rather than to those who laugh; and I hope to convince them, that Byron was less to blame than those unreflecting friends of an old man, who will thrust him and his principles, which they do not understand, before the world in an unfavourable light. Lord Byron laughed at their intemperate zeal, and the ridiculous appearance of their apostle, but he died in defence of those principles about which they have the great merit of incessantly talking. At the same time, I do not know that it would be necessary for me to say a single word on this subject, had not Colonel Stanhope’s letter, in which, he censures Lord Byron, been quoted in the newspapers, and by that means obtained a degree of circulation far beyond what it would have received had it been confined to the Colonel’s own book. On this account it has become injurious to Lord Byron’s name, and deserves my notice.

Another reason for mentioning Colonel Stanhope in juxta-position with Lord Byron is, that these two gentlemen differed very much in their opinions and conduct, as to Greece. I have already more than once alluded to their disputes; and if Colonel Stanhope was right, we must condemn Lord Byron. The Greek Com-
mittee have thanked the former, and have thus tacitly censured the latter. In bringing the two before the reader, I wish him to decide betwixt them. I had to choose my party on the spot; and I do not pretend to be impartial, for I never sided with Colonel Stanhope. He was nothing, but as the agent of the Greek Committee; and the public opinion of the conduct of that body will, of course, depend on the opinion formed of the conduct of their agent.

In the volume entitled “Greece in 1823 and 1824, being a series of letters and other documents, &c. &c., by the Honourable Colonel Stanhope,” there is, in one of the letters, the following passage:—“Capt. York, of the Alacrity, a ten-gun brig, came on shore a few days ago, to demand an equivalent for an Ionian boat that had been taken in the act of going out of the Gulf of Lepanto with provisions, arms, &c. The Greek fleet, at that time, blockaded the harbour with five brigs, and the Turks had fourteen vessels of war in the Gulf. The Captain maintained, that the British government recognised no blockade that was not efficient, and that that efficiency depended on the numerical superiority of cannon. On this principle, without going at all into the merits of the case, he demanded restitution of the property. Prince Mavrocordato
remonstrated, and offered to submit the case to the decision of the British government; but the Captain peremptorily demanded restitution of the property in four hours. He received 200 dollars as an equivalent.
Lord Byron conducted the business in behalf of the Captain. In the evening he conversed with me on the subject; I said the affair was conducted in a bullying manner, and not according to the principles of equity and the law of nations. His Lordship started into a passion. He contended, that law justice, and equity had nothing to do with politics. That may be; but I will never lend myself to injustice. His Lordship then began, according to custom, to attack Mr. Bentham. I said, that it was highly illiberal to make personal attacks on Mr. Bentham before a friend who held him in high estimation. He said, that he only attacked his public principles, which were mere theories, but dangerous;—injurious to Spain, and calculated to do great mischief in Greece. I did not object to his Lordship’s attacking Mr. B.’s principles; what I objected to were his personalities. His Lordship never reasoned on any of Mr. B.’s writings, but merely made sport of them. I would, therefore, ask him what it was that he objected to. Lord Byron mentioned his Panopticon as visionary. I said that ex-
perience in Pennsylvania, at Milbank, &c., had proved it otherwise. I said that Bentham had a truly British heart; but that Lord Byron, after professing liberal principles from his boyhood, had, when called upon to act, proved himself a Turk.—Lord Byron asked, what proofs have you of this?—Your conduct in endeavouring to crush the press, by declaiming against it to Mavrocordato, and your general abuse of liberal principles.—Lord Byron said, that if he had held up his finger he could have crushed the press.—I replied, with all this power, which, by the way, you never possessed, you went to the Prince and poisoned his ear.—Lord Byron declaimed against the liberals whom he knew.—But what liberals? I asked; did he borrow his notions of free-men from the Italians?—Lord Byron. No; from the
Hunts, Cartwrights, &c.—And still, said I, you presented Cartwright’s Reform Bill, and aided Hunt, by praising his poetry, and giving him the sale of your works.—Lord Byron exclaimed, you are worse than Wilson, and should quit the army.—I replied, I am a mere soldier, but never will I abandon my principles. Our principles are diametrically opposite, so let us avoid the subject. If Lord Byron acts up to his professions, he will be the greatest;—if not, the meanest of mankind.—He said, he hoped his character did not
depend on my assertions.—No, said I, your genius has immortalized you. The worst could not deprive you of fame.—Lord Byron. Well, you shall see; judge me by my acts. When he wished me good night, I took up the light to conduct him to the passage, but he said, What! hold up a light to a Turk!”

This is one paragraph of several in Colonel Stanhope’s book, in which the conduct of Lord Byron is sharply censured; and, to me, it seems very hard that his fair fame should suffer, after his death, by the attacks of such a man as I take Colonel Stanhope to be. I am told, also, that what he has published is trifling, compared to what he says. Among his associates must be some who were Lord Byron’s friends; and they, I should think, would defend him from these verbal calumnies. That they have not cleared him from this published attack, arises, probably, from the impossibility of their doing it without, in some measure, condemning the Greek Committee. Either they are members of this committee, or they wish on some other grounds to see its fame unsullied; and the task of defending Lord Byron has fallen on me, because I also know the circumstances of the case, and have no motive to conceal the truth.

The first imputation against Lord Byron is,
that the business was conducted (by him) in a bullying manner; implying that Lord Byron supported Captain York in his unjust claims, and supported them in a bullying manner. I had not then arrived in Greece, and know the circumstances only from what Lord Byron told me. It is true, that Captain York demanded restitution; and, with that promptness which distinguishes the negotiations of our seamen, he fixed the hour beyond which he would not wait. He might be in error, as to the laws of nations, and be ignorant of equity, as
Colonel Stanhope says he was, but there can be no doubt that he was instructed to make the demand. If there were any bullying, it was by the British government, one of whose most obedient servants, not to say humble slaves, is Colonel Stanhope. The money which was paid as the equivalent for the restitution came from the pocket of Lord Byron. The person with whom the negotiation was conducted was Prince Mavrocordato, Lord Byron’s friend, and Colonel Stanhope’s opponent; so that Colonel Stanhope requires us to believe Lord Byron defended the injustice of the British government, and behaved in a bullying manner to his friend, that he might pay away his own money; and that the opponent of his friend afterwards remonstrated with him for bully-
ing, at which he flew into a passion. That there was a violent dispute between Colonel Stanhope and Lord Byron I know; but that the Colonel has given a fair report of it seems inconsistent, both with human nature generally, and the particular character of Lord Byron.

Lord Byron’s motives for counselling the restitution, and his reasoning on the subject, as he explained them to me, were as follows:—“The Greeks are not recognised as an independent power; they are insurgents. The government of Great Britain has not acknowledged them as an independent nation, and does not admit their right to blockade and make war. Whatever may be my opinions as to this part of the conduct of our government, and however much I think the principles of politics have nothing whatever to do with either law, justice, or equity, these are things I cannot alter; I must take them as I find them. The British Government is resolved to act in this manner, and I have only to consider how I can extract for the Greeks the greatest advantages out of this manner of acting. If the possessions of the British Government were as far off as China, I should laugh at its folly; but it happens unfortunately that this Government possesses the country where alone we can find a market for our cattle, the only produce we have to sell, and that country
is the only place whence we can procure our most necessary supplies. If this Government either cut off these supplies, or attack us, we have no means of resistance, and must fall a prey either to it, if it carry its cupidity so far, or to the Turks. Knowing this, I counselled restitution, not because it was just, for as I say justice has nothing to do with politics, but because it was expedient for us to do so. Colonel Stanhope, who seems rather fond of thrusting his friends into danger, would have had us resist Captain York’s demand, but whatever
Prince Mavrocordato might think of the justice of the measure, and however he might argue with his wily ingenuity against it to the Captain, he was aware of the policy of compliance; and I advanced the money which saved Greece from the anger of the Ionian Government.”

The only bullying in the case, therefore, which Colonel Stanhope has attributed to Lord Byron, was the act of his own master, whose power the Greeks could not resist. Lord Byron seeing that resistance would cause damage, if not destruction, advised submission. That his advice was high-minded, I will not say; but I am sure it was prudent. Colonel Stanhope, seeing only the abstraction called justice, and having nothing to lose whichever way the question might be decided, was against submission. If we allow his to have been
the most virtuous resolve, the course recommended by Byron was certainly the most useful.

After Colonel Stanhope has finished this part of his attack on Lord Byron, he commends himself: “I will never lend myself to injustice.” Herein, however, he shews himself only half a Benthamite, and that he has still a lingering for the praise of sympathy, so much reprobated by his teacher. Little as I know of the matter, I can tell him that Mr. Bentham would not, on principle, have regarded an assent to that which was most expedient as lending one’s self to an act of injustice. Whatever else Colonel Stanhope may have done, I know he bearded the distressed people he went to assist. Lord Byron, I am sure, never bullied the Greeks, either on his own account, or on account of Colonel Stanhope’s masters.

The next imputation which Colonel Stanhope throws out against Lord Byron is, that he made personal attacks on Mr. Bentham. After the little anecdote I have already related of Mr. Bentham, and when it is universally admitted, even by his warmest admirers, that his writings, whatever Mr. Dumont’s may be, are scarcely readable, I must say, I think the only way in which a man of Lord Byron’s extraordinary powers could treat the world-reforming pretensions of Mr. Bentham, was by laughing at them.


On this point also they were only on a par. Mr. Bentham has no more respect for poets, than Lord Byron had for reformers and philosophers. He censures them whenever he has an opportunity, though it is probable that in this warfare the poet had the advantage, and that the philosopher’s friends were made to feel his vulnerability.

But by whom and to whom was the accusation made, that Lord Byron did not respect Mr. Bentham? By a person anxious to retain his friendship, to another person equally anxious to stand well with him. It is well known that Mr. Bentham is ambitious of being the founder of a sect; he is the patron of two or three small societies; and of a number of nascent philosophers. Every naval or military hero who diverges from the paths of routine and discipline, and talks and writes of politics and reform, seeks encouragement from him. Colonel Stanhope on this ground seems to have been desirous of obtaining his countenance and patronage, and naturally, therefore, wrote to Mr. Bowring, who was already the protégé of Mr. Bentham, how warmly he had defended him from the attacks of Lord Byron. All this is very well, however much the zealous defender may have exaggerated the statements; and as these letters were shewn to Mr. Bentham, or he was told their contents, they might in this respect answer Colonel
Stanhope’s purpose. I see in this nothing but a very common example of a man flattering himself indirectly into the good graces of a great man. In Colonel Stanhope’s book, there are abundant examples of the same method of insinuating one’s self into favour. In one letter to Mr. Bowring, to be of course shewn to Mr. Bentham, the latter is called “the finest genius of the most enlightened age,—the immortal Bentham,”—p. 55. Had Colonel Stanhope confined his remarks to his letters, he might have disputed with his dear friend Mr. Bowring for the patronage of the philosopher, and nobody else would have cared one atom about the matter. But when he publishes his defence of Mr. Bentham, and founds on it no less important an accusation against Lord Byron, than that he was an enemy of liberal principles;—of those principles, his faith in which he sealed with his life;—it becomes those who can see through this sort of jobbing for reputation to expose it, and to shew how much the accuser stands below the accused in his veneration of all that is truly dignified in human nature*.

* I cannot here withhold from my readers a letter written by Mr. Bentham, taken from Colonel Stanhope’s book. The reader will see in it a justification of Lord Byron, even supposing he had done nothing else hut laugh at the vanity both of the philosopher and the soldier. He will also infer from one pas-


In leaving the ungrateful subject of Mr. Bentham, and I should never have adverted to it, but

sage that the Greek Deputies knew how to appreciate properly the exertions of Colonel Stanhope in favour of the Greek cause. The philosopher appeals to the Deputies to replace the Colonel in their good opinion:—

Queen-Square-Place, Westminster,

“15th March, 1824.

“My dear Children,

* * * Stanhope, who actually consecrates to the cause of Greece two-thirds of his moderate income; and of all the persons who, solely for the purpose of giving you this pledge of friendship, have been induced to concur in this sacrifice, there is not one who does not entertain of this same Stanhope the highest possible idea, that is to say, in all points—wisdom as well as probity, philanthropy, and attachment to the cause of liberty in Greece.

“As for me, what I know and what I think of Stanhope is (I believe) yet unknown to you. After a most careful study, to which I have subjected him for about a year past, I believe that I run no risk in saying, that I will stake all the reputation which I may possess upon his head, in such a manner that if he were to conduct himself ill, in any respect whatever, it might be said, Bentham has been grossly deceived—he knows nothing of mankind. I should never have done were I to begin to depict him to you, * * * son and ally of the highest families of our country, * * * * he has stripped himself, with his eyes open, and always without any bitter feeling of every chance of promotion and of favour, by pleading by his writings for the

for the manner in which Lord Byron has been censured for not admiring him, I may observe that,

liberty of the press, and also by pleading in the same manner for the soldier against military tyranny, with the view of inducing our government to abolish the afflicting punishment of flogging, as has been done in almost every other country.

“With respect to Stanhope, I will take upon myself to send you, that is to say, to our Englishman Luriottis, one of the letters of the honourable Colonel to myself; it is the only one which I have received from him addressed to me personally, since he departed for Greece, on that journey, in the course of which, by his virtues and his good conduct, he has made the conquest of Philhellenic Germany and Switzerland, which have placed him at their head. This is the only one which he has addressed to me, but he is a constant correspondent of the Committee, whose agent he is; and scarcely is there a letter from him in which there is not a word on me in the same sense as this. I have seen three letters from him of later date, and written from Greece itself, and I have had the good fortune to see that they are much more encouraging. ‘But you are partial in his favour,’ you will say. I confess it: but how? It is not because he has become my friend that I entertain this opinion of him, but because, in consequence of the good opinion which I saw that every body entertained of him, I resolved to make a friend of him, and to open for him the door which I am compelled to keep closed against the crowd, which would otherwise invade the few moments which I may yet pass upon earth.

“Well! If, after having read this letter, you should happen to share with me the opinion which I cannot help entertaining

even supposing all the anger of the Colonel to be justified, it only amounts to this, that Lord Byron was more disposed to laugh than to reason. He was logical in his feelings if not in his words; and had as strong a hatred of every species of oppression and bad government as if he had done nothing but listen to Mr. Bentham’s instructions during his

of Stanhope, and to wish me to entertain a good opinion of yourself, make yourself the proposition, my Luriottis, of replacing the name of Stanhope where it was before.

“Unfortunately, if he were the contrary of what every body knows him to be, you would risk very little by acceding to this proposition, for I have very little hope that he can remain in Greece. Being one of ten children, who are all living, the moderate fortune which his virtue has permitted him to make in India, would be insufficient for his maintenance without his pay of a Colonel, and it has been just signified that if, for what he had done or had wished to do for the cause of the Greeks, the Holy Alliance should happen to require his deprivation, he would not fail to be deprived of his rank, in order to preserve the promised neutrality. Now, it is certain, that it is some time since Stanhope’s elder brother wrote him a pressing letter; so that everyday one of the things which I fear most is to see him in my arms.

“For the rest, do with respect to him what you think proper; you will not have the least resentment to fear on his part, for he is incapable of it.

* * * * * * * * *
“Ever your affectionate father,
Jeremy Bentham.”

whole life. It is, indeed, much to be regretted that the injudicious zeal of Mr. Bentham’s friends should have led them to say one word of the harmless sallies of the poet; and it is still more to be regretted that the intervention of these friends should have placed two men before the public in opposition, both of whom have wished to benefit mankind, though they have taken different roads to accomplish the same object.

There is another reason for which it is right to allude to this letter of Colonel Stanhope’s. Lord Byron thought he had too much reason to complain of the conduct of the Greek committee towards him. The person who chiefly managed the affairs of that committee was Mr. Bowring. To him this correspondence of Colonel Stanhope was addressed; and do such imputations as we find in this letter of their confidential agent afford no clue to their neglect of Lord Byron? What must we think of a man who thus writes home to poison the ear of that committee through its honorary secretary; and who, not confining himself to the affairs of Greece, endeavours to enlist the prejudices of this secretary against Lord Byron, by accusing him of Anti-Benthamism? I might ask, is this honourable in a confidential agent? Is it right in a man engaged in a public cause, thus to injure it through the sides of its most zealous and disin-
terested defender? There is, I should suppose, not one man who can approve of Colonel Stanhope’s ever writing such a letter to such a person. The plain object of the paragraph I have quoted, and on the Greek Committee it would certainly have the wished-for effect, is, to excite a belief that Lord Byron is an enemy to liberal principles, or as Colonel Stanhope describes him, a mere Turk.

But if it were wrong to write such a letter, what must we think of the straight-forward soldier, as he has been called, who publishes it after the person he accuses is dead? It was written I know during Lord Byron’s life-time, but it was made public only after his death;—after Colonel Stanhope, as one of the mourners, had followed Lord Byron’s corpse to its last home. In the very passage in which Colonel Stanhope censures Lord Byron, for laughing at the oddities of an old man, he himself vilifies his departed friend. Would Colonel Stanhope have published such a letter in Lord Byron’s life-time? Would he even have imputed bullying or illiberality to Lord Byron? I think not; but I am sure if he had done either, Lord Byron would have made him answer for it. Colonel Stanhope, I believe, would not have dared to have published such a letter had Lord Byron been alive; and, from a scene I shall presently relate, I am convinced he never could have accused Lord Byron
to his face of acting in a bullying manner. It is very easy for Colonel Stanhope to talk big; did he act in a corresponding manner?

Fortunately, though Lord Byron is no more, we may judge betwixt him and Colonel Stanhope, on the testimony of the Colonel himself. “Our principles are diametrically opposite,” says the Colonel to Lord Byron: “Judge me by my acts,” said Lord Byron to Colonel Stanhope. Let us adopt this criterion. Let us judge Byron by his acts; and let us shew by Stanhope’s acts, that his principles were opposite to those of Lord Byron.

Lord Byron gave up his whole time and his whole income to the service of the Greeks. He did not stipulate on what conditions he would assist them; he knew them to be an oppressed and an outraged people; he knew their cause was good, and he supported it with his heart and soul. He prescribed no form of government to them; he made no boast of what he had done; he lent them his purse and his sword, and his best counsels when they were asked. But why should I repeat what Lord Byron did; every deed of his is already known; not so those of Colonel Stanhope, and to make the comparison, we must bring them before the reader.

Colonel Stanhope,” says Mr. Bentham, “consecrates to the cause of the Greeks two-thirds of his moderate income!” Begging Mr. Bentham’s
pardon for disputing his assertion, I think he ought to have said, to the support of Colonel Stanhope’s and my whims. We are not, however, deficient in accurate accounts of what sums the Colonel spent, and for what he spent them. He has taken care to furnish the world with an account of his vast exertions. Unwilling that the services he rendered the Greeks should be unknown; he put them all down, and among them his expenses, in the book which he published, and from it I make the following extract:

Subscriptions on my own account.
To fourteen refugee Greeks conveyed from Ancona
£. s. d.
to Cephalonia
7 0 0
To the formation and support of a Greek artillery corps
100 0 0
To a courier for circulating the Prospectus of the Greek Chronicle
2 0 0
Loan of 100l. to Mavrocordato, on account of the Greek fleet. This money was repaid.
Passage for presses, medicines, &c., from Missolonghi to Cranidi
5 0 0
Paid Lieutenant Klempe for going from Athens to Napoli to get Colocotroni to restore the Committee’s stores
2 0 0
Paid to a Greek courier for the same object
3 0 0
Paid to a Lieutenant Klempe for going from Athens to Missolonghi, and returning with a lithographic press, &c.
7 0 0
—— —— ——
Carried up
126 0 0
£. s. d.
Brought forward
126 0 0
Paid to Lieutenant Klempe to instruct in the art of lithography
4 0 0
Paid to Jacobi, ditto, ditto
5 0 0
Paid for conveying presses, medicines, &c., from Napoli to Aegina
2 0 0
To Dr. Tindall for a dispensary at Athens, when established
20 0 0
To Dr. Meyer for the Greek Telegraph
30 0 0
To ditto Greek Chronicle
60 0 0
To the Editor of the Athens Free Press
70 0 0
To the Editor of the “Ami des Loix”
20 0 0
To the Editor of the Ipsara Gazette, when published
50 0 0
To the Philo-Muse Society at Athens
20 0 0
To the Lancasterian School at Athens
20 0 0
To the Lancasterian School at Missolonghi, when established
10 0 0
Towards the expenses of a Post, when established
50 0 0
To paper for printing the Greek Constitution
10 0 0
—— —— ——
Subscribed by me to the Greek cause
£497 0 0

In this whole list, the two first articles only have any relation to the cause of the Greeks, and they cost the Colonel £.107, all the rest of the money was spent to gratify Colonel Stanhope’s whims, in opposition to the Greek government; much of what he spent had the effect of promoting disturbance and discord, and did more injury than benefit to the cause of the Greeks.

During the whole time Colonel Stanhope was in Greece, he was continually and perpetually directing the Greeks what they ought to do. “I
have advised,” he says, “that
Odysseus should be placed in the executive; Ipsilante, as president of the Legislative body; General Colliopulo as minister of war, and Negris as Ministre d’etat. This is a question on which men may fairly differ, but on which my mind is made up.” Mark this, reader, “my mind,” Colonel Stanhope’s mind, the representative of the Greek Committee, is made up, and, therefore, he tells a nation whom it is to choose for its rulers. If any individual wanted to be king in Greece, though without the name, it was Colonel Stanhope. He pretended, indeed, to govern on his liberal principles; but despotism only consists in an individual having every thing his own way; which is precisely what Colonel Stanhope wanted. There was in Greece a young man of the name of Humphreys, who appeared to me to know nothing, either of Greece or of the art of war or of government. To this youth did Colonel Stanhope give a letter of instructions, such as never before probably graced the annals of interfering diplomacy. It is so good a specimen of Colonel Stanhope’s mode of interfering that I must lay some part of it before the reader; though I cannot make him sensible of half its folly unless he is acquainted with the person to whom it is addressed.

“Zante 20th May, 1824.
“Dear Humphreys,

“I accept, with thankfulness, your offer to proceed to the seat of the Greek government. I know that your zeal is quicker than my pen, that you will be ready before these instructions.

“The principal object of your mission is, to prepare every thing for the ensuing campaign; to obtain such information connected with the loan, as will enable the commissioners to act on their arrival in Greece; and to endeavour to persuade the people and the government to put the constitution of the Greek republic in force. It is impossible for me, in a moment, to range over this wide field; I shall, however, give you some hints to act upon.

“1. I wish you to read over your plan for the ensuing campaign to the executive and legislative bodies, and to have every article of it well debated. This done, be pleased to call upon the government for their sentiments on this vital question.

“2. Desire the government to give you an estimate of the expense of their military and naval forces, for the year 1824.

“3. Request of the government to state what part of the loan they propose to devote to the above purpose.

“4. Point out to the government the necessity of
adhering to the law they have passed, prohibiting the payment of old debts from the loan.

“5. Press upon the government the necessity of getting the revenues of the state placed in the public coffers.

“11. Advise the government to employ a clever military officer, near the seat of administration, to give them information and counsel in military affairs. Also, to form a corps of 300 artillery-men, for the attack and defence of fortresses, and another of 1,000 regular troops, to be quartered at the seat of government.

“12. Desire the government to inform you in detail, what they require for the sieges of Patras, Negropont, Lepanto, &c. Recommend them to send round Baron Gilman or Lieut. Kindermann to the fortresses, to make a report on their condition, how they are provisioned, and what cannon, mortars, powder, shot, shells, &c., they possess.

“13. Speak to the government about Missolonghi. Impress upon their minds the necessity of giving the Suliots a home,—of providing for the widows and orphans of those who have fallen in the good fight,—of giving assurance, that their arrears shall be hereafter paid, and of furnishing them with regular pay for the future. Unless the government adopt this measure, they had better at once turn this treacherous enemy out of their camp, and declare war against them.

“14. Urge the government to endeavour to
create dissensions among the Turks, the Egyptians, the Albanians, &c. Let them publish a list of all the wrongs and oppressions which these people suffer under Turkish dominion, and then call upon them to state whether it is for the preservation of such curses that they are to risk their heads and their fortunes.

“15. Call to the attention of the government the plan of Captain Hastings for a steam-boat. Tell them that it would prove eminently useful in frightening away the Turks from the blockade of the Corinthian gulf, of the fortresses in Negropont, &c.

“16. Explain Captain Trelawny’s plan to the government. Let them endeavour to get some English or American privateers, to harass the Turkish ships and their coasts.

“17. Demonstrate to the legislative body the necessity of their assuming a high station in the republic, and recommend them to have their proceedings published.

“18. Desire the government to send to Athens for the lithographic press, the moment some one is instructed by Mr. Gropius or Gill, in the art of printing with it.

“19. Tell the government and the legislative body that I am ready to establish my post immediately, and that Dr. Marcies is to conduct it. No delays on this head. Marcies will be at the seat of government in a fortnight.


“20. Declaim boldly before the legislative and executive bodies against the traitors who, while they profess to be ‘les Amis des Loix,’ are slyly plotting against the republic. I allude to those who are conspiring in the dark to place a foreign king over the Greek people.

“21. Prove to the representatives of the commonwealth, the necessity of coalescing and forming an administration, comprising all the various interests of the state. Urge them to act on the principles of the constitution, and of the greatest good of the greatest number.

“22. Desire the government to instruct the editors of papers to send their sheets to all the Prefects. The government should pay the prime cost of the said papers—say one dollar a year for each paper sent to each Prefect. Desire the government also to solicit the editors to declaim against all extortion and intrigue, and against the violators of the laws and of the constitution.

“23. Advise the government to send Kalergy and Mr. Finlay on a mission to America.”

Supposing Captain Humphreys could have acted on such a letter, I may boldly say there never was a government so treated by an individual, who had devoted to its service the enormous sum of 497l. Sir Thomas Maitland was not half so imperative and commanding as Colonel Stanhope. There is scarcely an act which Mr. Humphreys, a person
invested with no official character, is not instructed to prescribe. Demonstrate this to the legislature, prove that to the executive. We can see from other sources, besides Colonel Stanhope’s letter to
Mr. Bowring, already quoted, that he knew what bullying was. Poor Byron! he indeed fell in evil times, and among evil men, when the assertions of a man, such as Colonel Stanhope here shews himself to be, were allowed to weigh against him. Lord Byron perished rather than he would leave Greece; Colonel Stanhope, when he had done nearly all the evil possible, quitted it the very instant he was commanded to do so by his masters, and when he might possibly, had he stayed, have made some arrangements for placing the proceeds of the loan in the hands of government, and have saved Ipsara. He quitted it too after the following exhortation had been addressed to him: “I call on you, in the name of Greece, to do all you can to fill his (Lord Byron’s) place. I say you can do the greatest service to the cause, and you must not leave us; you are public property, and must sacrifice all private duties and ties*.” But Colonel Stanhope, the friend of Mr. Bentham, the great advocate, on paper, of unbounded freedom, was in his conduct so willingly a military machine, so perfectly the creature of passive obedience, that

* Letter from Captain Trelawny to Colonel Stanhope.

all his love for liberty vanished into nothing at the mandate of the
Duke of York, or the chance of encountering His Majesty’s displeasure. To save his 400l. a year, he eagerly hastened to shew that he thought no principles sacred, no conduct honourable, but that of rigid and prompt obedience to military orders. This is very proper in a mercenary soldier, but when he puts on the red coat, and accepts the enlistment money, resolving to do every thing that he is bid, he lays aside the best characteristics of a man, and ought to claim nothing for himself beyond the mere praise of being a good machine. Well might Colonel Stanhope say to Lord Byron, “Our principles are diametrically opposite.” If we judge them both by their acts, we shall be completely convinced of this truth. I feel ashamed, however, that I am compelled, by the decisions of other persons, to institute any comparison between two men who seem to have had nothing in common but the name and form. It is like comparing the soaring eagle with the chattering pie, or the monarch of the forest with those animals which have no means of attack or defence but the ordure they scatter.

What Greece lost by Lord Byron’s death is, perhaps, inappreciable. “His name,” says Captain Trelawny, “was the means of chiefly raising the loan in England. Thousands of people were flocking here (Greece); some had arrived as far
as Corfu, and, hearing of his death, confessed they came out to devote their fortunes, not to the Greeks, or interest (themselves) in the Greek cause, but to the noble poet; and the pilgrim of eternity having departed, they turned back.” While I was on the quarantine house at Zante, a gentleman called on me, and made numerous inquiries as to Lord Byron. He said he was only one of fourteen English gentlemen, then at Ancona, who had sent him on to obtain intelligence, and only waited his return to come and join Lord Byron. They were to form a mounted guard for him, and meant to devote their personal services and their incomes to the Greek cause. On hearing of Lord Byron’s death, however, they turned back, because they felt in the divided and distracted state of Greece, there was little chance even of safety, and it was impossible to serve her.

The supplies which, before his death, had been obtained from the Ionian islands, could no longer be procured on the same terms. The money once raised there for the service of the Greeks was instantly refused; and one person who was negotiating for a loan was obliged to give it up the instant Lord Byron’s death was known. His mere existence was a guarantee for the success of the Greeks, and for their keeping their engagements, and with his death the guarantee both of success and of justice was lost.


What Greece lost by Colonel Stanhope’s absence it is not easy to say; this can only be known when it has been ascertained what she gained by his presence. So blind are the quick-sighted Greeks to any benefits he conferred on them, that, report says, he is not blessed in their churches, nor remembered in their prayers. They were glad that he removed, for had he perished in Greece, his death might have made them enemies in Europe, had it not even armed every civilized state against them.

The scene which a few pages ago I said I should relate was this. At Missolonghi there were some medicines and other stores which had been sent by the Quakers for the service of the Greeks. They had not been then delivered into the power of the Greek government, or to any agents appointed by it. They were, however, placed at the disposal of the commissioners, to be delivered to the Greek government. Colonel Stanhope, on the eve of his departure from Missolonghi, wished to take the half of these medicines and stores with him, not to deliver into the power of the Greek government, but to place them in the hands of some of those chiefs who were not very much trusted by the government. To such a proceeding Lord Byron strongly objected. Dr. Milligan also stated to him the inconvenience of suffering it. He said the medicines would be injured by being
unpacked and exposed to the air; and that hereafter, when bottles and such things were prepared, they might be distributed without danger or loss, and sent by some safe conveyance which did not then offer. Lord Byron knew all this, and had represented to Colonel Stanhope that the convoy would either be taken by the Turks or by
Colocotroni; Colonel Stanhope was, however, obstinate, and words ran so high that I was not sure Lord Byron would not have challenged him. Knowing that Lord Byron would listen to any thing rational, I interfered, and undertook to have the medicines properly packed and indulge Colonel Stanhope in his whim of distributing one-third of them. This was accordingly done, and he sent them off, but, as had been predicted by Lord Byron, they were taken possession of by Colocotroni, and some of the items in Colonel Stanhope’s expenditure arose from this capture. I put it to the reader, when Lord Byron was so ready to resent such an interference of Colonel Stanhope, would he have allowed this dictatorial gentleman to say to him all which he has boasted of having said in his letter to Mr. Bowring?

J. G. Lockhart, “Last Days of Lord Byron”

I beg also that the reader will remark the consequence of the Greek committee having two agents or commissioners in Greece with undefined powers. Lord Byron was regarded as first commissioner, but the brightness of Colonel Stan-
hope’s glory would have been wholly obscured by acting under Lord Byron. He would play a part of his own. Lord Byron acted strictly in conjunction with the Greek government, and with its representative in Western Greece,
Prince Mavrocordato. Colonel Stanhope acted in conjunction with nobody, and in opposition to the government. His own thoughts, wishes, and theories, were the only rules he consulted. Hence the disputes about the medicines, about the printing press, the newspapers, &c. &c., on all which subjects Byron did but second the views of the Greek government, while Stanhope opposed them, following nothing but his own suggestions. Thus, in consequence of having two commissioners, there arose two English as well as several Greek parties, and the sources of dispute and discord were multiplied.

It has been said, that in his conduct in Greece Lord Byron shewed much less consistency than Colonel Stanhope. This accusation was founded on the report of Colonel Stanhope; but how very unjustly, has been shewn at every page of this work. As far as an invariable unsparing attachment to the press, whether lithographic or printing, and to schools, whether Chrestomathic or Lancasterian is concerned, I do not doubt that Colonel Stanhope was more consistent than Lord Byron. Even as far as theories of government were the
objects in dispute, the words and reasoning of Colonel Stanhope were probably more logical than those of his opponent. But zealots are always consistent as far as that object is concerned, in favour of which they are zealots. They see nothing else; they look neither to the right nor left, and pursue that one thing unsparingly and with undivided attention.

Gentleman's Magazine, “Last Days”

Lord Byron was no zealot for either a press or a system of education. He did not take that one narrow view which is dictated by short-sighted passion; he could weigh and judge the circumstances relative to a press and to schools; and though he might in the first instance have subscribed money for a Journal, he was not like the man to whom he was opposed, blind to every consequence of such an instrument; and if he sometimes doubted of its utility, it was because, like all men of sound judgment, he took a comprehensive view, and that judgment was accessible to the influence of circumstances. He was, probably, persuaded in the first instance by the zealots for a free press to go along with them, and they afterwards blamed him because he was not as blind as they were to its consequences. They went on theory and hypothesis, and were influenced by a name—he decided by circumstances, and judged of things as they arose. He forsook the path their fervour had pointed out, and for this he is loudly condemned
as inconsistent. This may be granted; but his opponents have gained their advantages, because they were in this particular instance zealots, and he was not.

But was Lord Byron then zealous in no cause? yes; in the cause of Greece, and herein his conduct for consistency will square with that of any man. He never forsook that cause; he promoted it by his money and his exertions. Knowing how much humanity would recommend the Greeks in Europe, he inculcated it by his precepts and his example. He gave up his time to Greece; gave up his society, and lived and laboured with men he despised, to promote its welfare. Herein he was a zealot, and herein his consistency is surpassed, not only by none of his personal opponents, but by no man who ever breathed.

I have already said that Lord Byron was with me generally sedate and serious; with other companions he indulged in whims and pranks; with them also he talked on a variety of frivolous things greatly to his own disadvantage, the loss of his time, and the injury of the public service. The only altercations I ever had with him arose out of these proceedings. Such conversations frequently terminated in disputes, and gave many opportunities for Lord Byron to indulge in those gusts of passion with which he was unfortunately too familiar. Naturally, he was benevolent, kind,
and serious; but he was acutely sensible to the praise of mankind, and his own character took the colour of the medium in which he lived. I have seen him walk backwards and forwards in his apartment for hours together, talking rapidly and almost incessantly the whole time with
Mr. Findlay or Mr. Fowke, or some other person of the same light and frivolous cast. I then occasionally remonstrated at such an employment of his time, but he always replied this sort of nonsense was necessary. It was in these conversations, that his wish to shine, to say smart things, or to tell a good story, carried him beyond the bounds of discretion, and led him to exaggerate if not to invent. My advice, as circumstances have shewn, was judicious. In such conversations were those stories collected, which, since his death, have been circulated so much to the disadvantage of his memory. Never did the words of a man, uttered in the hour of confidence and mirth, uttered, also, it is probable, without any meaning, beyond that idle sort of jesting and rhodomontade, too common among his companions, so rise up in judgment against him. I have heard him so often indulge in language, similar to that which is reported by Mr. Medwin, that what he has stated appears to wear an air of truth, and should, perhaps, when rightly considered, operate as a warning against indulging in idle talk.


To all plain men, such as I am, it will probably appear as it did to me, that the exalted birth, and consequent neglected moral training of Lord Byron, were his greatest misfortunes. He never conquered the mischievous prejudices, and the more mischievous mental habits which they led to. He was a nobleman, an only son, and a spoiled, neglected child. He had to suffer from all these circumstances, and derived a considerable share of his unhappiness from each. To almost every thing which could nurture vice in the human heart he was early and unfortunately long exposed. He was of a rank above control; possessed money and was an orphan; then came fame, not gradually and hardly earned, but at once, and overwhelming; and bestowed probably for what he had thrown off in some bright and happy and delightful moments. He was so felicitous in his language, so quick in thought, that writing to him was not labour but pleasure. He was not only a poet, but, like other young noblemen, he was, for several years, a man of what is called fashion, and ton, and the opinions which he then imbibed, and the habits he then formed, he never afterwards got rid of. He deferred to them in his conversation and his manners, long after he had learned to despise them in his heart. Naturally, like most men of very exalted genius, he was contemplative, and loved solitude rather than society. At least, in all our
conversations, his Lordship was serious and reflecting, though wonderfully quick, acute, and discerning. With his other companions he was, as I have said, light, volatile, and trifling. He was still the man of fashion. Then the opinions and habits of his former days again obtained all their mastery over his mind. His commanding talents, his noble endowments, and his rare acquirements were then all sacrificed on the altar of fashionable frivolity. He had felt how dreadfully wearying are the serious triflers of the world, and his companions being unable to comprehend his more exalted thoughts, he let himself down to their level, and again became an unthinking, talking trifler. To use, perhaps a homely proverb, he “howled with the wolves,” and has been represented as vain, overbearing, gasconading, violent, unreflecting, capricious, and heartless, because these are too much the characteristics of the class to which he belonged, and of the individuals with whom he associated, and who reported of him. His noble and devoted enthusiasm in the cause of liberty; his courage, endearing him even to the rude Suliotes; his generosity, which never allowed him to leave one want or one woe unrelieved he could mitigate; the humanity which made him sacrifice time and money and ease to soothe the sorrows of the unhappy prisoners, have all at times been forgotten, and he has been held
up to the censure of the world by heartless and pretended friends, who were quite unable to appreciate all the nobleness of his character.

Even in that particular, in which perhaps he is most censurable, the mockery and scorn with which he sometimes treated the dull routine of domestic life, and the matrimonial and domestic virtues, he was but the expounder of the practices of that class of society to which he belonged, though having somewhat more of hypocrisy than he had, they do not so openly state their opinions. In his lighter poems, which have been so much censured, no other virtues but these are ridiculed. His scorn of cant and hypocrisy, both in them and in his various conversations, was unmeasured. The deep affection he shewed for his daughter, whom he hardly knew, and for his wife, who seems scarcely to have loved him with that ardent, cherished, and patient affection he deserved, convinced me that he would have been the most devoted of husbands and the best of fathers, had he not been corrupted by the vices of his station and education; or had he found a woman capable of appreciating and allowing for their unhappy consequences. But Lady Byron is herself a young woman of fashion, and consequently entertains many of those opinions, and has been formed on those habits notoriously destructive of conjugal happiness. She is apparently
also more imbued with the dogmas than the charity of religion. His Lordship, therefore, was never weaned nor reclaimed from the follies he had learned as a young spoiled lord; and to this, and this alone, must be attributed his neglect of some domestic virtues, and the mockery he sometimes throws on our national pretensions to female chastity. He judged of the world as he had found it in salons. When he saw, as he has declared to me, five women visiting his wife in one day as friends, with all of whom he had been before intriguing, and all of high reputation in the world; not outcasts, not banished from society, could he possibly form an exalted idea of female virtue? and was he to blame if he laughed to scorn the pretensions so frequently put forth by English writers, that we are the most virtuous and chaste of nations? It was his misfortune, I repeat, to be nobly born: had that spirit, which so much needed guidance, and was so apt to take impressions, been rightly directed in its youthful and green state; had it met with any thing like congenial spirits, or been matured in the calm and well-ordered families of the middle ranks, it would never have been polluted with some trifling spots, which, in the minds of those who rightly value nothing but domestic virtues, have done his character irreparable injury. Unfortunately, his enemies, and those who have spoken against him
with most zeal and talent, have been taken from the middling classes. Possessing and praising the virtues he wanted, and overlooking or incapable of feeling those he possessed, they have most unfairly and unjustly censured him for not being like themselves; and for wanting that species of self-command, and that conformity to the national model, which are only the results of a situation he was unfortunately never placed in.