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Title: Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician, vol. 2 (of 3)
Author: Stanhope, Hester
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician, vol. 2 (of 3)" ***

                London, Henry Colburn, 1845]


                                 OF THE

                         LADY HESTER STANHOPE,

                         AS RELATED BY HERSELF

                       IN CONVERSATIONS WITH HER



                     HER OPINIONS AND ANECDOTES OF


                              OF HER TIME.

All such writings and discourses as touch no man will mend no
man.――TYERS’S _Rhapsody on Pope_.

                            Second Edition.

                           IN THREE VOLUMES.

                                VOL. II.

                       HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,
                       GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.


                       FREDERICK SHOBERL, JUNIOR,
                 51, RUPERT STREET, HAYMARKET, LONDON.



                           THE SECOND VOLUME.

                               CHAPTER I.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s descent――The Author’s first introduction to
her――Her reasons for quitting England――Anecdotes of her childhood
and womanhood――Her motives for going to live with Mr. Pitt――Mr.
Pitt’s opinion of Tom Paine――Lady Hester noticed by George
III.――Anecdote of Sir A. H.――Of Lord G.――Of Lord A.――Impertinent
questioners――Anecdote of the Marquis * * *――Mr. Pitt’s confidence in
Lady Hester’s discretion――and in her devotion to him――His opinion of
her cleverness, and of her military and diplomatic abilities――Her
tirade against doctors――Her reflections on prudery――Anecdote of
General Moore――Of the Duc de Blacas, &c.                            1

                              CHAPTER II.

Sir Nathaniel Wraxall’s Memoirs――The three duchesses――Anecdote of
Mr. Rice――How Prime Ministers are employed on first taking
office――The Grenville make――P―――― of W―――― at Stowe――Mr. Pitt and
Mr. Sheridan―― Duke of H―――― ――Mr. Pitt’s disinterestedness
exemplified――His life wasted in the service of his country――Mr.
Rose――Mr. Long――Mr.―――― ――Grounds at Walmer laid out by Lady
Hester――Mr. Pitt’s deportment in retirement――His physiognomy――How he
got into debt――Lord Carrington; why made a peer――Extent of Mr.
Dundas’s influence over Mr. Pitt――Mr. Pitt averse to ceremony――Mr.
Pitt and his sister Harriet――His dislike to the Bourbons――Lady
Hester’s activity at Walmer――Lord Chatham’s indolence――Mr. Pitt’s
opinion of Sir Arthur Wellesley                                    45

                              CHAPTER III.

Duchess of Gontaut――Duc de Berry――Anecdotes of Lord H.――Sir Gore
Ouseley――Prince of Wales――The other princes――The Queen’s
severity――Men and women of George the Third’s time――The Herveys――
Lady Liverpool’s high breeding――Lady Hester’s declining health     76

                              CHAPTER IV.

Conscription in Syria――Inviolability of consular houses――Panic
and flight of the people of Sayda――Protection afforded by Lady
Hester――Story of a boy――Mustafa the barber――Cruelty to mothers
of Conscripts――Conscription in the villages――Lady Hester’s
dream――Inhabitants of Sayda mulcted――Lady Hester’s opinion
of negresses――Severity necessary in Turkey――Case of Monsieur
Danna――Captain Y.――Mustafa Pasha’s cruelty                        101

                               CHAPTER V.

Rainy season――Lady Hester’s despondency――Her Turkish costume――
Turkish servants――Terror inspired by Lady Hester in her servants――
Visit of Messieurs Poujolat and Boutés――Lady Hester’s inability to
entertain strangers――Her dejected spirits and bad health          127

                              CHAPTER VI.

The Delphic priestess――Abdallah Pasha’s ingratitude――His
cowardice―― Lady Hester’s spies――Her emaciation――History of
General Loustaunau                                                154

                              CHAPTER VII.

Lady Hester like the first Lord Chatham――Her recollections of
Chevening――Her definition of insults――Her deliberate affronts――Her
warlike propensities――Earl C―――― Marquis of Abercorn――Logmagi――
Osman Chaôosh――Letter from Colonel Campbell――George the Third’s
flattering compliment to Lady Hester――Her Majesty Queen Victoria――
Lord M.――Prophecy of a _welly_――Lady Hester’s poignant affliction――
Her intractability――Her noble and disinterested benevolence       181

                             CHAPTER VIII.

Lady Hester’s system of astrology――Sympathies and antipathies――
People’s _nijems_ or stars――Mesmerism explained――Lord Suffolk――
Lady Hester’s own star――Letter to the Queen――Letter to Mr. Speaker
Abercrombie――Messieurs Beck and Moore――Letter to Colonel
Campbell――The Ides of March――Lady Hester’s reflections on the
Queen’s conduct to her――Letter to Sir Edward Sugden――What peers
are――Junius’s Letters――Spies employed by the first Lord Chatham――
Mr. Pitt’s opinion of the Duke of Wellington――Lady Hester’s letter
to his Grace, &c.                                                 223

                              CHAPTER IX.

Lady Hester in an alcove in her garden――Lucky days observed by
her――Consuls’ rights――Mischief caused by Sir F. B.’s neglect in
answering Lady Hester’s Letters――Rashes common in Syria――Visit of
an unknown Englishman――Story of Hanah Messâad――Lady Hester’s love
of truth――Report of her death――Michael Tutungi――Visit from the
Chevalier Guys――His reception at Dayr el Mkhallas――Punishment of
the shepherd, Câasem――Holyday of the Korbàn Byràm――Fatôom’s
_accouchement_――Lady Hester’s aversion to consular interference――
Evenings at Jôon――Old Pierre――Saady                               276

                               CHAPTER X.

Visit of Mr. Vesey Forster and Mr. Knox――Lady S. N.’s pension and
Mr. H.――Lady Hester undeservedly censured by English travellers――
Mr. Anson and Mr. Strangways――Mr. B. and Mr. C.――Captain
Pechell――Captain Yorke――Colonel Howard Vyse――Lord B.              314



                         LADY HESTER STANHOPE.

                               CHAPTER I.

Lady Hester Stanhope’s descent――The Author’s first introduction to
her――Her reasons for quitting England――Anecdotes of her childhood and
womanhood――Her motives for going to live with Mr. Pitt――Mr. Pitt’s
opinion of Tom Paine――Lady Hester noticed by George III.――Anecdote of
Sir A. H.――Of Lord G.――Of Lord A.――Impertinent questioners――Anecdote
of the Marquis * * *――Mr. Pitt’s confidence in Lady Hester’s
discretion――and in her devotion to him――His opinion of her cleverness,
and of her military and diplomatic abilities――Her tirade against
doctors――Her reflections on prudery――Anecdote of General Moore――Of the
Duc de Blacas, &c.

It probably will be known to most readers that Lady Hester Stanhope
was the daughter of Charles Earl of Stanhope by Hester, his first
wife, sister to Mr. William Pitt, and daughter of the first Earl of
Chatham. He had issue by this first wife three daughters――Hester,
Griselda, and Lucy. The earl married a second wife, by whom he had
three sons: the present earl; Charles, killed at Corunna; and James,
who died at Caen Wood, the villa of his father-in-law, the Earl of

I became acquainted with Lady Hester Stanhope by accident. The chance
that introduced me to her was as follows:――I was going to Oxford to
take my degree; and, having missed the coach at the inn, I was obliged
to hurry after it on foot, for the want of a hackney-coach, as far as
Oxford-road turnpike, where I overtook it, and mounted the box in a
violent perspiration. The day was bitterly cold, and, before night, I
found myself attacked with a very severe catarrh. The merriment of a
college life left me little time to pay attention to it; and, after
about fifteen days, I returned with a troublesome cough, to London,
where I took to my bed.

Mr. H. Cline, jun., (the son of the celebrated surgeon) being my
friend, and hearing of my indisposition, came to inquire after my
health very frequently. One day, sitting by my bedside, he asked me if
I should like to go abroad. I told him it had been the earliest wish
of my life. He said, Lady Hester Stanhope (the niece of Mr. Pitt) had
applied to his father for a doctor, and that, if I liked, he would
propose me, giving me to understand from his father that, although the
salary would be small, I should, if my services proved agreeable to
Lady Hester, be ultimately provided for. I thanked him, and said, that
to travel with such a distinguished woman would please me exceedingly.
The following day he intimated that his father had already spoken
about me, and that her ladyship would see me. In about four days I was
introduced to her, and she closed with me immediately, inviting me to
dine with her that evening. Afterwards, I saw her several times, and
subsequently joined her at Portsmouth, whence, after waiting a
fortnight, we sailed in the Jason, the Hon. Captain King, for

The reasons which Lady Hester assigned for leaving England were
grounded chiefly on the narrowness of her income. Mr. Pitt’s written
request, on his deathbed, that she might have £1500 a year, had been
complied with only in part, owing to the ill offices of certain
persons at that time in the privy-council, and she received clear,
after deductions for the property-tax were made, no more that
£1200. At first, after Mr. Pitt’s death, she established herself
in Montague Square, with her two brothers, and she there continued
to see much company. “But,” she would say, “a poor gentlewoman,
doctor, is the worst thing in the world. Not being able to keep
a carriage, how was I to go out? If I used a hackney-coach, some
spiteful person would be sure to mention it:――‘Who do you think I saw
yesterday in a hackney-coach? I wonder where she could be driving
alone down those narrow streets?’ If I walked with a footman behind
me, there are so many women of the town now who flaunt about with a
smart footman, that I ran the hazard of being taken for one of them;
and, if I went alone, either there would be some good-natured friend
who would hint that Lady Hester did not walk out alone for nothing; or
else I should be met in the street by some gentleman of my
acquaintance, who would say, ‘God bless me, Lady Hester! where are you
going alone?――do let me accompany you:’ and then it would be said,
‘Did you see Lady Hester crossing Hanover Square with such a one? he
looked monstrous foolish: I wonder where they had been.’ So that, from
one thing to another, I was obliged to stop at home entirely: and this
it was that hurt my health so much, until Lord Temple, at last,
remarked it. For he said to me one day, ‘How comes it that a person
like you, who used to be always on horseback, never rides
out?’――‘Because I have no horse.’――‘Oh! if that is all, you shall have
one to-morrow.’――‘Thank you, my lord; but, if I have a horse, I must
have two; and, if I have two, I must have a groom; and, as I do not
choose to borrow, if you please, we will say no more about it.’――‘Oh!
but I will send my horses, and come and ride out with you every day.’
However, I told him no: for how could a man who goes to the House
every day, and attends committees in a morning, be able to be riding
every day with me? And I know what it is to lend and borrow horses and
carriages. When I used to desire my carriage to go and fetch any
friend, my coachman was sure to say, ‘My lady, the horses want
shoeing;’ or the footman would come in with a long face, ‘My lady,
John would like to go and see his sister to-day, if you please:’ there
was always some excuse. All this considered, I made up my mind to
remain at home.”

For some time did Lady Hester remain in Montague Square: but her
brother and General Moore, having fallen at the battle of Corunna, I
believe she grew entirely disgusted with London; and, breaking up her
little establishment, she went down into Wales, and resided in a small
cottage at Builth, somewhere near Brecon, in a room not more than a
dozen feet square. Here she amused herself in curing the poor, in her
dairy, and in other rustic occupations: until, not finding herself so
far removed from her English acquaintances but that they were always
coming across her and breaking-in upon her solitude, she resolved on
going abroad, up the Mediterranean.

Arrived at Gibraltar, she was lodged at the governor’s, in the
convent, where she remained some time; and then embarked for Malta in
the Cerberus, Captain Whitby, who afterwards distinguished himself in
Captain Hoste’s victory up the Adriatic. At Malta, she lived, at
first, in the house of Mr. Fernandez: afterwards, General Oakes
offered Lady Hester the palace of St. Antonio, where we resided during
the remainder of her stay.

We departed for Zante in the month of June or July, 1810. From
Zante, we passed over to Patras, where she bade adieu to English
customs for the rest of our pilgrimage. Traversing Greece, we visited
Constantinople, and, from Constantinople, sailed for Egypt. At Rhodes
we were shipwrecked, and I there lost my journals, among which were
many curious anecdotes that would have thrown much light on her
ladyship’s life. I shall relate what I have since gathered, without
observing any order, but always, as far as I could recollect, using her
very expressions; and, in many instances, there will be found whole
conversations, where her manner would be recognized by those who were
acquainted with it. I shall sometimes preface them with observations of
my own.

Speaking of her sisters, Lady Hester would say: “My sister Lucy was
prettier than I was, and Griselda more clever; but I had, from
childhood, a cheerfulness and sense of feeling that always made me a
favourite with my father. She exemplified this by an anecdote of the
second Lady Stanhope, her stepmother, referring to the time when her
father, in one of his republican fits, put down his carriages and

“Poor Lady Stanhope,” she said, “was quite unhappy about it; but,
when the whole family was looking glum and sulky, I thought of a
way to set all right again. I got myself a pair of stilts, and out
I stumped down a dirty lane, where my father, who was always spying
about through his glass, could see me. So, when I came home, he said
to me, ‘Why, little girl, what have you been about? Where was it I
saw you going upon a pair of――the devil knows what?――eh, girl?’――‘Oh!
papa, I thought, as you had laid down your horses, I would take a walk
through the mud on stilts; for you know, papa, I don’t mind mud or
anything――’tis poor Lady Stanhope who feels these things; for she has
always been accustomed to her carriage, and her health is not very
good.’――‘What’s that you say, little girl?’ said my father, turning
his eyes away from me; and, after a pause, ‘Well, little girl, what
would you say if I bought a carriage again for Lady Stanhope?’――‘Why,
papa, I would say it was very kind of you.’――‘Well, well,’ he
observed, ‘we will see; but, damn it! no armorial bearings.’ So,
some time afterwards, down came a new carriage and new horses
from London; and thus, by a little innocent frolic, I made all parties
happy again?”[1]

Lady Hester continued. “Lucy’s disposition was sweet, and her temper
excellent: she was like a Madonna. Griselda was otherwise, and always
for making her authority felt. But I, even when I was only a girl,
obtained and exercised, I can’t tell how, a sort of command over them.
They never came to me, when I was in my room, without sending first to
know whether I would see them.

“Mr. Pitt never liked Griselda; and, when he found she was jealous of
me, he disliked her still more. She stood no better in the opinion of
my father, who bore with Lucy――ah! just in this way――he would say to
her, to get rid of her, ‘Now papa is going to study, so you may go to
your room:’ then, when the door was shut, he would turn to me, ‘Now, we
must talk a little philosophy;’ and then, with his two legs stuck
upon the sides of the grate, he would begin――‘Well, well,’ he would
cry, after I had talked a little, ‘that is not bad reasoning, but the
basis is bad.’

“My father always checked any propensity to finery in dress. If any of
us happened to look better than usual in a particular hat or frock, he
was sure to have it put away the next day, and to have something coarse
substituted in its place.

“When I was young, I was always the first to promote my sister’s
enjoyments. Whether in dancing, or in riding on horseback, or at a
feast, or in anything that was to make them happy, I always had
something to do or propose that increased their pleasure. In like
manner, afterwards, in guiding them in politics, in giving them advice
for their conduct in private life, in forwarding them in the world, I
was a means of much good to them. It was always Hester, and Hester,
and Hester; in short, I appeared to be the favourite of them all; and
yet now, see how they treat me!

“I was always, as I am now, full of activity, from my infancy. At two
years old, I made a little hat. You know there was a kind of straw hat
with the crown taken out, and in its stead a piece of satin was put
in, all puffed up. Well! I made myself a hat like that; and it was
thought such a thing for a child of two years old to do, that my
grandpapa had a little paper box made for it, and had it ticketed
with the day of the month and my age.

“Just before the French revolution broke out, the ambassador from
Paris to the English Court was the Comte d’Adhémar. That nobleman had
some influence on my fate as far as regarded my wish to go abroad,
which, however, I was not able to gratify until many years afterwards.
I was but seven or eight years old when I saw him; and when he came
by invitation to pay a visit to my papa at Chevening, there was such
a fuss with the fine footmen with feathers in their hats, and the
count’s bows and French manners, and I know not what, that, a short
time afterwards, when I was sent to Hastings with the governess and
my sisters, nothing would satisfy me but I must go and see what sort
of a place France was. So I got into a boat one day unobserved, that
was floating close to the beach, let loose the rope myself, and off I
went. Yes, doctor, I literally pushed a boat off, and meant to go, as I
thought, to France. Did you ever hear of such a mad scheme?

“But I was tired of all those around me, who, to all my questions,
invariably answered, ‘My dear, that is not proper for you to
know,――or, you must not talk about such things until you get older;
and the like. So I held my tongue, but I made up for it, by treasuring
up everything I heard and saw. Isn’t it extraordinary that I should
have such a memory? I can recall every circumstance that ever occurred
to me during my life――everything worth retaining, that I wished to
remember. I could tell what people said, how they sat, the colour of
their hair, of their eyes, and all about them, at any time, for the
last forty years and more. At Hastings, for example, I can tell the
name of the two smugglers, Tate and Everett, who attended at the
bathing-machine, and the name of the apothecary, Dr. Satterly,
although I have never heard a word about those persons from that day
to this.

“How well I recollect what I was made to suffer when I was young! and
that’s the reason why I have sworn eternal warfare against Swiss and
French governesses. Nature forms us in a certain manner, both inwardly
and outwardly, and it is in vain to attempt to alter it. One governess
at Chevening had our backs pinched in by boards, that were drawn tight
with all the force the maid could use; and, as for me, they would have
squeezed me to the size of a puny miss――a thing impossible! My instep,
by nature so high, that a little kitten could walk under the sole of
my foot, they used to bend down in order to flatten it, although that
is one of the things that shows my high breeding.

“Nature, doctor, makes us one way, and man is always trying to fashion
us another. Why, there was Mahon, when he was eight or nine years old,
that never could be taught to understand how two and two make four.
If he was asked, he would say, four and four make three, or ten, or
something: he was shown with money, and with beans, and in every
possible way, but all to no purpose. The fact was, that that
particular faculty was not yet developed: but now, there is no better
calculator anywhere. The most difficult sums he will do on his
fingers; and he is besides a very great mathematician. There was a son
of Lord Darnley’s, a little boy, who was only big enough to lie under
the table, or play on the sofa, and yet he could make calculations
with I don’t know how many figures――things that they have to do in the
Treasury. Now, if that boy had gone on in the same way, he would by
this time have been Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I hear nothing of
him, and I don’t know what has become of him; so I suppose he has not
turned out anything extraordinary.

“But nature was entirely out of the question with us: we were left to
the governesses. Lady Stanhope got up at ten o’clock, went out, and
then returned to be dressed, if in London, by the hair-dresser; and
there were only two in London, both of them Frenchmen, who could dress
her. Then she went out to dinner, and from dinner to the Opera, and
from the Opera to parties, seldom returning until just before
daylight. Lord Stanhope was engaged in his philosophical pursuits: and
thus we children saw neither the one nor the other. Lucy used to say
that, if she had met her step-mother in the streets, she should not
have known her. Why, my father once followed to our own door in London
a woman who happened to drop her glove, which he picked up. It was our
governess; but, as he had never seen her in the house, he did not know
her in the street.

“He slept with twelve blankets on his bed, with no nightcap, and his
window open: how you would have laughed had you seen him! He used to
get out of bed, and put on a thin dressing-gown, with a pair of silk
breeches that he had worn overnight, with slippers, and no stockings:
and then he would sit in a part of the room which had no carpet, and
take his tea with a bit of brown bread.

“He married two wives; the first a Pitt, the second a Grenville; so
that I am in two ways related to the Grenvilles.”

Lady Hester continued: “As I grew up, Lady Stanhope used to chuck me
under the chin, and cry, ‘Why the kurl (girl) is like a soap ball; one
can’t pinch her cheek:’ and I really used to think there was something
very strange about me. Soon after Horne Tooke took notice of me, and
pronounced flatteringly on my talents. And when Mr. Pitt followed, and
kindly said, ‘Why I believe there is nothing to find fault with,
either in her looks or her understanding,’ I began to know myself. Mr.
Elliott, (who married Miss Pitt) used to say to me, dear man! in his
_bontonné_ manner, ‘You must not be surprised, my love, if you make a
great noise in the world.’

“Sir Sydney Smith said of me, after he had known me fifteen years, and
when my looks were much changed by illness, ‘When I see you now, I
recall to my recollection what you were when you first _came out_. You
entered the room in your pale shirt, exciting our admiration by your
magnificent and majestic figure. The roses and lilies were blended in
your face, and the ineffable smiles of your countenance diffused
happiness around you.’

“The Duke of Cumberland used to say to me――‘You and Amelia (Princess
Amelia) are two of the most spanking wenches I ever saw; but, if
(alluding to my ill-health) you go on in this way, I do not know what
the devil you will make of it.’”

When mentioning this, her ladyship added: “Doctor, at twenty, my
complexion was like alabaster; and, at five paces’ distance, the
sharpest eye could not discover my pearl necklace from my skin: my
lips were of such a beautiful carnation, that, without vanity, I can
assure you very few women had the like. A dark blue shade under the
eyes, and the blue veins that were observable through the transparent
skin, heightened the brilliancy of my features. Nor were the roses
wanting in my cheeks; and to all this was added a permanency in my
looks that fatigue of no sort could impair.”

I am now writing when disappointments and sickness have undermined her
health, and when she has reached her 54th year. Her complexion had now
assumed a yellow tint, but her hands were still exceedingly fair, and
she had the very common though pardonable fault of often contriving to
show them. There were moments when her countenance had still something
very beautiful about it. Her mouth manifested an extraordinary degree
of sweetness, and her eyes much mildness.

She never would have her likeness taken, when in the bloom of her
beauty, and it is not probable it can be ever done now. There is a
sort of resemblance between her and Mr. Pitt, (if I may judge from his
portraits.) She has told me also, that she was like the late Duchess
of Cumberland. Her head, seen in front, presented a perfect oval, of
which the eyes would cover a line drawn through the centre. Her
eyebrows were arched and fine, I mean slender; her eyes blue,
approaching to gray; her nose, somewhat large, and the distance from
the mouth to the chin rather too long. Her cheeks had a remarkably
fine contour, as they rounded off towards the neck; so that Mr.
Brummell, as has been related, once said to her in a party, “For God’s
sake, do take off those earrings, and let us see what is beneath
them.” Her figure was tall (I think not far from six feet), rather
largely proportioned, and was once very plump, as I have heard her
say. Her mien was majestic; her address eminently graceful; in her
conversation, when she pleased, she was enchanting; when she meant it,
dignified; at all times, eloquent. She was excellent at mimickry, and
upon all ranks of life. She had more wit and repartee, perhaps, than
falls to the lot of most women. Her knowledge of human nature was most
profound, and she could turn that knowledge to account to its utmost
extent, and in the minutest trifles. She was courageous, morally and
physically so; undaunted, and proud as Lucifer.

She never read in any book more than a few pages, and there were few
works that she praised when she looked them over. History she
despised, considering it all a farce: because, she said, she had seen
so many histories of her time, which she found to be lies from
beginning to end, that she could not believe in one. She had a great
facility of expression, and, on some occasions, introduced old
proverbs with wonderful appositeness. Conversation never flagged in
her company. But to return to Lady Hester’s own account of herself.

“I can recollect, when I was ten or twelve years old, going to
Hastings’s trial. My garter, somehow, came off, and was picked up by
Lord Grey, then a young man. At this hour, as if it were before me in
a picture, I can see his handsome but very pale face, his broad
forehead; his corbeau coat, with cut-steel buttons; his white satin
waistcoat and breeches, and the buckles in his shoes. He saw from whom
the garter fell, but, observing my confusion, did not wish to increase
it, and with infinite delicacy gave the garter to the person who sat
there to serve tea and coffee.

“The first person I ever danced with was Sir Gilbert Heathcote.

“When I was young, I was never what you call handsome, but brilliant.
My teeth were brilliant, my complexion brilliant, my language――ah!
there it was――something striking and original, that caught everybody’s
attention. I remember, when I was living with Mr. Pitt, that, one
morning after a party, he said to me, ‘Really, Hester, Lord Hertford’
(the father of the late lord, and a man of high pretensions for his
courtly manners) ‘paid you so many compliments about your looks last
night, that you might well be proud of them.’――‘Not at all,’ answered
I: ‘he is deceived, if he thinks I am handsome, for I know I am not.
If you were to take every feature in my face, and put them, one by
one, on the table, there is not a single one would bear examination.
The only thing is that, put together and lighted up, they look well
enough. It is homogeneous ugliness, and nothing more.’

“Mr. Pitt used to say to me, ‘Hester, what sort of a being are you? We
shall see, some day, wings spring out of your shoulders; for there are
moments when you hardly seem to walk the earth.’ There was a man who
had known me well for fifteen years, and he told me, one day, that he
had tried a long time to make me out, but he did not know whether I
was a devil or an angel. There have been men who have been intimate
with me, and to whom, in point of passion, I was no more than that
milk-jug” (pointing to one on the table); “and there have been others
who would go through fire for me. But all this depends on the star of
a person.

“Mr. Pitt declared that it was impossible for him to say whether I was
most happy in the vortex of pleasure, in absolute solitude, or in the
midst of politics; for he had seen me in all three; and, with all his
penetration, he did not know where I seemed most at home. Bouverie
used to say to me, when I lived at Chevening, ‘I know you like this
kind of life; it seems to suit you.’ And so it did: but why did I quit
home? Because of my brothers and sisters, and for my father’s sake. I
foresaw that my sisters would be reduced to poverty if I did not
assist them; and, though people said to me, ‘Let their husbands get on
by themselves; they are capable of making their own way,’ I saw they
could not, and I set about providing for them. As for my father, he
thought that, in joining those democrats, he always kept aloof from
treason. But he did not know how many desperate characters there were,
who, like C――――, for example, only waited for a revolution, and were
always plotting mischief. I thought, therefore, it was better to be
where I should have Mr. Pitt by my side to help me, should he get into
great difficulty. Why, they almost took Joyce out of bed in my
father’s house; and when my father went to town, there were those who
watched him; and the mob attacked his house, so that he was obliged to
make his escape by the leads, and slip out the back way. Joyce was
getting up in the morning, and was just blowing his nose, as people do
the moment before they come down to breakfast, when a single knock
came to the door, and in bolted two officers with a warrant, and took
him off without even my father’s knowledge. Then, were not Lord
Thanet, Ferguson, and some more of them thrown into gaol? and I said,
‘If my father has not a prop somewhere, he will share the same fate;’
and this was one of the reasons why I went to live with Mr. Pitt. Mr.
Pitt used to say that Tom Paine was quite in the right; but then he
would add, ‘What am I to do? If the country is overrun with all these
men, full of vice and folly, I cannot exterminate them. It would be
very well, to be sure, if everybody had sense enough to act as they
ought; but, as things are, if I were to encourage Tom Paine’s
opinions, we should have a bloody revolution; and, after all, matters
would return pretty much as they were.’ But I always asked, ‘What do
these men want? They will destroy what we have got, without giving us
anything else in its place. Let them give us something good before
they rob us of what we have. As for systems of equality, everybody is
not a Tom Paine. Tom Paine was a clever man, and not one of your
hugger-mugger people, who have one day one set of ideas, and another
set the next, and never know what they mean.’

“I am an aristocrat, and I make a boast of it. We shall see what will
come of people’s conundrums about equality. I hate a pack of dirty
Jacobins, that only want to get people out of a good place to get into
it themselves. Horne Tooke always liked me, with all my aristocratical
principles, because he said he knew what I meant.

“No, doctor, Bouverie was right: I liked the country. At the back of
the inn, on Sevenoaks common, stood a house, which, for a residence
for myself, I should prefer to any one I have ever yet seen. It was a
perfectly elegant, light, and commodious building, with an oval
drawing-room, and two boudoirs in the corners, with a window to each
on the conservatory. When I visited there, it was inhabited by three
old maids, one of whom was my friend. What good ale and nice luncheons
I have had there many a time! What good cheese, what excellent apples
and pears, and what rounds of boiled beef?”

The next day these personal recollections were renewed.

“I remember, when Colonel Shadwell commanded the district, that, one
day, in a pelting shower of rain, he was riding up Madamscourt Hill,
as I was crossing at the bottom, going home towards Chevening with my
handsome groom, Tom, a boy who was the natural son of a baronet. I saw
Colonel Shadwell’s groom’s horse about a couple of hundred yards from
me, and, struck with its beauty, I turned up the hill, resolving to
pass them, and get a look at it. I accordingly quickened my pace, and,
in going by, gave a good look at the horse, then at the groom, then at
the master, who was on a sorry nag. The colonel eyed me as I passed;
and I, taking advantage of a low part in the hedge, put my horse to
it, leaped over, and disappeared in an instant. The colonel found out
who I was, and afterwards made such a fuss at the mess about my
equestrian powers, that nothing could be like it. I was the toast
there every day.

“Nobody ever saw much of me until Lord Romney’s review. I was obliged
to play a trick on my father to get there. I pretended, the day
before, that I wanted to pay a visit to the Miss Crumps” (or some such
name), “and then went from their house to Lord Romney’s. Though all
the gentry of Kent were there, my father never knew, or was supposed
not to have known, that I had been there. The king took great notice
of me. I dined with him――that is, what was called dining with him, but
at an adjoining table. Lord and Lady Romney served the king and queen,
and gentlemen waited on us: Upton changed my plate, and he did it very
well. Doctor, dining with royalty, as Lord Melbourne does now, was not
so common formerly; I never dined with the king but twice――once at
Lord Romney’s at an adjoining table, and once afterwards at his own
table: oh! what wry faces there were among some of the courtiers! Mr.
Pitt was very much pleased at the reception I met with: the king took
great notice of me, and, I believe, always after liked me personally.
Whenever I was talking to the dukes, he was sure to come towards us.
‘Where is she?’ he would cry; ‘where is she? I hear them laugh, and
where they are laughing I must go too:’ then, as he came nearer, he
would observe, ‘if you have anything to finish, I won’t come yet――I’ll
come in a quarter of an hour.’ When he was going away from Lord
Romney’s, he wanted to put me bodkin between himself and the queen;
and when the queen had got into the carriage, he said to her, ‘My
dear, Lady Hester is going to ride bodkin with us; I am going to take
her away from Democracy Hall:’ but the old queen observed, in rather a
prim manner, that I ‘had not got my maid with me, and that it would be
inconvenient for me to go at such a short notice:’ so I remained.

“It was at that review that I was talking to some officers, and
something led to my saying, ‘I can’t bear men who are governed by
their wives, as Sir A. H*** is; a woman of sense, even if she did
govern her husband, would not let it be seen: it is odious, in my
opinion:’ and I went on in this strain, whilst poor Sir A. himself,
whom I did not know, but had only heard spoken of, was standing by all
the time. I saw a dreadful consternation in the bystanders, but I went
on. At last some one――taking commiseration on him, I suppose――said,
‘Lady Hester, will you allow me to introduce Sir A. H*** to you, who
is desirous of making your acquaintance.’ Sir A. very politely thanked
me for the advice I had given him; and I answered something about the
regard my brother had for him, and there the matter ended.

“When first I went to live with Mr. Pitt, one day he and I were taking
a walk in the park, when we were met by Lord Guildford, having Lady
―――― and Lady ――――, two old demireps, under his arm. Mr. Pitt and I
passed them, and Mr. Pitt pulled off his hat: Lord G. turned his head
away, without acknowledging his bow. The fact was, he thought Mr. Pitt
was escorting some mistress he had got. ‘Well,’ said I, ‘there goes
Falstaff with the merry wives of Windsor.’ ‘Yes,’ rejoined Mr. Pitt,
‘and I think, whatever he may take you to be, he need not be so prim,
with those two painted and patched ladies under his arm.’

“The same thing happened with Lord A.; and, when Mr. Pitt soon after
came into office, Lord A. called on Mr. Pitt, who, being busy, sent
him to me. Lord A. began with a vast variety of compliments about
ancient attachments, and his recollection, when a boy, of having
played with me: so I cut him short by telling him his memory then must
have sadly failed him the other day, when he passed me and Mr. Pitt in
his curricle with Lady ――――. After many, ‘Really, I supposed,’ and
‘Upon my honours,――Sense of propriety on account of Lady ――――, and not
knowing who I was’――I laughed heartily at him, and he went away. When
he was gone, Mr. Pitt came to me, and said, ‘I don’t often ask
questions about your visitors, but I should really like to know what
excuse Lord A. could offer for his primosity[2] to us, when he was
riding with such a Jezebel as Lady ――――.’

“Yet it might have been very natural for Mr. Pitt to do so.[3] How
many people used to come and ask me impertinent questions, in order to
get out his state secrets: but I very soon set them down. ‘What, you
are come to give me a lesson of impertinence,’ I used to say, laughing
in their faces. One day, one of them, of rather a first-rate class,
began with――‘Now, my dear Lady Hester, you know our long friendship,
and the esteem I have for you――now do just tell me, who is to go out
ambassador to Russia?’ So I was resolved to try him; and, with a very
serious air, I said, ‘Why, if I had to choose, there are only three
persons whom I think fit for the situation――Mr. Tom Grenville, Lord
Malmesbury,’ and I forget who was the third: ‘but you know,’ I added,
‘Lord Malmesbury’s health will not allow him to go to so cold a
climate, and Mr., the other, is something and something, so that he is
out of the question.’ Next morning, doctor, there appeared in ‘The
Oracle,’ a paper, observe, that Mr. Pitt never read――‘We understand
that Lord M. and Mr. T. G. are selected as the two persons best
qualified for the embassy to Russia: but, owing to his lordship’s ill
health, the choice will most likely fall on Mr. T. G.’

“I was highly amused the following days, to hear the congratulations
that were paid to Mr. Grenville: but, when the real choice came to be
known, which was neither one nor the other, oh! how black the
inquisitive friend of mine looked; and what reproaches he made me for
having, as he called it, deceived him! But I did not deceive him: I
only told him what was true, that, if I had the choice, I should
choose such and such persons.

“There are, necessarily, hundreds of reasons for ministers’ actions,
that people in general know nothing about. When the Marquis ―――― was
sent to India it was on condition that he did not take ―――― ―――― with
him: for Mr. Pitt said, ‘It is all very well if he chooses to go
alone, but he shan’t take ―――― ―――― with him; for――who knows?――she may
be, all the time, carrying on intrigues with the French government,
and that would not suit my purpose.’

“There might be some apparent levity in my manner, both as regarded
affairs of the cabinet and my own; but I always knew what I was doing.
When Mr. Pitt was reproached for allowing me such unreserved liberty
of action in state matters and in affairs where his friends advised
him to question me on the motives of my conduct, he always
answered――‘I let her do as she pleases; for, if she were resolved to
cheat the devil, she could do it.’ And so I could, doctor; and that is
the reason why thick-headed people, who could never dive into the
motives of what I did, have often misinterpreted my conduct, when it
has proceeded from the purest intentions. And, in the same way, when
some persons said to Lady Suffolk, ‘Look at Lady Hester, talking and
riding with Bouverie and the Prince’s friends; she must mind what she
is about’――Lady Suffolk remarked, ‘There is nothing to fear in that
quarter; she never will let any body do a bit more than she intends:
what she does is with _connoissance de cause_.’ And she was right;
nobody could ever accuse me of folly: even those actions which might
seem folly to a common observer, were wisdom. Everything with me,
through life, has been premeditatedly done.

“Mr. Pitt paid me the greatest compliment I ever received from any
living being. He was speaking of C******, and lamenting he was so
false, and so little to be trusted; and I said, ‘But perhaps he is
only so in appearance, and is sacrificing ostensibly his own opinions,
in order to support your reputation?’――‘I have lived,’ replied Mr.
Pitt, ‘twenty-five years in the midst of men of all sorts, and I never
yet found but one human being capable of such a sacrifice.’――‘Who can
that be?’ said I. ‘Is it the Duke of Richmond? is it such a one?’ and
I named two others, when he interrupted me――‘No,――it is _you_.’

“I was not insensible to praise from such a man; and when, before
Horne Tooke and some other clever people, he told me I was fit to sit
between Augustus and Mæcenas, I suppose I must believe it. And he did
not think so lightly of my lectures as you do: for one day he said to
me, ‘We are going to establish a new hospital, and you, Hester, are to
have the management of it: it is to be an hospital for the diseases of
the mind; for nobody knows so well as you how to cure them.’ I should
never have done if I were to repeat the many attestations of his good
opinion of me: but it was no merit of mine if I deserved it: I was
born so. There was a man one day at table with Mr. Pitt, an old friend
of his――Canning told me the story――who, speaking of me, observed that
he supposed I should soon marry, and, after some conversation on the
subject, concluded by saying, ‘I suppose she waits till she can get a
man as clever as herself.’ ‘Then,’ answered Mr. Pitt, ‘she will never
marry at all.’

“In like manner, in the troublesome times of his political career, Mr.
Pitt would say, ‘I have plenty of good diplomatists, but they are none
of them military men: and I have plenty of good officers, but not one
of them is worth sixpence in the cabinet. If you were a man, Hester, I
would send you on the Continent with 60,000 men, and give you _carte
blanche_; and I am sure that not one of my plans would fail, and not
one soldier would go with his shoes unblacked; meaning, that my
attention would embrace every duty that belongs to a general and a
corporal――and so it would, doctor.”

After musing a little while, Lady Hester Stanhope went on. “Did you
ever read the life of General Moore that I have seen advertised,
written by his brother? I wonder which brother it was. If it was the
surgeon, he was hard-headed, with great knowledge of men, but dry,
and with nothing pleasing about him. His wife was a charming woman,
brought up by some great person, and with very good manners.

“As for tutors, and doctors, and such people, if, now-a-days, mylords
and myladies walk arm-in-arm with them, they did not do so in my time.
I recollect an old dowager, to whom I used sometimes to be taken to
spend the morning. She was left with a large jointure, and a fine
house for the time being, and used to invite the boys and the girls of
my age, I mean the age I was then, with their tutors and governesses,
to come and see her. ‘How do you do, Dr. Mackenzie? Lord John, I see,
is all the better for his medicine: the duchess is happy in having
found a man of such excellent talents, which are almost too great to
be confined to the sphere of one family.’――‘Such is the nature of our
compact, my Lady, nor could I on any account violate the regulations
which so good a family has imposed upon me.’――‘It’s very cold, Dr.
Mackenzie: I think I increased my rheumatic pains at the Opera on
Saturday night.’――‘Did you ever try Dover’s Powders, my lady?’ He does
not, you see, tell her to use Dover’s Powders; he only says, did you
ever try them? ‘Lord John――Lord John, you must take care, and not eat
too much of that strawberry preserve.’

“‘How do you do, Mr. K.?――how do you do, Lord Henry? I hope the
marchioness is well? She looked divinely last night. Did you see her
when she was dressed, Mr. K.?’――‘You will pardon me, my lady,’ answers
the tutor, ‘I did indeed see her; but it would be presumptuous in me
to speak of such matters. I happened to take her a map,’ (mind,
doctor, he does not say a map of what) ‘and, certainly, I did cast my
eyes on her dress, which was, no doubt, in the best taste, as
everything the Marchioness does is.’ Observe, here is no mention of
her looks or person. Doctors and tutors never presumed formerly to
talk about the complexion, and skin, and beauty, of those in whose
families they lived or found practice. Why, haven’t I told you, over
and over again, how Dr. W―――― lost his practice from having said that
a patient of his, who died, was one of the most beautiful corpses he
had ever seen, and that he had stood contemplating her for a quarter
of an hour: she was a person of rank, and it ruined him. Even his son,
who was a doctor too, and had nothing to do with it, never could get
on afterwards.

“Then would come in some young lady with her governess, and then
another; and the old dowager would take us all off to some show, and
make the person who exhibited it stare again with the number of young
nobility she brought with her. From the exhibition, which was some
monster, or some giant, or some something, she would take us to eat
ices, and then we were all sent home, with the tutors and governesses
in a stew, lest we should be too late for a master, or for a God knows

“I have known many apothecaries cleverer than doctors themselves.
There was Chilvers, and Hewson, and half-a-dozen names that I forget:
and there was an apothecary at Bath that Mr. Pitt thought more of than
of his physician. Why, I have seen Sir H―――― obliged to give way to an
apothecary in a very high family. ‘We will just call him in, and see
what he says:’ and the moment he had written his prescription and was
gone out of the house, the family would consult the apothecary, who
perhaps knew twice as much of the constitution of the patient. ‘You
know, my lord, it is not the liver that is affected, whatever Sir
H―――― pretends to think: it is the spleen; for, did not we try the
very same medicine that he has prescribed for above a week? and it did
your lordship no good. You may just as well, and better, throw his
draught away:’ and sure enough it was done. Sir Richard Jebb the same.

“Do you think,” continued she, “that the first physician in London is
on terms of intimacy with the mylords he prescribes for? he
prescribes, takes his guinea, and is off: or, if he is asked to sit
down a little, it is only to pick his brains about whether somebody is
likely to live or not: but I am not, and never was, so mean: I always
liked people should know their relative situations. Ah! Dr. Turton, or
some such man as that, would be perhaps asked now and then to dinner,
or to take a walk round the grounds. A doctor’s business is to examine
the _grandes affaires_, talk to the nurse, and see that his blister
has been well dressed, and not to talk politics, say such a woman is
handsome, and chatter about what does not concern him.”

Whilst Lady Hester was going on with her strictures on the poor
doctors, a favourite theme with her, I produced from the back of a
cupboard a miniature print of General Moore, which had been lying at
Abra, neglected for some years. She took it from my hand, and, looking
at it a little time, she observed that it was an excellent likeness of
what he was when he became a weather-beaten soldier: “Before that,”
said she, “those cheeks were filled out and ruddy, like Mr. Close’s at

After a pause, Lady Hester Stanhope continued: “Poor Charles! My
brother Charles one day was disputing with James about his handsome
Colonel, and James, on his side, was talking of somebody’s leg being
handsome, saying he was right, for it had been modelled, and nobody’s
could be equal to it; when Charles turned to me, and asked with great
earnestness if I did not think General Moore was the better made man
of the two, I answered, ‘He is certainly very handsome.’――‘Oh! but,’
said Charles, ‘Hester, if you were only to see him when he is bathing,
his body is as perfect as his face.’ I never even smiled, although
inwardly I could not help smiling at his naïveté.

“I consider it a mark of vulgarity and of the association of bad ideas
in people’s minds when they make a handle of such equivoques in an
ill-natured way, as you recollect Mr. T. did when he was at
Alexandria. People of good breeding do not even smile, when, perhaps,
low persons would suppose they might show a great deal of affected
primosity. Only imagine the Duc de Blacas to be announced;――what would
my old servant, poor William Wiggins, have done? He would never have
got out the word.” Here Lady Hester set up laughing most heartily, and
then she laughed, and laughed again. I think I never saw anything make
her relax from her composure so much.

“As for what people in England say or have said about me, I don’t care
that for them,” (snapping her fingers); “and whatever vulgar-minded
people say or think of me has no more effect than if they were to spit
at the sun. It only falls on their own nose, and all the harm they do
is to themselves. They may spit at a marble wall as they may at me,
but it will not hang. They are like the flies upon an artillery-horse’s
tail――there they ride, and ride, and buz about, and then there comes a
great explosion; bom! and off they fly. I hate affectation of all
kinds. I never could bear those ridiculous women who cannot step over
a straw without expecting the man who is walking with them to offer
his hand. I always said to the men, when they offered me their hand,
‘No, no; I have got legs of my own, don’t trouble yourselves.’ Nobody
pays so little attention to what are called punctilios as I do; but if
any one piques me on my rank, and what is due to me, that’s another
thing: I can then show them who I am.”

October 16.――These conversations filled up the mornings and evenings
until the 16th of October, when I went to Mar Elias for a day. Whilst
there, a peasant arrived with an ass-load of musk grapes and
_mukseysy_ grapes that Lady Hester had sent. An ass-load in those
happy countries is but a proof of the abundance that reigns there. A
bushel-basket of oranges or lemons, a bunch of fifty or sixty bananas,
ten or twelve melons at a time, were presents of frequent occurrence.

October 18.――I returned to Jôon, and employed myself busily in fitting
up the cottage intended for our dwelling. The nearer the time
approached for bringing my family close to her premises, the more
Lady Hester seemed to regret having consented to the arrangement.
Petty jealousies, inconsistent with a great mind, were always
tormenting her. Of this a remarkable and somewhat ludicrous instance
occurred during the latter part of the month of September. Most
persons are probably aware that Mahometans have a religious horror of
bells, and, in countries under their domination, have never allowed of
their introduction even into Christian churches. It is not uncommon,
by way of contempt, to designate Europe as the land of bells. This
pious abhorrence penetrates the arcana of private life; and, in a
Turkish house, no such thing as a bell for calling the servants is
ever to be seen. A clap of the hands, repeated three times, is the
usual summons; and, as the doors are seldom shut, the sound can be
easily heard throughout every part of the dwelling.

Lady Hester, however, retained her European habits in this one
particular; and perhaps there never existed a more vehement or
constant bell-ringer. The bells hung for her use were of great size;
so that the words _Gerass el Syt_, or my lady’s bell, echoing from one
mouth to another when she rang, made the most indolent start on their
legs; until, at last, as nobody but herself in the whole territory
possessed house-bells, the peasantry and menials imagined that the use
of them was some special privilege granted to her by the Sublime
Porte on account of her exalted rank, and she probably found it to her
advantage not to disturb this very convenient supposition.

On taking up our residence at Mar Elias, there were two bells put by
in a closet, which were replaced for the use of my family, with
bell-ropes to the saloon and dining-room, none of us ever suspecting
that they could, by any human ingenuity, be considered otherwise than
as most necessary appendages to a room: but we calculated without our
host. This assumption of the dignity of bells was held to be an act of
_læsa majestas_; and the report of our proceedings was carried from
one person to another, until, at last, it reached Lady Hester’s ears,
endorsed with much wonder on the part of her maids how a doctor’s wife
could presume to set herself on an equality with a _meleky_ (queen).
Lady Hester, however, saw the absurdity of affecting any claim to
distinction in such a matter, and, therefore, vexed and mortified
although it appears she was, she never said a word to me on the
subject. But, one morning in September, when we were all assembled at
breakfast, on pulling the bell-rope no sound responded, and, examining
into the cause, we discovered that the strings had been cut by a
knife, and the bells forcibly wrenched from their places. Much
conjecture was formed as to who could have done all this mischief.
The maids were questioned; the porter, the milkman, the errand-boy,
the man-servant, every body, in short, in and about the place, but
nobody knew anything of the matter. Understanding Arabic, I soon found
there was some mystery in the business; and answers, more and more
evasive, from the porter, the harder he was pressed, led to a
presumption, amounting almost to a certainty, that her ladyship’s
grand emissary, Osman Chaôosh, had arrived late at night, armed with
pincers, hammer, etcetera, and, before daylight, had carried off the
bells to Lady Hester’s residence. I concealed my conjecture from my
family, wishing to cause no fresh source of irritation; and, having
occasion to write that day to Lady Hester, I merely added, as a
postscript, “The two bells have been stolen during the night, and I
can find no certain clue to the thief. For, although I have discovered
that Osman el Chaôosh has been here secretly, I cannot think it likely
that any one of your servants would presume to do such a thing without
your orders; nor can I believe that your ladyship would instruct any
one to do that clandestinely which a message from yourself to me would
have effected so easily.”

When I saw Lady Hester a day or two afterwards, she never alluded to
the bells, nor did I; and nothing was ever mentioned about them for
two or three months, until, one day, she, being in a good humour,
said, “Doctor, it was I who ordered Osman to take away the bells. The
people in this country must never suppose there is any one connected
with my establishment who puts himself on an equality with me, no
matter in what. The Turks know of only one Pasha in a district; the
person next to him is a nobody in his presence, not daring even to sit
down or to speak, unless told to do so. If I had let those bells hang
much longer, the sound of my own would not have been attended to. As
it is, half of my servants have become disobedient from seeing how my
will is disputed by you and your family, who have always a hundred
reasons for not doing what I wish to be done; and, as I said in my
letter to Eugenia, I can’t submit to render an account of my actions;
for, if I was not called upon to do so by Mr. Pitt, I am sure I shan’t
by other people; so let us say no more about it.” Of course, I
complied with her whims; or rather, I should say, admitted the good
sense of her observations: for I knew very well that she never did
anything without a kind or substantial motive. So, after that, the
exclamation of _Gerass el Syt_ recovered its magical effect.

October 23.――I escorted my family to their new residence, which was
called the Tamarisk Pavilion, from a tamarisk-tree that grew from the
terrace. They were all delighted with it, and happiness seemed
restored to its inmates.

October 25.――The very day on which my family came up, Lady Hester took
to her bed from illness, and never quitted it until March in the
following year. She had now laboured under pulmonary catarrh for six
or seven years, which, subsiding in the summer months, returned every
winter, with increased violence, and at this time presented some very
formidable symptoms.

November 9.――About six o’clock, just as I had dined, a servant came to
say that her ladyship wished to see me. On going into her bed-room,
which, as usual, was but faintly lighted, I ran my head against a long
packthread, which crossed from the wall, where it was tied, to her
bed, and was held in her hand. “Take care, doctor,” said she; “these
stupid beasts can’t understand what I want: but you must help me. I
want to pull out a tooth. I have tied a string to it and to the wall:
and you, with a stick or something, must give it a good blow, so as to
jerk my tooth out.”

Knowing her disposition, I said, “Very well, and that I would do as
she wished. But, if you like,” added I, “to have it extracted
_secundem artem_, I fancy I can do it for you.”――“Oh! doctor, have you
nerve enough? and, besides, I don’t like those crooked instruments:
but, however, go and get them.” I had seen in the medicine-chest a
dentist’s instrument, and, returning with it, I performed the
operation; with the result of which she was so much pleased, that she
insisted upon having another tooth out. The relief was so
instantaneous, that the second tooth was no sooner gone than she
commenced talking as usual.

The cough with which Lady Hester had been so long indisposed
occasionally assumed symptoms of water in the chest. Sudden starts
from a lying posture, with a sense of suffocation, which, for a
moment, as she described it, was like the gripe of a hand across her
throat, made me very uneasy about her. Her strong propensity to
bleeding, to which she had resorted four or five times a year for the
last twenty years, had brought on a state of complete emaciation, and
what little blood was left in her body seemed to have no circulation
in the extremities, where her veins, on a deadly white skin, showed
themselves tumefied and knotty.

It was difficult to reason with her on medical subjects, especially in
her own case. She had peculiar systems, drawn from the doctrine of
people’s stars. She designated her own cough as an asthma, and had,
for some time, doctored herself much in her own way. Such is the balmy
state of the air in Syria, that, had she trusted to its efficacy
alone, and lived with habits of life like other people, nothing
serious was to be dreaded from her illness. But she never breathed the
external air, except what she got by opening the windows, and took no
exercise but for about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour daily,
when, on quitting her bed-room to go to the saloon, she made two or
three turns in the garden to see her flowers and shrubs, which seemed
to be the greatest enjoyment she had.

She prescribed almost entirely for herself, and only left me the
duties of an apothecary; or, if she adopted any of my suggestions, it
was never at the moment, but always some days afterwards, when it
seemed to her that she was acting, not on my advice, but on the
suggestions of her own judgment. She was accustomed to say, if any
doubts were expressed of the propriety of what she was going to do, “I
suppose I am grown a fool in my old age. When princes and statesmen
have relied on my judgment, I am not going to give it up at this time
of life.”

But it was not for herself alone that she thus obstinately prescribed;
she insisted also upon doing the same for everybody else, morally as
well as medically. One of the prominent features in her character was
the inclination she had to give advice to all persons indiscriminately
about their conduct, their interests, and their complaints: and, in
this latter respect, she prescribed for everybody. I was not exempt,
and I dreaded her knowing anything about the most trifling
indisposition that affected me. Greatly addicted to empiricism, she
would propose the most strange remedies; and, fond of the use of
medicine herself, she would be out of humour if others showed an
aversion to it. There was no surer way of securing her good graces
than to put one’s self under her management for some feigned
complaint, and then to attribute the cure to her skill. Hundreds of
knaves have got presents out of her in this way. For they had but to
say that, during their illness, they had lost an employment, or spent
their ready money, no matter what――they were sure to be remunerated
tenfold above their pretended losses. Let it however be said to her
honour, that, among the number she succoured in real sickness, many
owned with gratitude the good she had done: and no surer proof of this
can be given than the universal sorrow that pervaded half the
population of Sayda, when, in the course of this her illness, she was
reported to be past recovery.

It was in compliance with this foible of hers that, when I returned to
Dar Jôon, after being laid up with a bad leg, she would insist on my
wearing a laced cloth boot, which she ordered to be made, unknown to
me; on my washing the œdematous leg in wine with laurel leaves steeped
in it; and on sitting always, when with her, with my leg resting on a
cushion placed on a stool. Her tyranny in such matters was very
irksome; for it was clothed in terms of so much feeling and regard,
and of such commiseration for one’s overrated sufferings, that, to
escape the accusation of ingratitude and bad breeding, it was
impossible to avoid entire acquiescence in every one of her kind

She was ever complaining that she could get nothing to eat, nothing to
support a great frame like hers: yet she seldom remained one half
hour, from sunrise to sunset, or from sunset to sunrise (except during
sleep), without taking nourishment of some kind. I never knew any
human being who took food so frequently: but, from that very
frequency, it might be doubted whether she had a relish for anything.
And may not this, in some measure, account for her frequent
ill-humour? for nothing sours people’s temper more than an overloaded
stomach, and nothing promotes cheerfulness more than a light one.


      [1] In accordance with his republican principles, Lord
          Stanhope caused his armorial bearings to be defaced
          from his plate, carriages, &c. Nothing was spared
          but the iron gate before the entrance to the house.
          Even the tapestry given to the great Lord Stanhope
          by the king of Spain, with which one of the rooms
          in Chevening was ornamented, he caused to be taken
          down and put into a corner, calling it all damned
          aristocratical. He likewise sold all the Spanish
          plate, which Lady Hester said weighed (if I recollect
          rightly) six hundred weight.

      [2] A friend has suggested that _primosity_ is not in
          Johnson’s Dictionary; it was however a word of
          frequent recurrence in Lady Hester’s vocabulary; and
          it scarcely, I think, need be said, that it means

                    “What is prudery? ’Tis a beldam,
                     Seen with wit and beauty seldom.”

      [3] “In 1800, Mr. Pitt, for the third time, contemplated
          renewing his attempts to make peace with France, and
          he offered the mission again to Lord Malmesbury.
          Lord Grenville wished to appoint his brother,
          Mr. Thomas Grenville; and Lord Malmesbury, whose
          deafness and infirmity had much increased, readily
          consented.”――_Diaries and Correspondence of the Earl
          of Malmesbury._

                              CHAPTER II.

Sir Nathaniel Wraxall’s Memoirs――The three duchesses――Anecdote of Mr.
Rice――How Prime Ministers are employed on first taking office――The
Grenville make――P―――― of W―――― at Stowe――Mr. Pitt and Mr. Sheridan――
Duke of H―――― ――Mr. Pitt’s disinterestedness exemplified――His life
wasted in the service of his country――Mr. Rose――Mr. Long――Mr.――――
――Grounds at Walmer laid out by Lady Hester――Mr. Pitt’s deportment in
retirement――His physiognomy――How he got into debt――Lord Carrington;
why made a peer――Extent of Mr. Dundas’s influence over Mr. Pitt――Mr.
Pitt averse to ceremony――Mr. Pitt and his sister Harriet――His dislike
to the Bourbons――Lady Hester’s activity at Walmer――Lord Chatham’s
indolence――Mr. Pitt’s opinion of Sir Arthur Wellesley.

On leaving Marseilles, in 1837, I ordered Sir Nathaniel Wraxall’s
Memoirs to be sent after me to Syria, thinking that, as relating to
Mr. Pitt’s times, and to people and politics with whom and in which
both he and she had mixed so largely, these memoirs could not fail to
amuse her. I received them soon after my arrival at Jôon, and many
rainy days were passed in reading them. They served to beguile the
melancholy hours of her sickness, and recalled the agreeable
recollections of her more splendid, if not more happy, hours. She
would say on such occasions, “Doctor, read a little of your book to
me.” This was always her expression, when I had brought any
publication to her: and, ordering a pipe, lying at her length in bed,
and smoking whilst I read, she would make her comments as I went on.

“Let me hear about the duchesses,” she would say. After a page or two
she interrupted me. “See what the Duchess of Rutland and the Duchess
of Gordon were: look at the difference. I acknowledge it proceeds all
from temperament, just as your dull disposition does, which to me is
as bad as a heavy weight or a nightmare. I never knew, among the whole
of my acquaintance in England, any one like you but Mr. Polhill of
Crofton” (or some such place): “he was always mopish, just as you are.
I remember too what a heavy, dull business the Duchess of R.’s parties
were――the room so stuffed with people that one could not move, and all
so heavy――a great deal of high breeding and _bon ton_; but there was,
somehow, nothing to enliven you. Now and then some incident would turn
up to break the spell. One evening, I recollect very well, everybody
was suffering with the heat: there we were, with nothing but heads to
be seen like bottles in a basket. I got out of the room, upon the
landing-place. There I found Lady Sefton, Lady Heathcote, and some of
your high-flyers, and somebody was saying to me, ‘Lady Hester
something,’ when, half way up the staircase, the Duke of Cumberland
was trying to make his way. He cried out, ‘Where’s Lady Hester?
where’s my aide-de-camp? Come and help me; for I am so blind I can’t
get on alone. Why, this is h――l and d――――n!’――‘Here I am, sir.’――‘Give
me your hand, there’s a good little soul. Do help me into this h――l;
for it’s quite as hot.’ Then came Bradford; and, whilst he was
speaking to me, and complaining of the intolerable heat and crush, out
roared the Duke of Cumberland, ‘Where is she gone to?’――and up went
his glass, peeping about to the right and left――‘where is she gone
to?’ There was some life in him, doctor.

“Now, at the Duchess of Gordon’s, there were people of the same
fashion, and the crowd was just as great; but then she was so lively,
and everybody was so animated, and seemed to know so well what they
were about――quite another thing.

“As for the Duchess of D.’s, there they were――all that set――all
yawning, and wanting the evening to be spent, that they might be
getting to the business they were after.”

It may be mentioned that Lady Hester was always very severe on the
Duchess of D. and her friends, whenever her name or theirs was
mentioned. She said she was full of affected sensibility, but that
there was always a great deal of wickedness about her eyes.

The mention of the Duchess of Rutland’s name also led to an amusing
anecdote. Lady Hester was speaking of the grand _fête_ given by the
duchess when her son came of age. The arrangements were entrusted to a
person named Rice, and to some great confectioner. Mr. Rice had been
_maître d’hôtel_, or in some such capacity, in Mr. Pitt’s family.

“Rice told me,” said Lady Hester, “that when he and the other man were
preparing for the _fête_, he never lay down for ten nights, but got
what sleep he could in an arm-chair. The duchess gave him three
hundred guineas. One day she looked at him over her shoulder; and when
one of the beaux about her said, ‘What are you looking after, duchess?
You have forgotten something in the drawing-room?’――‘No, no,’ said
she, pointing to Rice, ‘I was only thinking that those eyes are too
good for a kitchen.’ And then one talked of the eyes, and the eyes,
and another of the eyes and the eyes, until poor Rice quite blushed.
He had very pretty eyes, doctor.”

But the anecdote I was going to relate was this. Most simple persons,
like myself, imagine that prime ministers of such a country as
England, when promoted to so elevated a station, are only moved by the
noble ambition of their country’s good, and, from the first moment to
the last, are ever pondering on the important measures that may best
promote it. No such thing. Let us hear what Lady Hester Stanhope
herself had to say on this subject.

“The very first thing Mr. Pitt did,” said she, “after coming into
office the second time, was to provide for Mr. Rice. We were just got
to Downing Street, and everything was in disorder. I was in the
drawing-room: Mr. Pitt, I believe, had dined out. When he came home,
‘Hester,’ said he, ‘we must think of our dear, good friend Rice. I
have desired the list to be brought to me to-morrow morning, and we
will see what suits him.’――‘I think we had better see now,’ I replied.
‘Oh, no! it is too late now.’――‘Not at all,’ I rejoined; and I rang
the bell, and desired the servant to go to the Treasury, and bring me
the list.

“On examining it, I found three places for which he was eligible. I
then sent for Rice. ‘Rice,’ said I, ‘here are three places to be
filled up. One is a place in the Treasury, where you may fag on, and,
by the time you are forty-five or fifty, you may be master of twenty
or twenty-five thousand pounds. There is another will bring you into
contact with poor younger sons of nobility: you will be invited out,
get tickets for the Opera, and may make yourself a fine gentleman. The
third is in the Customs: there you must fag a great deal, but you will
make a great deal of money: it is a searcher’s place.’

“Rice, after considering awhile, said――‘As for the Treasury, that will
not suit me, my lady; for I must go on plodding to the end of my life.
The second place your ladyship mentioned will throw me out of my
sphere: I am not fit for fine folks; and, if you please, I had rather
take the third.’ So, the very next morning, I got all his papers
signed by everybody except Mr. Long, and they made some excuses that
he was not come, or was gone, or something; but I would hear of no
delay, and desired them to find him.

“Rice went on swimmingly, doctor, for a long time, and made one
morning a seizure that brought for his share £500. But I had given him
some very long instructions, and he was not like you, for he listened
to my advice. Sometimes, when I was teaching him how he was to act, he
would say, ‘My lady, I believe that is enough for this time: I don’t
think my poor head will contain more; but I’ll come again.’ I told him
he was to learn the specific gravity of bodies, that when they told
him (for example) it was pepper, he might know by the volume that it
was not gunpowder or cochineal.

“When the Grenville administration wanted to introduce new regulations
into the Customs, and diminish their profits, I wrote such a petition
for them, that Lord Grenville read it over and over, and cried
out――‘There is only one person could write this, and we must give up
the point.’ He sent the Duke of Buckingham to me to find out if it was
I, and the duke said, to smooth the matter――‘Lady Hester, you know, if
you want any favour, you have only to ask for it.’――‘Indeed,’ said I,
‘I shall ask no favour of your _broad-bottomed_ gentry; what I want I
shall take by force.’――‘Now, Hester,’ cried the duke, ‘you are too
bad; you are almost indelicate.’

“Oh, I made a man laugh so once when speaking of an officer, who, I
said, would not do for an hussar, as he wanted a little more of the
Grenville make about him.”

After a pause, as if reflecting, Lady Hester resumed――“Is there
nothing in the book about the G********’s getting the Prince down to
Stowe? They received him with extraordinary magnificence, and the most
noble treatment possible: they fancied they were going to do wonders.
But I said to them――‘Do you think all this makes the impression you
wish in the Prince’s breast? You suppose, no doubt, that you gratify
him highly with such a splendid reception: you are much mistaken. From
this time forward he will be jealous of you, and will hate you as
long as he thinks you can rival him.’ The event proved how justly I
knew his character.

“There they were, shut up: and when they told me they had got their
conditions in black and white, I told them how it would be. I said he
would take them in; for what was a paper to a man like him? I wrote
them such a letter, doctor, that they all thought it was Mr.
Pitt’s――Mr. Pitt’s best style, too――until I swore he never knew a word
about it. They fancied they had got all the loaves and fishes. One was
to be Prime Minister, one First Lord of the Admiralty, and so on: but
their ambition destroyed them. What have they been since Mr. Pitt’s
death? Nothing at all. Who ever hears now of the Duke of

I turned over the pages, and next read Wraxall’s account of Mr.
Sheridan, which Lady Hester said was very much to the purpose. “Mr.
Pitt,” she added, “always thought well of him, and never disliked my
talking with him. Oh! how Sheridan used to make me laugh, when he
pretended to marry Mr. Pitt to different women!”

I came to the passage where Sir Nathaniel finds fault with Mr. Pitt’s
having refused Sheridan’s generous offer of co-operating with him in
suppressing the mutiny at the Nore. “Why,” interrupted Lady Hester,
“what could Mr. Pitt do? He was afraid, doctor; he did not know how
sincere such people might be in their offers: they might be only
coming over to his side to get the secrets of the cabinet, and then
turn king’s evidence. It required a great deal of caution to know how
to deal with such clever men.”

Where Sir Nathaniel relates the history of the Burrell family, she
spoke highly of all the daughters, but especially of Mrs. Bennett, and
considered that the author was wrong in saying that all but Mrs.
Bennett were not handsome.

Of the D. of H. she observed, that he never lived with the duchess. He
was in love with Lady ――――, and used to disguise himself as a
one-legged soldier――as a beggar――assuming a hundred masquerades,
sleeping in outhouses, &c. He would have married her, but he could
not, for he had got one wife already. That was the woman F. M****
married. “Oh, doctor, there was a man!” (meaning the Duke of H――――)
“perfect from top to toe, with not a single flaw in his person.”

Lady Hester was so delighted with Sir Nathaniel’s Memoirs that she
said, more than once, “How I wish I had known that man! I would have
made him a duke. What an excellent judgment he has, and how well he
knew everybody! But how was I to find out all those people, when the
stupid and interested set that surrounded Mr. Pitt kept them all in
the background.”

November 11.――This evening I remained with Lady Hester about three
hours. She was better, but complained of great pain in the left
hypochondrium, and could not lie easy on either side, or on her back.
Yet, notwithstanding her ailments, talking was necessary for her; and
from the incidental mention of Mr. Pitt’s name, she went on about him
for some time.

“Nobody ever knew or estimated Mr. Pitt’s character rightly. His views
were abused and confounded with the narrow projects of men who never
could comprehend them; his fidelity to his master was never
understood. Never was there such a disinterested man; he invariably
refused every bribe, and declined every present that was offered to
him. Those which came to him from abroad he left to rot in the Custom
House; and some of his servants, after quitting his service, knowing
he never inquired about them any more, went and claimed things of this
sort: for Mr. Pitt would read the letter, and think no more about it.
I could name those, who have pictures hanging in their rooms――pictures
by Flemish masters, of great value――procured in this way.

“Mr. Pitt used to say of Lord Carrington, when he saw him unable to
eat his dinner in comfort, because he had a letter to write to his
steward about some estate or another――‘_voilà l’embarras de
richesses_:’ but when he heard of some generous action done by a
wealthy man――‘There’s the pleasure of being rich,’ he would cry. He
did not pretend to despise wealth, but he was not a slave to it, as
will be seen by the following anecdotes:――

“At one time a person was empowered by his city friends to settle on
him £10,000 a year, in order to render him independent of the favour
of the king and of everybody, upon condition (as they expressed it)
that he would stand forth to save his country. The offer was made
through me, and I said I would deliver the message, but was afraid the
answer would not be such as they wished. Mr. Pitt in fact refused it,
saying he was much flattered by their approval of his conduct, but
that he could accept nothing of the sort.

“Yet these people,” added Lady Hester, “were not, as you might at
first suppose, disinterested in their offer: I judged them to be
otherwise. For if it had been to the man, and not to some hopes of
gain they had by him, would they not, after his death, have searched
out those he esteemed as angels, and have honoured his memory by
enriching those he loved so much? (alluding to herself and brothers.)
But no――they thought if Mr. Pitt retired from public affairs, the
country and its commerce would go to ruin, and they, as great city
men, would be the losers; whereas, by a few thousand pounds given away
handsomely, if they got him to take an active part in the government,
they would in turn put vast riches into their own purses, and make a
handsome profit out of their patriotism.” She added, “There are no
public philanthropists in the city.”

“I recollect once a hackney-coach drawing up to the door, out of which
got four men: doctor, they had a gold box with them as big as that”
(and she held her hands nearly a foot apart to show the size of it),
“containing £100,000 in bank-notes. They had found out the time when
he was alone, and made him an offer of it. It was all interest that
guided them, but they pretended it was patriotism:――rich merchants,
who were to get a pretty penny by the job. He very politely thanked
them, and returned the present.

“I was once in the city at an Irish linen warehouse――very rich people,
but such a nasty place――so dark! You know those narrow streets. They
offered to buy Hollwood for him, pay his debts, and make him
independent of the king, if he would contrive to take office; for he
was out at the time. I mentioned it to him, as I thought it my duty to
do so; but he would not listen to any such proposal.

“When I think of the ingratitude of the English nation to Mr. Pitt,
for all his personal sacrifices and disinterestedness, for his life
wasted in the service of his country!”――Here Lady Hester’s emotions
got the better of her, and she burst into tears: she sobbed as she
spoke. “People little knew what he had to do. Up at eight in the
morning, with people enough to see for a week, obliged to talk all the
time he was at breakfast, and receiving first one, then another, until
four o’clock; then eating a mutton-chop, hurrying off to the House,
and there badgered and compelled to speak and waste his lungs until
two or three in the morning!――who could stand it? After this, heated
as he was, and having eaten nothing, in a manner of speaking, all day,
he would sup with Dundas, Huskisson, Rose, Mr. Long, and such persons,
and then go to bed to get three or four hours’ sleep, and to renew the
same thing the next day, and the next, and the next.

“Poor old Rose! he had a good heart. I am afraid he took it ill that I
did not write to him. Mr. Long used to slide in and slide out, and
slide here and slide there――nobody knew when he went or when he
came――so quiet.”

I here interrupted Lady Hester: “It was a lamentable end, that of Mr.
――――,” said I.[5] “So much the better,” answered Lady Hester. I
thought she had not heard me well. “It was a lamentable end, that of
Mr. ――――,” I repeated with a louder tone. “So much the better,” said
she again; “it could not be too bad for him. He died in bodily
torment, and C―――― had the torment of a bad conscience for his
falsehoods, and W―――― lived in mental torment. They all three deserved

Lady Hester resumed. “When Mr. Pitt was at Walmer, he recovered his
health prodigiously. He used to go to a farm near Walmer, where hay
and corn were kept for the horses. He had a room fitted up there with
a table and two or three chairs, where he used to write sometimes, and
a tidy woman to dress him something to eat. Oh! what slices of bread
and butter I have seen him eat there, and hunches of bread and cheese
big enough for a ploughman! He used to say that, whenever he could
retire from public life, he would have a good English woman cook.
Sometimes, after a grand dinner, he would say, ‘I want something――I am
hungry:’ and when I remarked, ‘Well, but you are just got up from
dinner,’ he would add, ‘Yes; but I looked round the table, and there
was nothing I could eat――all the dishes were so made up, and so
unnatural.’ Ah, doctor! in town, during the sitting of parliament,
what a life was his! Roused from his sleep (for he was a good sleeper)
with a despatch from Lord Melville;――then down to Windsor; then, if
he had half an hour to spare, trying to swallow something:――Mr. Adams
with a paper, Mr. Long with another; then Mr. Rose: then, with a
little bottle of cordial confection in his pocket, off to the House
until three or four in the morning; then home to a hot supper for two
or three hours more, to talk over what was to be done next day:――and
wine, and wine!――Scarcely up next morning, when tat-tat-tat――twenty or
thirty people, one after another, and the horses walking before the
door from two till sunset, waiting for him. It was enough to kill a
man――it was murder!”

Lady Hester reverted to Walmer, and went on, after musing a little
thus――“I remember once what an improvement I made at Walmer, which
arose from a conversation with some friends, in which Mr. Pitt agreed
with them that Walmer was not certainly a beautiful residence, but
that it only wanted trees to make it so. I was present, but did not
seem to hear what was passing.

“Mr. Pitt soon after went to town. Mindful of what he had let drop, I
immediately resolved to set about executing the improvements which he
seemed to imply as wanting. I got (I know not how) all the regiments
that were in quarters at Dover, and employed them in levelling,
fetching turf, transplanting shrubs, flowers, &c. As I possess, in
some degree, the art of ingratiating myself where I want to do it, I
would go out of an evening among the workmen, and say to one, ‘You are
a Warwickshire man, I know by your face’ (although I had known it by
his brogue). ‘How much I esteem Lord Warwick; he is my best
friend.’――‘Were you in Holland, my good fellow?’ to another. ‘Yes, my
lady, in the Blues.’――‘A fine regiment; there is not a better soldier
in the army than colonel so-and-so.’――‘He was my colonel, my lady.’
Thus a few civil words, and occasionally a present, made the work go
on rapidly, and it was finished before Mr. Pitt’s return.

“When Mr. Pitt came down, he dismounted from his horse, and, ascending
the staircase, saw through a window, which commanded a view of the
grounds, the improvements that had been made. ‘Dear me, Hester, why,
this is a miracle! I know ’tis you, so do not deny it: well, I
declare, it is quite admirable; I could not have done it half so well
myself.’ And, though it was just dinner-time, he would go out, and
examine it all over, and then was so profuse in his praises!――which
were the more delightful, because they applauded the correctness of my
taste. Above all, he was charmed that I had not fallen into an error
(which most persons would have done) of making what is called an
English garden, but rather had kept to the old manner of avenues,
alleys, and the like, as being more adapted to an ancient castle. Such
was the amiable politeness of Mr. Pitt.

“When Mr. Pitt retired from office, and sold Hollwood, his favourite
child, he laid down his carriages and horses, diminished his equipage,
and paid off as many debts as he could. Yet, notwithstanding this
complete revolution, his noble manners, his agreeable, condescending
air, never forsook him for a moment. To see him at table with vulgar
sea captains, and ignorant militia colonels, with two or three
servants in attendance――he, who had been accustomed to a servant
behind each chair, to all that was great and distinguished in
Europe――one might have supposed disgust would have worked some change
in him. But in either case it was the same――always the admiration of
all around him. He was ever careful to cheer the modest and diffident;
but if some forward young fellow exhibited any pertness, by a short
speech, or by asking some puzzling question, he would give him such a
set down that he could not get over it all the evening.”

In answer to a question I put, “By whom and how ministers effected
their purposes in the city,” she told me that they got hold of one of
the great squads, as Lloyd’s, the Angersteins, the Merchant Tailors,
and so on; and by means of one body set the rest to work. Lady Hester
was saying of herself that she was very fit for a diplomatic
character. “Nobody can ever observe in me any changes in my
countenance; and when I am sitting still under a tree, nobody that
passes and sees me, I will venture to say, would ever suppose what was
in me, or say that’s a person of talent. Mr. Pitt’s face was somewhat
the same. In regarding him, I should have said that he had a sort of
slovenly or negligent look: and the same when he was in a passion. His
passion did not show itself by knitting his brows or pouting his
mouth, nor were his words very sharp: but his eyes lighted up in a
manner quite surprising. It was something that seemed to dart from
within his head, and you might see sparks coming from them. At another
time, his eyes had no colour at all.

“That Mr. Pitt got into debt is no wonder. How could a man, so
circumstanced, find time to look into his affairs? And of course there
were many things I could not attend to, whatever disposition I might
have had to do so. The bills that were given in by the cook, by the
valet, and such people, I looked over. Merely the post-chaises and
four were enough to run away with a moderate income. Every now and
then I fixed on some glaring overcharge, and made some inquiry about
it, just to put a check upon them; and on such occasions I would say,
‘Take care that does not happen again:’ but, what with great dinners,
and one thing and another, it was impossible to do any good. As for
your talking about English servants being more honest than those of
other countries, I don’t know what to say about it.

“Where Wraxall, in his book, insinuates that Mr. Pitt gave Mr. Smith a
title, and made him Lord Carrington, merely to discharge a debt for
money supplied in his emergencies, he is wrong, doctor. Mr. Pitt once
borrowed a sum of money of six persons, but Lord Carrington was not of
the number, and the title bestowed on him was for quite another
reason: it was to recompense the zeal he had shown in raising a
volunteer corps at his own expense at Nottingham, and in furnishing
government with a sufficient sum to raise another. Mr. Pitt had also
found Mr. Smith a useful man in affording him information about
bankers’ business, which he often stood in need of, and in making
dinner parties, to enable Mr. Pitt to get rid of troublesome people,
whom he otherwise would have been obliged to entertain at his own
table. But Mr. Pitt never knew what I heard after his death, by mere
accident, that the principal part of the loan, which Mr. S. presented
to government in his own name, was in reality the gift of an old miser
at Nottingham; who, being unable or unwilling to go to town to see the
Chancellor of the Exchequer in person, and to be put to the trouble
of addressing the crown, got Mr. S., who was an active man, to do it
for him. It suited Mr. Pitt very well, in making Lord Carrington
governor of Deal castle, to have somebody near at hand who could take
off the bore, and the expense too, of entertaining people from

“Sir Nathaniel Wraxall speaks of Mr. Pitt’s supposed inclination for
one of the Duke of Richmond’s daughters, and goes on to say that he
showed one of them great attention.” Lady Hester Stanhope interrupted
me at that passage, and said, “So he did to all.”

She denied that Mr. Dundas had any direct influence over Mr. Pitt, as
Wraxall avers. Her words were, “Because Mr. Dundas was a man of sense,
and Mr. Pitt approved of his ideas on many subjects, it does not
follow, therefore, that he was influenced by him.” With the exception
of Mr. Dundas, Lord ―――― and another that she named, “all the rest,”
said Lady Hester, “were a rabble――a rabble. It was necessary to have
some one at their head to lead them, or else they were always going
out of the right road, just as, you know, a mule with a good star must
go before a caravan of mules, to show them the way. Look at a flight
of geese in the air: there must always be one to lead them, or else
they would not know in what direction to fly.

“Mr. Pitt’s consideration for age was very marked. He had, exclusive
of Walmer, a house in the village, for the reception of those whom the
castle could not hold. If a respectable commoner, advanced in years,
and a young duke arrived at the same time, and there happened to be
but one room vacant in the Castle, he would be sure to assign it to
the senior; for it is better (he would say) that these young lords
should walk home on a rainy night, than old men: they can bear it more

“Mr. Pitt was accustomed to say that he always conceived more
favourably of that man’s understanding who talked agreeable nonsense,
than of his who talked sensibly only; for the latter might come from
books and study, while the former could only be the natural fruit of

“Mr. Pitt was never inattentive to what was passing around him, though
he often thought proper to appear so. On one occasion, Sir Ed. K. took
him to the Ashford ball to show him off to the yeomen and their wives.
Though sitting in the room in all his senatorial seriousness, he
contrived to observe everything; and nobody” (Lady Hester said) “could
give a more lively account of a ball than he. He told who was rather
fond of a certain captain; how Mrs. K. was dressed; how Miss Jones,
Miss Johnson, or Miss Anybody, danced; and had all the minutiæ of the
night as if he had been no more than an idle looker-on.

“He was not fond of the applause of a mob. One day, in going down to
Weymouth, he was recognized in some town, and, whilst the carriage
stopped to change horses, a vast number of people gathered round us:
they insisted on dragging the carriage, and would do so for some time,
all he could say. Oh, doctor! what a fright I was in!

“Mr. Pitt bore with ceremony as a thing necessary. On some occasions,
I was obliged to pinch his arm to make him not appear uncivil to
people: ‘There’s a baronet,’ I would say; or, ‘that’s Mr. So-and-so.’

“I never saw Mr. Pitt shed tears but twice. I never heard him speak of
his sister Har-yet” (so Lady Hester pronounced it) “but once. One day
his niece, Harriet Elliott, dined with us, and, after she was gone,
Mr. Pitt said, ‘Well, I am glad Harriet fell to my brother’s lot, and
you to mine, for I never should have agreed with her.’――‘But,’
observed I, ‘she is a good girl, and handsome.’――‘She ought to be so,’
said Mr. Pitt, ‘for her mother was so.’”

Lady Hester said, that those who asserted that Mr. Pitt wanted to put
the Bourbons on the throne, and that they followed his principles,
lied; and, if she had been in parliament, she would have told them so.
 “I once heard a great person,” added she, “in conversation with him
on the subject, and Mr. Pitt’s reply was, ‘Whenever I can make
peace,[6] whether with a consul, or with whosoever it is at the head
of the French government, provided I can have any dependance on him, I
will do it.’ Mr. Pitt had a sovereign contempt for the Bourbons, and
the only merit that he allowed to any one of them was to him who was
afterwards Charles X., whose gentlemanly manners and mild demeanour he
could not be otherwise than pleased with. Mr. Pitt never would consent
to their going to court, because it would have been a recognition of
Louis XVIII.

“Latterly, Mr. Pitt used to suffer a great deal from the cold in the
House of Commons; for he complained that the wind cut through his silk
stockings. I remember, one day, I had on a large tippet and muff of
very fine fur: the tippet covered my shoulders, and came down in a
point behind. ‘What is this, Hester?’ said Mr. Pitt; ‘something
Siberian? Can’t you command some of your slaves――for you must
recollect, Griselda, Hester has slaves without number, who implicitly
obey her orders’ (this was addressed to Griselda and Mr. Tickell, who
were present)――‘can’t you command some of your slaves to introduce the
fashion of wearing muffs and tippets into the House of Commons? I
could then put my feet on the muff, and throw the tippet over my knees
and round my legs.’

“When we were at Walmer, it is incredible what a deal I got through in
the day. Mr. Pitt was pleased to have somebody who would take trouble
off his hands. Every week he had to review the volunteers, and would
ride home in such showers of rain――I have been so drenched, that, as I
stood, my boots made two spouting fountains above my knees. Then there
was dinner; and, if I happened to be alone, when I went to the
drawing-room, I had to give the secret word for spies, to see the
sergeant of the guard, and then the gentlemen would come in from the
dining-room. But, if they were late, oh, how sleepy I got, and would
have given the world to go to bed!

“One day, Lord Chatham had to review the artillery, and he kept them
under arms from daylight until three o’clock. Bradford went to him
several times to know if he was ready. ‘I shall come in about half an
hour,’ was the constant reply; until, at last, seeing no chance of his
appearance, I agreed with the aide-de-camps to go off together and
settle matters as well as we could: so, getting Lord Chatham’s leave,
off we went. Colonel Ford, the commanding-officer, was a cross man;
and that day he had enough to make him so. But I managed it all very
well: I told him that pressing business detained Lord C.; that he had
commissioned us to apologize; and that I should have pleasure in
saying the men looked admirably: then I added that Mr. Pitt hoped to
see him in the course of a few days at the Castle, and so on. The
colonel looked dreadfully out of temper, however, and Bradford and I
rode back at a furious rate. It was one of those dark, wet days that
are so peculiar to England. A day or two after, the colonel and some
of the officers were invited to Walmer, and I behaved very civilly to
them; so that Lord Chatham’s laziness was forgotten.

“Lord Chatham never travelled without a mistress. He was a man of no
merit, but of great _sâad_ (luck): he used to keep people waiting and
waiting whilst he was talking and breakfasting with her. He would keep
his aide-de-camps till two or three in the morning. How often would
the servant come in, and say supper was ready, and he would answer,
‘Ah! well, in half an hour.’ Then the servant would say, ‘Supper is
on the table;’ and then it would be, ‘Ah? well, in a quarter of an
hour.’ An aide-de-camp would come in with a paper to sign, and perhaps
Lord Chatham would say――‘Oh, dear! that’s too long: I can’t possibly
look at it now: you must bring it to-morrow.’ The aide-de-camp would
present it next day, and he would cry, ‘Good God! how can you think of
bringing it now? don’t you know there’s a review to-day?’ Then, the
day after, he was going to Woolwich. ‘Well, never mind,’ he would say;
‘have you got a short one?――well, bring that.’

“Doctor, I once changed the dress of a whole regiment――the Berkshire
militia. Somebody asked me, before a great many officers, what I
thought of them, and I said they looked like so many tinned
harlequins. One day, soon after, I was riding through Walmer village,
when who should pop out upon me but the colonel, dressed in entirely
new regimentals, with different facings, and more like a regiment of
the line. ‘Pray, pardon me, Lady Hester’――so I stopped, as he
addressed me――‘pray, pardon me,’ said the colonel, ‘but I wish to know
if you approve of our new uniform.’ Of course I made him turn about,
till I inspected him round and round――pointed with my whip, as I sat
on horseback, first here and then there――told him the waist was too
short, and wanted half a button more――the collar was a little too
high――and so on; and, in a short time, the whole regiment turned out
with new clothes. The Duke of York was very generous, and not at all
stingy in useful things.

“I recollect once at Ramsgate, five of the Blues, half drunk, not
knowing who I was, walked after me, and pursued me to my door. They
had the impertinence to follow me up-stairs, and one of them took hold
of my gown. The maid came out, frightened out of her senses; but, just
at the moment, with my arm I gave the foremost of them such a push,
that I sent him rolling over the others down stairs, with their swords
rattling against the balusters. Next day, he appeared with a black
patch as big as a saucer over his face; and, when I went out, there
were the glasses looking at me, and the footmen pointing me out――quite
a sensation!”

During these conversations respecting Mr. Pitt’s times, Sir
Nathaniel’s Memoirs were generally in my hand, and when there was a
pause I resumed my reading. In giving Sir Walter Farquhar’s private
conversation respecting Mr. Pitt’s death, the author says――“Mr. Pitt
mounted the staircase with alacrity.” Here Lady Hester stopped me,
with the exclamation of――“What a falsehood, doctor! Just hear how it
was. You know, when the carriage came to the door, he was announced,
and I went up to the top of the stairs to receive him. The first
thing I heard was a voice so changed, that I said to myself, ‘It is
all over with him.’ He was supported by the arms of two people, and
had a stick, or two sticks, in his hands, and as he came up, panting
for breath――ugh! ugh! I retreated little by little, not to put him to
the pain of making a bow to me, or of speaking:――so much for his

“After Mr. Pitt’s death, I could not cry for a whole month and more. I
never shed a tear, until one day Lord Melville came to see me; and the
sight of his eyebrows turned grey, and his changed face, made me burst
into tears. I felt much better for it after it was over.

“Mr. Pitt’s bust was taken after his death by an Italian, named, I
think, Tomino――an obscure artist, whom I had rummaged out. This man
had offered me at one time a bust worth a hundred guineas, and prayed
me to accept it, in order, as he said, to make his name known: I
refused it, but recollected him afterwards. The bust turned out a very
indifferent resemblance: so, with my own hand, I corrected the
defects, and it eventually proved a strong likeness. The D. of C.
happening to call when the artist was at work in my room, was so
pleased, that he ordered one of a hundred guineas for himself, and
another to be sent to Windsor. There was one by this Tomino put into
the Exhibition.

“A fine picture in Mr. Pitt’s possession represented Diogenes with a
lantern searching by day for an honest man. A person cut out a part of
the blank canvas, and put in Mr. Pitt’s portrait.

“When Mr. Pitt was going to Bath, previous to his last illness, I told
him I insisted on his taking my eider-down quilt with him. ‘You will
go about,’ said I, ‘much more comfortably; and, instead of being too
hot one day under a thick counterpane, and the next day shivering
under a thin one, you will have an equable warmth, always leaving one
blanket with this quilt. Charles and James were present, and could not
help ridiculing the idea of a man’s carrying about with him such a
bundling, effeminate thing. ‘Why,’ interrupted I, ‘it is much more
convenient than you all imagine: big as it looks, you may put it into
a pocket-handkerchief.’――‘I can’t believe that,’ cried Charles and
James. ‘Do you doubt my word?’ said I, in a passion: ‘nobody shall
doubt it with impunity:’ and my face assumed that picture of anger,
which you can’t deny, doctor, is in me pretty formidable; so I desired
the quilt to be brought. ‘Why, my dear Lady Hester,’ said Mr. Pitt, ‘I
am sure the boys do not mean to say you tell falsehoods: they suppose
you said it would go into a handkerchief merely as a _façon de

Lady Hester, when she told me this story, here interrupted
herself――“And upon my word, doctor, if you had seen the footman
bringing it over his shoulder, he himself almost covered up by it, you
would have thought indeed it was only a _façon de parler_.”

She continued. “I turned myself to James. ‘Now, sir, take and tie it
up directly in this pocket-handkerchief. There! does it, or does it
not go into it!’

“This,” concluded Lady Hester, “was the only quarrel I ever had with
Charles and James. James often used to look very black, but he never
said anything.

“When Mr. Pitt was going to Bath, in his last illness, he told me he
had just seen Arthur Wellesley. He spoke of him with the greatest
commendation, and said the more he saw of him, the more he admired
him. ‘Yes,’ he added, ‘the more I hear of his exploits in India, the
more I admire the modesty with which he receives the praises he merits
from them. He is the only man I ever saw that was not vain of what he
had done, and had so much reason to be so.’

“This eulogium,” Lady Hester said, “Mr. Pitt pronounced in his fine
mellow tone of voice, and this was the last speech I heard him make in
that voice; for, on his return from Bath, it was cracked for ever.”
Then she observed, “My own opinion of the duke is, that he is a blunt
soldier, who pleases women because he is gallant and has some remains
of beauty: but,” she added, “he has none of the dignity of courts
about him.”


      [4] This of course refers to the late Duke.

      [5] “I dislike ――――, both as to his principles and the
          turn of his understanding: he wants to make money by
          this peace.”――_Diaries and Correspondence_, &c.

      [6] “Mr. Pitt has always been held up to the present
          generation as fond of war; but the Harris papers
          could furnish the most continued and certain evidence
          of the contrary, and that he often suffered all the
          agony of a pious man who is forced to fight a duel.
          The cold and haughty temper of Lord Grenville was less
          sensitive. Our overtures to France were synonymous
          with degradation, and he could not brook the delays
          of the directory.”――_Diaries and Correspondence_, v.
          iii., p. 516.

                              CHAPTER III.

Duchess of Gontaut――Duc de Berry――Anecdotes of Lord H.――Sir Gore
Ouseley――Prince of Wales――The other princes――The Queen’s severity――Men
and women of George the Third’s time――The Herveys――Lady Liverpool’s
high breeding――Lady Hester’s declining health.

“One of Mr. Pitt’s last conversations, whilst on his death-bed, was
about Charles and James. Mr. Pitt had called me in, and told me, in a
low, feeble voice――‘You must not talk to me to-day on any business:
when I get down to Lord Camden’s, and am better, it will be time
enough then.’ He seemed to know he was dying, but only said this to
console me. ‘But now, my dear Hester,’ he continued, ‘I wish to say a
few words about James and Charles. As for Charles, he is such an
excellent young man that one cannot wish him to be otherwise than he
is; and Moore is such a perfect officer, that he will give him every
information in his profession that he can possibly require. The only
apprehension I have is on the score of women, who will perhaps think
differently of him from what he thinks of himself: but with James the
case is otherwise. He is a young man you must keep under; else you
will always see him trying to be a _joli garçon_. For Charles’s
steadiness, I do not fear; but the little one will one day or other
fall into the hands of men who will gain him over and unsettle his
political principles. You can guide him, and, so long as he is under
your care, he is safe:’ and,” added Lady Hester, “Mr. Pitt was right,
doctor; for the moment I quitted England he fell into the snares of
Lord B. and his party, and instead of being in Mr. Canning’s place,
which he might have been, he became nothing.”

Lady Hester went on: “When Charles and James left Chevening,[7] Mr.
Pitt said to Mahon (the present Earl Stanhope), ‘You know that, when
your father dies, you will be heir to a large property――whether
£15,000 a-year or £25,000 it does not much signify. Now, as far as a
house goes and having a table where your brothers may dine, I have got
that to offer. But young men in the army have a number of wants, for
their equipment, regimentals, &c., and for all this I have not the
means. You, therefore, Mahon, must do that for them; and, if you have
not money, you can always let their bills be charged to you with
interest, as is very common among noblemen until they come to their
fortune. You ought to raise a sum of money for them, and see to their
wants a little: your two brothers should not be left to starve.’

“Mahon said he would. Charles one day told me that, as a poor captain
of the army, the baggage warehouse and his tailor were rather shy of
trusting him; and if Mahon would only go and say to them――‘Do you let
my brothers have what they want, and I will be answerable for them;’
then I could get on. Mahon did that too; and, in reliance on this
arrangement, they had clothes and other things, considering him as
responsible for them. After Mr. Pitt’s death, several tradesmen
applied for their bills.”

       *       *       *       *       *

So, recollecting an old peer, who had been one of Mr. Pitt’s
particular friends, I sent off James to him to his country-seat with a
letter, relating the whole business: this person immediately gave
James a draft for £2,000, with which he returned, and paid his own
and Charles’s debts.

“Well, it was agreed between Charles, James, and me, that whoever had
the first windfall should pay the £2,000. Charles died: James was not
rich enough at any time to do it; and it fell to my lot to pay it
since I have been in this country. And that was the reason of my
selling the Burton Pynsent reversion, which, you know, I did in 1820
or thereabouts; and when Mr. Murray found fault with me for my
extravagance, and said he would have no hand in the business, neither
he nor anybody else knew then why I sold it.

“When Coutts wrote me word that my brother James had been very good to
me in having given me £1,000, he did not know that the civility was
not so disinterested as he imagined. James might think he did a great
deal for me: but, let me ask you――did I not make a pretty great
sacrifice for Lord Mahon and him? I sold a pretty round sum out of the
American funds, and James took possession of about five hundred
pounds’ worth of plate of mine, and of my jewels, and of Tippoo Saib’s
gold powder-flask, worth £200, and of the cardinal of York’s present,
which, to some persons who wanted a relic of the Stuarts, was
invaluable. Then there was a portfolio, full of fine engravings of
Morghen and others, that the Duke of Buckingham bought of him: so
there was at least as much as he sent me.

“If I had not been thwarted and opposed by them all, as I have been,
and obliged to raise money from time to time to get on, I should have
been a very rich woman. There was the money I sold out of the American
funds; then there was the Burton Pynsent money, £7,000; my father’s
legacy, £10,000; the (I did not distinctly hear what) legacy, £1,000:”
and thus her ladyship reckoned up on her fingers an amount of £40,000.

“Is it not very odd that General G. and Lord G. could not leave me a
few thousand pounds out of their vast fortunes when they died? They
knew that I was in debt, and that a few thousands would have set me
up; and yet in their wills, not to speak of their lifetime, they never
gave me a single sixpence, but left their money to people already in
the enjoyment of incomes far exceeding their wants, and very little
more nearly related to them than I am. Well, all their injustice does
not put me out of spirits. The time will soon come when I shall want
none of their assistance, if I get the other property that ought to
come to me. Oh! how vexed Lady Chatham always was, when Lady Louisa V.
used to point at me, and say――‘There she is――that’s my heir.’ Lady L.
was deformed, and never thought of marrying; but Lord G. did marry
her nevertheless, and she had a child that died.

“Then there is the reversion of my grandfather’s pension of £4,000
a-year, secured for four lives by the patent: the first Lord Chatham
one, the late Lord Chatham the next, and I, of course, the third.”[8]

Nov. 14.――I saw that Lady Hester grew weaker every day, and I felt
alarmed about her. Still, whenever I had to write to the person she,
about this time, most honoured with her confidence, Mons. Guys, the
French consul at Beyrout, she would not allow me to make any further
allusion to her illness than to state simply that she was confined to
her bed-room with a cold. “I see you are afraid about me,” she said,
“but I have recovered from worse illnesses than this by God’s help and
the strength of my constitution.”

My wife sent to her to say that she or my daughter would, with
pleasure, come and keep her company, or sit up with her: this she
refused. I then offered Miss Longchamp’s services: but Lady Hester’s
pride would not allow her to expose to a stranger the meagreness of
her chamber, so utterly unlike a European apartment. It was indeed an
afflicting sight to behold her wrapped up in old blankets, her room
lighted by yellow beeswax candles in brass candlesticks, drinking her
tea out of a broken-spouted blue teapot and a cracked white cup and
saucer, taking her draughts out of an old cup, with a short wooden
deal bench by her bedside for a table, and in a room not so well
furnished as a servant’s bed-room in England.

The general state of wretchedness in which she lived had even struck
Mr. Dundas, a gentleman, who, on returning overland from India, staid
some days with her: and, as Lady Hester observed, when she told me the
story, “He did not know all, as you do. I believe he almost shed
tears. ‘When I see you, Lady Hester,’ said he, ‘with a set of fellows
for servants who do nothing, and when I look at the room in which you
pass your hours, I can hardly believe it is you. I was much affected
at first, but now I am more reconciled. You are a being fluctuating
between heaven and earth, and belonging to neither; and perhaps it is
better things should be as they are’” Lady Hester added, “He has
visited me two or three times: he is a sensible Scotchman, and I like
him as well as anybody I have seen for some years.”

November 15.――It was night, when a messenger arrived from Beyrout, and
brought a small parcel containing a superbly bound book presented to
her ladyship by the Oriental Translation Fund Society. It was
accompanied by a complimentary letter from the president, Sir Gore
Ouseley. The book was “_The History of the Temple of Jerusalem,
translated by the Rev. J. Reynolds_.” After admiring it, and turning
over the leaves, she said to me, “Look it over, and see what it is
about,” and then began to talk of Sir Gore. “I recollect, doctor,”
said she, “so well the night he was introduced to me: it was at Mr.
Matook’s (?) supper.

“You may imagine the numbers and numbers of people I met in society,
whilst I lived with Mr. Pitt, almost all of whom were dying to make my
acquaintance, and of whom I necessarily could know little or nothing.
Indeed, to the greater part of those who were introduced to me, if
they saw me afterwards, when they bowed I might return the salutation,
smile a little, and pass on, for I had not time to do more:――a
person’s life would not be long enough. Well, I recollect it was at a
party where Charles X. was present――I think it was at Lord
Harrington’s――that somebody said to me, ‘Mr. ―――― wants to know you so
much! Why won’t you let him be introduced to you?’――‘Because I don’t
like people whose face is all oily, like a soap-ball,’ answered I.
Now, doctor, upon my word, I no more knew he had made his fortune by
oil, than I do what was the colour of the paper in your saloon at
Nice; and when his friend said, ‘You are too bad, Lady Hester,’ I did
not understand what he meant. However, they told me there would be all
the royalties there, and so I consented.

“I have had an instinct all my life that never deceived me, about
people who were thorough-bred or not; I knew them at once. Why was it,
when Mr. H*******n came into a room, and took a long sweep with his
hat, and made a stoop, and I said: ‘One would think he was looking
under the bed for the _great business_;’ and all the people laughed,
and when at last Mr. Pitt said, ‘Hester, you are too bad, you should
not be personal,’ I declared ‘I did not know what he meant?’ Then he
explained to me that the man was a broken-down doctor, a fact which, I
honestly assured him, I never heard of before. But my quickness in
detecting people’s old habits is so great, that I hit upon a thing
without having the least previous intimation.

“As I passed the card-table that evening where the Comte d’Artois was
playing, he put down his cards to talk to me a little, so polite, so
well-bred――poor man! And there were the other three old dowagers, who
were playing with him, abusing him in English, which he understood
very well, because he had stopped the game. After he had resumed his
cards, I was leaning over the back of a chair facing him, reflecting
in one of my thoughtful moments on the uncertainty of human greatness
in the picture I had then before me, when I gave one of those deep
sighs, which you have heard me do sometimes, something between a sigh
and a grunt, and so startled the French King, that he literally threw
down his cards to stare at me. I remained perfectly motionless,
pretending not to observe his action; and, as he still continued to
gaze at me, some of the lookers-on construed it into a sort of
admiration on his part. This enraged Lady P., and her rage was
increased when, at every knock at the door, I turned my head to see
who was coming, and he turned his head too; for I was expecting the
royalties, and so was he: but she did not know this, and she took it
into her head that the Prince and I had some understanding between us.

“I never thought any more of the matter; but, in the course of the
evening, somebody brought Lady P. to me, and introduced her. ‘I have
longed,’ said Lady P. ‘for some time to make your acquaintance: I
don’t know how it is that we have never met; it would give me great
pleasure if I sometimes saw you at my parties,’ and so on. The next
day I had a visit from Lady P., and the day after that came her card,
and then an invitation; and, day after day, there was nothing but Lady
P. So, at last, not knowing what it meant, I said to an acquaintance,
‘What is the reason that Lady P. is always coming after me?’――‘What!
don’t you know?’ she replied: ‘why, the King of France is in love with
you?’ And this is the art, doctor, of all those mistresses: they watch
and observe if their lovers are pleased with any young person, and
then invite her home, as a lure to keep alive the old attraction.”

Here Lady Hester paused, and, after a moment, added: “How many of
those French people did I see at that time, especially at Lord H.’s!
There was the Duchess of Gontaut, who was obliged to turn washerwoman;
and even to the last, when she was best off, was obliged to go out to
parties in a hackney-coach. Why, the Duc de Berry himself lodged over
a greengrocer’s in a little street leading out of Montague Square, and
all the view he had was to lean out of his window, and look at the
greengrocer’s stall. I have seen him many a time there, when he used
to kiss his hand to me as I passed. The Duchess of Gontaut afterwards
brought up the Duke of Bordeaux. That was a woman quite admirable; so
full of resources, so cheerful, she kept up the spirits of all the
emigrants: and then she was so well dressed! She did not mind going in
a hackney-coach to dine with the Duke of Portland.

“Lord H********** scraped up a reputation which he never deserved,”
continued Lady Hester, as her reflections led her from one person to
another. “Insincere, greedy of place, and always pretending to be
careless about it, he and my lady lived in a hugger-mugger sort of a
way, half poverty half splendour, having soldiers for house servants,
and my lady dining at two with the children (saying my lord dined
out), and being waited on by a sergeant’s daughter. How often have I
seen a scraggy bit of mutton sent up for luncheon, with some potatoes
in their skins, before royalty! The princes would say to me, ‘Very
bad, Lady Hester, very bad; but there! he has a large family――he is
right to be saving.’ And then Lady H**********, with her little eyes,
and a sort of waddle in her gait (for she once had a paralytic
stroke), with a wig all curls, and, at the top of it, a great bunch of
peacock’s feathers――then her dress, all bugles, and badly put
on――horrid, doctor, horrid! and why should they have lived in such a
large house, half furnished, with the girls sleeping altogether in
large attics, with a broken looking-glass, and coming down into their
mother’s room to dress themselves!

“But to go back to Sir Gore Ouseley: it was at Mr. M.’s supper, when
getting up from the card-table, and advancing towards me, he made a
diplomatic bow, accompanied with some complimentary speech. That was
the old school, very different from the fizgig people now-a days. Just
before, the Prince had been standing in the middle of the room,
talking to some one I did not know, first pulling up the flap of his
coat to show his figure, then seizing the person he spoke to by the
waistcoat, then laughing, then pretending to whisper; and this he
continued for nearly an hour. ‘What can the Prince be talking about?’
said some one next to me: ‘He does not know himself,’ said I. Soon
after, the person who had been talking to the Prince approached the
sofa, when the mylord, who was sitting next to me, observed, ‘We have
been looking at the Prince and you; what in the world was he talking
about?’――‘He don’t know himself,’ answered his friend, ‘and I’m sure I
don’t know.’――‘That’s just what Lady Hester said,’ rejoined the first
speaker. ‘I have been wishing to make my bow to Lady Hester all the
evening,’ said the friend, who then sat down by me.”

Lady Hester went on: “What a mean fellow the Prince was, doctor! I
believe he never showed a spark of good feeling to any human being.
How often has he put men of small incomes to great inconvenience, by
his telling them he would dine with them and bring ten or a dozen of
his friends with him to drink the poor devils’ champagne, who hardly
knew how to raise the wind, or to get trust for it! I recollect one
who told me the Prince served him in this way, just at the time when
he was in want of money, and that he did not know how to provide the
dinner for him, when luckily a Sir Harry Featherstone or a Sir Gilbert
Heatchcote or some such rich man bought his curricle and horses, and
put a little ready money into his pocket. ‘I entertained him as well
as I could,’ said he, ‘and a few days after, when I was at Carlton
House, and the Prince was dressing between four great mirrors, looking
at himself in one and then in another, putting on a patch of hair and
arranging his cravat, he began saying that he was desirous of showing
me his thanks for my civility to him. So he pulled down a bandbox from
a shelf, and seemed as if he was going to draw something of value out
of it. I thought to myself it might be some point-lace, perhaps, of
which, after using a little for my court-dress, I might sell the
remainder for five or six hundred guineas: or perhaps, thought I, as
there is no ceremony between us, he is going to give me some
banknotes. Conceive my astonishment, when he opened the bandbox, and
pulled out a wig, which I even believe he had worn. ‘There,’ said he,
‘as you are getting bald, is a very superior wig, made by――I forget
the man’s name, but it was not Sugden.’ The man could hardly contain
himself, and was almost tempted to leave it in the hall as he went
out. Did you ever hear of such meanness? Everybody who had to do with
him was afraid of him. He was sure to get a horse, or a vis-à-vis, or
a something, wherever he went, and never pay for them. He was a man
without a heart,[9] who had not one good quality about him. Doctor,”
cried Lady Hester, “I have been intimate with those who spent their
time with him from morning to night, and they have told me that it was
impossible for any person who knew him to think well of him.[10]”

“Look at his unfeeling conduct in deserting poor Sheridan! Why, they
were going to take the bed from under him whilst he was dying; and
there was Mrs. Sheridan pushing the bailiffs out of the room. That
amiable woman, too, I believe, died of grief at the misery to which
she was reduced. The Prince had not one good quality. How many fell
victims to him! Not so much those who were most intimate with him――for
they swallowed the poison and took the antidote――they knew him well:
but those were the greatest sufferers who imitated his vices, who were
poisoned by the contagion, without knowing what a detestable person he
was. How many saw their prospects blasted by him for ever!”

Lady Hester continued: “Oh! when I think that I have heard a sultan”
(meaning George IV.) “listen to a woman singing _Hie diddle diddle,
the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon_, and cry,
‘Brava! charming!’――Good God! doctor, what would the Turks say to such
a thing, if they knew it?

“There was Lord D., an old debauchee, who had lost the use of his
lower extremities by a paralytic stroke――the way, by the by, in which
all such men seem to finish; nay, I believe that men much addicted to
sensuality even impair their intellects too――one day met me on the
esplanade, and, in his usual way, began talking some very insipid
stuff about his dining with the Prince, and the like; when James, who
overheard the conversation, made an impromptu, which exactly described
one of the Prince’s dinners; and, though I don’t recollect it word for
word, it was something to this effect:――

    ‘With the Prince I dine to-day:
      We shall have prodigious fun.
    I a beastly thing shall say,
      And he’ll end it with a pun.’

“I remember the Prince’s saying to Lord Petersham, ‘What can be the
reason that Lady Hester, who likes all my brothers, does not like me?’
Lord P. told me this, and I replied――If he asks me, I will have an
answer ready for him, and that is, ‘When he behaves like them I shall
like him, and not before.’ I loved all the princes but him. They were
not philosophers, but they were so hearty in their talking, in their
eating, in all they did! They would eat like ploughmen, and their
handsome teeth would” (here she imitated the mastication of food, to
show me how) “at a pretty rate.

“The Prince is a despicable character. He was anxious enough to know
me whilst Mr. Pitt was alive; but the very first day of my going to
court, after Mr. Pitt’s death, he cut me, turning his back on me
whilst I was talking to the Duke of Richmond.

“As for the princesses, there was some excuse for their conduct: I do
not mean as regards myself――for they were always polite to me――but as
to what people found fault with them for. The old queen treated them
with such severity, shutting them up in a sort of a prison――at least
the Princess Sophia――that I rather pitied than blamed them.

“But look at the princes: what a family was there! never getting more
than four hours’ sleep, and always so healthy and well-looking. But
men generally are not now-a-days as they were in my time. I do not
mean a Jack M. and those of his description, handsome, but of no
conversation: they are, however, pleasant to look at. But where will
you see men like Lord Rivers, like the Duke of Dorset? Where will you
find such pure honour as was in the Duke of Richmond and Lord
Winchelsea? The men of the present generation are good for
nothing――they have no spunk in them.

“And as for women, show me such women of fashion as Lady Salisbury,
the Duchess of Rutland, Lady Stafford, and” (three or four more were
named, but they have slipped my memory). “However, doctor, I never
knew more than four fashionable women, who could do the honours of
their house, assign to everybody what was due to his rank, enter a
room and speak to everybody, and preserve their dignity and
self-possession at all times: it is a very difficult thing to acquire.
One was the old Duchess of Rutland, the others the Marchioness of
Stafford, Lady Liverpool, and the Countess of Mansfield:[11]――all the
rest of the _bon ton_ were _bosh_” (in Turkish, good for nothing).
“The Countess of Liverpool was a Hervey; and men used to say, the
world was divided into men, women, and Herveys――for that they were
unlike every other human being. I have seen Lady Liverpool come into a
room full of people; and she would bow to this one, speak to that
one, and, when you thought she must tread on the toes of a third, turn
round like a teetotum, and utter a few words so amiable, that
everybody was charmed with her. As for the Duchess of D*********, it
was all a ‘fu, fu, fuh,’ and ‘What shall I do?――Oh, dear me! I am
quite in a fright!’――and so much affectation, that it could not be
called high breeding; although she knew very well how to lay her traps
for some young man whom she wanted to inveigle into her parties, and
all that. Then there were some, with highly polished manners, who
would pass along like oil over water, smooth and swimming about: but
good breeding is very charming, doctor, isn’t it?

“The last time I saw Lady Liverpool was at Lord Mulgrave’s. The dinner
was waiting: Mr. Pitt and I had got there; but Lord Liverpool, being
long in dressing, was still behind. Everybody was looking at the door
or the window. At last his carriage was seen, and dinner was ordered.
If you had been present when Lady Liverpool entered the room, and had
marked the grace with which, whilst we were standing, she slipped in
and out among the guests, like an eel, when she turned her back,
turning her head round, speaking to this person and to that, and all
with such seasonable courtesies and compliments, it was really
wonderful. But Lady Liverpool was a Hervey, and the Herveys, as I
told you before, were a third part of the creation.

“Oh, Lord! when I think of some people, who fancy that abruptness is
the best way of approaching you――how horrid it is! I recollect one
man, a sensible man too, who came into the room with――‘Lady Hester, I
understand you are a very good judge of a leg; you shall look at mine:
see, there are muscles! they say it is an Irish chairman’s; but isn’t
it the true antique?’ Another would enter, and begin――‘What a horrid
bonnet Lady So-and-so wears; I have just seen her, and I never shall
get over it.’ A third would cry, on seeing you――‘Do you know Lord
Such-a-one is given over? He has tumbled down from a terrible height,
and is so hurt!’――‘Good God! what’s the matter?’――‘Why, don’t you
know? He has tumbled from his government:’ and then they fancy that

“Such conversations as we hear in people’s houses are, in my mind, no
conversations at all. A man who says, ‘Oh! it’s Sunday; you have been
to church, I suppose?’――or, ‘You have not been to church, I see;’ or
another, who says, ‘You are in mourning, are you not? what, is the
poor Lord So-and-so dead at last?’――and is replied to by, ‘No, I am
not in mourning; what makes you think so? is it that you don’t like
black?’――all this is perfect nonsense, in my mind. I recollect being
once at a party with the Duchess of Rutland, and a man of some note in
the world stopped me just as we entered the room. ‘Lady Hester,’ said
he, ‘I am anxious to assure you of my entire devotion to Mr. Pitt:’ so
far he got on well. ‘I had always――hem――if you――hem――I do assure you,
Lady Hester, I have the sincerest regard――hem――G――d d――n me, Lady
Hester, there is not a man for whom――hem――I esteem him beyond measure,
and, G――d d――n me――hem――if I were asked――hem――I do assure you, Lady
Hester――hem and here the poor man, who could not put two ideas
together, coming to a stand-still, the Duchess of Rutland, to relieve
his embarrassment, helped him out by saying, ‘Lady Hester is perfectly
convinced of your sincere attachment to Mr. Pitt’s interests.’ He had
a beautiful amber cane, doctor, worth a hundred guineas, that he had
sent for from Russia.”

November 16.――Lady Hester Stanhope’s features had a very pallid and
almost a ghastly look. The fits of oppression on her lungs grew more
frequent, when, from a lying posture, she would start suddenly up in
bed and gasp for breath. As she had not been beyond the precincts of
her house for some years, I suggested the increased necessity of her
getting a little fresh air, by going into her garden at least every
day. She said, ‘I will do as you desire, and if you will ride my ass
a few times to break her in, and make her gentle, I will try and ride
about in the garden: but, as for going outside my own gates, it is
impossible; the people would beset me so――you have no idea. They
conceal themselves behind hedges, in holes in the rocks, and,
whichever way I turn, out comes some one with a complaint or a
petition, begging, kissing my feet, and God knows what: I can’t do it.
I can ride about my garden, and see to my plants and flowers: but you
must break her in well for me; for, if she were to start at a bird or
a serpent, I am so weak I should tumble off.’

November 18.――I had taken some physic without consulting her, upon
which she launched out into a tirade against English doctors.
Impoverishment of the blood is a very favourite theme among people who
are well off, and who shut their eyes to the robust health of many a
labourer, whose whole sustenance amounts not to the offals of their
table. So she began――“What folly you have been guilty of in
impoverishing your blood! Look at a stupid Englishman, who takes a
dose of salts, rides a trotting horse to get an appetite, eats his
dinner, takes a cordial draught to make him agreeable, goes to his
party, and then goes to bed:――for worlds, I would not be such a man’s
wife! where is he to get a constitution? But the fault is not all
their own――part is you doctors: you give the same remedies for
everybody. If I look at the mouthpiece of my pipe” (Lady Hester was
smoking at the time) “I know it is amber; and, when I know it is
amber, I know how to clean it: but, if I did not know that, I might
attempt to clean it in some way that would spoil it: so it is with you
doctors. Not half of you can distinguish between people’s _nijems_
[stars], and what you do often does more harm than good. The
constitution you take in hand you do not well examine; and then how
can you apply proper remedies for it?”


      [7] Lady Hester, soon after she went to live with Mr.
          Pitt, was anxious that her three half-brothers should
          be removed from their father’s roof, to be under her
          own guidance: fearing that the line of politics which
          Earl Stanhope then followed might be injurious to
          their future welfare and prospects. To this end, Mr.
          Rice, a trusty person, of whom mention is incidentally
          made elsewhere, brought them furtively to town in a
          post-chaise, and they afterwards remained under Mr.
          Pitt’s protection until his death.

      [8] Whether Lady Hester Stanhope was justified in
          entertaining expectations of the G. property and
          title, I am unable to say; but having by me a copy
          of the grant to the first Lord Chatham, it is
          inserted here as conclusive against her ladyship,
          as far as regards the pension. The circumstances
          were these:――the day following his (then Mr. Pitt’s)
          resignation of office, a pension of £3,000 a-year was
          settled on _himself_ and _two_ other lives, and at the
          same time a title was conferred on his lady and her
          issue. He resigned office Oct. 9th, 1761, and the next
          published Gazette announced all these transactions.
          The notification ran thus:――That a warrant be prepared
          for granting to the Lady Hester Pitt, his wife, a
          Barony of Great Britain, by the name, style, and
          title of Baroness Chatham, to her heirs male, and
          also to confer upon the said William Pitt an annuity
          of £3,000 sterling during his own life, that of Lady
          Hester Pitt, and her son, John Pitt. Shortly after
          his death, May 11th, 1778, His Majesty sent a message
          to the Commons thus:――George R.――His Majesty having
          considered the address of this house, that he will be
          graciously pleased to confer some signal and lasting
          mark of his royal favour on the family of the late
          William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and being desirous to
          comply as speedily as possible with the request of his
          faithful Commons, has given directions for granting
          to the present Earl of Chatham, and to the heirs
          of the body of the late William Pitt, to whom the
          Earldom of Chatham may descend, an annuity of £4,000
          per annum, payable out of the Civil List revenue; but
          his Majesty, not having it in his power to extend
          the effects of the said grant beyond the term of his
          own life, recommends it to the house to consider of
          a proper method of extending, securing, and annexing
          the same to the Earldom of Chatham in such a manner as
          shall be thought most effectual to the benefit of the
          family of the said William Pitt, Earl of Chatham.
                                                     Signed “G. R.”

          On May 20th, in the House of Commons, Mr. Townsend moved
          in a committee on the king’s message――“That the sum of
          £4,000 be granted to his Majesty out of the Aggregate
          Fund, to commence from 5th July, 1778, and be settled
          in the most beneficial manner upon the present Earl of
          Chatham and the heirs of the body of the late William
          Pitt, to whom the Earldom of Chatham shall descend.”
          The resolution was agreed to without opposition, and
          a bill was ordered to be brought in thereon, which
          passed the Commons without debate.

      [9] “The second day of the king’s illness, and when he was
          at his worst, the P. of W. went in the evening to a
          concert at Lady Hamilton’s, and there told Calonne
          (the rascally French ex-minister) ‘Savez vous,
          Monsieur de Calonne, que mon pere est aussi fou que
          jamais.’”――_Diaries and Correspondence_, v. 4, p. 20.

     [10] _Audi alteram partem_ is a maxim that holds good
          wherever accusations are levelled against individuals,
          illustrious or mean. Lady Hester may have maligned
          the Prince from personal pique or from some other
          cause; and, whilst she placed his foibles and failings
          in a conspicuous point of view, may have studiously
          concealed the good qualities which he possessed. Sir
          Walter Scott, who read men’s characters if any body
          could, has left upon record a very different opinion
          of him; and, unless we suppose that Sir Walter had
          motives of his own for eulogizing him, we must place
          his testimony in the balance against Lady Hester’s
          spite. In a letter, he describes George IV. as――“A
          sovereign, whose gentle and generous disposition,
          and singular manners, and captivating conversation,
          rendered him as much the darling of private society,
          as his heart felt interest in the general welfare of
          the country: and the constant and steady course of
          wise measures, by which he raised his reign to such
          a state of triumphal prosperity, made him justly
          delighted in by his subjects.”――_Letter from Sir W.
          Scott_, p. 65, vol. ii., _Mem. of Sir Wm. Knighton,
          Bart._――Paris edit. Sir Walter could not have written
          worse prose if he had tried. It shows how difficult it
          is to string words together on a subject where perhaps
          the convictions of the heart were not altogether in
          unison with the sentiments expressed.

     [11] Louisa, in her own right Countess of Mansfield, is
          here meant.

                              CHAPTER IV.

Conscription in Syria――Inviolability of consular houses――Panic and
flight of the people of Sayda――Protection afforded by Lady Hester――
Story of a boy――Mustafa the barber――Cruelty to mothers of Conscripts――
Conscription in the villages――Lady Hester’s dream――Inhabitants of
Sayda mulcted――Lady Hester’s opinion of negresses――Severity necessary
in Turkey――Case of Monsieur Danna――Captain Y.――Mustafa Pasha’s

November 18, 1837.――The conscription for Ibrahim Pasha’s army, called
the _nizàm_ or regular troops, was going on at this time, and created
much distress in the towns and villages. Forced levies were unknown
previous to the conquests of that ambitious prince; as it was
customary for the pashas to keep in their pay mercenary troops,
composed chiefly of Albanians, a nation that for some centuries had
sent its hordes into different parts of the Turkish empire, under the
guidance of enterprising chieftains, to seek military service. There
were also Bosnians, Kûrds, and some Mograbýns or Moors: these, with
the Janissaries or standing militia, had exempted the inhabitants in
general from enlistment; and, although the martial and turbulent
disposition of the Mohametans had frequently manifested itself in
their provincial insurrections and in the petty contentions between
neighbouring chieftains, yet a man always went to the camp from choice
and from the hopes of booty, and quitted it when tired of the service.
But Ibrahim Pasha, among the innovations which he found it necessary
or politic to introduce for the furtherance of his father’s views, saw
that his whole dependance must be on the adoption of a conscription,
after the manner of France and other European states. He had already
drained Egypt, in this manner, of all her able-bodied youths; and, to
supply the constant waste of men carried off by war and disease, he
had, since his first taking possession of Syria, made an annual levy
after harvest time.

At first, the idle, vagabond, thievish, and ardent part of the
population supplied the numbers he required; and, as fast as they
could be collected, they were shipped off to Egypt; where, marched to
the Hedjàz and to distant wars, the major portion of them left their
bones, whilst some gained rank and lucrative situations, and a few
returned to tell the story of their exploits. For with Ibrahim there
was no defined term of service; once a soldier, every man continued so
until death or desertion broke the chain. In the same way the Egyptian
conscripts were sent into Syria: so that no sympathy, in either case,
existed between the troops and the people amongst whom they were
quartered, which acted as a direct check upon the spirit of

So far, everything had gone on peaceably, and the quiet portion of the
inhabitants rejoiced in seeing their neighbourhood cleared of such
troublesome rabble. But latterly the conscription had begun to fall on
the families of shopkeepers, tradesmen, small farmers, and the like:
and it will be seen that, of all the changes introduced by Ibrahim
Pasha into the government of the country, the conscription became the
most odious.

The first intimation people had of the levies this year was one
evening, when, as the inhabitants of Sayda were coming out of their
mosques, gangs of soldiers suddenly appeared at the doors, and laid
hands on all the young men. At the same moment, similar measures had
been taken at the coffee-houses, and nothing was to be seen but young
fellows dragged through the streets, or running off in all directions
to secrete themselves in some friend’s house, stable, vault, or the
like. The city gates were closed, and there was no outlet for the
fugitives: but Sayda, although walled in, has many houses with windows
looking on the fields; and from these, during the night, some let
themselves down and escaped to the gardens, or villages, or to Mount
Lebanon. The next day the city wore the appearance of a deserted
place: the shops were closed, and consternation reigned in every face.
The panic became general.

It is customary in Turkish towns to consider consular residences as
inviolable; a point on which, from apprehension of tumults and for
personal safety, the consuls have ever been very tenacious. France
possesses, from a long date, a khan or factory-house in Sayda, wherein
the subjects of that nation reside. It is a square building with one
gateway, containing a spacious quadrangle, surrounded by vaulted
warehouses, and, over these, commodious habitations with a handsome
corridor in front. It may be compared to a quadrangle of a college at
the Universities. To this khan many of the young men fled, being
admitted out of compassion, and in some cases for a consideration of a
more tangible nature.

The number of conscripts for Sayda, as was made known afterwards, had
been rated at one hundred and eighty. When the first press was over,
the government found the quota had not yet been half supplied: but the
secret of the deficiency was kept, and it was given out that no more
would be wanted. A smiling face was assumed by the commandant and his
staff, and every expression of sympathy was in their mouths, to
demonstrate the cessation of all farther oppressive measures. By
calming the people’s fears in this way, information was obtained as to
those concealed in the French khan, and scouts were sent about the
country to get tidings of the fugitives.

In the mean time, the caverns and excavations, once the beautiful
sepulchres of the ancient Sidonians, in which the environs of Sayda
abound, were converted into hiding-places, all well known to the
peasantry and gardeners: but no soul was found capable of betraying
the fugitives. Some were concealed by the Christian peasants in
cellars, although the punishment of detection was a terrible
bastinadoing. At the end of about a fortnight, when everything seemed
calm again, all of a sudden the fathers of those who were known to be
in the French khan were seized in their dwellings and shops, and
brought before the motsellem or mayor. They were told that their sons’
hiding-places were known, and that means would be resorted to for
forcing them to come out, if they, the fathers, did not immediately
use their paternal authority to compel them. Anxious to save their
children, they strenuously denied any knowledge of their places of
concealment. Then it was that the dreadful work of bastinadoing began.
From the windows of the east side of the khan was visible the open
court in the front of the motsellem’s gate, where, according to the
Eastern custom, he often sat to administer justice or injustice, as
the case might be, and through those windows the sons might behold
their aged fathers, writhing with agony under that cruel punishment,
until pain and anguish extorted the appeal of, “Come forth, for
mercy’s sake! and save a father’s life.” Some yielded to the call, and
some thought only of their own safety.

As happens always in all Turkish matters, much bribery arose from this
state of tribulation. Nobody in these countries is inaccessible to a
bribe. Many were the men in office who received gratifications of vast
sums to favour the exemption or escape of individuals. Substitutes
could hardly be got, even at the enormous premium of 10,000 piasters
each, or £100 sterling; such a dread had the natives of being
expatriated and subjected to military discipline! for in Ibrahim
Pasha’s army the drill is indeed a terrible ordeal. There,
inadvertency, slowness of apprehension, or obstinacy, is not punished
by a reprimand, a day’s imprisonment, or double drill; but the poor
recruit is, at the moment, thrown on the ground, and lacerated without
mercy by the korbàsh.

Among the fugitives, there were two young men, the sons of a
respectable shopkeeper, who, during twenty years, had been employed,
more or less, by Lady Hester: these two fled for refuge to Jôon. No
notice was taken of the circumstance by the government; and, after
remaining about six weeks under her protection, they returned to
Sayda, where they remained unmolested. Her ladyship’s servants also
enjoyed an exemption from the press; and, had she chosen to avail
herself of the dilemma in which these unfortunate young men were
placed, she might easily have ensured their servitude without pay, by
the mere threat of turning them adrift: in which case they would have
been compelled to remain upon any conditions she might have thought
proper to propose.

An old Turk presented himself, one day, at my gate with his son, a boy
about fourteen years of age, and, with earnest entreaties, begged me
to take the son as my servant, no matter in what capacity, and for
nothing. I asked him how he could be apprehensive for a stripling, too
young to carry a musket; but he told me that his age was no safeguard.
“Alas!” said he, “these unprincipled Egyptians will lay hold of him;
for there are other kinds of service besides carrying a gun: you do
not know them as well as we do.” I was very unwillingly obliged to
refuse the man’s request; for how could a stranger violate the laws of
a country in which he resided, any more than he could harbour a
deserter in France, for example, where he would be brought to justice
for so doing? But some of the agents of European powers do not
scruple, in these parts, to enrich themselves by affording protection
to Turkish deserters, contrary to the edicts of a sovereign prince,
and then set up, as an excuse, the want of civilization in Mahometan

A woman, the widow of Shaykh Omar ed dyn, came also on a donkey to beg
Lady Hester’s intercession with the commandant for one of her sons, a
lad, who had been pressed in the streets. Lady Hester sent out word to
her that she could not mix herself up in the business, and desired me
to give her 500 piasters――I suppose to help her to buy him off. This
son, Lady Hester told me, was a beautiful boy, and that she once had
him in her house, but could not keep him――he was too handsome! * * * A
sad picture this of the morals of the Syrian Turks, and yet a true

November 20.――After a succession of sunny days, finer and warmer than
an English summer, the wind got up at the change of the moon, and it
blew a gale. The effect of gloomy weather in climates naturally so
genial as that of Syria is perhaps more impressive than in one like
that of England, where clouds and fogs are so common. I was therefore
in a fit humour to listen to the melancholy stories of her ladyship’s
secretary, Mr. Michael Abella, who had been absent a day or two to see
his father and mother at Sayda. He told me that the press for recruits
continued with unabated severity, and that the military commandant
and motsellem were resorting to measures, which, I thank God, are
unknown in England! From imprisoning and bastinadoing fathers, with a
view to make them produce their children, a measure which had already
induced several families to abandon their homes, they now proceeded to
bastinado the neighbours and acquaintances of the fugitives, in order
to wring from them the secret of their hiding-places.

The reader is already in some degree familiar with the name of
Mustafa, the barber, well-known in Sayda for his skill in shaving,
phlebotomizing, and curing sores and wounds. He had four or five sons,
and he had taken his donkey and ridden up to Jôon to beg of Lady
Hester Stanhope to admit one or two of them into her household, in
order to save them from the conscription. In the interim, two others
had taken refuge in the French khan, and one had fled to Tyr; but the
father said he expected hourly to be seized and put to the torture, if
some means were not afforded him for protecting his children. “A
letter from the Syt mylady to the commandant,” added Mustafa, “would
be sufficient to save my two boys who are in the French khan, and it
is so easy for her to write it.” Lady Hester, being ill, could not see
Mustafa, and I went to her and stated his supplication. She considered
the matter over, and, as Mustafa was rather a favourite, she said at
first――“I think I will write to the commandant; for poor Mustafa will
go crazy if his children are taken away from him. I have only to say
that I wish the commandant to _bakshýsh_” (make a present of) “these
boys to me, and I know he will do it:” then, reflecting a little
while, she altered her mind. “No, doctor,” says she, “it will not do:
I must not do anything in the face of the laws of the country; and,
besides, I shall have all the fathers and mothers in Sayda up here.
Go, tell him so.” I did, and Mustafa returned very much dispirited to

He had scarcely got back to his shop, when, as he had anticipated, he
was summoned before the motsellem, and questioned about his children.
With an assumed air of cheerfulness and submission, he answered that
they were within call, and, if necessary, he would fetch them
immediately. The motsellem, by way of precaution, was about to send a
guard of a couple of soldiers, to see that no trick was played him;
but Mustafa, laughing, exclaimed――“Oh! don’t be afraid of me: I shan’t
run off. That man” (pointing to a small merchant of his acquaintance
standing by)――“that man will be bail for my appearance.” The man
nodded his head, and said――“There is no fear of Mâalem Mustafa: I will
be responsible for him.”

Mustafa went towards his house, and, as soon as he was out of sight,
looking round to make sure that he was not followed, he hurried to
one of the outlets of the town, entered a lane between the gardens,
and, mounting again on his own donkey, which he had left with a friend
in case of such an emergency, rode off. Not appearing within the
expected time, search was made for him, and, when he was not to be
found, the man, who so incautiously vouched for his reappearance, was
seized, bastinadoed, and thrown into gaol. Mustafa, in the mean time,
had taken the road to Jôon,――not to Lady Hester’s residence, but to
Dayr el Mkhallas, the monastery, where he had a good friend in the
abbot, and was immediately sheltered in a comfortable cell. Nor did
he, when he heard what cruelties had been inflicted on his bail, move
one inch from his retreat, but there remained for about six weeks,
until, by negociations with the commandant and by the sacrifice of a
good round sum, he was informed that his children were safe, and that
he might return unmolested.

The secretary told me that, in some cases, mothers were suspended by
the hair of their head, and whipped, to make them confess where their
children were concealed. Surely such horrors are enough to make men
hold these sanguinary tyrants in abhorrence, who, whatever their
pretended advances towards civilization may be, never suffer it to
soften the barbarity of their natures. Of civilization, they have
borrowed conscription, custom-houses, quarantines, ardent spirit and
wine-drinking, prostitution, shop licensing, high taxation, and some
other of our doubtful marks of superiority; but whatever is really
excellent in an advanced state of society they have forgotten to
inquire about. The secretary added that, when down at Sayda, he had
seen a lad, nursed in the lap of luxury, the only child of respectable
parents, at drill on the parade outside of the town, with two soldiers
who never quitted him. The drilling was enforced by cuts of the
korbàsh. So long as the recruits remain in Sayda, their parents are
allowed to supply them with a meal and other little comforts; but,
when transported to Egypt, and perhaps to the Hedjàz, they are exposed
to hardships unknown to European troops. Their pay is fifteen piasters
(3_s._ 2_d._ English) a month.

After the expiration of two or three weeks, the shaykhs or head-men of
the villages in Mount Lebanon, received orders to levy their
contingent of recruits, and pretty much the same scenes were acted
over again. From the village of Jôon eight conscripts were required;
for, although the population might be five hundred persons, there were
but few Mahometan families. No sooner had the estafette, who brought
the order, alighted at the Shaykh’s door, than the mussulman peasants
to a man seemed to guess what its contents were, and every one who
thought himself liable to serve made off to the forests. Among the
lads put down on the roll were two, the brothers of Fatôom and Sâada,
Lady Hester’s maids. The girls fell on their knees, kissed her feet
and the hem of her robe, and prayed her, for God’s sake, to save them.
Lady Hester returned the same answer she had done to Mustafa, the
barber, and to the other applicants, that she could not act contrary
to the laws of the country, and that they must take their chance.

Three or four days had elapsed, when, quitting my house in the morning
to go to Lady Hester’s, I found that all her people were full of an
extraordinary dream she had had. She had seen in her vision a man with
a white beard, who had conducted her among the ravines of Mount
Lebanon to a place, where, in a cavern, lay two youths apparently in a
trance, and had told her to lead them away to her residence. She
attempted to raise them, and at the same moment the earth opened, and
she awoke. As soon as I saw Lady Hester, she recounted to me her dream
to the same effect, but with many more particulars. Being in the habit
of hearing strange things of this kind from her, I thought nothing of
it, although I well knew there was something intended by it, as she
never spoke without a motive.

Next morning I saw, as I passed the porter’s lodge, two peasant lads
sitting in it, and, as soon as I got to Lady Hester’s room, she asked
me if I had observed them.――“Isn’t it wonderful, doctor,” said Lady
Hester, “that I should have had exactly the same dream two nights
following, and the second time so strongly impressed on my mind, that
I was sure some of it would turn out true: and so it has. For this
very morning, long before daylight, I had Logmagi called, and,
describing to him the way he was to go in the mountain until he should
come to a wild spot which I painted to him, I sent him off; and, sure
enough, he found those two lads you saw, concealed, not in a cavern,
but in a tree, just where I had directed him to go.

“They are two runaway conscripts, and, although I know nothing of
them, yet I seem to feel that God directed me to bring them here. Poor
lads! did you observe whether they looked pale? they must be in want
of nourishment; for the search that is going on everywhere after
deserters is very hot. Logmagi himself had no very pleasant duty to
perform; for, if they had mistaken him for a man in search of them,
one against two in the heart of the mountain ran some risk of his
life. You know, one deserter the other day wounded three soldiers who
attempted to take him, and another killed two out of five, and,
although taken, was not punished by the Pasha, who exchanged willingly
an athletic gladiator, who had proved his fighting propensities, for
two cowards.”

These lads, whom Lady Hester pretended not to know, were the two
brothers of Fatôom and Sâada: they were put into a room in an inner
enclosure, where they had comfortable quarters assigned them, and were
kept for two months hid from observation; by which means they escaped
the conscription of that year. At the end of their term, they were one
day turned out, told they might go home in safety, and warned that, if
ever they made their appearance near the house, they would be flogged.
Such were Lady Hester’s eccentric ways; and just as they were wasting
their breath in protestations of gratitude, they were frightened out
of their senses. No doubt, the reason was that, as from their long
stay in the premises, they were more or less acquainted with every
locality, it might be that they had formed plans to carry off stolen
goods, which Lady Hester thus had the foresight to frustrate. She
never told me that her dream was an invention, but I believe that it

In addition to the loss of a son, or a husband, or a brother, which
the dozen families of Jôon (for there were no more) had to complain
of, these same families were taxed at the rate of one, two, or three
hundred piasters each, in order to furnish the equipment of the
soldiers draughted from among them. For, under the pretext of sending
off each recruit with a good kit and with a little money in his
pocket, a benevolence tax was invented, the greatest part of which,
after the parings of the collectors, went to the Pasha’s treasury, and
the half-naked recruit was left to take his chance. Oh! that a
European soldier could see what these men are compelled to live
on――how they sleep, how they are flogged――and how they are left to
die!――and yet suicide is unknown among them.

The bastinado in Sayda was succeeded by mulcts. An order was published
by the Pasha, that those whose sons had concealed themselves, or did
not appear by a certain day, should be taxed collectively 1,300
purses, a sum more than enough to pay for substitutes. An appeal was
made to Ibrahim Pasha to lessen the fine, but the result never came to
my knowledge.

November 19.――I had taken to my house to read the book that Sir Gore
Ouseley had sent Lady Hester Stanhope, and I related to her the
anecdote of the old woman and the copper dish.[12] This threw a gleam
of satisfaction over her countenance. “Ah!” said she, and she made a
sigh of pleasurable feeling, “these are the people I like; that’s my
sort: but the people now-a-days, who call themselves gentlemen, and
don’t know how to blow their nose!――when the first peer of the realm
will go about bragging what a trick he has played some poor woman whom
he has seduced! Cursed be the hour that ever the name of gentleman
came into the language! I have seen hedgers and ditchers at my
father’s, who talked twice as good sense as half the fine gentlemen
now-a-days――a pack of fellows, that do little else than eat, drink,
and sleep. Can one exist with such persons as these? or is it to be
supposed that God can tolerate such brutalities?”

I sat by, as I was accustomed to do, on such occasions, mute; knowing
that a word uttered at that moment would only increase her irritation,
instead of appeasing it. She went on: “And whilst you show no more
sensibility than that wall, here am I, a poor dying creature” (and
then she wept so that it was piteous to hear her), “half killed by
these nasty black beasts. Last night, instead of coming refreshed out
of my bath, soothed by a gentle perspiration, I was drier than ever,
with my mouth parched, my skin parched, and feebler than I was
yesterday. But they will all suffer for it; not here, perhaps, but in
the other world: for God will not see a poor miserable creature
trampled under foot as I have been.”

As she grew a little calm, I expressed my regret to see her so annoyed
and tormented by her servants. The conversation then turned on blacks:
and I asked――“Are they then never susceptible of feeling: can kind
treatment never work on their sensibility?”――“Doctor,” answered Lady
Hester, “they have neither one nor the other: it is a bit of black
skin, which the people of the country say you must work on with the
korbàsh, and with nothing else. I recollect an aga, who told me that
he had a black slave, who, when he first bought her, one day got hold
of his poniard, and seemed as if she was going to stab him with it. He
started up, seized his sabre, and gave her a cut or two; then, with a
switch, beat her pretty handsomely. From that day she became fond of
him, faithful, and so attached, that, when he wanted to sell her, she
would not be sold, but always contrived that the contract should be
broken by her swearing she would kill herself, throw herself over the
terrace, or something, that made the buyer refuse to take her.

“I recollect another story. There were five European travellers coming
down the banks of the Nile on horseback, when they saw an aga, who was
sitting in the open air, lay hold of a black woman by the hair of her
head, throw her down, and flog her most unmercifully with the korbàsh.
One of the party was a German count, or something, who, being what you
call a humane man, said he must interfere; but the others told him he
had better not. However, he did: and what was the consequence? why,
the woman immediately jumped up, called him an impudent rascal,
slapped his face with her slipper, hooted him, and followed the party
until she fairly frightened them by her violence.

“No, doctor, they do not like mild people. They always say they want
no old hens, but a _jigger_” (I believe her ladyship meant some
ferocious animal) “for their master. As for what you say, that the
common people of this country stand in respect of nobody, I can tell
you that they do. You should have seen the Shaykh Beshýr, how they
respected him. When I was at his palace, I recollect, one day, one of
his secretaries brought in a bag of money. ‘Is it all here?’ said the
Shaykh, with a terrible, cross, frowning face. ‘It is, your felicity,’
said the man. ‘Very well,’ said the Shaykh, still with the same fierce
countenance; and I asked him what he put on such a severe look for to
a very pleasing-looking man. ‘Why,’ answered he, ‘if I did not, I
should be robbed past imagination: if I said to him, I am much obliged
to you, sir; you have given yourself a great deal of trouble on my
account, and the like compliments, he would go away and chuckle in his
own mind to think his peculations were not suspected; but now he will
go, and say to himself, I will bet an _adli_ some one has told the
Shaykh of the five hundred piasters that were left for me at my house:
I must send directly, and desire they may be returned――or, he knows
about the tobacco that was brought me by the peasant; I had better get
rid of it; and so on. Their peculations are past all bounds, and they
must be kept under with a rod of iron.’

“There was Danna, the poor old Frenchman, who lost his trunk with all
his doubloons in it: do you think he would ever have found them, if
the Emir Beshýr had not sent Hamâady to that village about a league
off――what do you call it?――where the robbery was committed? He
assembled all the peasants, men and women, and he told them――‘Now, my
friends, Monsieur Danna does not want anybody to be punished, if he
can help it; therefore, you have only to produce the money, and
nothing farther will be said: for the money was lost here, and some of
you must know where it is.’ To see what protestations of innocence
there were, what asseverations! and from the women more than the men.
So Hamâady, finding that talking was of no use, heated his red-hot
irons and his copper skull caps, and produced his instruments of
torture; and, seeing that the women were more vociferous than the men,
he selected one on whom strong suspicions had fallen, and drove a
spike under her finger-nails. At the first thrust, she screamed
out――‘Let me off! let me off! and I will acknowledge all.’ She then
immediately confessed――would you believe it?――that the curate’s son
had robbed Danna, and she had shared the money with him.

“Now, tell me, was it best that the old Frenchman should die of
starvation, or that the rascally thief of a woman, who had induced the
curate’s son to commit the robbery, should be punished, as a warning
to others? If such severe punishments were not used among them, we
should not sleep safe in our beds. How well is it known that they have
with pickaxes opened a roof, and thrown in lighted straw to suffocate
people, that they might rob in security.

“I recollect once, when Captain Y. was here, I was showing him the
garden; and, seeing some lettuces which were badly planted, he said to
me, ‘That’s not the way to plant lettuces: they should be so and
so.’――‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘I have told the gardener so a hundred times,
and he will never listen to me.’――‘Oh! oh!’ said he, ‘won’t he? Let me
bring a boatswain’s mate to him, and I’ll soon see whether he will or
not?――‘You are very good,’ was my answer; ‘but then I should lose your
company for half a day, and I had rather have no lettuces than do

“When I first came to this country, you know perfectly well that I
never behaved otherwise than with the greatest kindness to servants.
You ask me why I don’t now try gentle measures with them, rewarding
the good, and merely dismissing the idle and vicious: my reply is, I
did so for years, until I found they abused my forbearance in the
grossest manner. Do you think it would frighten the rest, were I to
turn away one or two? no such thing. Why, upon one occasion, four of
them, after they had received their wages, and had each got a present
of new shawls, new girdles, and new kombázes, all went off together,
clothes, wages and all, in the night. It is by degrees I am become
what I am; and, only after repeated trials and proofs of the
inefficiency of everything but severity, that I am grown so
indifferent, that I do nothing but scold and abuse them.

“But you talk of cruelty: it is such men as Mustafa Pasha, who was one
of those who besieged Acre when Abdallah Pasha was _firmanlee_”
(proscribed), “that you should call cruel; he was indeed a sanguinary
tyrant. Doctor, he made a noise sometimes like the low growl of a
tiger, and his people knew then that blood must flow. It was his
custom, when the fit was on him, to send for some poor wretch from
prison, and kill him with his own hand. He would then grow calm, smoke
his pipe, and seem for a time quieted. But he was a shrewd man, and a
clever pasha. He wrote with his own hand (which pashas never do,
except on particular occasions) a letter to the Shaykh Beshýr,
desiring him to pay marked attention to me. The Shaykh was highly
flattered with the distinction shown him.”

The recollection of the Pasha’s civility and the Shaykh Beshýr’s
letter recalled her thoughts to what she had proposed to do at the
beginning of the evening, which was to write an answer to Sir Gore
Ouseley, and to thank the Oriental Translation Fund Society for their
present. This was done in a letter from which the following are

              _To the Right Hon. Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart._

                                         Djoun, on Mount Lebanon,
                                            November 20, 1837.

     Forgotten by the world, I cannot feel otherwise than much
     flattered by the mark of attention which it has pleased the
     society of learned men to honour me with. I must therefore
     beg leave, in expressing my gratitude, to return them my
     sincere thanks. You must not suppose that I am the least of
     an Arabic scholar, for I can neither read nor write one word
     of that language, and am (without affectation) a great dunce
     upon some subjects. Having lived part of my life with the
     greatest philosophers and politicians of the age, I have
     been able to make this _observation_, that all of them,
     however they may dispute and ingeniously reason upon
     abstruse subjects, have, in moments of confidence, candidly
     declared that we can go no _farther_. Here we must stop――all
     is problematical: therefore I have wished, however it may
     appear presumptuous, _to go farther_ and remove some of
     these stumbling-blocks, not by erudition, but by trusting to
     some happy accident.

     It is extraordinary that many of this nature have occurred
     to me during my residence in the East. First, many proofs of
     the fallacy of history; next, the denial of many curious
     facts, which are even scouted as gross superstitions, and
     are pretended to be doubted, because no one knows how to
     account for them, but which real knowledge can clearly
     substantiate. Then there is a gap in history which ought to
     be filled up with the reign of Malek Sayf (a second King
     Solomon), and his family, and after him with that of Hamzy,
     the sort of Messiah of the Druzes, who is expected to return
     in another form. I once saw a work, which clearly proved the
     Pyramids to be antediluvian, and that Japhet was aware the
     deluge was to be partial, as he placed _that_ which was most
     valuable to him in another quarter of the world.

     The Bedoween Arabs may be divided into two distinct classes,
     original Arabs, and the descendants of Ismael, whose
     daughter married the ninth descendant of the great Katàn,
     out of which germ sprang the famous tribe of the Koreish,
     subdivided into many tribes, and which are a mixture of
     Hebrew blood. One of the most famous tribes was that of the
     Beni Hasheniz, from which spring the Boshnàk and the Beni
     Omeyn, the Irish, always famed for the beauty of their
     women. The Scotch are likewise Koreish――the nobility
     descending from the King Al Yem (and his court), father of
     Gebailuata, who headed the 50,000 horse, when they took
     their flight from the Hedjáz, after a quarrel with the
     Caliph Omar. They resided some time in Syria; but, when the
     town of Gebeili became inadequate to contain their numbers,
     many took themselves off to the Emperor Herculius,[13]
     towards Antioch and Tarsus.

     You must look over the Scotch titles and names of persons
     and places, and you will see how many there are, who, it is
     plain to perceive, are of Arabic origin; and you will soon
     observe the relation they bear either to circumstances,
     former employments, propensities, or tastes.

     You cannot expect, as when a Frenchman remains forty years
     in England, and can neither pronounce nor spell a name,
     that, during such a lapse of time, many of these names
     should not have undergone changes; but their origin is yet

     The Duke of Leinster’s motto (_Croom Aboo_――his father’s
     vineyards) has a grand signification, alluding to the most
     learned of works, of which only two copies exist, and which
     was not well understood even by the great Ulemas until about
     five hundred years afterwards, when Shaikh Mohadeen of the
     Beni Taya found out the key.

     If the philosopher of chance should have presumed to have
     offered a little heterogeneous information to the learned,
     you, sir, must forgive me. Your star denotes you to be of
     admirable good taste and great perspicuity, and therefore
     well calculated to investigate the subjects I have had the
     honour to lay before you.

     You will forgive me for having used the pen of another, but
     my sight and state of health will not at all times allow of
     my writing a long letter.

                      I salute all the philosophers with respect,
                                       HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.


     [12] See the History of the Temple of Jerusalem, translated
          from the Arabic by the Rev. Mr. Reynolds, p. 403.

     [13] Heraclius?

                               CHAPTER V.

Rainy season――Lady Hester’s despondency――Her Turkish costume――Turkish
servants――Terror inspired by Lady Hester in her servants――Visit of
Messieurs Poujolat and Boutés――Lady Hester’s inability to entertain
strangers――Her dejected spirits and bad health.

November 24.――Still rain, rain! The courtyards were deep in mud and
puddles, and the men-servants walked about in wooden clogs, such as
are worn in breweries. The flat roofs, which cover the houses in most
parts of Syria, are made of a cement of mortar and fine gravel, in
appearance like an asphaltum causeway. In the hot months fissures show
themselves; and it rarely happens, when winter comes on, that, during
the first heavy rains, the wet does not filter through. Lady Hester,
therefore, had to suffer, as well as all the house, from this
annoyance, hardly bearable when a person is in health, but extremely
distressing and even dangerous in sickness. For some days past pans
had been standing on the bedroom floor to catch the droppings, and it
continued to rain on. The sloppy communications from door to door,
where every door opens into a courtyard, gave likewise a damp to the
apartments only supportable in a climate as mild as that of Syria.
Snow had covered the upper chain of Mount Lebanon in great abundance,
and the wind blew furiously. Everybody was out of humour, and many of
the servants were labouring under bad coughs and colds: but the women,
notwithstanding, always moved about the house with naked feet. It was
a wonder to see how, with coughs that might be heard from one
courtyard to another, they constantly went barefoot, and yet got well;
and a servant, if sent to the village, was sure to leave his shoes at
the porter’s lodge, and, drawing his _sherwáls_ or trousers up above
his knees, to set off as light as a deer through the pelting storm,
careless of wet, if he could but cover his head.

I saw Lady Hester about two in the day: she was in low spirits, lying
in her bed with the window and door open from a sense of suffocation
which had just before seized her.

“Would you believe it,” said she, as I entered, “those beasts would
leave me to die here before they came to my assistance! and, if I
happen to fall asleep, there is not one would cover my shoulders to
prevent my taking cold.”

Poor Lady Hester! thought I, the contrast between your early days and
your present sufferings is almost enough to break your heart. So I
abused the maids handsomely; and then, being satisfied with the warmth
of my expressions, and having vented her own anger, she began to talk

I remained until near dinner-time, and, after dinner, went to her
again. She observed that the nights were dreadfully long, and that she
should be obliged to me if I would read to her. Her stock of books,
and mine too, was very small, and, after naming a few, which did not
please her, I recollected she had asked me once if I had by me a
heathen mythology, and she immediately fixed on that. So, writing on a
slip of paper to my daughter to send me hers, Lady Hester said, “First
let me order a pipe for you:” for this was usually the preliminary to
all business or conversation. Every sitting was opened with a pipe,
and generally terminated with one; as her ladyship would say, “But,
before you go, doctor, you must smoke one pipe more.” When the book
came, she desired me to turn to the part about Jupiter Ammon, and it
will be seen farther on why she did so. After a page or two, she began
to talk of the coming of the Mahadi, and the conversation was
prolonged far into the night. She afterwards ordered tea――for I now
drank tea with her almost every evening――and I then returned to my
house, covered with my thick capote, which, in the short distance of a
few hundred yards, could hardly save me from being wet through.

November 25.――The annual fast of the Mahometans, called Ramazàn, had
begun on the preceding day. It is customary for persons of rank to
make presents of clothes and other things to their dependants, during
the lunar month that the Ramazàn lasts, in order that they may appear
dressed up in finery on the first day of the succeeding new moon, at
the holyday of the Byràm, which succeeds it, as Easter-day does Lent
among Christians. Lady Hester, who never was behindhand in
beneficence, made it a rule to clothe all her Mahometan servants anew
at this season, as she did all her Christian ones on New Year’s Day or
at Easter. New capotes, pelisses, sherwáls, shirts, shifts, turbans,
gowns, &c., were always bought previous to the time; and, the best
being given to the most deserving, the worst to the least so, with
none at all to the lazy and worthless, some sort of activity was
observable in their service previous to the expected time. But the
objects they coveted once in their possession, they soon relapsed into
their customary sloth.

Some of these articles of dress were lying on the floor, Lady Hester
having had them brought for her to look at. She said to me, “You must
take home one of these abahs[14] to show to your family. You must
tell them,” continued she, “that once I had all my servants clothed in
such abahs as that: but they played me such tricks, I have given it
up. Some sold them; and, on one occasion, four of them marched off
within twenty-four hours after I had dressed them from head to foot,
and I never saw them again: isn’t it abominable? At the time that I
dressed them so well, and rode out myself with my bornôos, crimson and
gold, the gold lace being everywhere where silk tape is generally put,
I did not owe a shilling in the world.”

“Once,” she continued, “when riding my beautiful Arabian mare Asfoor,
near a place called Gezýn, in that crimson bornôos, with a
richly-embroidered dress under it, and on my crimson velvet saddle, I
happened to approach an encampment of the Pasha’s troops. Several
_benát el hawa_” (street ladies), “who were living with the soldiers,
ran across a field to come up with me, thinking I was some young bey
or binbashi. Every time, just as they got near, I quickened my horse’s
pace, that they might not see I was a woman: at last, two fairly came
and seized my knees, to make me turn and look at them. But what was
their confusion (for such women are not so hardened as in Europe) when
they saw I had no beard or mustachios, and was one of their own sex!”

Lady Hester related this droll adventure to me more than once, to
show, I believe, what a distinguished and real Turkish appearance she
made on horseback, which was perfectly true: but to return to the

A Turk for work is little better than a brute animal: he moves about
nimbly, when roused by vociferation and threats, and squats down like
a dog the moment he is left to himself. England produces no type of
the Syrian serving-man. He sets about his work as a task that is given
to him, and, when it is over, sits down immediately to smoke his pipe
and to gossip, or seeks a snug place near at hand, and goes to sleep.
You call him, and set him to do something else, and the same practice
follows. The next day you expect he will, of his own accord,
recommence what was shown to him on the preceding one; but no such
thing: you have to tell him over again, and so every day. He is a
thief from habit, and a liar of the most brazen stamp, as no shame is
ever attached to detection. In plausible language, protestations of
honesty and fidelity, he has no superior; and, if beaten or reviled,
he will smother his choler, nay, kiss the hand that has chastised him,
but waits a fit opportunity for vengeance, and carefully weighs kicks
against coppers. He is generally so servile as to make you bear with
his worthlessness, even though you despise him; and, when your anger
appears to threaten him with the loss of his place and is at the
highest, he smooths it down with an extraordinary day’s activity,
making you hope that a reformation has taken place in him: but it is
all delusion. And think not that you, a Christian, can raise your hand
against the meanest servant, if a Mahometan: when you would have him
beaten, you must employ another Mahometan to do it, who will, however,
lay on to your heart’s content.

What has been said above applies to the menials of towns and cities.
Of another class of servants taken from the villages, Lady Hester used
to say, “I have tried the Syrian _fellahs_” (peasants) “for twenty
years as servants, and I ought to know pretty well what they are fit
for. It is my opinion that, for hard work, lifting heavy things, going
with mules and asses, for foot messengers across the country, and for
such business, you may make something of them, but for nothing else.
The women are idle, and prone to thieving; and it is impossible to
teach them any European usages.”

One day, in walking through the back yard, I observed two stakes,
about six feet high and sharply pointed, stuck deep and firmly into
the ground, which had before escaped my notice. I inquired what they
were for, but got no satisfactory answer, the dairyman, to whom I
addressed myself, using the reply so common throughout the East, _Ma
aref_ (I don’t know); for no people in the world have so quick a scent
of the danger of being brought into trouble by professing to know what
is inquired about as the Orientals. A Jew, in a street in Turkey, and
a Christian likewise, is sure to answer the most simple question by an
“I don’t know”――“I have not heard”――“I have not seen;” for he fears
what that question may lead to, and that, if he knows a little, a
bastinadoing may be resorted to to make him know more: so I afterwards
asked Lady Hester. “Oh!” replied she, “I’ll tell you how those stakes
came there: I had forgotten all about them. One day, at the time they
were robbing me right and left, I ordered the carpenter to make two
stakes, such as people are impaled upon, and to erect them in the back
yard. I spoke not to any one why or wherefore I had given the order;
but if you had seen the fright that pervaded the house, and for weeks
how well the maids behaved, you would then have known, as I do, that
it is only by such terrible means that these abominable jades can be
kept under. From that time to this it appears the stakes have
remained; for, as I never go into that yard, I had forgotten them: but
since they are there still, there let them be.”

Thus Lady Hester was dying in a struggle to cure her men and maids of
theft, lying, and carelessness, whilst they ended the month with the
same indifference to honesty, truth, and cleanliness, as they began

Each one was a sycophant to those who had authority over him; each one
distrusted his comrade. Lady Hester might say with truth, “If I did
not act so, they would cut your throat and mine:” but why did she keep
such wretches about her? why not turn them away, and procure European
servants? or why continue to live in such a wild mountain, and not
make her dwelling-place in or near a city, where consular protection
was at hand? The first three questions I have endeavoured to answer
already; and, as for the last, respecting consular protection, he that
had dared to suggest such an expedient of safety to her would have
rued the observation. To name a consul in that sense to her was to
name what was most odious; and the epithets that were generally
coupled with their names were such as I have too much respect for that
useful body of magistrates to put down in writing.

Saturday, November 25.――As I was returning from the village about
four in the afternoon, on ascending the side of the hill on which Lady
Hester’s house stands, I met four persons mounted on mules, and
conjectured them, by their boots, which were black, and reached up to
the calf of the leg, not to be of the country; for in Syria either red
or yellow boots are always worn. They had on Morea capotes, and their
dress was that of the more northern provinces of Turkey. In passing
them, I said, “Good evening!” in Arabic, but, on receiving no answer
from the two nearest to me, I looked hard at them, and immediately saw
they were Europeans.

On alighting at my own door, I asked the servant if he had seen
anybody go by, and his reply was, that three or four Turkish soldiers
had passed. I then inquired of one of Lady Hester’s muleteers, who was
unloading some provisions he had brought from Sayda, if he knew who
the four men were whom I had seen; and he answered that, at the foot
of the hill, they had inquired of him the road to Jôon, and that they
were Milordi travelling: Milordo being the term applied to every
European who travels in the Levant with a man-servant, and has money
to spend.

I went in to Lady Hester a few minutes afterwards, and told her that
some travellers, as I thought, to get a nearer view of her house than
could be had from the high road, had made a round, and had just ridden
past the door. About a quarter of an hour afterwards, the maid
brought in a message from the porter to say that two Franks, just
arrived at the village of Jôon, had sent their servant with a note,
and the porter wished to know whether the note was to be taken in. For
Lady Hester had been so tormented with begging letters, petitions,
stories of distress, &c., that it was become a general rule for him
never to receive any written paper, until he had first sent in to say
who had brought it, and from whom it came; and then she would decide
whether it was to be refused or not. The note, accordingly, was

Lady Hester read it to herself, and then the following conversation
took place, which will explain some of the reasons why she did not
always receive strangers who presented themselves at her gate. “Yes,
doctor,” said she, “you were right: they are two travellers, who have
been to Palmyra and about, and want to come and talk to me concerning
the Arabs and the desert. Should you like to go to Jôon, and tell them
I can’t see them, because I have been confined to my room for several
days from a bad cold?” I answered, “Certainly; I would go with the
greatest pleasure.” She then rang the bell, and desired the servant to
order my horse. She continued, “One of the names, I think, is a man of
a great family.”――“What is it?” I asked. She took up the note again.
“Boo, poo, bon――no――Boo――jo――lais――Beaujolais, I think it is. No,
Pou――jo――lat; it is Poujolat.”――“Then,” interrupted I, “I guess who
they are: there was a Monsieur Poujolat, who came into the Levant six
or seven years ago, to make researches respecting the crusades: I saw
him at Cyprus; he and Monsieur Michaud were together. They were
considered men of talent, and I believe were contributors to some
Paris newspaper during Charles the Tenth’s time. They had published
already some volumes of their travels before I left Europe, and the
greatest part of the ground was travelled over, as I surmise, in the
saloons of their consuls, during the long evenings when they were shut
in by the plague of 1831 and 1832; for they speak of many places where
they could hardly have gone. But this is not unusual,” I added, “with
some writers; for Monsieur Chaboçeau, a French doctor at Damascus,
told me, in 1813, when I was staying in his house, that Monsieur de
Volney never went to Palmyra, although he leads one to suppose he had
been there; for, owing to a great fall of snow just at the period when
he projected that journey, he was compelled to relinquish the attempt.
Monsieur Chaboçeau, an octogenarian, had known him, and entertained
him as his guest in his house; and he answered me, when I reiterated
the question, that Volney never saw Palmyra.”

“Oh! if they have written about the crusades,” said Lady Hester,
paying no attention to what I said about Volney, “tell them that all
the crusaders are not dead, but that some of them are asleep only;
asleep in the same arms and the same dress they wore on the field of
battle, and will awake at the first resurrection. Mind you say the
first resurrection; for I suppose you know there are to be two, one a
partial one, and the last a general one.[15]

“But there, doctor, I must not detain you. Now, just listen to what
you have got to do. Mohammed shall take to them two bottles of red
wine, and two bottles of _vino d’oro_” (ding, ding.) “Zezefôon, tell
Mohammed to get out four bottles of wine, two of each sort; of my
wine――you understand――and he is to put them in a basket, and be ready
to go with the doctor to Jôon.” Then, addressing herself again to me,
“You must say to them that I am very sorry I can’t see them, but that
I am not very well, and that I beg their acceptance of a little wine,
which, perhaps, they might not find where they sleep to-night. Say to
them, I should be very much pleased to talk over their journey to
Palmyra with them; and add that the respect I bear to all the French
makes me always happy to meet with one of their nation. Say that the
wine is not so good as I could wish it to be, but that, since Ibrahim
Pasha and his soldiers have been in the country, they have drunk up
all the good, and it is now very difficult to procure any. If they
talk about Ibrahim Pasha, say that I admire his courage, but cannot
respect him; that I am a faithful subject of the Sultan, and shall
always be so, and that I do not like servants that rise against their
masters; for whether Cromwells, or Buonapartes, or people in these
countries, it never succeeds. If they allude to the horrors of the
recruiting service, and to the nizàm troops, tell them that I never
interfere in matters like that; but that, when heads were to be saved
and the wounded and houseless to be succoured, as after the siege of
Acre, then I was not afraid of Ibrahim Pasha, or any of them. Well, I
think that’s all:” then, musing a little while, she added, “I ought,
perhaps, to ask them to pass the night here; but, if I did, it would
be all confusion: no dinner ready for them――and, before it could be,
it would be midnight, for I must have a sheep killed: besides, it
would be setting a bad example. There would be others then coming just
at nightfall to get a supper and be off in the morning, as has
happened more than once already. So now go, doctor, and” (ding, ding)
“Fatôom! who is that woman that lodges strangers sometimes at
Jôon?”――“Werdy, Sytty, the midwife.”――“Ah! so; very well. Tell them,
doctor, that they had better not think of going to Sayda to-night, as
the gates will be shut; and that they will be nowhere better off for
sleeping in all the village than at Werdy, the midwife’s: for she has
good beds and clean counterpanes: so now go.”

I half rose to go, still hanging back, as knowing her ladyship would,
as usual, have much more to say. “Oh! by the bye,” she resumed, “if
they inquire about me, and ask any questions, you may say that
sometimes I am a great talker when subjects please me, and sometimes
say very little if they do not. I am a character: what I do, or intend
to do, nobody knows beforehand; and, when done, people don’t always
know why, until the proper time, and then it comes out.” Here she
paused a little, and then resumed. “I dare say they came here to have
something to put in their book, so mind you tell them about the
crusaders; for it is true, doctor. You recollect I told you the story,
and how these sleeping crusaders had been seen by several persons; and
I don’t suppose those persons would lie more than other people; why
should they?”――“Why should they indeed?” I answered. “They were
martyrs,” resumed her ladyship, “and those who sleep are not only of
the Christians who fought, but of the Saracens also; men, that is, who
felt from their souls the justice of the cause they fought for. As for
yourself, if you don’t believe it, you may add you know nothing about
it; for you are lately come into the country, and all these are things
which are become known to me during my long residence here.”

At last I went, mounted my horse, and rode out of the gate, Mohammed
following with the basket of wine. But, instead of having to go to the
village, I found the strangers waiting on their mules about two or
three hundred yards from the porter’s lodge. My horse, taken from his
feed, for it was near sunset, and seeing the mules, jumped and pranced
so that I was obliged to dismount before I could approach them. I
delivered Lady Hester’s message to them, and in answer they expressed,
in polite terms, their regret at not seeing her, and their still
greater regret that the reason was from her ill state of health.
Unlike what some Englishmen have done on similar occasions, they
uttered not the slightest murmur about her want of hospitality, nor
the least doubt of the veracity of the excuse; but, as soon as they
found that they should not be admitted, they cut short all further
conversation; lamenting, as night was fast approaching, that they
could not stop, and that they were under the necessity of bending
their way somewhere as fast as possible to get a night’s lodging. I
pointed to the village, recommended them to go there, and repeated
Werdy, the midwife’s name, two or three times, as a cottage where they
would be comfortably lodged. But, yielding to the advice of their
servant, who, as is the case with all travellers ignorant of the
language in a strange country, seemed to lead his masters pretty much
where he liked, they were induced to set off for Sayda, where they
could not arrive in less than three hours, instead of passing the
night at Jôon, where they would have been housed in ten minutes. So,
presenting them with the wine, and having informed them of the name of
the French consular agent at Sayda, where they would do well to demand
a lodging, I wished them good night, and took my leave. They mounted
their mules, and descended the bank by the narrow path that led under
the hill to the Sayda road; when, as I was going back to the house, I
heard one of the gentlemen calling out to me, “But the empty bottles?”
Now the interview had been conducted, on my part, with all the
etiquette I was master of, and on theirs, up to the moment of saying
good night, with the politeness so natural to the French nation. But
the exclamation, “What’s to be done with the empty bottles? you gave
us the wine, but did you give us the bottles too?” sounded so comic,
and in the vicinity of that residence too, where it was customary to
give in a princely way, that the speaker fell a degree in the scale of
my estimation on the score of breeding, how much soever he might be
commended for his intended exactitude and probity.

I returned to Lady Hester. During my short absence, one of her maids
had informed her that the Franks, although they had made a show of
going to Jôon when first they passed the gate, had in fact only
retired into the valley between the two hills, where they had unpacked
their saddle-bags and shifted themselves, in order to make a decent
appearance before her. This increased her regret at the trouble they
had so uselessly put themselves to. The rain came on soon after, and
their unpleasant situation was the subject of conversation for a good
half hour. The name of the other gentleman who accompanied Monsier
Poujolat was Boutés.

Much has been said of Lady Hester Stanhope’s rudeness to her
countrymen and others in refusing them admittance when at the door,
and probably Messrs. Poujolat and Boutés might have complained at
Sayda of her inhospitable conduct: but it is scarcely necessary for me
to say that her real motives for acting as she did were not from a
dislike to see people, since nobody enjoyed half-a-day’s conversation
with a stranger more than she did. A few days after,

December 2.――I had taken a long ride in the morning, and had seen a
frigate under her studding sails running towards Sayda. The arrival of
a ship of war was always an event to set the house in commotion; for
it was very well known that, if her colours were English or French,
the chances were ten to one that either the captain or some of the
officers would come up to Jôon. Accordingly, on returning home at
about 4 o’clock, I told Lady Hester Stanhope of it: but she was not
well, had passed the night badly, and all she said was,――“Well, if
they come, I shall not see any of them.” Now, it is not improbable, if
any of the officers had presented themselves, and had been told that
her ladyship was unable to receive them, owing to the state of her
health, that they would have gone away discontented, and disposed to
attribute her refusal to any other cause than the real one: but let
any one, who reads what follows, say if she was in a fit state to hold
conversation with strangers.

Her health was still very far from good, and this day was a day of
sorrow. Her maids had been sulky and impertinent, and her forlorn and
deserted situation came so forcibly across her mind, that she raised
up her hands to heaven, and wept. “Oh!” said she, “if these horrid
servants would but do as they are told, I could get on by myself, and
should not want anybody to help me: but they are like jibbing horses,
and the only good horse in the team is worked to death. Were I well, I
would not care for a thousand of them; I should know how to manage
them: but, sick as I am, hardly able to raise my hand to ring the
bell, if anything were to happen to me, I might die, and nobody would
come to my assistance.”

I offered, as I had done almost daily, to have my bed removed to the
room next to hers, and to sleep there, in order to be at hand if she
should want my assistance: but she would not admit of it; and I could
only use my best efforts to soothe her, which was no easy matter. I
remained six hours with her, sitting the whole time in a constrained
posture, that I might catch her words, so low was her voice. And I
could not move without sensibly annoying her, as she was sure to
construe it into a wish to be gone, or a disregard of her situation,
and to say she was neglected by everybody.

It is incredible how Lady Hester Stanhope used to torment herself
about trifles. People, who never happened to meet with a person of her
peculiar character, would be amazed at the precision with which she
set about everything she undertook. The most trivial and fugitive
affairs were transacted with quite as much pains and exactitude as she
brought to bear upon the most important plans. This was, in fact, the
character of her mind, exhibiting itself throughout her entire
conduct. I have known her lose nearly a whole day in scolding about a
nosegay of roses which she wished to send to the Pasha’s wife. For the
purpose of sending nosegays safely to distant places, she had invented
a sort of canister. In the bottom part was placed a tumbler full of
water, in which the flower-stalks were kept moist; and the nosegay was
thus carried to any distance, suspended to the mules, saddle, or in a
man’s hand. The servants, who could not understand why such importance
was attached to a few flowers, were remiss in keeping the canisters
clean, nor would the gardener arrange the flowers as Lady Hester
wished. For a matter like this she would storm and cry, and appeal to
me if it was not a shame she should be so treated.

December 3.――To-day, a servant, who was ill, had become the object of
her immediate anxiety. “As for myself,” cried she, “I care not how
ragged, how neglected I am; but I am in a fever if I think a poor
creature is in want of such comforts as his illness may require. Such
is my despotism: and I dread every moment of the day lest his
necessities should not be attended to. Who is to see his room warmed,
to take care he has proper drinks, to give him his medicine? I know
nobody will do it, unless I see to it myself.” I assured her he should
have every attention possible.

It was in vain to expect any sentiment or feeling from servants and
slaves, who had no prospect before them but one constant round of
forced work, against their habits and inclinations. Although Lady
Hester Stanhope had adopted almost all the customs of the East, she
still retained many of her own: and to condemn the slaves to learn the
usages of Franks was like obliging an English housemaid to fall into
those of the Turks. Thus, the airing of linen, ironing, baking loaves
of bread instead of flat cakes, cleaning knives, brightening pots,
pans, and kettles, mending holes in clothes, and other domestic
cleanly usages, were points of contention which were constantly fought
over and over again for twenty years, with no better success at the
last than at the first.

Her conversation turned one day on Sir G. H. “What can be the
reason?” said she, “I am now always thinking of Sir G. H. Seven years
ago, when you were here, you spoke about him, and I thought no more of
him than merely to make some remarks at the moment; but now I have
dreamed of him two or three times, and I am sure something is going to
happen to him, either very good or very bad. I have been thinking how
well he would do for master of the horse to the Queen, and I have a
good way of giving a hint of it through the Buckleys: for I always
said that, next to Lord Chatham, nobody ever had such handsome
equipages as Sir G.: nobody’s horses and carriages were so neatly
picked out as theirs. Sir G. is a man, doctor, from what you tell me,
that would have just suited Mr. Pitt. That polished and quiet manner
which Sir G. has was what Mr. Pitt found so agreeable in Mr. Long. It
is very odd――Mr. Pitt always would dress for dinner, even if we were
alone. One day, I said to him, ‘You are tired, and there is no one but
ourselves; why need you dress!’ He replied, ‘Why, I don’t know,
Hester; but if one omits to do it to-day, we neglect it to-morrow, and
so on, until one grows a pig.’”

December 7, 1837.――Poor Lady Hester’s appearance to-day would have
been a piteous sight for her friends in England. I saw her about noon:
she was pale, very ill, and her natural good spirits quite gone.
“Doctor,” said she, in a faint voice, “I am very poorly to-day, and I
was still worse in the night. I was within that” (holding up her
finger) “of death’s door, and I find nothing now will relieve me. A
little while ago, I could depend on something or other, when seized
with these spasmodic attacks; but now everything fails. How am I to
get better, when I can’t have a moment’s repose from morning till
night? When I was ill on former occasions, I could amuse myself with
my thoughts, with cutting out in paper;――why, I have a closet full of
models, in paper, of rooms, and arches, and vaults, and pavilions, and
buildings, with so many plans of alterations, you can’t think. But
now, if I want a pair of scissors, they can’t be found; if I want a
needle and thread, there is none forthcoming; and I am wearied to
death about the smallest trifles.”

She here began to cry and wring her hands, presenting a most
melancholy picture of despair. When she had recovered a little, she
went on: “To look upon me now, what a lesson against vanity! Look at
this arm, all skin and bone, so thin, so thin, that you may see
through it; and once, without exaggeration, so rounded, that you could
not pinch the skin up. My neck was once so fair that a pearl necklace
scarcely showed on it; and men――no fools, but sensible men――would say
to me, ‘God has given you a neck you really may be proud of: you are
one of nature’s favourites, and one may be excused for admiring that
beautiful skin.’ If they could behold me now, with my teeth all gone,
and with long lines in my face――not wrinkles, for I have no wrinkles
when I am left quiet, and not made angry: but my face is drawn out of
its composure by these wretches. I thank God that old age has come
upon me unperceived. When I used to see the painted Lady H. dressed in
pink and silver, with her head shaking, and jumped by her footman into
her sociable, attempting to appear young, I felt a kind of horror and
disgust I can’t describe. I wonder how Lady Stafford dresses, now she
is no longer young: but I can’t fancy her grown old.”

She paused, and then resumed. “I have,” she said, “been under the saw”
(drawing the little finger of her right hand backward and forward
across the forefinger of her left) “for many years, and not a tooth
but what has told; but it is God’s will, and I do not repine: it is
man’s ingratitude that wounds me most. How many harsh answers have
even you given me, when I have been telling you things for your good:
it is that which hurts me.”

I confessed my fault, and expressed my deep regret that I had ever
caused her any pain.

She went on. “When I see people of understanding moidering away their
time, losing their memory, and doing nothing that is useful to
mankind, I must be frank, and tell them of it. You are in darkness,
and I have done my best to enlighten you: if I have not succeeded, it
is not my fault. As for pleasing or displeasing me, put that out of
your head: there is no more in that than in pleasing or displeasing
that door. I am but a worm――a poor, miserable being――an humble
instrument in the hands of God. But, if a man is benighted, and sees a
light in a castle, does he go to it, or does he not? Perhaps it may be
a good genius that guides him there, perhaps it may be a den of
thieves: but there he goes.”

In this mournful strain Lady Hester went on for some time. Every thing
around me presented so affecting a picture, that, unable to restrain
my emotions, I burst into tears. She let me recover myself, and then,
making me drink a finjàn of coffee, with a little orange-flower water
in it, to restore my spirits, she advised me to go and take a walk.

An hour or two afterwards I saw her again. She was much better, and
was sitting up in her bed, cutting out articles of clothing, and
fixing on patterns for new gowns for her maids. “I hate money,” she
said, “and could wish to have nothing to do with it but saying, ‘Take
this, and lay it out so and so.’” Ever sanguine, she was forming plans
of what she should do in the spring, when she purposed remodelling her
household, and replacing her present servants by a fresh set. The
world was to be convulsed by revolutions, nations were to be punished
by sickness and calamities; and her object was to secure, for those in
whose welfare she felt interested, an asylum in the coming days of


     [14] An abah is either a long cloak, or else a woollen
          frock-coat, sometimes brocaded in a triangle of gold
          thread (the base going from shoulder to shoulder, and
          the apex pointing at the waist), on a marone-coloured
          ground, as this was, and presenting a very brilliant

     [15] It was by such speeches as these that Lady Hester
          sometimes left an impression on her hearers that she
          was insane. The reader must judge for himself. There
          are, however, strong reasons for believing that there
          was a profound and deeply-planned method in all her
          actions, and those who said she was unsound in her
          intellects would have had great difficulty in proving
          it before a competent tribunal. The vast combinations
          of her mind, when it was possible to get a glimpse of
          them, filled one with surprise, and set at naught all
          previous conjecture or conception; whilst separate and
          particular conversations and reasonings wore the stamp
          of great oddity and sometimes of insanity. Let Mr.
          Dundas, Lord Hardwicke, Mr. Way, Lord St. Asaph, Count
          Delaborde, Count Yowiski, if still alive, Count de la
          Porte, Dr. Mills, M. Lamartine, Count Marcellus, and a
          hundred others who have conversed with her, say what
          was the impression she left on their minds; and not
          till then let persons who have never held intercourse
          with her of late years pronounce her mad.

                              CHAPTER VI.

The Delphic priestess――Abdallah Pasha’s ingratitude――His cowardice――
Lady Hester’s spies――Her emaciation――History of General Loustaunau.

December 8.――A most violent storm of rain, thunder, and lightning,
kept me prisoner. The courtyards were flooded. When all the house was
in confusion from the wet, and clogs were heard clattering on all
sides, I entered Lady Hester’s room, and remained for about an hour,
talking on indifferent subjects, without hearing from her one word in
allusion to the state of the weather. At last she said, “Doctor, I
find myself better from the thunder!” And when I replied that there
were many persons who felt oppressed from an electric condition of the
atmosphere and were relieved by its explosion, she observed, with some
sharpness, “that I must be a great booby to make such a remark to her,
as there was not a servant in the house who did not know that she
could always tell, three days beforehand, when a thunder-storm was
coming on.”

In the evening I sat with her about four hours. She was up, and had
placed herself in a corner of her bed-room on a low ottoman (as it is
called in England), which the Syrians name _terâahah_. The candle was
put far back in the window recess, the light being thrown on my
features, whilst it left hers in obscurity. This was her custom on
almost all occasions, even when she had strangers visiting her, under
pretence that she could not bear the light in her eyes, but, in fact,
as I have reason to believe, to watch the play of people’s

She resumed the subject of the preceding evening. I was too weary when
I left her, and too busy next morning, to be able to write down her
conversation, but, could I have done it, it must have left a profound
impression on the reader’s mind, an idea of sublimity, whether he held
her visionary opinions to be the mere rhapsodies of a disordered
intellect, or the deductions of great reasoning powers, aided by
remarkable foresight. Her language was so forcible and sublime, that I
sometimes suspended my breath, and from time to time tried to assure
myself that I was not hearkening to a superhuman voice. The smoke from
our pipes by degrees filled the room, closely shut up as it was, and
cast a deep gloom around us. The wind howled without, with now and
then occasional echoes of the thunder among the mountains: and it
required no great stretch of imagination to believe one’s self
listening to the inspired oracles of the Delphic priestess, as she
poured forth the warnings of what seemed a preternatural insight into

December 9.――The morning was employed in writing letters, and in the
evening I remained until half-past one with Lady Hester. She spoke of
the alarm created in Mahomet Ali’s cabinet, by her affording
protection to Abdallah Pasha’s people after the surrender of St. Jean
d’Acre. “That impudent fellow C********,” said she, “sent me a packet
of letters from Colonel Campbell, and told me I was to prepare a list
of all the people in my house, giving their names, nation, a
description of their persons, &c. I returned him the packet, and
desired him to forward it to the quarter whence it came, adding,
‘These are all the commands that Lady Hester Stanhope has at present
to give to Mr. C********.’ To Colonel C. I wrote ‘that it was not
customary for consuls to give orders to their superiors; that, as for
the English name, about which he talked so much, I made over to him
all the advantage he might derive from it.’ And my letter to Boghoz
was to the effect that, ‘in confessing, as he did, that I rendered the
state of this country unsettled by my measures, he acknowledged the
weakness of his master’s cause; that I disdained all partnership in
it; and that the column on which Mahomet Ali’s exaltation rested
would, before long, sink beneath him, and his greatness melt like snow
before the fire.’ I added, ‘there could be little honour for Mahomet
Ali to make himself a gladiator before a woman;’ and here I meant
that, as a gladiator was some criminal who descended into the arena to
fight, so he was a malefactor too.

“As for Abdallah Pasha, he was not worth the pains I took about him;
but I did it for my master, the Sultan. I kept and maintained for two
years two hundred of his people, wounded, sick, and proscribed; and
when I wrote to him to know what I should do with them, as the expense
was too great for me, the answer of this ungrateful wretch was to ask
me for a loan of twenty-five purses, and not even to send his
remembrance to one of those who had bled and suffered in his cause.
His ingratitude, however, has partly met with its reward: for the
Sultan himself has heard of his cold-hearted conduct, and has taken
away half what he allowed him. This is the man whose head I saved by
my intercession with a person in power.

“He was a coward, after all. The last day of the siege of Acre he lost
his senses quite. As Ibrahim Pasha had effected a breach, some of
Abdallah Pasha’s officers forced him to come upon the ramparts to
encourage the soldiers; for he had remained during the whole time shut
up in a vault under-ground with his women and boys, and had never once
appeared. Well, the first thing he did was to sit down amidst the
fire, quite bewildered. He then asked for an umbrella: then he called
for some water; and, when they presented to him an _ibryk_[16] as
being the only thing they had near at hand, not supposing that at such
a moment he would mind what it was he drank from, he would not drink
out of it?”

They fetched him a goblet, and he made them take it back, because it
was a glass he drank sherbet out of, and not water. The very man who
handed it to him told me the story. At last they placed him in one
corner of the battery, and covered him with a cloak. All this time the
bullets were flying about.[17]

Lady Hester continued:――“Of all those to whom I gave an asylum and
bread, after the siege, I can’t say there were many who showed the
least gratitude――four perhaps: the rest robbed me, and abused my
goodness in every possible manner. One family alone consisted of
seventeen persons. Will it be believed, that when I had new clothes
made for the women for the Byrám holyday, they had the baseness to
grumble at the stuff, the make, and everything, complaining they were
not good enough for them? But this did not hurt me half so much as the
little credit I get for everything I do among my relations and the
English in general. My motives are misconstrued, or not appreciated;
and, whilst a mighty fuss is made about some public subscription for
people in Jamaica, Newfoundland, or God knows where, I, who, by my own
individual exertions, have done the like for hundreds of wretched
beings, driven out of their homes by the sabre and bayonet, am reviled
and abused for every act of kindness or benevolence.

“I knew a pretty deal of what was going forward during the siege of
Acre by my own spies. Hanah, your old servant――Giovanni, as he used to
be called――was one of them. He carried on his trade of a barber, and
was married in Acre; and, when the bombarding began, he got out
somehow, and came to me. So I furnished him with a beggar’s dress. But
first I made him take leave of the other servants, and set off from
the door. Then, hiding himself under a rock, when he was at a
distance, he dressed himself as a _fakýr_, and, so perfect was his
disguise, that, when he came back to me, I did not know him. He was a
poor timid fellow, and that was the reason why I chose him as fit for
my purpose. In such a nice business as that, I wanted a man that would
follow my instructions exactly, and do nothing out of his own head:
and Giovanni was in such a fright, that I was sure of him in that
respect. Well, he succeeded perfectly well. There was a poor devil of
a _sacca_, or water-carrier, in the camp, who used to take water to
Derwish Pasha’s tents. Meanly dressed, and with his head held down,
like one in misery, nobody paid any attention to him; at night he
would frequently creep between the ropes of the Pasha’s tent, and seem
to sleep there like an unhappy being who had no hole to put his head
in. Through a slit in the tent, he could see and hear much that
passed, communicating whatever information he obtained to Giovanni,
who brought it at convenient opportunities to me. But when I wanted a
stout-hearted fellow to carry a letter through the entrenchments to
the foot of the walls, to be drawn up, then I chose a different sort
of a messenger; for I had them all ready.”

December 16.――The last three days Lady Hester had suffered greatly.
To-day she was in very low spirits, and sobbed aloud and wrung her
hands, while she bitterly deplored her deserted state. “I believe it
will do me good to cry,” she said, and she gave way freely to her
emotions; but her weeping was not woman-like: it had a wild howl about
it, that was painful to me to hear; she seemed not to be made of stuff
for tears: and, if Bellona could have ever wept, she must have wept in
this way. After she had given vent to her feelings, she gradually
recovered, and her natural fecundity of language returned.

December 17.――Christmas day was approaching, but the weather was of
extraordinary mildness. Some idea may be formed of the climate of
Syria from the circumstance that my house had no glass to the windows,
and that the family sat always with the doors open. It was only during
the heavy rains that the rooms felt chilly, and then a brazier, with
lighted coals, was agreeable and quite sufficient to obviate the cold.

Lady Hester made me observe how thin she had become. Her bones almost
protruded through her skin, and she could not lie comfortably in any
posture; so that it was difficult for her to get rest. Her fretfulness
had increased to such a degree as to be equally distressing to herself
and to those about her: yet the vigour of her mind never forsook her
for a moment when anything called for its exertion.

December 20.――was a rainy day, and, when I entered her ladyship’s
chamber, I saw it would be a melancholy one. She was seated in the
corner of the room, her features indicating great suffering. She burst
into tears the moment I approached her. She had not slept the whole
night, and had passed the hours, from the time I left her, in getting
up and walking about supported by her women, and then lying down
again, seeking relief from the feeling of suffocation and oppression
which so much distressed her. The floor of the bed-room was covered
with plates, pots, and pans, turnips, carrots, cabbages, knives and
forks, spoons, and all other appurtenances of the table and kitchen.

I must observe that, on the preceding day, at Lady Hester’s request, I
had ridden over to Mar Elias to see General Loustaunau, the decayed
French officer, who had now lived on her bounty for a period of more
than twenty years. And although, from being of a choleric and violent
temper, he had, on more than one occasion, embroiled himself with her,
yet the only difference it made in her treatment towards him was
merely to keep him at a distance from herself: but she had never, for
one day, ceased to occupy herself with his wants and to provide for
his comforts. He was now, as I was told, eighty years old, and his
mind was possessed with hallucinations, which he fell into from a
belief that he could interpret the prophecies in the Bible. He was
constantly poring over that book, and he went very generally by the
name of the Prophet: Lady Hester herself always called him so. He had
a maid-servant to take care of him, a barber, on fixed days, to shave
him. Lamb, mutton, or beef, flour for his bread, and wine, were sent
as his consumption required, money being liberally furnished him for
purchasing everything else from Sayda.

Finding that he was very much neglected by the woman who was appointed
to attend him, I mentioned the fact on my return to Lady Hester, and
to this communication was to be attributed the extraordinary display
on the floor of her bed-room; for, from her accustomed sensibility to
the sufferings of others, she had fancied that the poor man was in
want of everything. “See,” she said, “what I am reduced to: ever since
daylight this morning” (and it was then nearly noon) “have I been
handling pots and pans to make the Prophet comfortable. For on whom
can I depend?――on these cold people――a pack of stocks and stones, who
rest immoveable amidst their fellow-creatures’ sufferings? Why did not
you give that woman a dressing? I’ll have her turned out of the
village――an impudent hussy!”

Here, from having raised her voice, she was seized with a spasm in the
throat and chest, and, making a sudden start, “Some water, some water!
make haste!” she cried, and gasped for breath as if almost
suffocated. I handed her some immediately, which she greedily drank: I
then threw the window open, and she became better. “Don’t leave me,
doctor: ring the bell;――I can’t bear to be left alone a moment; for,
if one of these attacks were to come on, and I could not ring the
bell, what could I do? You must forgive me if I fall into these
violent passions; but such is my nature: I can’t help it. I am like
the horse that Mr. Pitt had. Mr. Pitt used to say, ‘You must guide him
with a hair; if I only move my leg, he goes on; and his pace is so
easy, it’s quite charming: but, if you thwart him or contradict him,
he is unmanageable;’――that’s me.”

But, to return to General Loustaunau, or the Prophet――as his name has
already appeared several times, it may not be amiss to give a short
outline of his life, the particulars of which he communicated to me
himself. From a village in the Pyrenees, near to Tarbes, one day, a
young man, about twenty-four years of age, sallied forth, he knew not
whither, to seek his fortune. Sprung from a family of peasants, he had
received little or no education, and had nothing to depend on but his
well-knitted frame, an intelligent and handsome countenance, robust
health, and activity. He directed his steps towards one of the great
sea-ports of France, resolved to work his passage to America. But,
when walking the quays and inquiring for a vessel bound across the
Atlantic, he was told there was none; there was, however, a large
merchant-ship freighting for the East Indies. Learning that the
country she was chartered for was still more distant than the western
colonies, he concluded, in his ardent and youthful mind, that it would
open to him a still greater chance of meeting with adventures and of
enriching himself. He accordingly got himself rated to work his
passage as a seaman, and arrived in safety at the ship’s destination.

It would be useless to occupy the reader’s time with the struggles
which every man, unknown and without recommendations, has to make on a
foreign shore, before he gets a footing in some shape congenial to his
talents or his inclination. Natural talents Loustaunau had; for, in
the space of a few months after his arrival on the Indian coast, he
was spoken of as an intelligent young man to the French ambassador,
Monsieur de Marigny, residing at Poonah, the Mahratta court, as far as
I could understand: since it is to be borne in mind that Mr.
Loustaunau, when he related all this, was eighty years old, had almost
lost his memory, and was relapsing into second childhood. He soon
after became an inmate of the embassy, on terms of some familiarity
with Monsieur de Marigny, who discovered, in the young adventurer’s
conversation, so much good sense and elevation of mind, that he used
to say to him, “It strikes me that you are no common man.”

It so happened that the war between the English and the Rajah of the
Mahrattas brought the hostile armies into the field at no great
distance from Poonah; and Mr. L. one day told the ambassador, that, as
he had never seen what war was, and had not far to go to do so, he
should be much obliged if he would permit him to absent himself for a
short time to be spectator of the action, which, report said, must
soon take place between the two armies. Monsieur de M. tried to
dissuade him from it, asking him of what use it would be to risk his
life for the satisfaction of an empty curiosity. Mr. L.’s reply was,
“If I am killed, why then _bon jour_, and there will be an end of me:”
M. de Marigny, therefore, complied with his wishes, and sent him with
some of his own people and an introductory letter, to General Norolli,
a Portuguese, who commanded the Rajah Scindeah’s artillery.

He had not to wait long for the gratification of his curiosity. An
action took place: the forces were warmly engaged, and Mr. L. walked
about within musket-shot distance to observe the manœuvres of the two
armies. The English had planted a battery on a rocky elevation, which
made much havoc among the Mahratta forces. Between this battery on its
flank and an opposite cliff there was a deep ravine, which rendered
all access from one height to the other impracticable: but a sloping
ground, by making a circuit in the rear of the Mahratta forces,
afforded a practicability of bringing field-pieces to the summit of
the cliff to bear on the English battery from the Mahratta side.

Mr. L. took an opportunity of addressing himself to General N., and
pointed out to him the probability of silencing, or, at least, of
annoying the English battery from the cliff in question; but the
general treated his remark in a slighting manner, and, riding to
another part of the field, took no farther notice of him. Mr. L. had
seated himself on a hillock, still making his reflections, when an old
Mahratta officer, who had heard the conversation between Mr. L. and
the general of the artillery, and had partly understood what Mr. L.
proposed should be done, approached him. “Well, sir,” said he, “what
do you think of our artillery?”――“If I were a flatterer,” replied Mr.
L., “I should say that it was well served; but, as I am not, you will
pardon me if I think it bad.” The officer went on――“You see the day is
likely to go against us――what would you do if you had the
command?”――“Oh! as for the command, I don’t know,” rejoined Mr. L.,
“but this one thing I do know, that, if I had but two pieces of
cannon, I would turn the day in your master’s favour.”――“How would
you do that?” asked the officer: “perhaps I could put two field-pieces
at your disposal.”――“If you could,” said Mr. L., “I would plant them
on yonder height” (pointing at the same time to it), “and let my head
answer for my presumption, if I do not effect what I promise.”

The bearing of the Frenchman and his energetic manner of speaking,
together with his evident coolness and self-possession on a field of
battle, made a great impression on the Mahratta officer. “Come with
me, young man,” said he, “I will conduct you to the rajah.”――“With all
my heart,” replied Mr. L. When brought into his presence, Scindeah
asked the officer what the stranger wanted, and the officer repeated
the conversation that had just passed. “Well,” says Scindeah, “he does
not ask for money, he only asks for guns: give them to him, and let
them be served by some of my best gunners. The idea may be good: only
be expeditious, or we may soon be where that infernal battery of the
English can annoy us no longer.”

Accordingly, without a moment’s delay, two field-pieces were dragged
up by the back of the cliff to the spot pointed out, Mr. L. entrusting
the command of one of them to another Frenchman, whose curiosity had
brought him on the field also. The very second shot that was fired at
the English battery blew up an artillery waggon (caisson) full of
powder. The explosion dismounted some of the cannon, killed several
men, and created so much confusion, that the English, in consequence
of it, eventually lost the battle, and were forced to retreat. Mr. L.
had two or three of his men killed. “There! you may take your cannon
back,” said he, as soon as the explosion took place; “I have nothing
farther to do;” and he and his brother Frenchman walked away to watch
the result of the mischief they had done.

When the day was over, an officer of the rajah’s conveyed to Mr.
Loustaunau his master’s request that he would attend on him at his
tent. Mr. L. presented himself, and Scindeah received him with marks
of great consideration. Addressing himself to Mr. L., “You have done
me, sir,” said he, “a most essential service to-day; and, as a small
recompense for your gallantry and the military talent you have shown,
I beg your acceptance of a few presents, together with the assurance
that, if you like to enter my service, you shall have the command of a
company immediately.” Mr. L. thanked him in proper language, and,
declining the presents offered, said, “Your highness will excuse me if
I refuse your gifts: I will, however, with pleasure accept the sword
which I see among them, but nothing else. The offer of a commission
in your army I must equally decline, as I am bound to return to our
ambassador, to whom I owe too many obligations to take any step
without his permission.” Scindeah could not but approve of this reply;
and Mr. L., making his bow, returned towards the place where he was

When night came, and General Norolli, having made his dispositions,
had also returned to his quarters, whilst yet on horseback, and, as if
moved by jealousy to repress the exultation which he imagined Mr. L.
might have indulged in, he called out in a loud and angry tone, “Where
is Mr. Loustaunau, where is that gentleman?” Mr. L., who was standing
not far off, approached, and, as the general dismounted, said, “Here I
am, general, at your command.”――“I saw,” observed Mr. L. (interrupting
himself whilst relating this part of his story to me) “that the
general was in a rage, which appeared more plainly as he
continued.”――“Who, sir, authorized you to present yourself to the
rajah without my leave? don’t you know that all Europeans must be
introduced by me?”――“General,” replied Mr. L., “I was summoned by his
highness, and I went: if you are angry because I have done some little
service to your master, I cannot help it. You are not ignorant that I
pointed out to you first of all the commanding position which struck
me as fitted for planting a battery: you refused to listen to my
suggestion; and, if it was afterward adopted by others, that is your
fault, not mine.”――“Sir,” cried the general, irritated more and more
by this remark, “you deserve to have this whip across your
shoulders.”――“General,” retorted Mr. L., “you suffer your anger to get
the better of your reason: if you have any whippings to bestow, you
must keep them for your Portuguese――Frenchmen are not accustomed to
take them.” The general’s fury now knew no bounds; he put his hand on
one of the pistols in his girdle, intending to shoot Mr. L. “But I,”
said Mr. L., “was ready; and, with my eyes fixed on him, would have
seized the other, had he drawn it out, and I would have shot him; for,
you know, in self-defence, one will not stand still to have a bullet
through one’s body, without preventing it, if possible. However, some
officers held the general’s arm, and shortly after I retired, and,
remaining a day or two more in the camp, returned to the place where I
had left our ambassador.

“When I told him what had happened――‘Stay with me, Loustaunau,’ said
he; ‘it is my intention to raise a few troops here, and, since you
seem to like fighting, you shall be employed:’ but in a few weeks the
ambassador was recalled to France, and he offered to take me with him,
promising to get me employment at home. However, I considered that I
had better chances in remaining where I was, than in going to my
native country, where birth, patronage, and the usages of good
society, are necessary for a man’s advancement, all which I wanted.”

Mr. Loustaunau, left to his own exertions, recollected the rajah’s
offer; and on applying to him, received a commission in the Mahratta
army. Eminently qualified by nature for military command, his
advancement was rapid; and, after distinguishing himself in several
actions, and showing likewise a very superior judgment in political
affairs, he finally became general of Scindeah’s troops, although I
could not ascertain in how short a time. His reputation spread rapidly
through the territory, and his noble conduct and intrepidity must have
been very generally known, since, on one occasion, after having been
severely wounded in his left hand, two fingers of which he had lost,
the commander of the English forces sent a flag of truce and his own
surgeon with an offer of his professional assistance, fearing that Mr.
L. might not have a European surgeon to attend him. Scindeah, in his
despatches to him, styled him a lion in battle, and a lynx in council.
He consulted him in difficult negociations with the East India
Company’s servants; and, in acknowledgment of his services, he gave
him a village as an appanage to his rank. Mr. L. married the daughter
of a French officer, by whom he had four or five children, one of whom
is now living at Givet, in the department of the Ardennes.

Mr. L. was fearless at all times, and inimical to despotism even in
the centre of its worshippers. Scindeah had unjustly imprisoned an
Armenian merchant, whose wealth he intended to confiscate for his own
benefit. As the oppressive act was founded on no just grounds, and
application had been made to General Loustaunau for his interposition,
when he found that entreaties were of no avail, “one day,” said he, “I
took fifty of my men, fellows _de bonne volonté_, and, marching strait
to the rajah’s palace at a time when I knew he was in his divan, I
entered, walked up to him, and in a mild, but pretty determined tone,
said, ‘Your highness, be not alarmed, I am come to ask a favour of
you: you must release the Armenian merchant, as I have sworn to set
him free.’ Scindeah saw that I meant not to trifle, and, assuming a
friendly air, he complied with my request. The guards were astounded
at my audacity, but they dared not stir, for I and my men would have
sabred them instantly.”

After having covered himself with glory, as the French express it, he
obtained his congé; and, being resolved to return to France, he
visited some of the English settlements in his way to the place of his
embarkation, where he was most honourably and hospitably treated. He
always spoke of this period as the happiest of his life, and mentioned
the names of some English gentlemen with the highest encomiums and
most pleasing reminiscences.

Having converted what property he could into money, he obtained bills
on France, and set out for his native country. The revolution had
broken out; and, on his arrival, his bills were all paid, but in
assignats; so that in a few weeks he found himself almost penniless.
Of this calamitous part of his history I could gather but few details.
I have heard him say that some branch of the Orleans family assisted
him. Certain it is that he had either money or friends yet left; for,
with the wreck of his property, or by some other means, he established
an iron-foundry near the place of his nativity. He was so close,
however, to the frontiers of Spain, that, during the war with that
country and France, in an incursion of the enemy, all his property was

How he got to Mahon, or for what purpose, I am equally ignorant: but,
embarking from that port, he found his way to Syria, probably
intending to make his way overland to India, there to reclaim his
property. But his intellects must have been already somewhat
disordered: for, when we heard him first spoken of in Palestine, in
1812 or 1813, he was described as a man living almost on the alms of
the Europeans, and generally to be seen with a bible under his arm,
negligent of his person, housed in a hovel, and going, even then, by
the sobriquet of the Prophet.

At the time I am now speaking of, the bare mention of politics or
catastrophes was sure to set him wandering on the prophetic writings,
and then common sense was at an end. But I had known him for twenty
years, when his lucid intervals were only occasionally interrupted by
these hallucinations; and I had seldom met with a man who had such an
independent character, such naturally noble sentiments couched in such
appropriate language, and such an intuitive discernment of what was
suitable in unlooked-for emergencies. He was bold as a lion; and, when
in anger, had the physiognomy and expression of that noble animal. He
had never served in diplomatic situations before his elevation, had
never studied political economy, moral philosophy, literature, or
anything else, that I could find; and yet, in all these, the innate
dictates of his mind responded at once to the call, and he could see
the right and wrong, the _utile et decorum_, the expediency and the
evil, the loveliness and the ugliness of every subject presented to
him. He had a strong memory, and retained many of the passages of the
best French authors by heart. He was handsome in his person, rather
tall, and his demeanour was suitable to his station in life. In a
word, he was born to “achieve greatness.”

General L. had now lived five and twenty years on Lady Hester’s
bounty. His family, consisting of two or three sons and some
daughters, were left with not very bright prospects in France. Lady
Hester Stanhope had at different times employed persons to assist
them, and, to my knowledge, had sent 1000 francs through a merchant’s
hands at Marseilles, besides other sums, of which I have heard her
speak. She also paid for the education of one daughter some years. In
1825, one of the sons, who had by his military services obtained the
rank of captain in Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, being left, by the fall
of that Emperor, in inactivity, resolved to visit Syria, to see his

General L.’s intellects were so far weakened, that nothing which
happened to him personally seemed to affect him, only as it verified
some of his favourite predictions, drawn from texts in the Bible. He
therefore beheld his son’s arrival with indifference, as far as
paternal affection went, but discovered in it other bearings, of
immense importance in the political changes that were at hand. Not so
Lady Hester Stanhope: she knew that the general had a right to the
revenue of a whole village in the Mahratta country, which had been
given to him by Scindeah; and she resolved to furnish Captain L. with
money to enable him to go and recover his father’s possessions.

The captain remained at Dar Jôon for some months: he had his horse,
was lodged in a pavilion in the garden, and treated with every mark of
respect. Restless, hasty in his temper, overbearing, and accustomed to
the blustering manners of a camp, he occasionally got into
difficulties with the natives, both Mahometans and Christians. Not
aware of the necessity of much precaution in shunning checks of
perspiration in hot climates, he one day caught a fever, which almost
brought him to his grave. He recovered, however, and was convalescent,
when his imprudence caused a relapse, and he died. He was buried in
Lady Hester’s garden, where his tomb, ornamented with flowering
shrubs, and entirely shaded by a beautiful arbour, still remains.[18]
The poor father never would believe in his death. “He is not
interred,” he used to say, “but is still alive and on the earth: do
not be grieved about him; in the year 1847 he will join me here. I and
my lady shall then be made young again, and your little daughter is
destined to be my future wife.” The poor old general, it was observed
by us, seemed to have no greater pleasure than watching our daughter
whilst she watered her flowers or fed her _bulbuls_.

The way in which Lady Hester herself sometimes sought to lighten the
weight of the obligations she conferred on the general will serve to
show the delicacy of her feelings. At different periods, several
places had been chosen for his residence, according as he grew tired
of one or the other: for he was a testy old man in some respects, and
seemed to forget how much it was his duty not to put her ladyship to
more trouble and expense than he could help. Once, when she had had a
comfortable cottage fitted up for him in a village called Aynâaty
(from taking in dudgeon something that happened to him), he suddenly
quitted it, and went off to Beyrout. “He went off,” said Lady Hester,
“with no less than five trunks full of clothes and other things, with
two watches bought with the money I had given him, and with a good bag
full of piasters: for he had little occasion to spend, as I sent him
every two days fresh meat of my own killing, flour for his bread when
it was wanting, sugar, tea, coffee――and everything, I may say, except
milk and vegetables. He went to Beyrout, and there lived and talked
away largely and foolishly, and gave out that he would sooner live
with the devil than with such a woman as I was. After a time, his
resources failed him, his friends grew cool, and he returned to
Sayda, where he fastened himself on Monsieur Reynaud, who soon grew
tired of keeping him, and little by little I heard he was reduced to
great straits.” The fact is, he found no friend, except for an
occasional invitation to dinner, and Lady Hester knew he must be in
want; but she knew also, in the state of mind he was in, he would
refuse assistance from her: she therefore made use of an expedient to
furnish him with money.

Sending for one of the Pasha’s Tartars, and putting a bag of gold into
his hand, she told him he was to ride into Sayda, and proceed strait
to the gate of the French khan (where Mr. Loustaunau was), dusty and
sweating, as if from a long journey. There he was to inquire if they
knew anything of a Frenchman, once a general in India; and, after
apparently well ascertaining it was the man he was in search of, the
Tartar was to desire to speak with him, and to say――“Sir, when on my
road from Damascus, a Hindu mussulman on his pilgrimage to Mecca, who
once served under you in India, but is now rich and advanced in years,
learning that you were in these countries, and anxious to testify the
respect which the natives of Scindeah’s territories still retain for
you, has commissioned me to put this into your hands.”――“Having done
so,” added Lady Hester Stanhope, “you are not to give him time to see
what it is, but to ride away.” The vile fellow promised faithfully to
execute his commission, received in advance a recompense for his
trouble, and then rode off with the money, and kept it. But Lady
Hester, who was careful to ascertain, by indirect means, whether a
Tartar had made his appearance at the khan, on learning his perfidy,
caused it to be spread among the Pasha’s and the government Tartars;
and they were so indignant at his little trustworthiness, a quality on
which, from the nature of their employ, they are obliged to value
themselves, that they turned him out of their corps, and he never
dared to show his face again.

To finish what remains to be said of this once shining character, but
now the pensioner of an English woman, he had resided for the last ten
years at a distance from Lady Hester Stanhope’s residence, and they
had not even seen each other for five or six years. “I have been
obliged to keep him at a distance,” said her ladyship, “for the last
ten years, in order that people might not think I had taken care of
him to make him trumpet my greatness: for you don’t know what harm
that man has done me. He used to go about preaching that all the
queens in Christendom were a pack of women of the town, and that I was
the only real queen. He told everybody he would not change situations
with the first prince in Europe; for the day would come when, through
me, he should be greater than any of them.”


     [16] An _ibryk_ is a common earthenware jug with a spout to
          it, the usual drinking-vessel of the lower classes.

     [17] This Pasha was so afraid, in the midst of all his
          power, of being poisoned, that he had the dishes
          brought to his table under padlock. When he travelled,
          a horseman in his suite had the office assigned him of
          carrying the implement that makes such a distinguished
          figure in the farce of Pourceaugnac. When he was shaved,
          he always had some of his guards standing round the
          barber with their pistols cocked, and he himself had a
          drawn sabre lying across his lap. Fancy the situation
          of a man who, in the midst of these formidable
          preparations, is obliged to keep his hand steady.

     [18] In this same tomb Lady Hester herself was afterwards

                               CHAPTER VII.

Lady Hester like the first Lord Chatham――Her recollections of
Chevening――Her definition of insults――Her deliberate affronts――Her
warlike propensities――Earl C―――― Marquis of Abercorn――Logmagi――Osman
Chaôosh――Letter from Colonel Campbell――George the Third’s flattering
compliment to Lady Hester――Her Majesty Queen Victoria――Lord
M.――Prophecy of a _welly_――Lady Hester’s poignant affliction――Her
intractability――Her noble and disinterested benevolence.

December 21, 1837.――I had sat up until two in the morning, despatching
letters to Europe, which I had written by Lady Hester’s dictation,
through the channel of M. Guys, the French consul at Beyrout, who,
alone, among the Europeans there, had contrived to remain on friendly
terms with her. In my letter to him, Lady Hester required that I
should tell him she was in a state of convalescence. Alas! she was far
from being so; for, on going to her, I found her labouring under many
bad symptoms, against which she contended with a spirit that seemed to
brook no control――not even from nature herself. As she could not talk,
I read to her, out of the Speaker, a character of the first Lord
Chatham. She recognized, and so did I, so many points of resemblance
between herself and her grandfather, that she said, more than once,
“That’s me.” At the words, “He reigned with unbounded control over the
wilderness of free minds,” I observed that there was something
contradictory in control and freedom. “No, there is not,” said she.
“If you are walking on the road, and you inquire the way of some
person you meet, he tells you the best road is in such a direction,
and then takes his leave; you turn round, every now and then, as long
as the person is in sight, to look at him to see if he points to you
that you are going right; but you are free to go which way you will.”

December 31.――I saw Lady Hester in the morning, after which I took a
walk with my family: on my return, I went again to inquire how she
was. One of her maids told me that, soon after I had left her, she
suddenly burst into tears, and cried a great deal, they could not tell
why; that she had called for Zezefôon to dress her, had, in a manner,
rushed out of her bed-room, and had gone to the saloon, where, in
consequence of her long confinement, she found all the sofa cushions
piled up, and the sofa mattresses removed, so that she had not a place
to sit down on; that then she had left the saloon abruptly, on seeing
the state it was in, and returned to her bed-room, where she gave a
loose to her sorrow.

My presence being announced, I was admitted. “Doctor,” said she,
“to-night in my father’s house there used to be a hundred tenants and
servants sitting down to a good dinner, and dancing and making merry.
I see their happy faces now before my eyes: and, when I think of that
and how I am surrounded here, it is too much for me. When you left me
this morning, things of former times came over my mind, and I could
not bear to sit here, so I went out to break the chain of my thoughts.
I would have gone into the garden, if it had not rained.”

I endeavoured to say something consolatory to her. “Everybody,” she
continued, “is unkind to me. I have sought to do good to everybody,
either by relieving their distresses or purifying their morals, and I
get no thanks for my pains. I sometimes make reproaches to myself for
having spent my money on worthless beings, and think it might have
been better otherwise; but God knows best. I had hoped to find some
persons whose minds might have been enlightened, and who would have
felt the importance of what I tell them. But you even, of whom I had
some hope, are as bad as the rest; and, if you assent to the truth of
what I say, you make so many hums and hahs that I don’t believe you
care a farthing about it. I want nobody that has no conviction.”

“I should think it a sin if I saw people acting foolishly, not to tell
them of it. It does not signify who it is, you or the stable-boy; if I
can make them aware of their folly, I have done my duty. Why do I
scold you so much, but because I wish you to prepare yourself for the
convulsions that will shortly take place. I always acknowledge your
spotless integrity, and thank you for the care you bestow on my
affairs, and in keeping things a little in order; but, in these times,
something more is wanting: a man must be active, and prepared for
great events. People are teaching their children to read and write,
when they should be teaching them to drive a mule: for of what use are
your reading men, who sit poring for hours over books without an
object? I have a thorough contempt for them, and for all your
merchants, and your merchants’ clerks, who spend their time between
the counting-house and the brothel.”

Lady Hester reverted again to Chevening, and spoke at great length of
her grandmother Stanhope’s excellent management of the house, when she
(Lady Hester) was a child. At all the accustomed festivals, plum
puddings, that required two men to carry them, with large barons of
beef, were dressed, &c., &c. All the footmen were like gentlemen
ushers, all the masters and mistresses like so many ambassadors and
ambassadresses, such form and etiquette were preserved in all the
routine of visits and parties. Every person kept his station, and
precise rules were laid down for each inmate of the family. Thus, the
lady’s maid was not allowed to wear white, nor curls, nor heels to her
shoes, beyond a certain height; and Lady Stanhope had in her room a
set of instruments and implements of punishment to enforce her orders
on all occasions. There were scissors to cut off fine curls, a rod to
whip with, &c., &c.

No poor woman lay-in in the neighbourhood, but two guineas in money,
baby linen, a blanket, some posset, two bottles of wine, and other
necessaries, were sent to her. If any one among the servants was sick,
the housekeeper, with the still-room maid behind her, was seen
carrying the barley-water, the gruel, the medicine, &c., to administer
to the patient, according to the doctor’s orders. In the hopping time,
all the vagrants and Irish hoppers were locked up every night in a
barn by themselves, and suffered to have no communication with the
household. A thousand pieces of dirty linen were washed every week,
and the wash-house had four different stone troughs, from which the
linen was handed, piece by piece, by the washerwomen from the scalder
down to the rinser. In the laundry a false ceiling, let down and
raised by pulleys, served to air the linen after it was ironed. There
was a mangle to get up the table-linen, towels, &c., and three stoves
for drying on wet days. The tablecloths were of the finest damask,
covered with patterns of exquisite workmanship. At set periods of the
year, pedlars and merchants from Glasgow, from Dunstable, and other
places, passed with their goods. The housekeeper’s room was surrounded
with presses and closets, where were arranged stores and linen in the
nicest order. An ox was killed every week, and a sheep every day, &c.,
&c. In the relation of these details, which I spare the reader, as
being, probably, what he has observed in many other families, Lady
Hester by degrees recovered her self-possession, whilst they only
served to impress more forcibly on my mind the sad contrast which
reigned in everything about her between her former and her present

January 10-15, 1838.――The cough continued, attended by spasms in the
limbs. Yet, although she was thus exhausted and harassed by continued
suffering, the elasticity of mind she exhibited in the few intervals
of ease she enjoyed was astonishing. The moment she had a respite from
actual pain, she immediately set about some labour for the benefit of
others; and the room was again strewed over with bundles and boxes.
But, in spite of these delusive appearances, I could not conceal from
myself that a hectic spot occasionally marked the inroads which
disease was now making on her lungs.

January 17, 1838.――What a day of anxiety and sorrow for me, and of
anguish for Lady Hester! From morning until midnight to see a
melancholy picture of a never-dying spirit, in an exhausted frame,
wrestling with its enemy, and daring even to set the heaviest
infirmities of nature at defiance. Yet, who does not bend under the
power of disease? Lady Hester held out as long as a human being could
do; but at last her anguish showed that, like Prometheus bound, she
was compelled to acknowledge the weight of a superior hand, and that
resistance was vain.

The reflections she made on her abandoned situation, neglected by her
friends and left to die without one relation near her, were full of
the bitterness of grief. In these moments, as if the excess of her
indignation must have some object to waste itself upon, she would
launch out into the most fierce invectives against me, and tell me I
was a cannibal and a vulture that tore her heart by my insensibility.

A day or two before, in defending myself against the accusation of
coldness and want of feeling, I had inadvertently said that it was an
insult to a person, whose intentions she could not but know were well
meaning, to heap so much abuse on him. To this her ladyship said
nothing at the time; but to-day, being in a state of excitement, the
word _insult_ recurred to her recollection. “Do you not know,” she
asked, “that people of my rank and spirit are incapable of insults
towards their friends: it is only the vulgar who are always fancying
themselves insulted. If a man treads on another’s toe in good society,
do you think it is taken as an insult? It is only people like ―――― and
―――― who take such things into their heads. I never have hurt a
person’s feelings in my life intentionally, except, perhaps, by my
wit. But if people expect that I should not tell them the truth to
their face, they are much mistaken; and if you or anybody else act
like a fool, I must say so. Such people as Lord Melville and Mr. Pitt
would stop, perhaps, until a person was gone out of the room to say,
‘That man is the most egregious ass I ever saw;’ but I, were he a
king, must say it to his face. I might, if I chose, flatter and
deceive you and a hundred others. There is no one whom I could not
lead by the nose, if I chose to do it; I know every man’s price, and
how to buy him: but I will not stoop to the baseness of making you run
your head through a wall, even though I saw some advantage for myself
on the other side. As for your saying, that’s your character, and that
you can’t bear to be spoken to as I speak to you, what do you talk to
me of character for? Everybody has a character, and so they have a
behind: but they don’t go about showing the one any more than the
other. Fools are always crying out, ‘That’s my disposition;’ but
what’s their disposition to other people more than their anything

“Let us have no more of that stuff; for, though not a man, I shall no
more put up with it than if I were; and I warn you that, if you repeat
that word, you stand a chance of having something at your head.”

Let not the reader imagine that this was all, or even one half of what
her ladyship said on this occasion: it is only a tissue of the most
striking sentences. Never had I seen her so irritated as that one
expression of mine had made her. She went on in this merciless way for
four hours; and, although I frequently attempted to soothe her by
assurances and explanations, she continued in the same strain until
evening, when she subsided into a gentler tone. Being now restored to
a calmer temper, she seemed desirous to atone by kindness for the
wound she had inflicted on my feelings, and wanted, amongst other
things, to get ponies for my children to ride. The generosity of her
nature was obvious in all this, and I resolved, whatever language she
might make use of in future, never to take the slightest notice of it.

This haughty assumption of superiority over others on almost all
occasions was a salient feature in her character. It must have created
her a host of enemies, during the period when she exercised so much
power in Mr. Pitt’s time; and probably those persons were not sorry
afterwards to witness her humiliation and downfall.

Once, at Walmer Castle, the colonel of the regiment stationed there
thought himself privileged to take his wife occasionally to walk on
the ramparts of the castle. I do not know the localities, and am
ignorant how far, in so doing, these two persons might infringe on the
privacy of Mr. Pitt and Lady Hester Stanhope: but, without intimating
by a note or a message that such a thing was disagreeable, she gave
orders to the sentry to stop them when they came, and tell them they
were not to walk there. Let any one put himself in the place of
Colonel W., and fancy how such an affront must have wounded his pride.

Mr. B., a Frenchman, who for many years had been her secretary, and
who afterwards held the post of French vice-consul at Damascus, paid
her a visit at Jôon, and, in the leisure of the morning, took his gun
and went out partridge-shooting. On his return to the house, he gave
the birds he had shot to the cook, desiring they might be dressed for
Lady Hester’s dinner; but, when they were served up, to his
astonishment, she ordered them to be thrown out of the window;
observing that it was strange he should presume to do that in Syria
which he would not dare to do in his native country; for she thought
that, at the restoration of the Bourbons, all the ancient game-laws
were revived. She had a secretary afterwards who was an Englishman,
who also went out shooting, and to whom she expressed her notions in
much the same way, and wondered where he got his licence to carry a
gun. Yet in Syria, every person, from the European stranger to the
lowest Mahometan slave, is at liberty to go after the game wherever he

If any one expected from her the common courtesies of life, as they
are generally understood, he would be greatly disappointed. In her own
way, she would show them, that is, mixed up with so many humiliations,
and with such an assumption of personal and mental superiority in
herself, that much was to be borne from her, if one wished to live
amicably with her. Her delight was to tutor others until she could
bring them to think that nobody was worthy of any favour but by her
sufferance. Where she had the means, she would assume the authority of
controlling even thought. Her daily question to her dependants
was――“What business have you to suppose? what right have you to think?
I pay people for their hands, and not their stupid ideas.” She would
say――“What business have people to introduce their surmises, and their
‘probably this,’ and ‘probably that,’ and ‘Lady Hester Stanhope, no
doubt, in so doing,’ and ‘the Pasha, as I conjecture, had this in
view?’ how do they know what I intended, or what the Pasha thought? I
know that newspapers every day take such liberties, and give their
opinions on what ministers and kings intend to do; but nobody shall
take such a liberty with me without my calling them out. My name is
everything to me, and nobody shall say he presumes this was what I had
in my mind, or that was what I intended to do. At least, if people
must pick pockets, let them pick it of a clean pocket-handkerchief,
and not of a dirty one. Others are not to be made responsible for
their dirty opinions.”

From her manner towards people, it would have seemed that she was the
only person in creation privileged to abuse and to command: others had
nothing else to do but to obey, and not to think. She was haughty and
overbearing, impatient of control, born to rule, and more at her ease
when she had a hundred persons to govern than when she had only ten.
She would often mention Mr. Pitt’s opinion of her fitness for military
command. Had she been a man and a soldier, she would have been what
the French call a _sabreur_; for never was any one so fond of wielding
weapons, and of boasting of her capability of using them upon a fit
occasion, as she was. In her bed-room, or on her _divàn_, she always
had a mace, which was spiked round the head, a steel battle-axe, and a
dagger; but her favourite weapon was the mace. When she took it up,
which sometimes was the case if vociferating to the men-servants, I
have seen them flinch and draw back to be out of the reach of her arm;
and, on one occasion, a powerful Turk, a man about forty, of great
muscular strength, and with a remarkable black beard, on her making a
gesture as if to strike him, flew back so suddenly that he knocked
down another who was behind him, and fell himself. But, though
fearless and unruffled in every danger, Lady Hester Stanhope was
magnanimous, gentle to an enemy in her power, and ever mindful of
those who had done her any service. Her martial spirit would have made
a hero, and she had all the materials of one in her composition.

Two more anecdotes may serve to show how she sometimes rendered
herself disliked. Once, at a cabinet dinner, Lady Hester Stanhope
entered the room in a way so as to pass the Earl C. who was ushered in
just at the same moment; and, as she did not bow or speak to him, Mr.
Pitt said, “Hester, don’t you see Lord C.?” Lady Hester replied, “No,
I saw a great chameleon as I came in, all in pigeon-breasted colours,
if that was Lord C;” this was because he was dressed in a
pigeon-breasted coloured court-dress. “And,” she added, as she related
the story, “I gave it him prettily once: I said his red face came from
the reflection of red boxes; for, when at breakfast and dinner, he was
always calling for his despatch-boxes, and pretending mysterious
political affairs, although they were no more than an invitation to a
party, or a present of a little Tokay, or something equally trivial.
Lord C. had learned his manners, I suppose, from Lord Chesterfield, or
some book or another. He attempted being pompous with his large
stomach, and his garter on a bad leg, and his great whiskers sticking
out as far as this,” (here Lady Hester put her fore-fingers indexwise
to her cheeks to show how far) “and a forehead quite flat like the
Bourbons. He would talk very loud in the lobby as he came in, or
contrive to have his red box brought to him, as if he had papers of
great importance in it.”

“One day, at court,” continued Lady Hester, “I was talking to the Duke
of Cumberland of Lord Abercorn’s going over to Addington, and saying I
would give it to him for it, when Lord Abercorn happened to approach
us. The prince, who dearly enjoyed such things, immediately cried
out――‘Now, little bulldog, have at him.’ This was uttered at the
moment I advanced towards him. You know, doctor, he had asked for the
Garter just before Mr. Pitt went out, and, not having obtained it, had
toadied Addington, and got it. I thought it so mean of him, after the
numberless favours he had received from Mr. Pitt, to go over to
Addington, that I was determined to pay him off. So, when I was close
to him, looking down at the garter round his leg, I said――‘What’s that
you have got there, my lord?’ and before he could answer, I
continued――‘I suppose it’s a bandage for your broken legs:’ for Lord
Abercorn had once had both his legs broken, and the remark applied
doubly, inasmuch as it hit hard on Addington’s father’s profession.
Lord Abercorn never forgot this: he and I had been very great friends;
but he never liked me afterwards.”

Tuesday, January 23, 1838.――I found Lady Hester to-day out of bed,
seated on the ottoman. She wished me to talk or to read to her, so
that she might not be forced to speak herself; but her cough, which
was incessant, precluded the possibility of doing either. The
accumulation of phlegm in her chest made her restless to a painful
degree. Shortly afterwards, her spasms began, which caused her arms
and sometimes her head to be thrown from side to side with jerks. Her
irritability was excessive. Without consulting me, she had been bled
the preceding night by a Turkish barber. Her conversation the day
before had turned in a general manner on bleeding; and having
ascertained my opinion that bleeding would not be proper for her, she
said no more, but took the opposite course.

The fear of remaining in a recumbent posture made her get up from her
bed, and her figure, as she stalked about the room in a flannel dress,
having thrown off her pelisse and abah, was strange and singular, but
curiously characteristic of her independence.

The only newspaper she received was “Galignani’s Messenger,” which,
whether I was in Syria or in Europe, I had for some years caused to be
sent to her from Marseilles, and a file generally came by every
merchant-vessel that sailed for Beyrout, which, on an average, was
about once a month. Sometimes there was much irregularity in the
departure of vessels, as in the winter season, and then, in the
solitude of Mount Lebanon, one might remain ignorant of every event in
Europe for six weeks and even two months together.

She had latterly shown a particular desire to have those passages read
to her which related to the Queen, either as describing her court, her
rides, or any other circumstance, however trivial, of a personal

Wednesday, January 24.――Lady Hester sent to me to say that she could
see nobody, and requested that I would do nothing, as the day was an
unlucky one.

January 25.――Although suffering in a manner that would have
incapacitated any other person from undertaking any occupation, Lady
Hester was busily employed in making up a mule-load of presents for
Logmagi. “You see, doctor,” said she, “how I act towards those who
serve me: this man neglects his business in town for me, and I, in
return, try to make him comfortable. I have packed up a few coloured
glass ornaments to stick up in his cupboards, and some preserves and
sweetmeats to treat his old messmates with, who would eat him out of
house and home, I believe, if I did not take care of him. Only think,
too, how he beat his breast and cried, and what signs of sorrow he
showed at my illness, the last time I saw him!

“I must have that stupid fellow, Osman, in, to talk to him about new
roofing the dairy, but I shall stick him behind the curtain. Poor man,
his mother is very ill, and I think I must let him go to Sayda. He,
Mahjoob, and Seyd Ahmed, may have asses when they go to town, but all
those other lazy fellows shall walk: I won’t have one of them ride,
unless they have more than eight or ten rotoles in weight to bring
back, idle beasts as they are!”

Now Osman’s mother might be ill, and no doubt she was; the dairy, too,
might be the ostensible cause of his being called in; but it is also
more than probable that, besides all this, she wanted Osman for other
purposes. The truth was, he was no stupid fellow, but a wily knave and
a clever spy, and Lady Hester was often in the habit of employing him
on secret missions――to find out the reason of any movement of the
pasha’s troops for instance, or to get a clue to some intrigue of the
Emir Beshýr’s. But she would say, “Osman is gone to town to see his
sick mother;” and nobody dared to say otherwise.

January 27.――To-day the secretary requested me to acquaint Lady Hester
that he wished to see her on important business. He was admitted, and
showed a letter from his father, the English consular agent at
Sayda,[19] signifying that, in the course of the day, he should be the
bearer of a letter to Lady Hester Stanhope, which had been sent by Mr.
Moore, Her Britannic Majesty’s consul at Beyrout, which he was charged
to deliver into her ladyship’s own hands himself. I had retired when
the secretary entered; but, when he was gone, Lady Hester sent for me,
and I found her in a violent passion. “There is that man, the old
Maltese,” said she, “coming to pester me with his impertinence, but I
have sent off his son to meet him on the road, and drive him back. If
anything in the shape of a consul sets his foot within my doors, I’ll
have him shot; and, if nobody else will do it, I’ll do it myself. See
that he sets off this very instant, and tell him to return with the
letter, without stopping.”

I did so, and returned to Lady Hester. Conceiving that this letter was
an answer she was expecting to one she had written to Sir Francis
Burdett, about the property supposed to have been left her, her
agitation and impatience rose to such a degree, that I thought she
would have gone frantic, or that her violence would have ended in
suffocation. She complained she could not breathe. “It’s here, it’s
here,” she cried in extreme agitation, taking me by the throat to show
me where, and giving me such a squeeze, that now, when I am writing,
twenty-four hours after, I feel it still. I tried in vain to calm her
impatience. I sent off a servant on horseback to hurry the secretary
back, but he did not appear, and the day, until about four o’clock,
was passed in this manner.

To account for this extraordinary agitation, it must again be observed
that, at the recurrence of the period of each steamboat’s arrival at
Beyrout, Lady Hester anxiously expected an answer to her letter to Sir
Francis Burdett; for it was on the strength of this property supposed
to have been left her that she had intimated to some of her creditors
her expectation of being soon enabled to satisfy all their demands. It
was in reliance on this, too, that she had invited me to come over.
And not doubting in the least the truth of the information secretly
conveyed to her by some one of her friends, it may be supposed that a
packet to be delivered into nobody’s hands but her own was readily
conjectured to relate to this business.

About four o’clock, Mr. Abella, the English agent, his son, and the
servant, made their appearance. The secretary was called in. “Tell
your father I shall not see him; and, doctor, go and take the letter,
and bring it to me,” was Lady Hester’s exclamation. I went to Mr.
Abella, but found him determined not to part with it, unless he gave
it into Lady Hester’s own hand. I urged upon him the impossibility of
his doing so, as she had seen nobody for some weeks; at last, on his
still persisting, we became somewhat warm on the matter. This was
better than going to Lady Hester to ask her what was to be done; for
her answer probably would have been to desire two of her stoutest
Turks to go with sticks, and take it from him by force. At last, Mr.
Abella gave up his trust, upon condition that I would write a paper
representing that he had done it forcibly; in such a fright was he
lest Mr. Moore should turn him out of his place.

Instead of being an answer from Sir Francis Burdett, the letter was
from Colonel Campbell, signifying that, in consequence of an
application made to the English government, by Mâalem Homsy, one of
Lady Hester Stanhope’s creditors, an order had come from Lord
Palmerston to stop her pension, unless the debt was paid.

It might have been supposed that the double disappointment of not
hearing from Sir Francis Burdett and of receiving such a missive from
Colonel Campbell would have considerably increased her anger: but, on
the contrary, she grew apparently quite calm, gently placed the letter
on the bed, and read the contents:――

          _Colonel P. Campbell, Her Majesty’s Consul-general for
                Egypt and Syria, to Lady Hester Stanhope._

                                            Cairo, Jan. 10, 1838.


          I trust that your ladyship will believe my sincerity,
     when I assure you with how much reluctance and pain it
     is that I feel myself again[20] imperatively called upon to
     address you upon the subject of the debt so long due by you
     to Mr. Homsy.

     The Government of the Viceroy has addressed that of Her
     Majesty upon the subject, and, by a despatch which I
     have received from Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of
     State for Foreign Affairs, I am led to believe that a
     confidential friend of your ladyship will have already
     written to you to entreat you to settle this affair.

     Your ladyship must be aware that, in order to procure your
     pension from Her Majesty’s Government, it is necessary to
     sign a declaration, and to have the consular certificate,
     at the expiration of each quarter.

     I know that this certificate has hitherto been signed by M.
     Guys, the consul of France at Beyrout; but, in strict
     legality, it ought to be certified by the British, and not
     by any foreign consul; and, should your ladyship absolutely
     refuse the payment of this just claim, I should feel myself,
     however deeply I may regret it, forced to take measures to
     prevent the signature of the French, or any other consul but
     the British, being considered as valid, and consequently
     your bill for your pension will not be paid at home. I shall
     communicate this, if your ladyship’s conduct shall oblige me
     so to do, to M. Guys and the other foreign consuls of
     Beyrout, in order that your certificate may not be
     signed――and also send this under flying seal to Mr. Moore,
     Her Majesty’s consul at Beyrout, in order that he may take
     the necessary steps to make this known to those consuls, if
     your ladyship should call on them to sign the quarterly
     certificate for your pension.

     I trust your ladyship will be pleased to favour me with a
     reply, informing me of your intentions, and which reply will
     be forwarded to me by Mr. Moore.

     I beg your ladyship will be assured of the pain which I
     experience in being obliged to discharge this truly
     unpleasant duty, as well as of the respect with which I have
     the honour to remain, your ladyship’s most obedient humble

                                                P. CAMPBELL,
                         Her Majesty’s Agent for Egypt and Syria.

       *       *       *       *       *

When she had finished, she began to reason on the enormity of the
Queen’s and her Minister’s conduct. “My grandfather and Mr. Pitt,”
said she, “did something, I think, to keep the Brunswick family on the
throne, and yet the grand-daughter of the old king, without hearing
the circumstances of my getting into debt, or whether the story is
true (for it might be false), sends to deprive me of my pension in a
foreign country, where I may remain and starve. If it had not been for
my brother Charles and General Barnard, the only two who knew what
they were about when the mutiny took place against the Duke of Kent at
Gibraltar, she would not be where she is now; for her father would
have been killed to a certainty.”

She mused for some time, and then went on. “Perhaps it is better for
me that this should have happened: it brings me at once before the
world, and let them judge the matter. It would have looked too much
like _shucklabán_” (the Arabic for charlatanism――and Lady Hester was
accustomed now to interlard her conversation with many Arabic words)
“if I had to go and tell everybody my own story, without a reason for
it: but now, since they have chosen to make a bankrupt of me, I shall
out with a few things that will make them ashamed. The old king[21]
wrote down on the paper, ‘Let her have the greatest pension that can
be granted to a woman:’――if he were to rise from his grave, and see me

“Did I ever tell you what he said to Mr. Pitt one day, on Windsor
Terrace? The king and all the princes and princesses were walking, and
he turned round to him――‘Pitt,’ says he, ‘I have got a new minister in
your room.’ Mr. Pitt immediately replied――‘At your majesty’s pleasure;
and I shall be happy that your majesty has found one to relieve me
from the burden of affairs: a little retirement and fresh air will do
me good.’ The king went on, as if finishing his sentence, and without
heeding what Mr. Pitt had said――‘a minister better than yourself.’ Mr.
Pitt rejoined――‘your majesty’s choice cannot be but a wise one.’ The
king resumed――‘I tell you, Pitt, I shall have a better minister than
you, and, moreover, I shall have a good general.’ The raillery began
to grow puzzling, and Mr. Pitt, with all his courtly manners, was at a
loss to know what it meant. So he said, ‘Do, pray, condescend to tell
me who this unknown and remarkable person is, that I may pay him the
respect due to his great talents and your majesty’s choice.’ The king
relieved him from his embarrassment: ‘_There_ is my new minister,’
said he, pointing to me, whom Mr. Pitt had under his arm. ‘There is
not a man in my kingdom who is a better politician than Lady Hester:
and’ (assuming an air of seriousness, which his manner made quite
touching) ‘I have great pleasure in saying, too, there is not a woman
who adorns her sex more than she does. And, let me say, Mr. Pitt, you
have not reason to be proud that you are a minister, for there have
been many before you, and will be many after you; but you have reason
to be proud of her, who unites everything that is great in man and
woman.’ Doctor, the tears came in Mr. Pitt’s eyes, and how the court
ladies did bite their lips!

“The _what what what?_ certainly did the old king harm, in point of
dignity, when no subject of conversation interested him; but he
sometimes was more serious, and could assume a manner and a tone
befitting a king. A peer, who had never known the Duke of Cambridge,
told me that, on the return of the Duke from the continent, the king
presented him to H.R.H. with this short but fine compliment――‘This is
my son, my lord, who has his first fault to commit.’ How fond the king
was of him and the Duke of York![22] He was a fine man, and with a
person so strong, that I don’t think there was another like him in

“The king liked me personally. I recollect once, at court, when we
were standing, as he passed round the circle, he stopped at Harriet
E., my cousin, and said to her something about her dress; and then,
coming to me, he remarked how well I dressed myself, and told me to
teach H. E. a little. She was so vexed that she cried: but it was her
own fault; for, with a good person, good fortune, and fine dresses,
she never could get a husband.

“I suppose the Queen is a good-natured German girl. Did you ever see
Lord M――――? he has got fine eyes; and, if he is fattened out, with a
sleek skin and good complexion, he may be a man like Sir Gilbert, and
about his age: such men are sometimes still loveable. He used to be a
prodigious favourite with some of the handsomest women in London: so
that his friends used to say, when he married Lady M., though she was
not a bad-looking woman――‘Poor fellow! what will he do? you know he
can’t like her long?’ I recollect seeing her and Lady ―――― sitting at
a party on the top of the stairs, like two figures in a pocket-book――
both little creatures; those that you call delicate.

“Lord M. is a very handsome man. His eyes are beautiful, and he has
spent forty years of his life in endeavouring to please the women. I
recollect, the last time I saw him, he was behind Sir G. H., as they
came into Lord Stafford’s. I had dined there, _en famille_, and there
was a party in the evening. I was in the second room, and the Prince
was standing by the fire, showing his behind, as usual, to everybody,
and there was Lord M., always looking about after somebody whom he did
not find perhaps for three or four hours. They say he is filled out:
he was slim when I knew him. Doctor, he is a very handsome man; but he
must be sixty, or more.”

Ever and anon, Lady Hester Stanhope would revert to Colonel Campbell’s
letter. “Yes,” she said; “if he feels regret at being obliged to write
it, I will say to him, ‘No doubt, he feels pain at having to do with
one of the most blackguard transactions I ever knew;’ but I dare say
he feels nothing of the sort.” Then, after a pause, she added, “I
think I shall take the bull by the horns, and send a letter to the
Queen. If getting into debt is such a crime, I should like to know how
the Duchess of K―――― got into debt.

“Doctor, would you believe it? a _welly_” (in Arabic, a sort of
soothsayer) “foretold what has happened to me now so exactly, that I
must relate the story to you. He was sitting in a coffee-house one
day, with one of my people, and had taken from the waiter a cup of
coffee; but, in carrying it to his mouth, to drink it, his hand
stopped midway, and his eyes were fixed for some time on the surface
of the liquor in silence. ‘Your coffee will get cold,’ said my
servant:――the _welly_ heaved a deep sigh. ‘Alas!’ said he, ‘I was
reading on the surface of that cup of coffee the fate of your lady,
the _meleky_. There will rise up evil tongues against her, and a
sovereign will try to put her down; but the voice of the people will
cry aloud, and nations will assemble to protect her.’ Now, doctor,”
said Lady Hester, “does not that mean just what has happened? Is not
the Queen trying to put me down, and going to deprive me of my
pension?――and you will see, when I have written my letter, how many
persons will turn on my side. But isn’t it very extraordinary how that
man in a coffee-house knew what was going to happen?――yet so it is:
they have secret communications with spirits. A glass, or something,
is held before their eyes, which nobody else can see; and, whether
they can read and write or not, they see future events painted on it.”

January 30, 1838.――Lady Hester was still very ill; the convulsive
attacks returning now regularly every day. She began to be sensible
that fits of passion, however slight, did her injury, and she was more
calm for a continuation than I had ever known her to remain since I
had been here. But a fresh occurrence, trifling in its nature,
although she gave much importance to it, excited her anger
considerably to-day, and did her mischief in proportion. She had
reason to suspect that her secretary had been endeavouring to
ascertain whether she was consumptive, and how long she was likely to
live. To dispel such a suspicion, she made a great effort, got up, and
went and sat in the garden. Before she left her room, her wailings
were for some moments heart-rending. “Oh, God, have mercy! oh, God,
have mercy!” she cried; “only keep those beasts away: who is to take
care of me, surrounded as I am with those horrible servants?――only
take care they don’t rob me.”

While she remained in the garden, her chamber was put to rights (a
process which it much required, in consequence of her long
confinement); and, at her earnest request, I superintended the
performance. “Overlook them,” she said, “or they will rob me.” But oh!
what a sight!――such dust, such confusion, such cobwebs! Never was a
lady’s room seen before in such a condition: bundles, phials, linen,
calico, silk, gallipots, clothes, étuis, papers, were all lying about
on the floor, and in the corners, and behind and under the scanty
furniture; for all this while she had been afraid to get the chamber
put into order, lest her servants should take advantage of the
opportunity to plunder her.

When she returned to her room from the garden, she was raving. “You
had better leave me to die,” she cried, “if I am to die; and, if I am
not, oh! God, only let me crawl to my own country” (by her own country
she meant Arabia, among the Koreýsh), “and there, with not a rag on
me, I may be fed by some good-natured soul, and not such cannibals as
these servants! What are they good for? I will be obeyed; and you are
not a man, to see me treated in this manner.”

Thus she went on, walking up and down her room, until she worked
herself up into a state of madness. I was afraid she would rupture a
blood-vessel. All my attempts to pacify her were in vain――indeed they
only excited her the more. Seeing her in this way, I left the room,
and sent Fatôom to her; but, before Fatôom could get there, she rang
her bell violently, and I heard her say, “Where’s the doctor?――where’s
the doctor?” so I returned again to her. “Don’t leave me;” she cried;
and she expressed her sorrow for the excess of her passion. “I am much
obliged to you, very much obliged to you, for the trouble you take on
my account; but you must not be angry with me. Perhaps, if I get
worse, I shall ask you to let Mrs. M. come and sit with me.” Soon
after, as if her very violence had relieved her, she grew calmer.

Up to this time she had never seen my wife, since her second visit to
Syria; nor my daughter nor the governess at all. I had, since her
illness, said more than once that they would be happy to come and sit
with her by day or by night, to relieve the tedium of her solitary
situation. But her dismantled room, her ragged clothes, her altered
appearance――and, above all, her pride, compromised as it was by these
unfortunate circumstances――always made her turn off the subject,
although her secret feelings must have often prompted her to avail
herself of the solace thus frankly and cordially offered to her. The
exclamation by which she usually evaded the proposal was, “Oh! how I
hate everything Frankified! how I hate everything Frankified!” or, “I
must not see them until I get into my saloon.” After about half an
hour I left her. “I must see nobody this evening,” she added; “so good

I went home, and, for the first time, told my family how ill Lady
Hester was. Alas! I had not dared to do so before: she had enjoined me
not. “To say I am ill,” she would observe, “would be bringing a host
of creditors upon me, and I should not be able to get food to eat.”
Consequently, I had kept them and everybody, as much as I could, in
ignorance of the real state of her health; indeed, there was too much
truth in what she said not to make me see the mischief such a
disclosure would entail. She had now only twenty pounds left in the
house to provide for the consumption of two months; and, as her
pension was stopped, there was every probability she would be left
penniless, with the exception of a few dollars which I had by me. Yet,
in spite of all this, she commissioned me, a day or two before, to
give 150 piasters to a leper, 150 to a distressed shopkeeper, and some
other small benefactions to other pensioners on her inexhaustible

It may be said that any one, like myself, might have represented, from
time to time, the necessity of a little more economy――I did so once:
but I received such a peremptory injunction never to give my advice on
that subject again, that I took good care how I committed myself a
second time. She fired up, and said, “You will give me leave to judge
what I ought to do with my own money. There are various ways of
spending: you may think it best to be just before being generous; but
I, with my character and views, must be even munificent, and trust to
God, as I have hitherto done, for helping me on in my difficulties.
Never touch on that subject again: I will have no human being
interfere with me as to what I am to do with my money.”

All I can say is that, like her grandfather, she was so intractable,
that I never yet saw the mortal who could turn her an inch from her
determinations. It was easy to lead the current of her bounty into
one’s own pocket; for I believe any person who knew her foibles might
have kept it flowing in that direction until he had enriched himself.
It was only necessary to encourage her dreams of future greatness, to
say the world was talking of her, to consider her as the associate of
the _Mahedi_, the Messiah of nations, to profess a belief in visions,
in aërial beings, in astrology, in witchcraft, and to bear witness to
apparitions in which her coming grandeur was prognosticated, and then
she would refuse nothing: but that was not my forte, and I never did
so. I went to her with a small patrimony; was with her, off and on,
for thirty years; and left her somewhat poorer than I went.

But it is not to be supposed that knaves, such as some I have alluded
to above, were the only objects of her bounty. No; the widow, the
orphan, the aged, the proscribed, the sick, the wounded, and the
houseless, were those she sought out in preference: and time will
show, when gratitude can speak out, the immeasurable benevolence of
her nature.

It may not be useless to observe here that many stories have been
circulated of Lady Hester’s harshness to petitioners who presented
themselves at her door, which, if explained, would wear a very
different aspect. Sometimes a suppliant, apparently unworthy of her
commiseration, would gain admittance to her presence, and be dismissed
with a handful of piasters; and sometimes another, known to be a fit
object of benevolence, would receive nothing but a rude repulse. Lady
Hester said to me, “Do you suppose, doctor, I don’t know that many
people think I fool away my money in giving it to adventurers? that
others say I am capricious? that some call me mad? Why, let them: I am
not bound to give reasons for what I do to anybody. The good I do,
first of all, I don’t wish to be known: and, again, many times the
publicity of an act of charity would be injurious to him it was
intended to serve. I’ll give you an instance. There was a merchant at
Acre, who was _avanized_[23] by Abdallah Pasha, to whom he was
obnoxious, until all his property was squeezed out of him, and nothing
was left but a house, of which he was not generally known to be the
proprietor――for, had it been known that the house was his, the Pasha,
who fancied he had reduced him to beggary, would have persecuted him
until he had got that also. The man wished to sell his house, and then
to retire into Egypt; he therefore came to me, and told me his story,
begging my assistance. As I was obliged to use an interpreter, who, I
feared, would talk of any act of kindness of mine for the man, it
appeared to me that the best thing I could do was to turn the
applicant roughly out of doors, which I did at once, bawling out as he
went, that I did not want to be pestered with beggars. Well, my
strange harshness, of course, was talked of, and of course was
repeated to the Pasha, who, thinking the object of his oppression was
now an object of contempt also, was perfectly satisfied, and left the
man, as he supposed, to utter ruin and degradation. But, after a few
days, I privately sent to the poor distressed merchant, provided a
purchaser for his house, smoothed the difficulties in the way of the
sale, and, furnishing him from my own purse with a sum of money
sufficient to begin the world with again, I shipped him off with his
family to Egypt.”

Lady Hester was indeed generous and charitable, giving with a large
hand, as Eastern kings are represented to have given. She would send
whole suits of clothes, furnish rooms, order camels and mules to
convey two or three quarters of wheat at a time to a necessitous
family, and pay carpenters and masons to build a poor man’s house: she
had a munificence about her that would have required the revenue of a
kingdom to gratify. Hence, too, sprung that insatiable disposition to
hoard――not money, but what money could buy: she seemed to wish to have
stores of whatever articles were necessary for the apparel, food, and
convenience of man. Beds, counterpanes, cushions, carpets, and such
like furniture, lay rotting in her store-rooms. Utensils grew rusty,
wine spoiled; reams of paper were eaten by the mice, or mildewed by
the damp; carpenters’ work lay unserviceable from an over-supply; mats
rotted; candles, almonds, raisins, dried figs, cocoa, honey,
cheese――no matter what――all was laid by in destructive profusion; and
every year half was consumed by rats, ants, and other vermin, or
otherwise spoiled. One store-room, which was filled with locked-up
trunks, full of what was most valuable, had not been entered for three
years: and, oh! what ruin and waste did I not discover!

When I told her of all this, and suggested that it would be better to
give them to her poor pensioners, she said――“Such things never cause
me a moment’s thought: I would rather they should have been used to
some good purpose; but, if I have got such rascals about me, why, let
the things all rot, sooner than that they should profit by them. Money
can replace all that; and, if God sends me money, I will do so; if he
does not, he knows best what should be: and it would not give me a
moment’s sorrow to lie down in a cottage with only rags enough to keep
me warm. I would not, even then, change places with Lord Grosvenor,
the Duke of Devonshire, the Duke of Buckingham, or any of them: they
can’t do what I can; so of what use are all their riches? I have seen
some of them make such a fuss about the loss of a ten guinea ring or
some such bauble:――not that they cared for it, but they could not bear
to lose it. But if I want to know what is passing at Constantinople,
or London, or anywhere, I have nothing to do but to turn my thoughts
that way, and in a quarter of an hour I have it all before me, just as
it is; so true, doctor, that if it is not actually passing, it will be
in a month, in three months――so true: isn’t it extraordinary?”...

Upon some occasions, her munificence wore the appearance of
ostentation. She would bestow on strangers, like dervises, sheykhs,
and fakyrs, large sums of money, and yet drive hard bargains with
those about her neighbourhood; and would sometimes make presents,
apparently not so much to comfort those who received them as to
display her own superiority and greatness over others.

I have said, in a preceding chapter, that she used to give new suits
of clothes to her people on Byràm day, and at Easter, according to
their religion: but it should be mentioned that, on those days, every
servant was called in, and received forty piasters; and one thousand
piasters were divided by Logmagi among the persons in Sayda who in any
way were occasionally useful to her or her people. These were the
porter of the French khan and the janissary there; the porters of the
town-gate; the harbour-master; the gardener who supplied vegetables;
the fisherman who sent her choice fish, &c. Two hundred piasters were
paid annually to old Jacob, a tailor; fifty here and there to the
imàms of particular mosques; as much to the mistress of the bath to
which she sent her maids to be washed. Mr. Loustaunau generally had
about five hundred piasters a quarter. Of many of her benefactions I
never knew anything. Had I kept a list of the sums which, besides
these customary donations, she gave to the distressed, few would
wonder that she was so beloved and so generally lamented. Thus, when
the _ferdy_ and _miri_, two onerous taxes, fell due, she commonly paid
them for such of her servants as were burdened with families, or whose
means were scanty: she did the same when unusual contributions were
levied, as during the conscription. On the 8th of December, I find a
note that I gave fifty piasters and a counterpane to a poor shepherd
boy, labouring under anasarca from an indurated spleen, a most common
complaint in the country, the effect of protracted agues; and eighty
to an old man, who had some years before been her _asackjee_. To
Logmagi mostly fell the distribution of all these sums, and it was
only occasionally that I was the almoner to this truly noble and
disinterested woman; else I should have been able to have cited more

January 31.――Being Wednesday, it was a rule with Lady Hester Stanhope
to shut herself up from Tuesday at sunset until the sunset of
Wednesday, during which time she saw nobody, if she could avoid it,
did no business, and always enjoined me to meddle in no affairs of
hers during these twenty-four hours. Wednesday was an unlucky day with
her, a _dies nefastus_. After sunset, I waited on her, and found her
languid, moaning, and still visibly suffering from her yesterday’s
exertion; for it appeared, although I had not seen her, that she had
walked about her garden, forcing her strength so far as to deceive the
gardeners, who had given out that she would soon be as well as ever;
and this was what, no doubt, she aimed at, for the purpose of
confounding the secretary.

Reminding her of the wish she had expressed to have Mrs. M.’s company,
I now proposed that she, my daughter, and the governess, should sit
with her by turns, suggesting that, by this means, much of the
disagreeable service of the maids, whom she constantly complained of,
might be dispensed with. But to this she answered, “No, doctor, it
will not do: you must tell them how very much obliged to them I am for
their kind offers and intentions, but that their presence will only be
an embarrassment to me. You don’t consider the matter in its true
point of view, as you never do anything. In the first place, it kills
me to talk; I can’t fatigue myself by giving them information about
the country, and be a Pococke: and, as for giving them good advice,
the world is so turned topsy-turvy, that everything one says is lost
on everybody. Then, as for being of any use to me, they could be of
none: if I wanted anything, they don’t know where it is; and how are
they to tell the nasty wretches, who only speak Arabic? Besides, I am
not sure their _nijems_ would suit me; and then they would do me more
harm than good. Poor little Eugenia! I had thought that I might derive
some consolation from looking on her innocent face whilst she sat
working at my bedside; but some one told me her star perhaps would not
agree with mine: is it so, doctor? I am like Mr. Pitt: he used to say,
‘I hear that man’s footsteps in the passage――I can’t bear it; do send
him away to town, or to Putney:’ so it is with me. There was my
grandfather, too――how he felt the effect of the peculiar star of those
people who did not suit him!――he could bear nobody near him, when he
was ill, but Lady Chatham, and an old woman who had been a sort of
woman of the town: he sent all his children to Lyme Regis; and even
his tutor, Mr. Wilson, he could not bear. I know the reason of it now,
from my recollection of them, but I did not at the time. My
grandfather was born under Mars and Venus; Lady Chatham was born under
Venus, and so was the old woman, but both in different _burges_
[houses]: and that is why their sympathies were the same.”


     [19] The English consular agent at this time was Signor
          Abella, whose father was a Maltese: hence Mr.
          Abella was known as El Malty. The noble family of
          Testaferrata and Abella is the stock from which Signor
          Abella is descended; but in Turkey, _Stemmata quid

     [20] At the word “again,” Lady Hester made the following
          remarks:――“He never addressed me on the subject,
          neither has any one else. Nearly two years ago,
          there was a report in the Bazar that my debts had
          been spoken of to the King; that my pension was
          to be seized; that I was to be put under consular
          jurisdiction; and a set of extravagant things that
          nobody ever heard the like; and certainly those
          who had ventured to charge themselves with such a
          message would have found that I was a cousin of Lord

          “Another version was, that the King talked very good
          sense upon the subject, and had taken my part, and had
          been much surprised that I had been so neglected by my
          family, to whom he said some sharp and unpleasant
          things. There the matter rested, and I heard no more of
          it, until Colonel Campbell’s letter.”

     [21] Lady Hester means George III.

     [22] The Duke of York’s behaviour is incomparable; he
          is their great and only comfort and support at the
          Queen’s house, and without his manly mind and advice
          neither the Queen nor Princesses would be able to
          bear up under their present distress.――_Diaries and
          Correspondence_, p. 20, v. 4.

          It is pleasing to find in persons so entirely different
          in every respect a corresponding testimony to the
          merits of an excellent prince.

     [23] To _avanize_ is the expression used throughout the
          Levant to signify oppressive and forcible exactions of
          money from individuals, without right or claim.

                              CHAPTER VIII.

Lady Hester’s system of astrology――Sympathies and antipathies――
People’s _nijems_ or stars――Mesmerism explained――Lord Suffolk――Lady
Hester’s own star――Letter to the Queen――Letter to Mr. Speaker
Abercrombie――Messieurs Beck and Moore――Letter to Colonel Campbell――The
Ides of March――Lady Hester’s reflections on the Queen’s conduct to
her――Letter to Sir Edward Sugden――What peers are――Junius’s
Letters――Spies employed by the first Lord Chatham――Mr. Pitt’s opinion
of the Duke of Wellington――Lady Hester’s letter to his Grace, &c.

In order to render intelligible to the reader many passages which have
occurred, and will occur again, in Lady Hester’s conversations,
respecting what she called people’s _nijems_ or stars, it may not be
amiss to give an outline of her system of astrology, and of the
supposed influence that the position of the stars in the heavens at
our nativity has on our future fate and on our sympathies. I must
preface what follows by observing that she had a remarkable talent for
divining characters by the make of a person. This every traveller will
testify who has visited her in Syria; for it was after she went to
live in solitude that her penetration became so extraordinary. It was
founded both on the features of the face and on the shape of the head,
body, and limbs. Some indications she went by were taken from a
resemblance to animals; and, wherever such indications existed, she
inferred that the dispositions peculiar to those animals were to be
found in the person. But, independent of all this, her doctrine was,
that every creature is governed by the star under whose influence it
was born.

Every star has attached to it two aërial beings, two animals, two
trees, two flowers, &c.; that is, a couple of all the grand classes in
creation, animal, vegetable, mineral, or etherial, whose antipathies
and sympathies become congenial with the being born under the same
star. She would say, “My brother Charles vomited if he ate three
strawberries only: other people, born under the same star as his, may
not have such an insurmountable antipathy as his was, because their
star may be imperfect, whilst his was pure; but they will have it,
more or less. Some persons again will have as much delight in the
smell of particular flowers as cats have in the smell of valerian,
when they sit and purr round it.

“The stars under which men are born may be one or more. Thus Mr.
H*****, an English traveller, who came to see me, was born under four
stars, all tending to beauty, but of no good in other respects. His
forehead was as white as snow; his mouth” (I think she said) “was
good, with a handsome small black beard; but his stars were otherwise
dull: for you know the stars in the heavens are not always bright and
twinkling, but sometimes heavy and clouded. It is like engravings――some
of them are proofs, and those are perfect. Some persons may have a
good star, but it may be cracked like a glass, and then, you know, it
can’t hold water.

“The influence of stars depends, likewise, on whether they are rising,
or in their zenith, or setting; and the angle at which they are must
be determined by calculations, which good astrologers make very
readily. But a clever man will, from his knowledge of the stars, look
even at a child and say, ‘That child will have such and such diseases,
such and such virtues, such and such vices;’ and this I can do: nay,
what is more, I can give a description of the features of any person I
have never seen, if his character is described to me, and vice versa.
There is a learned man at Damascus, who possesses the same faculty in
an extraordinary degree. He knew nothing of me but by report, and had
never seen me: but a friend of his, having given him a description of
my person and features, he noted down my virtues, vices, and qualities
so exactly, that he even said in what part of my body I had got a
mole, and mentioned the small mark on my shoulder, where Mr. Cline
removed a tumour. There’s for you? do you believe these things, or do
you not?

“A man’s destiny may be considered as a graduated scale, of which the
summit is the star that presided over his birth. In the next degree
comes the good angel[24] attached to that star; then the herb and the
flower beneficial to his health and agreeable to his smell; then the
mineral, then the tree, and such other things as contribute to his
good; then the man himself: below him comes the evil spirit, then the
venomous reptile or animal, the plant, and so on; things inimical to
him. Where the particular tree that is beneficial or pleasurable to
him flourishes naturally, or the mineral is found, there the soil and
air are salubrious to that individual; and a physician who understood
my doctrines, how easily could he treat his patients!――for, by merely
knowing the star of a person, the simples and compounds most
beneficial to him in medicine would be known also.

“How great the sympathies and antipathies are in stars that are the
same or opposite I have told you before in my grandfather’s case, in
Mr. Pitt’s, and in my own. Lord Chatham, when on a sick bed, could
bear three people only to wait on him――Lady Chatham, Sarah Booby, and
somebody else. My grandmamma’s star and Sarah Booby’s star were the
same――both Venus――only grandmamma’s was more moderate; she could keep
it down. Mr. Pitt, when he was ill at Putney, had such an aversion to
one of the footmen, that he was nervous when he heard his step; for
you know people, when they are sick, can hear a pin drop: he said to
me, ‘Hester, do send that fellow to town.’ I did not let him know why
he was sent to town, but I got him off as quickly as possible: he was,
notwithstanding, a good servant, clean, and had otherwise good
qualities; but Mr. Pitt’s and his star were different. As to myself,
since I have been here, I had a professed French cook, called
François――the people named him _Fransees el Franjy_. His skill was
undoubted; yet, whenever he dressed my dinner, I was always sending
for him to complain, and sometimes threw the dish in his face: a
sweetmeat from his hand turned bitter in my mouth. But, what is most
extraordinary of all, Miss Williams’s star was so disagreeable to me
that I could not bear her to be near me when I was ill:――if I was in a
perspiration, it would stop the moment she came into the room. You
know how many good qualities she had, and how attached she was to me,
and I to her: well, I always kept her out of my sight as much as I
could, when anything was the matter with me.

“Such is the sympathy of persons born under the same star, that,
although living apart in distant places, they will still be sensible
of each other’s sufferings. When the Duke of York died, at the very
hour, a cold sweat and a kind of fainting came over me, that I can’t
describe. I was ill beyond measure, and I said to Miss Williams,
‘Somebody is dying somewhere, and I am sure it is one of my friends:
so I made her write it down. Some time after, when she was poking over
a set of newspapers, she came to me, and said, ‘It’s very singular, my
lady; but, the time you were so very ill, and could not account for
it, corresponds exactly with the date of the Duke of York’s death――the
hour, too, just the same!’ Now, doctor, wasn’t it extraordinary? You
drawl out ‘Y――e――s,’ just as if you thought I told lies: oh, Lord! oh,
Lord! what a cold man!

“The proof of sympathy between the stars of two persons, or, in other
words, of the star of another being good for you, is, when a person
puts his finger on you and you don’t feel it. Zezefôon, when
Mademoiselle Longchamp touches her with her fingers in examining the
Turkish dress, shudders all over: that is a proof that her star is not
good for her, and yet Miss L. uses more kind expressions to her than
anybody; but that makes no difference; there is no sympathy in their

“Animal magnetism is nothing but the sympathy of our stars. Those
fools who go about magnetizing indifferently one person and another,
why do they sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail?――because, if they
meet with those of the same star with themselves, their results will
be satisfactory, but with opposite stars they can do nothing. Some
people you may magnetize, some you cannot; and so far will the want of
sympathy act in some, that there are persons whom it would be
impossible to put in certain attitudes: they might be mechanically
placed there, but their posture never would be natural; whilst others,
from their particular star, would readily fall into them. Oh! if I had
your friend, Mr. Green,[25] here, I could give him some useful hints
on choosing models for his lectures.

“There are animals, too, under the same star with human beings. I had
a mule whose star was the same as mine; and, at the time of my severe
illness, this mule showed as much sensibility about me, and more, than
some of the beasts who wait on me. When that mule was first foaled, I
had given orders to sell the foal and its mother; but, happening to
see it, I countermanded the order immediately. It received a hurt in
its eye, and when, with my hand, I applied some eye-water with camphor
in it, which, of course, made the eye smart, it never once turned its
head away, or showed the least impatience of what I was doing. When
this mule was dying some years afterwards, she lay twenty-four hours,
every minute seeming to be going to breathe her last; but still life
would not depart. They told me of this, and I went to the stable. The
moment she saw me, she turned her eyes on me, gave an expressive look,
and expired. All the servants said she would not die until my star,
which was hers, had come to take her breath: isn’t it very
extraordinary? Serpents never die, whatever you can do to them, until
their star rises above the horizon.[26]

“Some can do well only when under the guidance of another person’s
star. What was Lord Grenville without Mr. Pitt? with him to guide him
he did pretty well; but, as soon as Mr. Pitt was dead, he sunk into
obscurity: who ever heard of Lord Grenville afterwards? So again Sir
Francis Burdett has never been good for anything since Horne Tooke’s
death. So long as Napoleon had Josephine by his side he was lucky:
but, when he cast her off, his good fortune left him. You know you
sent me her portrait: well, it was a good engraving, and I have no
doubt was a likeness. I observed in her face indications of much
falsity, and a depth of cunning exceedingly great: it was her _sâad_
(luck) that held him up. You may see so many examples of such good
fortune depending on men’s wives. Mahomet Ali owes all to his wife――a
woman without a nose. What saved the Shaykh Beshýr but the sâad of the
Syt Haboos? Hamâady told the Emir Beshýr, ‘You will never do anything
with the Shaykh Beshýr until you get rid of her, and then the Shaykh
is in your power.’ So what did he do? he sent his son――the little Emir
Beshýr, as they call him――who surrounded her palace with twenty
horsemen, and, when she attempted to escape, drove her into her own
courtyard, and stabbed her: her body was cut in pieces, and given to
the dogs to eat.

“What is to account for some people’s good fortune but their star?
There was Lord Suffolk, an ensign in a marching regiment, and
thirteenth remove from the title――see what an example he was! It was
predestined that he should arrive at greatness, although, when the
news was brought him that he was come to the title, he had not money
enough to pay for a post-chaise: but nothing could hinder what his
good star was to bring him. Lady Suffolk, the daughter of a clergyman
of a hundred a-year, was a very clever, shrewd woman, and filled her
elevated station admirably.”

I have embodied thus much in Lady Hester Stanhope’s own words of what
may give a tolerable idea of her notion of planetary influence. What
her own star was may be gathered from what she said one day, when,
having dwelt a long time on this, her favourite subject, she got up
from the sofa, and, approaching the window, she called me to
her――“Look,” said she, “at the pupil of my eyes; there! my star is the
sun――all sun――it is in my eyes: when the sun is a person’s star, it
attracts everything.” I looked, and replied that I saw a rim of yellow
round the pupil.――“A rim!” cried she; “it isn’t a rim――it’s a sun;
there’s a disk, and from it go rays all round: ’tis no more a rim than
you are. Nobody has got eyes like mine.”[27]

Lady Hester Stanhope, in a letter she wrote to Prince Pückler Muskau,
describes her system briefly as follows; and she desired me to keep a
copy of it, that I might not, as she said, substitute my own ideas
for hers.

“Every man, born under a given star, has his aërial spirit, his
animal, his bird, his fruit-tree, his flower, his medicinal herb, and
his dæmon. Beings born under any given star may be of four different
qualities and forms, just as there may be four different qualities of
cherries, having little resemblance one to another, but being
nevertheless all cherries. Added to this, there may be varieties in
the same star, occasioned by the influence of other stars, which were
above the horizon in particular positions at the hour of a man’s
birth: just as you may say that a ship is more or less baffled by
certain winds, though she is standing her course. Again, a man being
born under the same star with another man, whilst that star is in one
sign of the zodiac, changes somewhat the character and appearance when
in another sign of the zodiac: just as two plants which are alike,
when one grows where there is always shade and the other where there
is constantly sunshine, although precisely of one and the same kind,
will differ slightly in appearance, odour, and taste.

“A man born under a certain star will have, from nature, certain
qualities, certain virtues and vices, certain talents, diseases, and
tastes. All that education can do is merely artificial: leave him to
himself, and he returns to his natural character and his original
tastes. If this were better known, young people would not be made to
waste their time uselessly in fitting them for what they never can be.

“I have learned to know a man’s star by his face, but not by
astrological calculations, as perhaps you fancy; of that trade I have
no knowledge. I have been told that the faculty which I possess is
much more vague than the astrological art, and I believe it: but mine
is good for a great deal, though not for calculating the exact epoch
of a man’s maladies or death.

“You will ask me how it is possible to know mankind by looking at
their features and persons; and so thoroughly too. I answer――a
gardener, when he sees twenty bulbs of twenty different flowers on the
table before him, will he not tell you that one will remain so many
days under ground before it sprouts, then it will grow little by
little, very slowly, and in so many days or weeks will flower, and its
flowers will have such a smell, such a colour, and such virtues: after
so many days more, it will begin to droop and fade, and in ten days
will wither: that other, as soon as it is out of the ground, will grow
an inch and a half in every twenty-four hours: its flowers will be
brilliant, but will have a disagreeable smell; it will bloom for a
long time, and then will wither altogether in a day and why may not
I, looking on men, pronounce on their virtues, qualities, and duration
in the same way? This may not be well explained, but a clever person
will divine what I mean.”

Such were, in the main, the opinions of Lady Hester on astrology, to
which several travellers have alluded, but which, from defective
information, they have hitherto misrepresented. It will be seen that
there was at least method in her belief. We will now return from this

Our narrative broke off in the middle of a conversation on the evening
of January 31, 1838.

Tea was ordered; but so simple a process as getting tea ready was now
a painful business. If it did not come immediately, Lady Hester grew
so impatient, that it was distressing to see her agitation. She would
then ring for a pipe, and perhaps send it back to be fresh filled or
changed four or five times in succession, each one being, for some
trifling reason, rejected. Alas! it was not the tea nor the pipes that
were in fault; it was Colonel Campbell’s letter that had given a stab
to her heart, from which she never recovered; and, in proportion to
the apparent calm which she endeavoured to assume, when speaking on
that subject, did the feeling of the supposed indignity which she had
received prey on her spirits and on her pride.

She reverted to the letter. “The thing to be considered,” she said,
“is whether I shall write a letter to the Queen, and ask the Duke of
Wellington to give it to her, or whether I shall put it in the
newspapers: for I am afraid, if I send it to him, he will not give it
to her; or, if he does, they will say nothing about it. I should like
to ask for a public inquiry into my debts, and for what I have
contracted them. Let them compare the good I have done in the cause of
humanity and science with the D――――s of K――――’s debts. When I am
better, I’ll set all this to rights. I wonder if Lord Palmerston is
the man I recollect――a young man just come from College, that was
hanging about, waiting to be introduced to Mr. Pitt. Mr. Pitt used to
say, ‘Ah! very well; we will ask him some day to dinner.’ Perhaps it
is an old grudge that makes him vent his spite. He is an Irishman, I

February 1.――To-day Lady Hester was much the same as on the preceding
days: her pulse was low; her lungs were loaded with phlegm; aphthæ had
shown themselves on her tongue; her nails were cracked from the
contraction of the surrounding integuments; the tips of her fingers
were cold; her back, as she sat up in bed, was bent; her bones almost
protruded through the skin, from being obliged to lie always on one
side. Speaking of her inability to sleep, except in some particular
position, she observed that she was like those little figures of
tumblers; place her as you would, she rolled over to the left side, as
if there was a weight of lead there.

After the usual preliminaries of smoking a pipe and a little
conversation, she dictated her letter to the Queen and to Mr.
Abercrombie, speaker of the House of Commons.

       *       *       *       *       *

                   _Lady Hester Stanhope to the Queen._

                                         Jôon, February 12, 1838.

     Your Majesty will allow me to say that few things are more
     disgraceful and inimical to royalty than giving commands
     without examining all their different bearings, and casting,
     without reason, an aspersion upon the integrity of any
     branch of a family who had faithfully served their country
     and the house of Hanover.

     As no inquiries have been made of me what circumstances
     induced me to incur the debts alluded to, I deem it
     unnecessary to enter into any details upon the subject. I
     shall not allow the pension given by your royal grandfather
     to be stopped by force; but I shall resign it for the
     payment of my debts, and with it the name of English
     subject, and the slavery that is at present annexed to it:
     and, as your Majesty has given publicity to the business by
     your orders to consular agents, I surely cannot be blamed in
     following your royal example.

                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

            _Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. Speaker Abercrombie._

                                         Jôon, February 12, 1838.


     Probably the wheel-horse has forgotten his driver, but the
     latter has not forgotten him.[28] I am told that the chief
     weight of the carriage of state bears upon you; if so, it
     must be a ponderous one indeed, if I can judge by a specimen
     of the talent of those who guide it.

     You, who have read and thought a great deal upon men and
     manners, must be aware that there are situations almost
     unknown in Europe from which persons, in what is called a
     semi-barbarous country, cannot extricate themselves with
     honour without taking a part either for or against humanity:
     besides, there are extraordinary gusts of knowledge――of
     extraordinary information――which, if you do not take
     advantage of them at the moment, are lost to you for ever. I
     have, therefore, exceeded my pecuniary means, but always
     with the hope of extricating myself without the assistance
     of any one; or at least (and ever before my eyes, should the
     worst come to the worst) with that of selling the reversion
     of what I possess. Your magnificent Queen has made me appear
     like a bankrupt in the world, and partly like a swindler;
     having given strict orders that _one_ usurer’s account must
     be paid, or my pension stopped, without taking into
     consideration others who have equal claims upon me. Her
     Majesty has not thrown the gauntlet before a driveller or a
     coward: those who are the advisers of these steps cannot be
     wise men.

     Whatever men’s political opinions may be, if they act from
     conscientious motives, I have always respected them; and you
     know that I have had friends in all parties. Therefore,
     without any reference to the present or past political
     career of ministers, or her Majesty’s advisers, their
     conduct would appear to me, respecting myself, identically
     as it was, gentlemanlike or blackguard. But, having had but
     too strong a specimen of the latter by their attempting to
     bully a Pitt, and to place me under consular control, it is
     sufficient for me to resign the name of an English subject;
     for the justice granted to the slave of despotism far
     exceeds that which has been shown to me. Believe me, with
     esteem and regard, yours,

                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Friday, February 2.――To-day, I found her ladyship busied in sorting
out certain articles of apparel, which had just before been brought
home for herself: they had been made by the wife of Lufloofy, the
person at Sayda who generally lodged English travellers. As the fair
sex may like to know what the texture of ladies’ under-garments is in
the East, these were made of half cotton and half silk, and, to the
appearance and touch, not unlike crape. Some women have them all silk.
Either kind is favourable for absorbing perspiration, and, under any
circumstances, never strikes cold to the body.[29]

There had arrived, also, from Marseilles six cases of claret, two of
brandy, one of rum, twelve baskets of champagne, one case of Kirsch
water; and from Leghorn six cases of Genoese _pâte_, two Parmesan
cheeses, some Bologna sausages, pots of preserve, one barrel of salmon
and tunny, one ditto of anchovies, brooms, scuppets, perfumery, two
chests of tea, and numberless other good things, to meet the wants of
her expected guest, the Baroness de Fériat, who was coming from the
United States. It was sad enough that Lady Hester herself, with
abundance of choice provisions and wines, was unable to partake of
any. However, when samples of them were brought in, as the cases were
opened one after another, to be shown her, her usual (what shall I
call it?) greediness of manner manifested itself. She tasted
everything, and swallowed a great deal: the natural consequence of
which was that she threw herself back in her bed, gasping for breath,
and suffering horribly. On these occasions, her favourite plan was to
relieve the succession of momentary symptoms by a host of palliatives,
never leaving her stomach empty or her digestive organs at rest, and
always fancying that it was want of nourishment that generated
uneasiness or caused the oppression on her chest, from both of which
she never was free; nor would she listen to any arguments that tended
to show she was in error.

February 4, Sunday.――This morning it was discovered in my house that a
silver spoon had been lost. I had a man-servant and a boy, the former
a Greek, the latter a Mahometan. The Greek had one of the most
sinister countenances I ever beheld: he was the same man who had
accompanied Mr. Moore and Mr. Beck to the Dead Sea,[30] and had been
sent to me from Beyrout by the innkeeper there: he was a knave, a
drunkard, and a liar. Suspicion fell on him, and he, to throw it on
others, first accused the milk-girl, and then the water-carrier.

Theft, in houses in Turkey, where many are suspected, generally leads
to the punishing of them all; and Logmagi suggested that he should
apply the korbàsh to all three, to elicit the truth. However, I
thought it more just to resort to the European way, saying if the
spoon were not found, the two servants must pay for it, not doubting
the innocence of the water-carrier, a hard-working fellow of good
repute. Logmagi objected to this. “You must flog that Greek,” said he,
“or you will lose, one by one, everything of value you possess.”

Here the matter rested, as the morning had been fixed for answering
Colonel Campbell’s letter: so I wrote from her ladyship’s dictation
the following laconic epistle to him, and the friendly one to Mr.
Moore, British consul at Beyrout. When I had finished them, I asked
Lady Hester what she would have me put at the close, and how she chose
to subscribe herself. “Say nothing,” replied she: “how many times I
have said I could never call myself the humble servant of any body. I
hate and detest all those compliments so unmeaning and so false: but
to Mr. Moore you may express my esteem and regard. I know I shall have
a great liking for Mrs. Moore, if ever I see her: is she so very
handsome as they say? When you go to Beyrout, you must tell her that I
consider it a duty to like her: she does not know why, no more do

       *       *       *       *       *

               _Lady Hester Stanhope to Colonel Campbell._

                                          Jôon, February 4, 1838.


     I shall give no sort of answer to your letter of the 10th of
     January (received the 27th), until I have seen a copy of her
     Majesty’s commands respecting my debt to Mr. Homsy, or of
     the official orders from her Majesty’s Secretary of State
     for Foreign Affairs, as also of Mr. Homsy’s claim, as well
     as of the statement sent to England――to whom, and through
     whom――in order that I may know whom I have to deal with, as
     well as be able to judge of the accuracy of the documents.

     I hope in future that you will not think it necessary to
     make any apologies for the execution of your duty; on the
     contrary, I should wish to recommend you all to put on large
     Brutus wigs when you sit on the woolsack at Alexandria or at

                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

          _Lady Hester Stanhope to Mr. Moore, British Consul at

                                          Jôon, February 4, 1838.


     The sacrifice which I have made of your acquaintance and
     your society, that you might stand quite clear of everything
     that affects me, appears to be to little purpose. You will
     have some very disagreeable business to go through, as you
     will be made Colonel Campbell’s honourable agent, and he the
     agent of the wise Lord Palmerston, and he the agent of your
     magnificent Queen. There is Colonel Campbell’s answer, which
     I leave open for your perusal, as he did his.

     If in the end I find that you deserve the name of a true
     Scotchman, I shall never take ill the part that you may have
     taken against me, as it appears to be consistent with your
     duty in these dirty times.

     I remain with truth and regard, yours,

                                          HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides these letters, I wrote others for England and for Beyrout――in
all about a dozen. What with waiting and listening to her
conversation, I was with her five hours before dinner and five hours
after. I had to seal and put covers to all these; and just at the
moment when I was about to retire to my study, a little room set apart
for me in her house, to do this, Lady Hester stopped me, and returned
to the subject of the silver spoon. After some consideration, she
recommended also the use of the korbàsh.[31]

“How am I to live,” cried she, “with thirty servants in my house, and
such a man as you are that can’t say boh! to a goose? How do you
expect they will mind me, if you don’t keep them under? Hamâady is
coming to-morrow to Jôon: he must be sent for, and shall interrogate
the rascal; I warrant you, he’ll soon bring it to light.”

When I left her for dinner, she had said to me, “Send me word a
quarter of an hour before you return to say you are coming.” This, in
my hurry to get through so much writing for her, I had neglected to
do; and it, therefore, served now as the text for a new grievance.
“Didn’t I say,” she asked me, “let me know a quarter of an hour
beforehand when you are ready to come to me? that quarter of an hour
was everything to me: I wished to have more candles brought in on
account of your eyes, to have the paper and ink got ready, and to
collect my thoughts; but no! everybody must do as they like, and poor
I be made the sacrifice.――I _will_ live by the rule of grandeur.”

Then she called her maids in, one after another, poured on them a
torrent of abuse for their laziness, dirt, and insolence. My heart
sickened to think what would be the consequence of all this to
herself; for I knew very well that her whole frame, the next morning,
would be debilitated from such excitement: yet all this time her
passion was sublimely eloquent, and, sick though she was, terrible.
Her maids tumbled over each other from fright, and the thunder that
rolled in the sky (for a storm was raging at the time) was but a faint
likeness of her paroxysm. When it was over, we drank tea, and at
half-past one separated for the night.

February 5. The weather was still stormy. Snow fell in abundance on
the higher chains of Mount Lebanon, where it lay apparently very

When I paid my morning visit, Lady Hester held out her hand to me the
moment I approached her bedside. “I said too much last night,” she
observed; “think no more about it, doctor; but you know my
irritability, and you must bear with it.” She was pale, languid, and
extenuated: her hands and arms were jerked in convulsive flings.
Strong electrical shocks could not have shaken her so much. Alas! I
sympathised too deeply with her wrongs not to forget all her
ebullitions of anger the moment they were over.

When she found herself a little easier, she asked me to explain to her
Julius Cæsar’s calendar, which she had on some occasion lighted on in
Ainsworth’s dictionary. “When I was a girl,” said she, “I knew all the
constellations in the heavens, and was so quick at astronomy, that
they took my books and maps away, fearing I should give myself up to
it, to the neglect of my other studies. I had it all before my eyes,
just like a pocket-handkerchief. What day are the ides of March?” I
told her. “I think,” she continued, “the word Ides must be derived
from _âayd_, [Arabic: عيد].” I guessed at once what was passing in her
mind. It was an illusion with her that her destiny and Cæsar’s, or her
character and his, had some resemblance: and, when she mentioned
Brutus-wigs in her letter to Colonel Campbell, it had a reference to
the stabs they were giving her from England in depriving her of her
pension, and putting insults upon her.

She was deeply wounded in her pride by the treatment she had received
from home. “The Queen,” she would say, “should have desired her
ministers to write to me, and say, ‘It grieves me that you should have
exceeded your income, and incurred debts, which you know, when
complaints are made to me, I cannot countenance; endeavour to pay them
by instalments, and all may yet be well,’ or something to that
effect―― * * * * * * But no! she shall have my pension, and, if they
make me a bankrupt, why, let them pay the usurers themselves.”

February 9.――I did not see Lady Hester the whole of the preceding day:
she had sent me a message to say she did not wish to trouble me. I
attributed this to the state of the weather; for the wind was high,
the atmosphere wet and cold, and everything about the residence
uncomfortable. To go from my house to Lady Hester’s, I was obliged to
wear high wooden clogs and a thick Greek capote with a hood to it.
Umbrellas, from the gusts of wind, were out of the question. The
ground was like soap. But it was not the weather that made her decline
my visit: she had been closeted with a doctor of the country from Dayr
el Kamar, the son of that _Metta_ of whom mention has been made in a
former part of these pages as having bequeathed his family as a legacy
to her. He was come, as it was supposed, to give his opinion on her
case. I took no umbrage at this. Lady Hester and I differed _toto
cœlo_ on medical points; and she told me very often, after discussions
of this sort, that she had invited me to come this time, not as her
physician, but as a friend; one in whom she had confidence to settle
her debts.

The muleteers had been sent on the 7th of February to Mar Elias, to
bring away the effects which had been lying there, rotting and
spoiling, since Miss Williams’s death. I accompanied them to
superintend the moving, as also to pay a visit to General Loustaunau.
Heavens! what waste was I witness to! In one closet was a beautiful
wax miniature of Mr. Pitt, a portrait of the Duke of York, some other
pictures, stationery, glass, china, medicines, &c., enough for a
family. In one room were carpets, cushions, counterpanes, mattresses,
pillows, all completely destroyed by mould and damp. In a store-room
were large japan canisters with tea, preserves, sugar, wine, lamps,
&c. From another room, (the roof of which had fallen in at the time of
the great earthquake,) had disappeared, according to Lady Hester’s
account, 3 cwt. of copper utensils, in cauldrons, boilers, saucepans,
kettles, round platters, called _sennéyah_, and many other things. A
leather portmanteau lay with the lock cut out; a trunk had its hinges
wrenched off; and both were emptied of their contents. Everywhere
proofs of pillage were manifest, and the village of Abra was
notoriously thriving by it. For ten years this plundering system had
been going on, and yet what still remained would have almost filled a
house. Among other things were papers and boxes of seeds, roots, dried
plants, and a variety of such matters, which Lady Hester had
collected: “for,” she would say, “the importance of people’s pursuits
is judged in a different way by different individuals. For example,
Sir Joseph Banks would think I had done wonders if I found a spider
that had two more joints than another in his hind-leg; and Sir Abraham
Hume would embrace me if I had got a coin not in his collection; but I
have hoarded up something for everybody. And yet, whether I have done
good for humanity or for science, those English give me credit for
nothing, and never even once ask how I got into debt.”

February 10.――I spent four hours with Lady Hester Stanhope this
evening. She was very ill, and greatly convulsed during the greater
part of the time:――she moaned a good deal――yet, in the intervals of
ease that she got, she had two baskets of good things packed up as a
present to an old French widow, and two for an infirm old man, her
pensioner, residing at Sayda.

Monday, February 13.――Lady Hester to-day dictated the following letter
to Sir Edward Sugden:――

               _Lady Hester Stanhope to Sir Edward Sugden._

                                         Jôon, February 12, 1838.


     Born an aristocrat (for this assurance I received from your
     father, whom it appeared to annoy as much as it delighted
     me), with these genuine feelings it will not be necessary
     for me to make any excuses for bringing so abruptly before
     you a subject, which relates to this cause as well as that
     of justice.

     I will not bore you with long details; for it will be
     sufficient for you to know that after my arrival in the East
     I was not regarded by any class of persons with the same
     eyes of suspicion as strangers generally are. I have had it
     in my power, without making use of intrigue or subterfuge on
     my part, or hurting the religious or political feeling of
     others in any way, to hear and investigate things which had
     never yet been investigated. This fortunate circumstance
     does not relate to those who profess Islamism alone, but to
     all the curious religions (not sects) which are to be found
     in the different parts of the East. Not that I have learned
     the secrets of one religion to betray them to another――on
     the contrary, I have observed an inviolable silence with
     all; but it has served to enlighten, as well as consolidate
     my own ideas, and given me an opportunity of seeking
     corroboratory evidence of many wonderfully important and
     abstract things, which has been hitherto very satisfactory.

     The revolutions and public calamities, which often take
     place in what is called a semi-barbarous country, call for
     great presence of mind and energy, and a degree of humanity
     and liberality unknown in Europe. To have unfortunate
     sufferers starving at your gate until you have had an
     opportunity of inquiring into their private life and
     character, and of investigating how far it is likely to
     endanger your own life, or risk your property, in receiving
     them――these reflections are not made in the East. One takes
     one’s chance; and if one wishes to keep up the character of
     either an Eastern monarch or an Eastern peasant, you must
     treat even an enemy in misfortune _avec les mêmes égards_
     that you would do a friend. Starting upon this principle
     (which is, indeed, a natural one, and was always mine),
     there were times in which I have been obliged to spend more
     money than I could well afford, and this has been the cause
     of my incurring debts; not that I owe a farthing to a poor
     peasant or a tradesman, but all to usurers and rascals, that
     have lent their money out at an exorbitant interest. You may
     judge of their conscience. In the last levy of troops, made
     about two months ago by Ibrahim Pasha, some rich peasants
     gave 100 per cent. for six months for money to buy off their
     sons who were conscripts.

     I often abuse the English; and for why? because they have
     nearly lost their national character. The aristocracy is a
     proud, morose, inactive class of men, having no great
     fundamental principles to guide them, and not half the power
     that they give to themselves――very little more worthy of
     being trusted by their Sovereign than by the people――full of
     ideas, all egotistical, and full of their own importance and
     weight in a country, which may differ from an ounce to a
     pound in twenty-four hours by the wavering political line of
     conduct that they may observe during that time, and which
     neither secures the confidence of the people, nor the
     friendship of their Sovereign. And these columns of state
     may be reckoned a sort of ministers without responsibility,
     but who ought to be willing at all times to make every
     possible sacrifice for the honour of the crown and for the
     good of the people in cases of emergency and misfortune.

     Had I been an English peer, do you suppose I would have
     allowed the Duke of York’s debts to remain unpaid? I should
     have laid down a large sum, and have engaged my brethren to
     have done the same. If I had not succeeded, I should have
     broken my coronet, and have considered myself of neither
     greater nor smaller importance than the sign of a duke’s
     head in front of a public-house. But, ever willing to come
     forward with my life and property, I should expect that the
     Sovereign would treat me with respect, * * * * * *

     I have been written to by the Consul-General for Egypt and
     Syria, Colonel Campbell, that, if I do not pay _one_ of my
     numerous creditors, I shall be deprived of my pension. I
     should like to see that person come forward who dares to
     threaten a Pitt! Having given themselves a supposed right
     over the pension, they may take it all. In the early part of
     my life, there was nothing I feared so much as plague,
     shipwreck, and debt; it has been my fate to suffer from them
     all. Respecting my debts, of course I had expectations of
     their being settled; but if I was deceived in these
     expectations, I kept in view the sale of my pension, as well
     as of an annuity of £1500 a-year, left me by my brother, if
     the worst came to the worst. The importance of the plan I
     was pursuing must, as you can easily imagine, have appeared
     most arbitrary, from my coolly deliberating that the moment
     might arrive when I should make myself a beggar; but I
     should have done my duty. What sort of right, then, had the
     Queen to meddle with my affairs, and to give orders, in
     total ignorance of the subject, upon the strength of an
     appeal from a man whose claims might be half fabulous, and
     to offer me the indignity of forbidding a foreign consul to
     sign the certificate that I was among the number of the
     living, in order to get my pension into her hands? * * I
     have written a few lines on the subject, and there is my
     final determination:――“I shall give up my pension, and with
     it the name of an English subject, and the slavery that is
     entailed upon it.” I have too much confidence in the great
     Disposer of all things, and in the magnificent star that has
     hitherto borne me above the heads of my enemies, to feel
     that I have done a rash act. I can be anything but ignoble,
     or belie the origin from which I sprang.

     I have been assured by those not likely to deceive me, that
     a large property has been left me in Ireland, which has been
     concealed from me by my relations. I have put this business
     into the hands of Sir Francis Burdett; but should I in
     future require a law opinion upon the subject, _the little
     aristocratical rascal_ (whose acquaintance I was about to
     make when a child, had not a democratical quirk of my
     father’s been the reason of shutting up his family for some
     time in the country, and preventing the execution of your
     father’s intention of presenting you to me) will not, I
     hope, take it ill that I should apply to his superior
     talents for advice.

     There is a horrible jealousy respecting the friendship that
     exists between me and Mr. Henry Guys, the French Consul at
     Beyrout. His grandfather, a learned old gentleman, was in
     constant correspondence with the great Lord Chesterfield. It
     is natural, therefore, that his son, the present Mr. Guys’
     father, should feel interested about me when I first came
     into the country, and Mr. Henry Guys has always put into
     execution his father’s friendly intentions towards me. He is
     a very respectable man, and stands very high in the
     estimation of all classes of persons: and, as at one time
     there was no English consul or agent at Sayda, the French
     agent sent a certificate of my life four times a-year to
     England. At the death of this man, Mr. Guys sent it himself.
     If you honour me with a reply, I request you to address your
     letter to him (_aux soins de M. le Chevalier Henri Guys,
     Consul de France à Beyrout_), notwithstanding he has been
     named for Aleppo; as it is the only way I am likely to
     receive my letters unopened, or perhaps at all.

                       Believe me, with esteem and regard, yours,

                                                  H. L. STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was much exhausted to-day. I had written six hours to her dictation
the preceding day, and now sat talking until midnight; but, from the
late hour at which I left her, it was as usual impossible for me to
note down even a hundredth part of what she said. For example, it is
now nearly one o’clock in the morning; and much as I could wish,
whilst my recollection is fresh, to make a few memorandums of the many
things she has been saying, my eyelids droop, and I am forced to lay
down my pen: yet one anecdote I must try to commit to paper. In
reading over the letter to Sir Edward Sugden, she made the following
remark: “The peers in England may be compared to doctors who have made
their fortunes: if they continue to practise, they do it out of regard
to some particular families, or from humane motives. They know better
than those who are sick what is good for them, because they have had
long practice; and, if their sons are no doctors, they have heard so
much talk about the matter, that they sit in a corner, and watch the
effect of the medicine.”

I was struck with the resemblance of Lady Hester’s style to Junius’s
in her letter to Sir Edward. This led me to reflect, as I had observed
on many occasions, that Lady Hester’s language was the counterpart of
her grandfather’s, whether Lord Chatham might not have been the author
of Junius’s Letters; but it has since been suggested to me that there
would be an absurdity in such a supposition (for I had no opportunity
of consulting books where I was), because some of the most eloquent
passages of Junius are his panegyrics on Lord Chatham, and it is not
likely that he would have been guilty of writing a eulogium on
himself; however, I mentioned it to her. She answered, “My grandfather
was perfectly capable and likely to write and do things which no human
being would dream came from his hands. I once met with one of his
spies,” continued she, “a woman of the common class, who had passed
her life dressed in man’s clothes: in this way she went, as a sailor,
to America, and used to write him letters as if to a sweetheart,
giving an account of the enemy’s ships and plans in a most masterly
way, in the description of a box of tools, or in something so unlike
the thing in question that no suspicion could be had of the meaning of
the contents. This woman by accident passed me at a watering-place,
whilst I was sitting near the sea-side talking to my brother, and
stopped short on hearing the sound of my voice, which was so much like
my grandfather’s that it struck her――and there is nothing
extraordinary in this: I have known a horse do the same thing. My
father had two piebald horses: they were very vicious, and hated one
of the grooms so, that, one day, whilst he was taking them out for
exercise, one threw him, and the other flew at him, and attempted to
strike him with his fore-feet; but, as he could not succeed, the
other, that had run off, turned back, seized the groom with his teeth,
and bit him and shook him: that very horse went blind, and got into an
innkeeper’s hands, who made a post-horse of him. One day, on the high
road, I saw him, and made an exclamation to somebody who was with me.
The horse, although blind, knew my voice, and stopped short, just like
the woman. I too was struck with the woman’s manner; and, without
saying anything, went next morning at daylight, before anybody was
about, to the same spot, and, finding the woman there again, inquired
who and what she was. A conversation ensued, and the woman was
delighted, she said, to behold once again something that reminded her
of her old employer. As for the ministers of the present day, she
observed, they are good for nothing: when I went to prefer my claim
for a pension, one called me Goody-two-shoes, and told me to go about
my business.

“A government should never employ spies of the description generally
chosen――men of a certain appearance and information, who may be
enabled to mix in genteel society: they are always known or suspected.
My grandfather pursued quite a different plan. His spies were among
such people as Logmagi*  *――a hardy sailor, who would get at any risk
into a port, to see how many ships there were, and how many effective
men――or a pedlar, to enter a camp――and the like. This was the way he
got information as to the state of the armament at Toulon: and such a
one was the woman I have just told you about, who knew me by the sound
of my voice.

“There were two hairdressers in London, the best spies Buonaparte had.
A hairdresser, generally speaking, must be a man of talent――so must a
cook; for a cook must know such a variety of things, about which no
settled rules can be laid down, and he must have great judgment.

“Do you think I did not immediately perceive that those four Germans
we met at ―――― were spies?――directly. I never told B**** and Lord
S**** because they would have let it out again: François was the only
one who knew it besides myself. He took an opportunity one day of
saying to me, when nobody was by, ‘My lady, one of those
Germans....’――‘Yes, yes, François, I understand you,’ answered I,
before he had said three words: ‘you need not put me on my guard, but
I am much obliged to you.’――‘Why, my lady,’ said François, ‘when I was
one day standing sentry at Buonaparte’s tent, there was one of those
very gentlemen I have seen go in and out: I recollect his face
perfectly.’ François was right, doctor: there they were――there was
the sick one, and the learned one, and the musician, and the
officer――for all sorts of persons.

“You recollect, when we were at Constantinople, one day I went to meet
the Count de la Tour Maubourg on the banks of the Bosphorus, and he
intimated to me that I had kept him waiting. ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘there was
a spy following my boat: I knew him directly, and wanted to prevent
his dogging me.’ ‘Pooh! nonsense,’ replied Mr. de la T. M.: but we had
not talked for half an hour, when, lo! there he was, taking a look at
us. Next day, when I saw Mr. Canning, ‘Oh! Lady Hester,’ said he, ‘how
did you spend your day yesterday?’――‘Why,’ answered I, ‘your spy did
not spoil it.’――‘Ah!’ rejoined he, laughing――for he perceived at once
it was of no use to make a mystery of what he had done――‘you should
not do such things――I must write it home to government.’――‘Yes,’ said
I, ‘I’ll write a letter, too, in this way:――My lord, your excellent
young minister, to show his gallantry, has begun his diplomatic career
by watching ladies in their assignations, &c., &c.’ and then I laughed
at him, and then I talked seriously with him, till I worked on his
feelings in a way you can’t think!

“Spies, as I said before, should never be what are called gentlemen,
or have the appearance of such; for, however well they may be paid,
somebody else will always pay them better;――unless fortune should
throw in your way a man of integrity, who, from loyalty or a love of
his country, will adventure everything for the cause he is engaged in:
such a man is another sort of a thing!”

February 14.――Being Wednesday, I was, as usual, deprived of the honour
of seeing Lady Hester until night; I therefore remained with my
family, and, having recovered the lost spoon, which my servant
produced out of fear of Hamâady’s examination, pretending to have
found it, I took the opportunity of settling his wages and turned him

After sunset I waited on her. She was in low spirits. “I am very
weak,” said she. “Look at my veins――they did not use to be so: look at
my arms, too――mere skin and bone.” She pointed to the state of her
room: “See how filthy it is again already,” she observed; “and if I
say a word, those wretches seem not to mind me――they snub me, doctor.”

She attempted to dictate the letter she proposed writing to the Duke
of Wellington, but was unable. We drank tea. “Do you know,” she said,
“when old Malti” (this was the name Mr. Abella, the English agent, was
generally designated by) “came in such a hurry, the other day, with
Colonel Campbell’s letter, and made such a fuss about delivering it
with his own hand, people fancied I was going to die, and that he was
come up to seal my effects the moment the breath should be out of my
body. But, if I do die, they sha’n’t seal anything of mine, I’ll take
care of that; for I am no longer an English subject, and therefore
they have nothing to do with me.”

Again she asked me to take my pen and paper, and returned to the Duke
of Wellington’s letter. “I can’t collect my ideas,” she said: “one
while I am thinking of what Mr. Pitt said of him; then of the letter
he wrote when invited down to the country ball; then of what he is
now: so put down your paper, and ring for a pipe. The duke is a man
self-taught, for he was always in dissipation. I recollect, one day,
Mr. Pitt came into the drawing-room to me――‘Oh!’ said he, ‘how I have
been bored by Sir Sydney coming with his box full of papers, and
keeping me for a couple of hours, when I had so much to do!’ I
observed to him that heroes were generally vain: ‘Lord Nelson is so.’
‘So he is,’ replied Mr. Pitt; ‘but not like Sir Sydney: and how
different is Arthur Wellesley, who has just quitted me! He has given
me details so clear upon affairs in India! and he talked of them, too,
as if he had been a surgeon of a regiment, and had nothing to do with
them; so that I know not which to admire most, his modesty or his
talents: and yet the fate of India depends upon them.’ Then, doctor,
when I recollect the letter he wrote to Edward Bouverie, in which he
said that he could not come down to the ball which Bouverie had
invited him to, for that his only corbeau coat was so bad he was
ashamed to appear in it, I reflect what a rise he has had in the
world. Bouverie said――‘You would like to dance with him amazingly,
Lady Hester: he is a good fellow.’

“He was at first, doctor, nothing but what hundreds of others are in a
country town――a man who danced, and drank hard. His star has done
every thing for him; for he is not a great general.[32] He is no
tactician, nor has he any of those great qualities that make a Cæsar,
or a Pompey, or even a Buonaparte. As for the battle of Waterloo, both
French and English have told me that it was a lucky battle for him,
but nothing more. I don’t think he acted well at Paris: nor did the
soldiers like him.”

Thursday, February 15.――This morning, the letter to the Duke of
Wellington was written.

       *       *       *       *       *

            _Lady Hester Stanhope to the Duke of Wellington._

                                         Jôon, February 13, 1838.

          My dear Duke,

     If you merit but half the feeling and eloquent praise I
     heard bestowed upon you shortly before I saw you for the
     first time, you are the last man in the world either to be
     offended or to misconstrue my motives in writing to you upon
     the subject in question, or not to know how to account for
     the warmth of the expressions I may make use of, which are
     only characteristic of my disposition.

     Your Grace’s long residence in the East will have taught you
     that there is no common rate character in England an
     adequate judge what manner of living best answers among a
     semi-barbarous people, and how little possible it is to
     measure one’s expenses where frequent revolutions and petty
     wars are carried on without any provision for the sufferers,
     from its being considered the duty of every one to assist
     them as his humanity may dictate or as his circumstances may

     Acre besieged for seven months! some days, 7,000 balls
     thrown in in twenty-four hours!――at last, taken by storm,
     and little more than 200 of the garrison remaining!――then
     the wretched inhabitants, who expected to find succour from
     their old friends in the country, finding their backs turned
     upon them in the dread and awe they stood in of Ibrahim
     Pasha; nay, it is very strange to say that the Franks
     likewise held back in a most extraordinary manner.
     Therefore, these unhappy people had no resource but in me,
     and I did the best I could for them all. Mahomet Ali,
     Ibrahim Pasha, Sheriff Pasha, all set at me at once, in
     order to make me give up certain persons, who immediately
     would have lost their heads for having fought well in the
     cause which they were engaged in. I opposed them all round
     single-handed, and said that I neither protected these
     persons in the English or French name, but in my own, as a
     poor Arab, who would not give up an unhappy being but with
     his own life; that there was no other chance of making me
     bend by any other means than by attempting mine. In this
     manner I saved some unfortunate beings, whom I got rid of by
     degrees, by sending them back to their own country, or
     providing for them at a distance in some way or another. Can
     you, as a soldier, blame me for what I have done? I should
     have acted in the same way before your eyes to the victims
     of your own sword. Then the host of orphans, and widows, and
     little children, who, to feed or clothe for nearly two
     years, took away all the ready money with which I ought in
     part to have paid my debts, and caused new ones!――yet I am
     no swindler, and will not appear like one. Your Queen had no
     business to meddle in my affairs. In due time, please God, I
     should have known how to arrange to satisfy everybody, even
     if I left myself a beggar. If she pretends to have a right
     to stop my pension, I resign it altogether, as well as the
     name of an English subject; for there is no family that has
     served their country and the crown more faithfully than mine
     has done, and I am not inclined to be treated with _moins
     d’égards_ than was formerly shown to a gentleman-like

     I have been every day in expectation of a reply from Sir F.
     Burdett respecting a large property which is said to have
     been left me in Ireland, and which has been concealed from
     me for many years. In case of its coming into my hands, I
     shall still not keep my pension, in order to cut off every
     communication with the English Government, from whom only
     proceed acts of folly, which any moment may rebound upon an
     individual. I chose Sir Francis Burdett to look into my
     affairs, because I believe him to be a truly conscientious
     honest man. Although we always disagreed upon politics, we
     were always the best friends, and it appears to me that he
     is beginning to see things in their proper light. * * * *
     All that I have to entreat of your Grace is to allow me to
     appear in the light in which I really stand――attached to
     humanity, and attached to royalty, and attached to the
     claims that one human being has upon another. Nor can I
     allow myself to be deemed an intriguer; because I have said
     here, in all societies, that persons who abet those who
     attempt to shake the throne of Sultan Mahmoud shake the
     throne of their own sovereign, and, therefore, commit high
     treason: and among that class of persons I do not choose to
     rank myself. Nor am I to be reckoned an incendiary, when I
     seek to vindicate my own character, that never was marked
     with either baseness or folly:――it may have been, perhaps,
     with too little consideration for what are called by the
     world my own interests, and which I, in fact, despise, or at
     least only consider in a secondary point of view. There is
     nobody more capable of making the Queen understand that a
     Pitt is a unique race than your Grace: there is no trifling
     with them.

     I have sent a duplicate of the enclosed letter to Her
     Majesty to my Lord Palmerston, through the hands of the
     English Consul, Mr. Moore. If it has not reached her safe, I
     hope that you will see that this one does: or otherwise I
     shall put it in the _Augsburg Gazette_, or in an American

       *       *       *       *       *

                                            HESTER LUCY STANHOPE.

       *       *       *       *       *

At eleven at night I joined her at tea in her bed-room. She then asked
me to read all the letters over, to see if anything wanted correction.
After that, calling for her old parchment-covered blotting-book, she
took them one by one, and folded them herself, “in order,” as she
said, “to give me instructions on that head.” Generally speaking, she
never seemed more happy than when she had a huge packet of despatches
to put up: I dare say it reminded her of former times.

She began――“Now, doctor, a letter to a great man should fold over
exactly to the middle――thus. Lord! what counting-house paper have you
got here?――this will never do” (it was the thin paper common in France
as letter-paper). I told her it was the very best there was in the
house, and added, to quiet her, that thick paper, when fumigated in
quarantine, as this must be, generally seemed to me to suffer more
than thin; which is the fact. “Humph――ah! well, it is too late now to
alter it; so it must go as it is.” She then folded the cover with
great exactitude; but, looking round her, she cried, “There, now, that
black beast has not given me the seal!” (ding, ding). “Zezefôon,
where’s the seal?” Zezefôon was the only servant who was permitted to
touch the seal, and she always had orders to put it away carefully, so
that the other maids should not know where it was, for fear they
should lend it to some rascal, (like Girius Gemmel, she would say,)
who would put her signature to some forged letter or paper: and
Zezefôon, as is customary with uneducated persons, hid it very often
so carefully that she could not find it herself. After turning books
and papers upside down, at last she produced it.

Whilst melting the wax in the candle, Lady Hester went on:――“Doctor,
you never now can seal a letter decently: you once used to do it
tolerably well, but now you have lost your memory and all your
faculties, from talking nothing but rubbish and empty nonsense to
those nasty women; and that’s the reason why you never listen to
anything one says, and answer ‘yes,’ and ‘no,’ without knowing to

I gave her the letters in succession to seal, until exhausted by the
effort――for now the least thing was too much for her――she fell back in
her bed. She roused herself again, and said, “Now let’s direct them:
where is the one to the Queen? Write Victoria Regina――nothing else――in
the middle ... that will do very well. Whose is that?――the Speaker’s:
very well. I wonder if it _is_ the brother I used to play driving
horses with; for there were several brothers. Now, look for his
address――James――ah! that’s him: direct ‘To the Right Hon. Speaker’ ...
no, stop: put ‘To the Right Hon. James Abercrombie, with three et
ceteras, Carlton Gardens.’”

The next letter was the Duke of Wellington’s. Lady Hester said, “Let
me see――he’s a field marshal――ah, never mind: you must begin――‘To His
Grace the Duke of Wellington, K.G.’” I accordingly did so, and, not
knowing how much more was coming to complete the superscription, I put
it all, for fear of wanting room, into one line. Her eye was on me as
I wrote. “What’s that?――show it me?” she cried out; and, taking the
letter in her hands, she put on her spectacles. What an exclamation
burst from her! “Good God, doctor! are you mad?――what can you
mean?――what is this vulgar ignorance, not to know that ‘His Grace’
should be in one line, and ‘The Duke of Wellington, K.G.’ in the
other: what people will he fancy I am got among! why, the lowest clerk
in the Foreign Office would not have made such a blunder: this is your
fine Oxford education!” and then she gave a deep sigh, as if in utter
despair, to think that a letter should go forth from her hands so
different in paper, seal, and address, from those of her early days,
when she reigned in Downing Street, co-equal with Mr. Pitt. Now it was
a rickety old card-table, a rush-bottomed chair, a white pipe-clay
inkstand, wax that would not be used in a counting-house in Cheapside;
and both the Sultaness and her vizir (for so I shall presume to style
her and myself), fitting their spectacles on their noses, equally
blind, equally old, and almost equally ailing.

I finished the address to the Duke. “How many et ceteras have you
put?” asked Lady Hester:――“what! only two? I suppose you think he’s a
nobody!” The remaining letters were directed without farther trouble,
but, by some unaccountable blunder, Sir Edward Sugden was made a Sir
Charles of. A long deliberation ensued, whether the letter to Her
Majesty should be enclosed in a cover to Lord Palmerston, or whether
it should be left to be seen by the English consul at Beyrout, to
frighten him.

It was now three o’clock in the morning. I quitted Lady Hester, and
had Ali Hayshem, the confidential messenger, called out of his bed. I
repeated to him Lady Hester’s instructions as follows:――“You are to
take this packet, and start at sunrise precisely――not before, and not
after――and to take care you deliver the letters into M. Guys’s hands
before sunset: for it is Friday, and Friday is an auspicious day.
There are ten piasters for your two days’ keep, and let no one know
where you are going, nor for what.”

Ali was accustomed to this business――laid his hand on his head to
signify that should answer for his fidelity――made a low salàam――went
to the cook for his five bread-cakes――turned in again upon his
libàd――pulled his counterpane over his body, face and all, and, I dare
say, was punctual to his hour and his instructions. Men of this sort,
who are generally chosen from the peasantry, are invaluable as
foot-messengers. With a _naboot_ or small bludgeon, well knobbed at
one end, and with a few bread-cakes in their girdle, they will set off
at any hour, in any weather, for any place, and go as quick as a
horseman. They sleep anywhere and anyhow, and deliver their messages
and letters with exceeding punctuality. Ali was a handsome fellow, the
picture of health, fearless of danger, and a great favourite with Lady
Hester, to whose service he was devoted; therefore, at every Byràm,
Ali was sure to be seen in a new suit of clothes, the envy of the men,
and the admiration of all the girls of Jôon: but he knew how to make a
proper use of his money. Already he had begun to trade with some
success in silk, advancing small sums in the winter to the poor women
who breed silkworms, for which he received silk in payment: this he
resold in the city; and those who may chance to meet with Ali ten
years hence might find in him a warm tradesman, smoking his pipe in
the midst of his obsequious dependants, and dignified with the title
of Shaykh or Maalem.


     [24] Lady Hester one day said, “I have a little angel under
          my command, the angel of my star――such a sweet little
          creature!――not like those ridiculous ones who are
          fiddling in Italian pictures. What fools painters are,
          to think angels are made so!”

     [25] Mr. Joseph Green, lecturer on anatomy at the Royal

     [26] There is a passage in an interesting domestic
          tale recently published (_The History of Margaret
          Catchpole_, by the Rev. Mr. Cobbold), which has a
          strange coincidence with the superstitious belief of
          the Syrians, considering how widely the English are
          separated from them. It is as follows: “He told me he
          was the most venemous snake in the country. His bite
          is attended with swelling and blackness of the body,
          and, _when the sun goes down_, death ensues.”――Vol.
          ii., p. 188.

     [27] I once showed Lady Hester Stanhope Raphael’s Madonna
          della Seggiola, to hear what she would say about it.
          “The face,” she observed, “is congruous in all the
          lineaments; they all belong to the same star; but I
          don’t like that style of face――that is not the star
          that pleases me;” and she returned me the engraving,
          with some signs of impatience. I imagined, as there
          was a maid in the room, that she did so, lest the girl
          should report that she adored the Virgin Mary. I then
          showed her a painting of the Nozze Aldobrandini. “Ah!”
          said she, after examining it, “that figure,” pointing
          to the one farthest on the spectator’s right hand,
          “is the star I like, only the eyes do not belong to
          that countenance: if the eyes were as they ought to
          be, that figure would be charming.” There was much
          truth in the observations she made on the blunders
          of artists and sculptors in giving incongruous
          features to their works. An ordinary observer has
          only to look at the statues of the ancients, and he
          will find that the forehead, nose, mouth, ears, and
          limbs of a Minerva, are such as he will see in grave
          and dignified women, totally different from the same
          features in a Diana or a Venus. Each temperament, each
          class of beings in nature, has its external marks,
          which never vary in character, but only in degree. But
          painters are accustomed to make a selection of what
          they suppose the most perfect Grecian lines, and to
          clap them on to a body, whether it be for a muse, an
          amazon, a nymph, or a courtezan: this is obviously
          false. “There are some women who are born courtezans,”
          Lady Hester would say, “and whatever their station
          in life is, they must be so. Thus, Lady ―――― was so
          by nature; from the time she first came out, she had
          the air of a woman of the town: Mademoiselle de ――――,
          who married one of the ――――, nothing could have ever
          altered her. There was a woman for great passions! it
          was almost indecent to be where she was.”

     [28] This alludes to the childhood of Lady Hester Stanhope,
          when she had played at horses with Mr. Abercrombie.

     [29] Lady Hester one day showed me fourteen of these
          articles of ladies’ apparel, six or seven of which
          were in slits and holes, so that a maid-servant in
          England would not have accepted them as a gift: she
          said her maids had torn them by their rough handling
          in dressing her. I had them sent to my house, and they
          were all mended. She expressed herself as grateful for
          this little service to my daughter and the governess,
          as if she had been a pauper clothed at their door!

     [30] I was once speaking of the great results which might
          be expected from Messrs. Beck and Moore’s successful
          investigation of the natural phenomena of the Dead
          Sea: but Lady Hester damped my admiration of those
          gentlemen’s hazardous undertaking, by exclaiming that
          all English travellers were a pack of fools, and
          that they entirely neglected the objects that ought
          to be inquired into. “There are none of them,” said
          she, “that know half as much as I do. I’ll venture to
          say they never heard of the forty doors, all opening
          by one key, in which are locked the forty wise men
          who expect the Murdah. Didn’t I tell you the story
          the other day?” I answered, if she had, I must have
          forgotten it, which was fortunate, as I was always
          reluctant to show my dissent from her opinions;
          having, by experience, learned how necessary it was
          to proceed cautiously in doing so. “Yes, so it is,”
          rejoined Lady Hester: “I talk for half a day to you,
          wasting my breath and lungs, and there you sit like a
          stock or a stone――no understanding, no conviction!”

     [31] The korbàsh is a thong of the raw hide of the buffalo
          or rhinoceros, about the length of a hand-whip, and
          cut tapering in a similar form. In the hand of a
          powerful flagellant it becomes an instrument of great

     [32] There is a strong resemblance between Lady Hester’s
          character of the Duke of Wellington and that of
          Frederick the Great of Prussia: for see what Lord
          Malmesbury says of the latter, in his _Diaries and
          Correspondence_, vol. i., p. 8:――

          “His _fort_ is not so much his courage, nor what we
          generally understand by conduct; but it consists in a
          surprising discernment, in the day of battle, how to
          gain the most advantageous ground, where to place the
          proper sort of arms, whether horse or foot, and in the
          quickest _coup d’œil_ to distinguish the weak part of
          the enemy.”

     [33] Several lines are here wanting, owing to a half sheet
          of paper having been lost in the confusion created
          by fumigating papers in quarantine. They were highly
          complimentary to his grace, and their omission is to
          be regretted.

                               CHAPTER IX.

Lady Hester in an alcove in her garden――Lucky days observed by
her――Consuls’ rights――Mischief caused by Sir F. B.’s neglect in
answering Lady Hester’s Letters――Rashes common in Syria――Visit of an
unknown Englishman――Story of Hanah Messâad――Lady Hester’s love of
truth――Report of her death――Michael Tutungi――Visit from the Chevalier
Guys――His reception at Dayr el Mkhallas――Punishment of the shepherd,
Câasem――Holyday of the Korbàn Byràm――Fatôon’s _accouchement_――Lady
Hester’s aversion to consular interference――Evenings at Jôon――Old

Friday, February 16, 1838.――About two in the afternoon, on going to
pay my visit to Lady Hester Stanhope, I proceeded to her bed-room,
thinking, as usual, to find her there, but was told by her maids she
was gone into the garden. The day was overcast, and there was every
appearance of rain. I found her standing in one of the garden-walks,
leaning on her stick (such as those which elderly ladies were
accustomed formerly to use in England, and perhaps may now), and pale
as a ghost. “Doctor,” said she, “I have got out of my room that those
beasts may clean it? but, if you don’t go to them, they’ll steal
everything.” After expressing my fears that she had chosen a bad day
to come out, I left her. I saw her room put into as much order as the
confusion in it would admit of. It was crowded with bundles one upon
another, as before, which she dared not put into any other part of the
house, lest they should be stolen.

Independent of her desire to be more clean and comfortable, I guessed
at once why she had left her bed-room to go into the garden. It was
the struggle which the sick often make――the resolution of an unsubdued
spirit, that finds corporeal ailments weighing down the body, whilst
the mind is yet unsubdued. It was Friday too, the day in all the week
she held as most auspicious.

When I returned into the garden, I found her lying on a sofa, in a
beautiful alcove, one of three or four that embellished her garden,
and an attendant standing with his hands folded across his breast, in
an attitude of respect before her. At these moments, she always wore
the air of a Sultaness. In this very alcove, how often had she acted
the queen, issued her orders, summoned delinquents before her, and
enjoyed the semblance of that absolute power, which was the latent
ambition of her heart! Hence it was that she at last got rid of all
European servants, because they would not submit to arbitrary
punishments, but would persist in raising their voices in
self-justification. With the Turks it was not so. Accustomed, in the
courts of governors and Pashas, to implicit obedience and submission,
they resigned themselves to her rule as a matter of course. In
transferring, however, their servility to her, as their mistress, they
also transferred the vices and dangers which servility engenders:
namely, lying, theft, sycophancy, intrigue, and treachery.

Saturday, February 17.――During the whole of this day I did not see
Lady Hester, and I was not sorry for it. Her thoughts were now
constantly running on the inexplicable silence of Sir Francis Burdett.
“He is a man of honour,” she would say. “I suppose he has to write to
Ireland, and to the right and left about my property; or perhaps they
have got hold of him, too;――who knows? I am sure something must have
happened.” As each succeeding steamboat arrived, a messenger was sent
to Beyrout, but still no answer. Then she reflected what she should
do, if Sir Francis at last should furnish her with proofs that no
property had been left her:――beggary stared her in the face. In the
mean time she had no means of raising a single farthing before the
first of March, when she could draw for £300. But of this sum £200
were due to Mr. Dromacaiti, a Greek merchant at Beyrout, who had lent
her money at an exorbitant interest, but on her word, and this,
therefore, she would pay, I knew, if possible. During all this time,
my family remained in almost total ignorance of what was going on
within Lady Hester’s walls as much as if they had been living in
China. I was also, as I have said above, obliged to conceal, in a
great measure, her illness from them. They rode and walked out on the
mountains, fed their bulbuls, enjoyed the fine climate, and wondered
what made me look so thin and careworn: for thought and care preyed on
my spirits, and I wasted away almost as perceptibly as Lady Hester

Sunday, February 18.――To-day Lady Hester was sitting up in the corner
of her bed-room. Her look was deadly pale, and her head was wrapped up
in flannels, just like her grandfather the last day he appeared in the
House of Lords. Without intending it, everything she did bore a
resemblance to that great man.

Ali had returned from Beyrout without a letter. “Did Ali Hayshem,” she
asked me, “set off at sunrise on Friday? I am glad he did. Do you
know, I once sent Butrus to Beyrout to fetch money; and I said to him,
‘If you get in on Monday night, don’t come away on Tuesday or
Wednesday; for those are unlucky days; loiter away those two days, and
be here on Thursday night. However, he paid no attention to my
instructions, and on Wednesday evening he made his appearance. ‘Why
did you come before Thursday?’ I asked him. He answered, ‘That the bag
of money having been delivered to him, he had brought it immediately,
and you see, Mylady, here it is: nobody, thank God! has robbed
me.’――‘That does not signify,’ I told him; ‘you will see there is no
_bereky_ [blessing] in it.’ Do you know, doctor, I paid the people’s
wages immediately, and it was well I did; for some ten or twelve
thousand piasters, chest and all, disappeared the next day. ‘There,
look!’ said I to him; ‘I told you that money never would turn to

The conversation reverted to Colonel Campbell’s letter. “I have told
the secretary,” said she, “to tell his father, that, if he dares make
his appearance here again, I’ll send a bullet through his body. Not
one of them shall lay their vile hands on me or mine. I have strength
enough to strangle him, and I would do it, though it should cost me my
life. As for Mr. Moore, he may perhaps have a _habeas corpus_ by him;
but it is good for twenty-four hours only, and I should know how to
manage. Consuls have no right over nobility; they may have over
merchants, and such people: but they never shall come near me, and I
would shoot the first that dared to do it. The English are a set of
intermeddling, nasty, vulgar, odious people, and I hate them all. The
very Turks laugh at them. Out of ridicule, they told one, if he was so
clever, to straiten a dog’s tail. Yes, he might straiten and straiten,
but it would soon bend again; and they may bend me and bend me, if
they can, but I fancy they will find it a difficult matter: for you
may tell them that, when I have made up my mind to a thing, no earthly
being can alter my determination. If they want a devil, let them try
me, and they shall have enough of it.

“When the steamboat came, and brought no letter to-day from Sir
Francis Burdett, you thought I should be ill on receiving the news:
but I am not a fool. I suppose he is occupied with his daughter’s
legacy, or with parliamentary business.”

I had received a letter from a lady, which I had occasion to read to
her. When I had done, and she had expressed her thanks for the
flower-seeds sent her, she added, “What I do not like in Mrs. U.’s
letter is that foolish way of making a preamble about her not liking
to leave so much white paper in all its purity, and all those turns
and phrases which people use. That was very well for a Swift or a
Pope, who, having promised to write to somebody once a fortnight, and
having nothing to say, made a great number of points to fill up the
paper; but a letter that has matter in it should be written with a
distinct narration of the business, and that’s all. Do you think such
people as Mr. Pitt or Lord Chatham, my grandfather, liked those
nonsensical phrases? No, they threw the letter aside, or else cast
their eyes over it to see if, on the other page, there was anything to
answer about.”

February 19.――I was riding this morning with my family beyond the
village, which is separated by a deep valley from Lady Hester’s
residence, when I saw two servants on the verge of the opposite hill,
vociferating――“Come directly, come instantly!” and waving their white
turbans. I reflected that, if I put my horse into a gallop, the people
of the village would immediately conclude that Lady Hester was dying;
and the news (as news always gains by distance) would be the next day
at Sayda that she was dead: I therefore continued the same pace; and,
although the servants redoubled their signs and cries, I steadily
retraced my steps. When I had dismounted, I was told her ladyship was
in a deplorable way, unlike any thing they had ever seen. I hurried to
her bed-room. She was sitting on the side of her bed, weeping and
uttering those extraordinary cries, which I have before compared to
something hardly human. She clasped her hands and exclaimed
repeatedly, “Oh God! oh, God! what misery! what misery!” When she was
a little calmed, and I could collect from her what was the matter, she
told me that, having fallen into a doze, she awoke with a sense of
suffocation from tightness across her chest, and, being unable to ring
or call, she thought she should have died: “thus,” said she, “am I
treated like a dog, with nobody to administer to my wants;” and so she
went on in the usual strain. I was suffering at this time from the
nettlerash, but treated it lightly, and thought Lady Hester would do
so too: until, having unluckily alluded to it, a fresh source of
uneasiness was inadvertently started. “Good God, doctor!” she cried,
“to come out of doors with a nettlerash on you! go to your house
immediately; get to bed, keep yourself warm, and remain there until it
is cured. After four or five days, take such and such things; then go
to the bath, then take some bark, &c., &c. How many persons have I
known go mad and die from it! You treat it as nothing? why, you will
drive me crazy. In God’s name, never mind _me_; only go and take care
of yourself. You will act in your own usual inconsiderate manner, and
I shall have to bury another in this house. Oh, God! oh, God! what am
I doomed to!” and then followed fresh cries and fresh lamentations.

Could Sir Francis Burdett have seen all this, and have known that five
words of a letter, sent a month or two sooner, in answer to her
inquiries about the property she thought was left her, would have
probably saved all this excitement, he would have found reason to
reproach himself for his long silence. I knew the workings of her mind
full well, and that her proud spirit, wounded by the general neglect
she met with, vented itself in tears, seemingly, for other causes than
the real ones. I recollected a succession of similar scenes about
twenty years before at Mar Elias, when she was expecting letters from
the Duke of Buckingham; but then she was sounder in bodily health, and
could better bear such convulsive paroxysms of grief: now, she was
labouring under pulmonary disease, was old, was in distress, and the
consequences might prove fatal.

I left her before dinner. “Good by, doctor!” she said, in a kind tone:
“I cannot tell you how much I am obliged to you for everything you do
for me; and send me a servant twice a day to let me know how you are.
I shall be uneasy about you: I can’t help it: from my childhood I have
been so. How many times in my life have I spent days and days in
trying to make others comfortable! I have been the slave of others,
and never got any thanks for it.”

I went to my house, collected all the money that remained, which was
about eleven pounds, and sent it to her to meet the current expenses
of the household: for so she wished, that I might not be annoyed, she
said, and have the rash driven in on my brain.

I experienced no ill effects from the nettlerash. Few persons, new to
the climate of Syria, escape a rash of some description, sometimes
pustular, sometimes miliary, but most frequently in the form called
prickly heat, which generally attacks them in summer or autumn, and is
truly distressing by the pricking sensation it produces on the skin,
as if thousands of needle-points were penetrating the cuticle. Little
is required in such cases but cool diet, fruit, and diluents. I
performed my quarantine of four days, in compliance with Lady Hester’s
wishes, and then returned to my customary mode of life.

Saturday, February 24.――As I had anticipated, a report had become very
general in Beyrout and in the Mountain that Lady Hester was dead, and
I received a letter from M. Guys acquainting me with it. This report
was confirmed by an English gentleman, who presented himself at my
gate this day after breakfast. I was carpentering at the time, and
went down the yard to him with my hatchet and chisel in my hand. He
seemed not to know what to make of me, dressed as I was in Turkish
clothes, with a beard, and with my sleeves turned up like a mechanic.
He held out a letter to me, addressed in a fair hand to Lady Hester: I
told him this was not her gate, and that a little beyond he would find
it. He said he had heard she was dead: I assured him that was not the
case, but that she was greatly indisposed. I regretted to myself that
I could not ask him in, or enter into conversation with him; but Lady
Hester had exacted from me a solemn promise that I never would hold
any parley with English travellers, until I had first conferred with
her on the subject, and had described them, so that she might obtain
the necessary indications to enable her to guess what their business
was, or until she had read their letter of introduction, if they bore
one. So he quitted me, first asking whether I was an Englishman; to
which I answered that I left him to judge. He appeared to be about
twenty-one years of age: he had with him for his servant a Ragusan,
whom my servant knew, and who, he assured me, was a drunken reprobate.
Short as the stop at the gate was, the Ragusan found time to tell the
other that he had famous wages: I think it was eight dollars a month.
Now I gave mine, who was also a European, four, which was considered
good pay, the rate being, in Lady Hester’s house, from one to three.
Europeans, however, always get more than people of the country, and
have more wants to satisfy. How many travellers are obliged, on their
landing in these countries, to take fellows into their service without
a character, outcasts of society, and who in England would hardly be
allowed to see the outside of a gaol!

Of this English gentleman Lady Hester never spoke to me, nor did she
ever even allude to his visit: he did not see her, and, I presume,
continued his road; but, if these pages ever meet his eye, he may be
assured that he would have met with a hospitable reception, had she
been well enough to receive him, or had I been at liberty to entertain

Whilst at dinner, a servant came to say Lady Hester would be glad to
see me in the evening. I found her weak and wan: her cheeks were
sunken, and her voice was less distinct than usual; for never was
there a person who spoke generally with so clear an enunciation.
Logmagi was with her. Instead of receiving her welcome, and those
obliging expressions which she usually employed even after the most
trifling ailment, she addressed me harshly, and seemed to take pains
to mortify me by using slighting expressions in Arabic that Logmagi
might understand what she said. The theme of her conversation was the
debasement of men who suffered themselves to be controlled by their
wives. Although to mortify people was one of her constant practices
through life, whether in action, correspondence, or conversation, yet
it never was done to gratify any malignant feelings of her own, but
from a fearless disregard of the conventional rules of civilized
society, where she hoped to rescue an individual from debasement, or
counteract the machinations of designing and wicked men. On this
principle it is true, likewise, that she would deliberately inflict
those incurable insults which cover a man with a sort of shame for
life; as may be shown, for example, by the case of Mr. Hanah Messâad,
the son of the British agent at Beyrout, one of whose whiskers and
eyebrows was shaved off before the whole village, for having made an
assertion then supposed to be false, but which was afterwards, by her
own confession to me, admitted to be true.

Hanah, or John Messâad, a handsome young man, a native of Beyrout, and
the son of a former English vice-consul, was interpreter and secretary
to Lady Hester for some time, and her ladyship has since bestowed
great praise, in my presence, on his capacity, usefulness, and
knowledge of languages. There was in her service also Michael Tutungi,
son of an Armenian, who had been under-dragoman, as I understood, to
the English embassy at Constantinople. Messâad, it was thought, was
jealous of Michael.

It was reported in the family that Michael had been seen under a tree
in very close conversation with a peasant girl, and the report was
traced to Messâad. Now, the Emir Beshýr affected, or really felt, a
great horror of all licentiousness, and never failed to bastinado
severely every man detected, in his principality, in any such conduct.
Lady Hester knew what imputations might be cast on her establishment,
if such things were left unnoticed; and, fearing that Messâad’s
intrigues (of which she thought this report but a link) might injure
Michael’s character, and destroy his prospects of getting a place in
the English embassy at Constantinople, to which he had some
pretensions from his father’s services, she resolved to save him by
making a signal example of Messâad.

She, therefore, ordered all the villagers from Jôon to be assembled on
the green in front of her house, and sent for Mustafa, the barber,
from Sayda, with two or three other tradesmen to be witnesses. Seating
herself on a temporary divan, with all the assembly in a circle around
her, not a soul dreaming what was going to take place, and Michael and
Messâad standing in respectful attitudes, with their arms crossed, and
covered, down to the fingers’ ends,[34] with their benyshes, by her
side, she began: “That young man,” said she, pointing to Michael, “is
accused of irregularities with” (here she mentioned the girl’s name,
and the place and time of the meeting). “Now, if any one of you knows
him to have been guilty of similar actions, or if, from his general
conduct, under similar circumstances, any one of you thinks the thing
probable, speak out, for I wish to do justice. Messâad is his accuser:
they are both my people, and equally entitled to impartiality.” As
nobody answered, she appealed to them all again, and all replied they
did not believe it.

She then turned to Messâad, and said: “Sir, you have accused this
young man, who is about to be launched into the world, and has only
his good name to help him on, of abominable things: where are your
witnesses?” Messâad, frightened out of his senses, replied, “that he
had no witnesses; that he had seen, with his own eyes, what he had
asserted, and, therefore, knew it to be so: but, as he was alone, it
must rest on his own word.” Her ladyship told him his word would not
do against the concurring testimony of all the servants, and of a
whole village; and she added, in a judge-like tone, “As your mouth and
your eye have offended, the stigma shall remain on them. Servants,
seize and hold him; and, barber, shave off one side of his mustachios
and one eyebrow.”

This was done. Michael was kept about a month or two, in order that
the protection he enjoyed might seal his unblemished reputation, and
then was packed off to Constantinople. “Thus,” said Lady Hester, “I
saved a young man from destruction. Messâad has now a good place under
the Sardinian consul at Beyrout; his eyebrows and mustachios are grown
again; he has married, and has a family; and I dare say the Sardinian
consul, if he knows anything of the story, thinks not a bit the worse
of him.”

The above are the words in which Lady Hester, on the 20th of January,
1831, related this singular punishment, inflicted with the best
intentions on poor Messâad. One evening, in 1837, when writing a
letter to the same Messâad, for certain commissions which he had to
execute for her ladyship, who was in the habit of employing him to buy
pipes, cloth, and sundry other articles found in the shops at Beyrout,
she spoke to me as follows. “You know, doctor, all that affair about
Michael and Messâad, and how I had one side of his face shaved. Well,
I found out afterwards that what Messâad had said was every bit of it
true. I have made it up to him since as well as I could: he does not
want abilities, and kept my house in excellent order whilst he was
with me.”

But this was not the first time Lady Hester had resorted to this
singular mode of punishment; some years before, a chastisement for
similar frailties, not unlike that which Messâad underwent, as far as
regarded the eyebrows, fell to the lot of a peasant girl in her
ladyship’s service at a village called Mushmôoshy. This was in the
year 1813. How fallible are the most clearsighted persons is the only
comment which can be made on such unintentional errors!

For those who were not exempt from the common weaknesses of our nature
she was a dangerous person to hold intercourse with. “Live at a
distance from my lady,” General Loustaunau used to say to Mrs. M.
(when she wanted to remove from Mar Elias to Dar Jôon, in order to be
near me); “live at a distance, or you will find, to your cost, that
her neighbourhood is a hell.” But be it said, to her honour, that it
was from an unfeigned horror of everything mean, dishonest, or
vicious, she so resolutely refused to keep terms with people who
suffered themselves to be led into the commission of such acts; and
her indignation descended with equal impartiality on friends and foes
when they happened to deserve it. Her disposition to utter the truth,
whether painful or disagreeable, overruled all other considerations.

Few people conversed with her, or received a letter from her, without
being sensible of some expression or innuendo, which they were obliged
to treat as a joke at the moment, but which was sure to leave its
sting behind. Of upwards of a hundred letters which I have penned for
her at her dictation to correspondents of every rank in life, there
were few which did not contain some touch of merited sarcasm or
reproof; except those which were expressly written to alleviate
distress, or encourage the hopeful efforts of modest worth. Never was
there so inflexible a judge, or one who would do what she thought
right, come what would of it. _Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum_, might have
been written on her escutcheon.

Sunday, February 25.――Having recovered her tranquillity, she was
to-day all kindness. I mentioned to her the report rife in Beyrout
respecting her death, as M. Guys had written it. She observed on it,
“If I do die, those consuls, thank God, can have nothing to do with
me! I am no English subject, and they have no right to seal up my
effects. Why do I keep some of my servants, although I know them to be
desperate rascals, but because they have one or two qualities useful
to me? It would not do for every one to run the risk, but it will for
me, who know how to manage them. For example: I have got two that I
can depend upon for shooting a man, or giving a consul a good blow, if
he dares to set his foot within my doors, so as to prevent his ever
coming again; and such are what I want just now.”

She turned over in her mind how she could raise a little money, and
bethought herself of Mr. Michael Tutungi, the Armenian, of
Constantinople, who had formerly served her in the capacity of
dragoman. To him she had written in 1836, offering him the same
situation he had held before, and, on his promise to come, had
forwarded to him 500 dollars for the expenses of his journey and for
some commissions: but he subsequently declined the engagement, neither
had he executed the commissions. She therefore desired me to draw a
bill on him, payable to M. Guys’s order, and to request M. Guys to
discount it; for, during my nettlerash, Lady Hester had given away the
greatest part of the 1,190 piasters to a family ruined by the
earthquake. It was in vain to represent to her that she was in want of
the money herself: “I can’t help it,” she would say; “I am not
mistress of myself on such occasions.”

Tuesday, February 27.――Lady Hester got up, went into her garden, and
felt better. She had at last found out that repletion, arising even
from what would be called small quantities of food and drink in
health, was very injurious in sickness; and she had grown more
moderate in her diet, not swallowing one liquid upon another, nor
eating four or five times a day. Honey and butter mixed was now what
she derived most benefit from, and spermaceti linctuses. The moment
she found anything soothed her cough, she immediately sent off an
order to Beyrout for an immense quantity of it, or to Europe, if at
Beyrout it was not to be had: she was never satisfied that her
medicine-chest was full enough. It will hardly be credited that of
Epsom salts she had a cask full, of the size of a firkin. She
masticated aniseeds as a remedy against dyspepsia, and smoked them
sprinkled on the tobacco of her pipe: of course, they were very
injurious to her, but it was idle to remonstrate.

February 29.――Lady Hester’s first topic of conversation to-day was her
maids. “What a _hywán_ [beast] is that _Sâady_!” she said: “when she
awakes in the morning, she crawls on all-fours exactly like an animal.
I am convinced she is nothing more: her back is only fit to carry a
pair of panniers.” I agreed with her ladyship, and told her what I had
seen her do the day before. With one springing lift she raised from
the floor to her head a circular _mankàl_ or chafingdish, two feet in
diameter, and piled up with live coals――and, without holding it, but
merely balancing it on her head, she stooped perpendicularly, and
seized with her two hands another mankàl of baked earth of equal size,
filled with live coals also, and, lifting it, carried them both at
once into the drawing-room to warm the apartment. These are the feats
of dexterity and strength in which Syrian women excel, and in which
they far surpass all European maids.

March 1.――Monsieur Henry Guys, the French consul, having been advanced
to the superior situation of Aleppo, and being about to quit our part
of the country, arrived unexpectedly at Jôon to take his leave. It was
Tuesday, and just after sunset, when he entered the gate. Lady Hester
had, about a quarter of an hour before, hurried me away from her, as
the sun was going to set, and it would have been unlucky, had I left
her a minute after the sun was down. “I shall not see you to-morrow,”
said she, “as it will be Wednesday:” therefore, when she was told that
Monsieur Guys was come, it discomposed her very much, and she sent
word that, whatever his business was, she could not see him until
after sunset next day.

As M. Guys was thus transferred to me for twenty-four hours, I took
the opportunity of letting him know how disquieted I felt at having
such great responsibility on my shoulders, whilst Lady Hester was so
ill, and surrounded by a set of servants whom I considered as so many

My position was extremely uncomfortable. Should Lady Hester die, I
foresaw that I should be exposed, alone as I was, to many difficulties
and dangers. The Druze insurrection afforded every facility to an
assassin or robber for putting himself beyond the reach of justice:
since, in about five or six hours, he could find a sure refuge from
capture. He revived my spirits by assuring me I need be under no
alarm. “All of them are known,” said he, “and have their families and
relations hereabouts: that one circumstance must always be a check
upon them. If they were not natives of the province, then I should
say you were not safe among them. As for Lady Hester, you know her
determined character――if she is resolved to keep them, you cannot help
it. There is one,” added he, “whom I could wish not to be here; I
thought him gone a year ago:” this was the one whom Lady Hester relied
on for sending a bullet through the consul’s body.

There is a large stone edifice of great extent, distant about
three-quarters of a mile, as the crow flies, from the village of Jôon,
more like a fortress than the peaceable habitation of cenobites. It is
the monastery of _Dayr el Mkhallas_, or the Saviour, and contains
about fifty friars of the Greek Catholic church, which repudiates the
pope, recognizing as its spiritual head its own patriarch. M. Guys
enjoyed the unlimited confidence of these people as the well-tried and
efficient friend of the Catholic church throughout Syria; and it was
no sooner known that he was in the neighbourhood, than the superior of
the monastery gave him to understand that a visit from him would be
received as a great honour by the monks. M. Guys devoted the morning
to this gratifying object, and his reception was in the highest degree
flattering. When he arrived at the foot of the Mount, on the summit of
which the monastery stands, he was saluted by a merry chime of
church-bells, and then the whole body of the friars, with the cross
borne before them, came out in procession to meet him. The greatest
ceremony was observed on the occasion, and sherbet, coffee, pipes,
aspersion of rose-water, and homage, were lavished on him, not less in
the hope of securing a continuation of his good offices, than as
expressive of gratitude for past kindnesses: for no man holding
official rank in Syria has ever enjoyed more popularity, or obtained
more general consideration, than the Chevalier Guys. Descended from an
ancient family of Provence, in which the consular rank may be almost
said to have become hereditary, the Levant saw, at the beginning of
the present century, the rare occurrence of three brothers holding
consulships at the same time.

After dinner, M. Guys was summoned by Lady Hester Stanhope, and I
availed myself of the opportunity it afforded me of remaining at home
for the evening. The next morning he departed before I was up; but,
being anxious to ascertain his opinions of Lady Hester’s situation, I
mounted my horse, and, by taking a short but somewhat dangerous path
down the mountains, I overtook him. Nothing particular, however, had
transpired in their conversation, which lasted for four hours; but he
told me that he was shocked to find her so much altered, and that he
had never heard such a hollow sepulchral cough. He added that,
frequently during the time he was with her, she fell back on the sofa
from exhaustion. She spoke, too, a good deal, and in rather an odd
way, of extraordinary sights she had seen, of two apparitions that had
appeared to her, and of serpents near Tarsûs, which go in troops
devouring all before them, and with a tone of conviction as if she
believed it all. “What does it mean,” he asked me――“and why do you let
her smoke so much?”

March 2.――Lady Hester was now getting better slowly, but, as usual,
her strength no sooner began to return than it brought out all the
unmanageable points of her character in full relief. Something
happened in the house which ruffled her, and produced a discussion
between us, I hardly know how; but it ended by her calling me a
crabbed old fool: upon which I observed, that I never heard such
expressions from the lips of ladies before. This set her off upon her
inexhaustible theme of fearless speaking. “If you were a duke,” said
she, “I would use exactly the same expressions.”――“Your ladyship’s
talents,” I ventured to observe again, “are inexpressibly great, but,
without questioning that, I only lament the intemperate use of them.”
Taking up this observation, she dwelt at great length upon the
“sweetness of her temper,” and I made my peace at last, by saying that
a physician should be the last person to complain of the irritability
of his patients. Apophthegms of this submissive character were never
lost upon her, provided they were true, as well as apologetic; so
pipes were ordered, and we entered into an armistice for the rest of
the evening.

A curious but characteristic incident occurred about this time. In the
ravines of the mountains, where the few living creatures that are to
be found may be supposed to be drawn into closer communion by a common
sense of loneliness, a shepherd named Câasem, who was nearly fifty
years old, formed a _liaison_ with a village girl, whose occupation
consisted in leading a cow about in the solitary green nooks where any
scanty herbage was to be secured. The circumstance reached Lady
Hester’s ears before it was known to anybody else, and she immediately
ordered the man to be flogged at break of day, with instructions that
nobody should tell him why or wherefore. “He will know what it is
for,” she exclaimed; then turning reproachfully to Logmagi, to whom
the execution of the order was entrusted, she added:――“How is it you
leave me to be the first to discover these disgraceful acts, giving
the Emir Beshýr an excuse to say that I encourage depravity in my
servants, when it is your duty to know everything that passes about my
premises?” Logmagi went, gave the shepherd a beating, and sent him
about his business. Lady Hester used to justify severities of this
description on the ground that it prevented the recurrence of similar
licentiousness, and “kept the fellows in order.”

March 5.――This being the vigil of the _Korbàn Byràm_, or the Mahometan
Easter, which is their great holyday, Lady Hester, who had previously
given her orders to a person who had some reputation as a pastrycook,
despatched at twelve at night three servants, each with a _sennýah_,
or round tray, on which they were to bring back from Sayda by daylight
the _baklâawy_, _mamool_, and _karýby_, three delicious sorts of sweet
cakes, which are scarcely exceeded in delicacy by the choicest pastry
of Europe.

At noon, the servants, dressed in all their new finery, sat down to a
copious dinner composed of the most luxurious Eastern dishes. But
there was no wine; for, whatever transgressions these people may
commit in that way in private, they never touch wine in public.
Logmagi and some others were known not to be much troubled with such
scruples, when they could indulge themselves in secret: but Logmagi
always excused himself on the score of being a Freemason, which is
held in Turkey to be equivalent to a jovial fellow who does not care
much what he does. The women, also, had their own feast, and a piece
of gold the value of twenty piasters was presented to each of the
servants. The day was literally abandoned to pleasure; but what a
contrast do the sober manners of Mahometans form to those of
Europeans? Gambling and noisy revels are out of the question in the
tranquil and easy delights in this simple race. Dancing is generally
confined to the boys, or to some buffoon who gets up and wriggles
about to the music of a small tambourine, beaten with a single stick
and producing a dull sound, which they consider musical, and which
habit renders not disagreeable even to European ears. Every man smokes
his pipe; and a good story-teller (for such a one is rarely wanting in
a party of a dozen,) relates some traditionary tale, which absorbs for
the time all the faculties of his hearers. The cook was one of this
sort, a Christian of the village of Abra, a shrewd fellow, who went by
the name of _Dyk_, or the Cock, from his rather strutting air, or from
the vigorous exercise of his authority over his wife, whom he beat
every now and then to keep her in proper discipline――a redeeming
quality in the eyes of Lady Hester, who otherwise would have dismissed
him from her service.

Lady Hester’s astrological powers were put to a practical test to-day.
Fatôom, one of her maid servants, whose name has frequently occurred
in these pages, required my medical services, under the following
circumstances. About six years before, having, in league with Zeyneb,
a black girl, and some men of the village, robbed her mistress of
several valuable effects, she was turned away: but, upon exhibiting
great repentance, she was taken back again. Lady Hester found no
difficulty, as may be supposed, in extracting from her a confession of
the system of plunder that had been carried on, and the names of her
accomplices. “I could hang them all,” was her constant expression in
speaking of them. Fatôom had been in her ladyship’s service ten or
eleven years, and was not yet twenty; and, being very pretty, and
decked out in the finery to which she was enabled to help herself by
her share of the plunder, she had vanity enough, when she was turned
away, to hope that she should get at least an aga for a husband: but
she was disappointed, and was obliged to put up with a small farmer.
She consequently came back a married woman, in poor plight as to
circumstances, with the prospect of having her difficulties aggravated
by a speedy increase to her cares. On this day, 5th March, Fatôom
complained of pains. There was not a moment to be lost: the midwife
was instantly sent for; Fatôom was hurried away to her mother’s in the
village, and, before the expiration of a quarter of an hour, she gave
birth to a boy.

As soon as Lady Hester learned the result, she requested me to go and
see her. I found Fatôom sitting on a mattress on the floor (for nobody
in the East has a bedstead) with from fifteen to twenty women squatted
around her, the midwife supporting her back, and the child lying by
her, covered with a corner of the quilt. Fatôom, very yellow, looked
as if she had been in a great fright, and was astonished there was so
little in it. After feeling her pulse, and delivering to her mother a
basket of good things, such as lump sugar, six or eight sorts of
spices, &c., with which it is customary to make the caudle upon these
occasions, as also a new counterpane, and two silk pillows, for her
lying-in present, I took a glance at the village gossips. There they
were, holding forth much in the same way as the peasantry in other
countries, with this difference, that here my presence was no
restraint, and the minutest details of the recent event were discussed
with as little reserve as if they had been talking of the ordinary
incidents of the day.

Having returned to Lady Hester with an account of what I had seen, she
immediately set about casting the infant’s nativity, first
ascertaining accurately the hour at which he was born――a quarter
before two. “He will have,” said she, “arched eyebrows, rolling eyes,
and a nose so and so: he will be a devil, violent in his passions, but
soon pacified: his fingers will be long and taper, without being
skinny and bony:” and thus she went on, in a manner so impressed with
faith and earnestness, that it is not to be wondered at how persons of
good judgment have lent their ears to astrologers, where the study has
been fortified by a previous knowledge of man, his temperaments, and
the innate and external characteristics of passions, of virtue, and of
vice. She gave him the name of Selim, and sent word to say his star
agreed with hers very well. This was good news for Fatôom, as it was
equivalent to Lady Hester’s taking charge of the infant.

The cradle had already been prepared: it was of wood, painted green,
something like a trough, and perforated at the bottom, as is usual in
the East. A tube of wood with a bowl to it, exactly of the form of a
tobacco-pipe, is tied to the child’s waist, a rude but ingenious
contrivance to save trouble to the nurse, the bowl serving as the
immediate recipient, and the tube passing through the side of the

March 7.――This being Wednesday, Lady Hester, as usual, was invisible.
What she did on these mysterious days I never heard: for a person
once away from her might as well divine how the man in the moon was
employed as guess how she was passing her time.

Thursday, March 8.――I saw Lady Hester about four o’clock: she was in a
very irritable state: she complained bitterly, as usual, of her
servants――of their neglect, ignorance, and heartlessness: she said she
would rather be surrounded by robbers; for there is some principle
amongst thieves. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “that I could find one human
being who knew his Creator!”

She went on:――“I have had a very bad night, and whether I shall live
or die, I don’t know: but this I tell you beforehand, that, if I do
die, I wish to be buried, like a dog, in a bit of earth just big
enough to hold this miserable skin, or else to be burnt, or thrown
into the sea. And, as I am no longer an English subject, no consuls,
nor any English of any sort, shall approach me in my last moments;
for, if they do, I will have them shot. Therefore, the day before I
die, if I know it, I shall order you away, and not only you, but
everything English; and if you don’t go, I warn you beforehand, you
must take the consequences. Let me be scorched by the burning
sun[36]――frozen by the cold blast――let my ashes fly in the air――let
the wolves and jackals devour my carcase;――let”――here the agitation
she was in, and which had kept increasing, brought on a severe fit of
coughing, and it was a quarter of an hour before she could recover
strength enough to speak again. Her exhaustion reduced her to a little

After dinner I saw her again, but now her irritability had passed
away. “Take your chair,” said she, “here by the bed――turn your back to
the window to save your poor eyes from the light――never mind me:
there――I am afraid I have overworked them by so much writing. But I
know, if you did not write for me, you would be writing or reading for
yourself: you are just like my sister Griselda.”

She went on:――“You are angry with me, I dare say, because I told you I
would not have you near me when I am dying: but I suppose I may do as
I please. No English consul shall touch me or my effects: no: when I
was going, sooner than that, I will call in all the thieves and
robbers I can find, and set them to plunder and destroy everything.
But I shall not die so:――I shall die as St. Elias and Isaac did; and,
before that, I shall have to wade through blood up to here” (and she
drew her hand across her neck), “nor will a spark of commiseration
move me. The _bab el tobi_ [gate of pardon] will then be shut; for
neither king, nor priest, nor peasant, shall enter when that hour
comes. You and others will then repent of not having listened to my

Saturday, March 10.――Let us take this night as a sample of many
others, to show sometimes what was doing in a solitary residence on
Mount Lebanon, in which the vivid fancies of European writers had
conjured up an imaginary mode of existence wholly different from the
sad reality. From eight o’clock at night until one in the morning,
Lady Hester Stanhope had kept the house in commotion, upon matters
which would seem so foreign to her rank, her fortune, and her supposed
occupations, that, when enumerated, they will hardly be believed.
First, there was a deliberation of half an hour to decide whether it
would be best to send the mules on the next day or the day after for
wheat: then several servants were to be questioned, one after another,
in order to compare their conflicting testimony, whether her fields of
barley had come up, and how high, and what crops they promised; next,
whether the oranges, now fit to be gathered, should be put under the
gardener’s care, or into a store-room in the house. Then ensued a
conversation with me, whether Fatôom was not playing some deep game in
pretending to be separated from her husband; and so on, with a score
of other topics equally unimportant, but with all of which she worried
herself so effectively, that it seemed as if she wilfully sought
refuge in such petty annoyances, for the sake of escaping from secret
heart-burnings, which she did not choose to betray. In this way she
had the secretary called up twice from his bed, and the bailiff once,
keeping the rest of the servants in continual motion, whilst I was
obliged, in civility, to sit and listen to it all.

Old Pierre had been sent for from Dayr el Kamar. As a person who
figures occasionally in these domestic scenes, I must make the reader
a little acquainted with his history. In the year 1812, when Lady
Hester was travelling from Jerusalem along the coast towards Damascus,
we reached Dayr el Kamar, where Pierre came and offered himself to me
as a servant. I took him; but his various talents as a cook, a guide,
and an interpreter, and most of all as an adventurer, who had an
extraordinary fund of anecdotes to relate, soon brought him into
notice with Lady Hester, and she asked him of me for her own service.
He accompanied us to Palmyra and through different parts of Syria,
resided with her at Latakia and Mar Elias, and remained in her service
many years. Having amassed a little money, he obtained permission to
retire to Dayr el Kamar, where he kept a cook’s-shop, or, if you will,
a tavern.

But Lady Hester never lost sight of him. From time to time, when any
traveller left her house to traverse Mount Lebanon, or to journey to
Damascus and Aleppo, or even to Palmyra, Pierre was recommended as
interpreter and guide, and, I understand, always discharged his duties
to the satisfaction of his employers. He is known to many Englishmen,
among the rest to the Rev. Mr. Way, who seems to have been very good
to him; and Pierre, on his side, retains a most grateful remembrance
of that gentleman’s bounty.

Pierre springs from a good family, by the name of Marquis or Marquise,
originally of Marseilles, and afterwards established as merchants in
Syria. When he was a boy, he accompanied an uncle to France, who took
him to Paris. The uncle wore the Levantine dress; and, having some
business to transact connected with government, was on one occasion
summoned to Versailles, where the court was. Chance or design threw
Pierre in the way of the king, Louis XVI., who talked to him about the
Levant, as did also Monsieur, afterwards Louis XVIII. Of this
conversation Pierre never failed to make considerable boast.

On his return to Syria, Pierre lived with his relations, until
Buonaparte laid siege to Acre, where his knowledge of the French
language recommended him to the notice of that general. He bore a
commission in his army; and, on the retreat of the French into Egypt,
accompanied them, and remained there until the final evacuation, when
he obtained a pension; but of which, he declared, he had never touched
a sou, in consequence of residing abroad.

Mons. Urbain, a contributor to the _Temps_, happening to meet with
Pierre when he was travelling in Syria, was so highly diverted with
his anecdotes, that, on his return to France, he wrote no less than
three _feuilletons_, or notices on _Le Vieux Pierre_; at least, so I
was informed by Monsieur Guys.

Pierre had been sent for by Lady Hester Stanhope, and she assigned him
a room close to the doors of her own quadrangle, that he might be
always within call. Pierre was a man exceedingly thin, with an
aquiline nose, and a steady eye, full of gasconade to be mistaken for
courage, wonderfully loquacious, and deeply imbued with all the mystic
doctrines that Lady Hester sometimes preached about. But Pierre’s
chief merit lay in his star, which, she assured me, was so propitious
to her, that it could calm her convulsions, and lay her to sleep, when
books, narcotics, and everything else failed.

Glancing in these desultory memorials from one person to another, I
may here mention, that one of the maids, named Sâady, incurred the
particular aversion of Lady Hester, just as strongly as Pierre was
favoured with her partiality. Poor Sâady never entered her presence
without being saluted by some epithet of disgust or opprobium: yet
Sâady worked from morning till night, and seldom got to bed until
three, four, or five o’clock in the morning. But Lady Hester insisted
on the necessity of treating her servants in this way for the purpose
of keeping them on the alert; and she would frequently quote her
grandfather’s example to prove how powerful particular aversions were
in people of exalted minds――such as hers and his. In this way she kept
herself in a state of constant irritation, as if she were determined
obstinately to oppose the inroads of disease by increased exertion,
exactly in proportion as her physical strength became more and more
weakened and reduced.

Monday, March 12.――Two servant boys were flogged by Logmagi for having
quitted the courtyard both at the same time, when one at least was
wanted to carry messages from the inner to the outer courts. These
punishments were inflicted by making the delinquent lie at his full
length flat on the ground, his head being held by one servant, and his
feet by another while the stripes were administered. My disposition
revolted at these whippings; although perhaps they were necessary, as
Lady Hester said. The servants would not have borne them, but that
they had in fact no choice, knowing well that they must either remain
and be flogged, or be sent to the Nizàm, where they would be flogged
twice as much, with the risk of being killed to boot.

Wednesday, March 14.――Lady Hester was in very low spirits this
evening, and, as night advanced, she had a paroxysm of grief, which
quite terrified me. With a ghastly and frenzied look, she kept crying
until my heart was rent with her wretchedness. When I left her for the
night, although she was somewhat composed, her image haunted me, even
when sleep had closed my eyes.


     [34] No dependant stands before his superior in the East
          without covering his hands with his robe or with the
          hanging sleeves customary among Orientals. In sitting,
          the feet and legs are likewise hidden; at least, so
          good-breeding requires, and persons alone who are on
          terms of familiarity would thrust them out, or let
          them hang pendent.

     [35] In the cottages of Mount Lebanon there are many things
          occurring daily which would greatly surprise an
          English practitioner. A luxation of the shoulder-joint
          in an infant, real or supposed, was cured, they told
          me, by taking the child by the wrist and swinging it
          round with its feet off the ground, until the bone got
          into place again. I assisted, for the second time, at
          the cure of a sore throat, in a man thirty-six years
          of age, who suffered a pocket-handkerchief to be drawn
          tightly round his neck until his face turned black
          and he was half strangled. The man declared the next
          day he was well, and the operator assured me it was a
          never-failing remedy.

     [36]    “Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
              Arbor æstivâ recreatur aurâ,” &c.

          Yet Lady Hester had never read Horace.

                                CHAPTER X.

Visit of Mr. Vesey Forster and Mr. Knox――Lady S. N.’s pension and Mr.
H.――Lady Hester undeservedly censured by English travellers――Mr. Anson
and Mr. Strangways――Mr. B. and Mr. C.――Captain Pechell――Captain
Yorke――Colonel Howard Vyse――Lord B.

Mr. Forster and Mr. Knox, two English gentlemen, came up to Jôon this
morning to pay a visit to Lady Hester. To my great surprise, I found
them seated at the porter’s lodge among the servants, who were
standing around them; a situation to which they accommodated
themselves with the good sense of men of the world. They had sent in a
message that two Franks were at the gate, having a letter for the Syt
Mylady, and were patiently awaiting the result.

I took the liberty of inquiring their names, and hastened to her
ladyship; whilst orders were given to conduct them immediately to the
strangers’ room. Lady Hester, who had got their letter in her hand,
told me one was a relation of Sir Augustus Forster, our ambassador at
Turin. “Go instantly to them,” said she, “for Sir Augustus is an old
friend of mine, and be particularly attentive to Mr. Forster――indeed,
to both of them. Tell them, I am very sorry I can’t see them; for,
when I get into conversation, I become animated, and then I feel the
effects of it afterwards; but assure them that they are welcome to
make their home of their present lodging for a couple of days or a
couple of hours, or as long as they like. Do they look gentlemanlike?”
she asked. “Ah!” continued she, “what a charm good-breeding gives to
mankind, and how odious vulgarity is after it! Only reflect! I, who
have been all my life accustomed to the most refined society, what I
must feel sometimes to have nothing to do but with beasts. But go, go!
and make them as comfortable as you can.”

They were in the strangers’ room, which stood in a small garden,
ornamented with a few rose-bushes, pomegranate and olive-trees, and
some flowering plants. It was a little enclosure, which had by no
means a disagreeable aspect, surrounded by a wall topped with prickly
thorn-bushes. Once inside this place, the new comer could know nothing
of what was passing without. Such were Lady Hester’s contrivances:
everything about her must wear an air of mystery.

I lost no time in conveying Lady Hester’s message to them, and, for
the short hour I enjoyed the pleasure of their conversation, had every
reason to rejoice in the opportunity of making their acquaintance. As
this visit of two travellers may serve as a specimen of what occurred,
with slight variations, on every similar occasion, when Englishmen
came to her house, who were little aware how much trouble their
unexpected arrival sometimes caused her, I shall detail what passed as
minutely as I can.

I had hardly paid my compliments to them, and inquired whether they
would take an English breakfast or something more solid, when a
message came from Lady Hester to say she wanted to see me for a
moment. This was always her way. The ruling passion of ordering what
was to be done and what was to be said on all occasions made her
impatient about things passing out of her sight.

“Well, doctor,” cried Lady Hester, “what age do they appear to be, and
where do they come from?” Having satisfied her on the first head, I
told her they were last from the Emir’s palace at Btedýn: then, after
some trifling observation, I added, the Emir complained to them that
M. Lamartine, in his recent work on Syria, had greatly compromised him
with Ibrahim Pasha, in having said that he, the Emir, had entertained
the most friendly dispositions towards Buonaparte and the French
during the siege of Acre. This the Emir denied, and averred that his
great friend was Sir Sydney Smith: meaning, probably, as I observed
from myself, to compliment his present guests at the expense of the
absent French. “He was very civil to the two travellers,” I added,
“and, understanding they were going to see your ladyship, he sent his
compliments to you.”――“Ah!” replied she, “that looks as if he were
fishing for friends, in case he should shortly have to fly; for they
say that Sherýf Pasha has been defeated in the Horàn, and the Emir
begins to tremble; for the Druzes will not spare him.”

I then told Lady Hester they had refused tea or coffee, but, as they
were come from a distance, would probably like something more
substantial: they had expressed, too, a wish for a glass of lemonade.
Here Lady Hester, suddenly raising herself in her bed, interrupted me
with “Good God!――lemonade! why, the maid said that the secretary had
been to ask for some violet syrup for them: now, which is it they
want? Can nobody ever take upon them to direct the simplest thing but
they must blunder? must everything fall upon me?”――“Well, but,”
observed I, “lemonade, or violet syrup, it does not much matter
which!”――“Not matter!――there it is again: and then who is there can
make lemonade?――not a soul but myself in the whole house: and poor I
am obliged to wear my little strength out in doing the most trivial
offices. Here I am; I wanted to write another letter to go by the
steamboat, and now all my thoughts are driven out of my head.
Zezefôon!” (ding, ding, ding, went the bell) “Zezefôon! order the
gardener to bring me four or five of the finest lemons on the tree
next the alley of roses――you know where I mean――and prepare a tray
with glasses.” This was accordingly done, and Lady Hester, sitting up
in bed, went to work squeezing lemons and making lemonade.

In my way to her ladyship’s room from the strangers’, I had called the
cook, and directed him to dress a mutton-chop, to make a vermicelli
soup, a dish of spinach and eggs, a little tunny-fish salad, and with
a cold rice pudding (which I recollected and sent for from my house),
and some Parmesan cheese, I trusted there would be enough for a hasty
meal. Whilst making the lemonade, the following conversation went on.
“Now, doctor, what can be got for their _déjeûner à la fourchette_?
for there is nothing whatever in the house.” I mentioned what I had
ordered. “Ah! yes,” resumed Lady Hester, “let me see:――there is a stew
of yesterday’s, that I did not touch, that may be warmed up again, and
some potatoes may be added; and then you must taste that wine that
came yesterday from Garýfy, to see if you think they will like it. The
spinach my maid must do. Dyk” (the cook) “does not know how to dress
spinach, but I have taught Zezefôon to do it very well.” (Ding, ding,
ding.) “Zezefôon, you know how to boil spinach in milk, and you must
garnish it with five eggs, one in each corner, and one in the
centre.”――“Yes, Sytty.”――“And, Zezefôon, send the _yackney_” (stew)
“to Dyk, and let it be warmed up for the strangers. They must have
some of my butter and some of my bread. Likewise give out the silver
spoons and knives and forks; they are under that cushion on the
ottoman, there; and mind you count them when you give them to
Mohammed, or they will steal one, and dispute with you afterwards
about the number:――a pack of thieves! And let the cook send in the
dishes necessary: for I will not have any of mine go out.

“You must tell the travellers, doctor, and especially Mr. Forster, for
he is an Irishman, that I have a great deal of Irish and Scotch blood
in me, and no English. Tell him I have made great investigations on
the subject of the origin of the Scotch, and could prove to him that
they came originally from this country. Tell him how beautiful the
Irish women are, and that I, having had opportunities of seeing some
of the finest Circassians and Georgians of the harýms of great Turks
here and at Constantinople, think there are none like Irish women.

“If Mr. Forster asks you anything about the Druzes (as he seems to
interest himself concerning the religion of that people), say to him
that the Druzes, the Ansàries, the Ishmäelites――all these sects――must
and will remain a mystery to strangers. There was Monsieur Reynaud,
one of the forty _savants_ who wrote the great book on Egypt, and was
afterwards consul at Sayda――if any body could comprehend the secret,
he could; yet, although he had four of the Druze books in his
possession, and five learned persons of this country to assist him in
translating and explaining them through a whole winter, he could make
out nothing: because, even if you understand the text, you are still
not a bit the wiser. Suppose, for example, you open a page, and you
find these words――‘Do you use senna leaves?’ which is one of their
questions of recognition, like similar apparently vague questions in
freemasonry: what do you know about that? You may understand the
answer clearly enough, so far as mere words go; but it is useless
unless you understand the thing of which the words are a symbol; for
they are all symbolical. You must know that it refers to an insurgent,
who, in the cause of their faith, raised the standard of revolt,
centuries ago, in the land where senna grows, and that it implies, ‘Do
you adopt his tenets?’ and so of other passages. The chiefs of their
religion cannot make any disclosures; for, if they did, their lives
would be the forfeit. Tell him they are a bold, sanguinary race, who
will cut a man in pieces themselves, or see it done by others, and
never change colour. Why, one of them, not long since, killed or
wounded with his own hands five of Ibrahim Pasha’s soldiers, who were
sent to seize him as a refractory recruit.”

Here Lady Hester, having finished making the lemonade, stopped for a
moment to desire Zezefôon to take it out and send it to the strangers’
room. She then resumed, “Tell them, doctor, that no people will bear a
flogging like the Druzes. The Spartans were nothing to them: isn’t it
the Spartans that were such floggers? for I am such a dunce that I
never can recollect some things which every schoolboy knows; and I
always said I was a dunce in some things, although Mr. Pitt used to
say, ‘Hester, if you would but keep your own counsel, nobody could
detect it.’ But it is the truth, and when you talk to me of paper
money and the funds (although I may understand for the moment what you
try to explain to me), I forget it all the next morning: yet, on
subjects which my inclination leads me to investigate, nobody has a
better judgment. My father, with all his mathematical knowledge, used
to say I could split a hair. Talk to the point, was his cry: and I
could bring truth to a point as sharp as a needle. I divested a
subject of all extraneous matter, and there it was――you might turn and
twist it as you would, but you must always come back to that.

“The Druzes like me, and all the Emir Beshýr’s hatred of me arose from
my friendship for the Shaykh Beshýr.[37] After you left me, I went to
stay with him at Makhtâra, where he assigned me a wing of the palace
to live in. He was a clever man, and afterwards, in his troubles, came
to me for advice and succour: he offered me a third of his treasures,
but I refused them. When he fled, the Emir Beshýr got about a third of
them; an equal portion they say is buried: and the remainder was
carried off by his wife, but afterwards lost. Poor woman! she is dead
now. It was the attempt to relieve her, amongst other causes, that
drew me into embarrassments. She had fled――her husband was a captive
at Acre――and the Emir was pursuing her in every direction to take her
life. The snow was thick on the ground. She had with her a child at
the breast, one two years old, and another: two were with the father
in prison. I despatched people with clothes and money to relieve her
immediate wants; they found her in the Horàn, where she had taken
refuge with an old servant. Her daughter also applied to me for
assistance, but I was penniless, and could do nothing for her. Poor
girl! she was afterwards married, but Ibrahim Pasha cut off her
husband’s head, and she went raving mad. To complete the tragedy,
Hanah Abôod, one of those I sent to look after her, fell asleep out of
weariness, after having returned home on foot through the snow, and
got an inflammation in his eyes, which ended in total blindness. The
journey back occupied I think forty hours. I have been obliged
partially to maintain the poor fellow and Werdy, his wife, ever since.

“Perhaps, doctor, Mr. Forster and Mr. Knox may have heard of the
extraordinary conduct of the English government towards me; so let
them know that I am not low-spirited about it; and, although the Queen
may think herself justified in taking away my pension, I would not,
even if I were a beggar, change places with her. As for the Queen’s
interfering in my affairs, she might just as well go and stop Sir
Augustus Forster’s salary, on the plea that he had left his tailor’s
bill unpaid. My debts were incurred very often for things I did not
care about for myself. For example, what are books to me, who never
look into them? If I had been like you doctors, who tell your patients
to take turtle soup, and then contrive to be asked to dinner, it were
another thing: but my researches were for the good of others, and for
no advantage of my own.

“When I think what I have done, and what I could have done if I had
had more money! There was a book came into my hands, which the owner,
not knowing its value, offered for my acceptance as you would offer an
old brass candlestick. I consulted several persons about it; and, when
all assured me it was a valuable manuscript, I scorned to take
advantage of the man’s ignorance, and returned it to him, telling him
when I was rich enough I would buy it of him. Ought not a person to
act so?” “Undoubtedly,” I replied, “a person of principle would not
act otherwise.” “Principle!” she exclaimed; “what do you mean by
principle?――I am a Pitt.”

As I did not understand precisely why a Pitt should be above
principle, although it would seem there is a species of integrity
higher than principle itself, I held my tongue, and Lady Hester went
on. “I know where to find a book that contains the language spoken by
Adam and Eve:[38] the letters are a span high. Such things have fallen
into my hands as have fallen into nobody’s else. I know where the
serpent is that has the head of a man, like the one that tempted Eve.
The cave still exists not far from Tarsûs; and the villages all about
are exempted from the _miri_ in consideration of feeding the serpents.
Everybody in that neighbourhood knows it: isn’t it extraordinary? why
don’t you answer? is it, or is it not? Good God! I should go mad if I
were obliged to remain three whole days together in your society――I’m
sure I should. Such a cold man I never saw; there is no getting an
answer from you: however, think as you like. These serpents will march
through the country to fight for the Messiah, and will devour
everything before them.” Here she paused for about a minute, and then
added, “I think you had better not tell them anything about the
serpents; perhaps their minds are not prepared for matters of this

I have already observed that Monsieur Guys had mentioned, with some
surprise, the serious manner in which Lady Hester spoke of these
serpents; and, although he did not express it, yet he half intimated
that he thought her intellects a little disordered: we shall see
hereafter if they were so.

Lady Hester resumed: “But now, doctor, if you can spare a minute, you
must write a line by the messenger to Monsieur Guys, and tell him I
had begun a letter to him, but that the arrival of two English
travellers, one of whom revived a number of recollections, had obliged
me to stop short, and I could write no more. Doctor, this Mr. Forster
must be one of the children of the Irish Speaker. He was left with
ten; and I remember very well one day that H******** was standing
before me at a party, making a number of bows and scrapes, turning up
his eyes, and cringing before me so, that when we got home, Mr. Pitt
said to me, ‘Hester, if I am not too curious, what could H********
have to say that animated him so much: what could he be making such
fine speeches about: what could call forth such an exuberance of
eloquence in him?’――‘Oh! it was nothing,’ answered I; ‘he was telling
me that all the power of the Treasury was at my service――that he would
take care that Lady S**** N*****’s pension should be got through the
different offices immediately――that he had nothing so much at heart as
to execute my orders――that he would see all that was necessary should
be done according to my wishes, and so on; but, as I despise the man,
I only laughed at him and turned my back on him; for I drink at the
fountain head.’

“‘Now, this is really too good a thing,’ interrupted Mr. Pitt, lifting
up his eyes in astonishment. ‘It was but this very day, at three
o’clock, that he was urging me not to let this very pension be given,
or at least to prolong the business for a year, if it were possible;
till, by tiring her patience, the thing might be dropped, or something
turn up to set it aside; adding, that it would be opening the door to
abuses, and, if I granted this too readily, I should have Forster’s
ten children to provide for.’”

Lady Hester went on: “From that day, I knew my man. I then said to Mr.
Pitt, ‘Let me show him who he has to deal with; do give your orders
that the thing may be done immediately.’――‘Oh! but it is too late
to-night,’ said Mr. Pitt. ‘No, it is not,’ I cried; ‘for I see a light
in the Treasury.’ So I rang, and sent for” (here her ladyship
mentioned a name which I could not catch, but I think it was Mr.
Chinnery)――. When he came, I said to him, ‘Will you be so good, sir,
the first thing in the morning, to see that all the signatures are put
to Lady S. N.’s paper: there is Mr. Pitt; ask him if it is so or not.’
Mr. Pitt of course assented, and there the matter ended. Doctor, I had
a great deal of trouble with those sort of people, like H――――. Now, if
Mr. Forster is about thirty-five years old, he must be one of that

“Do tell Mr. Forster what a pack of beasts those servants are. Ask him
if he ever heard of women throwing themselves down to sleep in the
middle of a courtyard, or on the floor of a kitchen, dragging their
quilt after them from place to place: tell him that is what mine do,
and that I am obliged to wait a quarter of an hour for a glass of

“You may talk to them a little about stars, but I dare say you will
commit some horrible blunder, as you always do, and that is what makes
me so afraid of your having to say anything that concerns me. Tell Mr.
Forster that in people’s stars lie their abilities, and that you may
bring up a hundred men to be generals and another hundred to be
lawyers, but out of these perhaps four or five only will turn out good
for anything. When a grand Llama is to be chosen, why do they go about
until they have found a particular boy with certain marks, known to
the learned of that country――a child born under a certain star? It is
because, when they have found such a one, he has no occasion for
instruction; he is born the man for their purpose.

“Thus, the Duke of Wellington is not a general by trade――I mean by
instruction; for, if examined before a court-martial on all the
branches of military tactics, perhaps he would be found deficient.
Hundreds may know more of them than he does: but he is a general by
his star. He acts under a certain impulse, which makes him hit on the
stratagem he ought to practise, and, without the help of previous
study or even the suggestions of experience, he knows that his
manœuvre is right. It was thus with me when I was young. People might
preach and talk; but, when I saw them doing things or reasoning about
them, I could at once distinguish the things that were right from the
things that were wrong; but I could not say why or wherefore. My
father said I was the best logician he ever saw――I could split a hair.
The last time he saw me, he repeated the same words, and said I had
but one fault, which was being too fond of royalty.”

I observed here to Lady Hester, that in many things she reminded me of
the ancient philosophers, to whom she bore a strong resemblance on
most points; but that in this one particular she differed from them
widely, as most of them were strenuously opposed to royalty and
monarchical power. “My liking for royalty,” she answered, “is not,
indiscriminate, but I believe in the divine right of kings; for I have
found it out. And you may ask Mr. Forster also why the bottle of oil
came from India to anoint the kings of France. I dare say they never
heard of Melek es Sayf, a hero whose exploits and name are hardly
inferior in the East to those of Solomon. Is it not extraordinary,
that in Europe they know nothing of those people――of him and his forty
sons, all of whom were men of note in their time? This must be so; for
some of the gates of Cairo are named after them.

“If you happen to speak about the Albanians and the other soldiers
that I had here, tell them I did not see them all; I only saw the most
desperate, and those whose violence was to be kept under. When I
admitted them to my presence, I was always alone, and they always wore
their arms; but I never feared them.”

Thus Lady Hester went on talking: the dish of potatoes, the dessert,
and several other things were forgotten. So, reminding her that Mr.
Forster and Mr. Knox must be all this time marvelling what could have
detained me, I at last made my escape. In the mean while, the
breakfast had been served up as well as the resources of the place
would admit. The scene must have been highly curious to her ladyship’s
guests, who could not fail to be amused as well as surprised at the
sight of a deal table, rush-bottomed chairs, cheese put on first and a
pudding in a copper dish after it, with other anomalies that would
have made even a third-rate Brummell shudder. But the occasions for
eating in the European way in Lady Hester’s house occurred very
rarely, and the servants, who were habituated to Turkish usages or to
the mongrel service of some Levantine dragoman, had no notions of the
regulations of an English table. In my own house, I had two tolerably
well-trained boys; but there was an interdict against their ever
crossing the threshold of Lady Hester’s gate, in order that no
information of what was going on within her walls should be carried
out to the female part of my family. In the most common concerns, Lady
Hester’s servants made much bustle and did little. They ran in
different directions, jostled and crossed each other half a dozen at a
time for the same thing, entirely reversing one of her favourite
maxims, that everything in a great person’s house should be done as if
by magic, and nobody should know who it was set it a going. These
servants had but one spring of action, and that was the _bakshysh_, or
present, which they all looked for on the departure of a stranger. It
was a painful thought to me, as these gentlemen left the gate, that,
when they were about to mount their horses, the mercenary spirit of
such a set of varlets might be charged to the connivance of the

The two travellers made a miserable repast, and, when it was over,
signified their desire to take leave. It seems they had taken Lady
Hester’s invitation “to make the place their home for two hours or two
days” in its literal acceptation; and it is scarcely necessary to say
that there was no time for me to enter into an explanation on the
subject, nor, indeed, to deliver a tenth part of the discursive matter
with which Lady Hester had charged me. It was from these gentlemen I
learned, for the first time, that a committee had been appointed, on
the motion of Mr. D. W. Harvey, for inquiring into the pensions on the
civil list. It had so happened that no newspapers had reached us for a
long time, and, consequently, this was the first intimation her
ladyship had received of a measure in which it might be supposed she
felt no inconsiderable interest, although in reality she did not.

As Mr. Forster and his friend had to cross a deep valley and mount a
steep ascent before they could take the road to Beyrout, to which town
they were now going, I sent Ali Hayshem, the messenger, to put them on
their way. He returned in the course of an hour or two, and was
despatched the same evening on foot, with letters to Beyrout, where he
arrived next day before Messieurs Knox and Forster. He told me, on his
return, that their surprise was very great on finding him at the inn,
knowing that they had left him behind them, the morning before, up the
mountain. Ali’s account of Mr. Forster’s regimentals, in which he saw
him dressed at Beyrout, was very flaming: and from that day, in
speaking of the two, he always distinguished him from Mr. Knox by the
title of ‘the general.’

Lady Hester deeply regretted that she was not able to see these
gentlemen. “Ah!” said she, “how many times have I been abused by the
English when I did not deserve it, and for nothing so much as for not
seeing people, when perhaps it was quite out of my power! There was
Mr. Anson and Mr. Strangways, who, because I refused to see them, sat
down under a tree, and wrote me such a note! Little did they know that
I had not a bit of barley in the house for their horses, and nothing
for their dinner. I could not tell them so; but they might have had
feeling enough to suppose it was not without some good reason that I
declined their visit. Many a pang has their ill-nature given me, as
well as that of others. I have got the note[40] still somewhere.

“Among the visitors I have had was the duchess of Gontaut’s brother,
she that brought up the Duke of Bordeaux. I supposed she must have
talked of me to her brother, whom I never recollect: however, he came
with his two sons; but I would not see him. It was that time when
Monsieur Guys, after sitting and staring at me some minutes,
exclaimed――‘Madam, when I see you dressed in that abah’ (the Bedouin
cloak), ‘in that _keffiah_’ (the Bedouin vizor), ‘and when I think you
are that Lady Hester Stanhope, _qui faisoit la pluie et le beau temps
à Londres_, I am lost in wonder how you could have come and fixed
yourself in these desolate mountains.’

“Another of Charles the Tenth’s courtiers came here, but a higher
personage, whom I also refused to see: he was dreadfully savage about
it too. I fancy Charles the Tenth had a secret intention of resigning
the crown, and of coming to this country to finish his days in the
Holy Land like another St. Louis? and I think this man had something
to ask me about it: however, I refused to see him. But it was not
caprice, nor, as this proves, was it Englishmen alone I denied myself
to. Sometimes I was not well enough to sustain a conversation――sometimes
I had no provisions in the house, perhaps no servant who knew how to
set a table; but travellers never fancied that there could be any
other reason for my refusal, but the determination to affront them.
God knows, when I could, I was willing to receive anybody.

“Once I had a visit from two persons whom we will call Mr. A. and Mr.
B., or Mr. B. and Mr. C.――what letter you like. I thought Mr. B. very
stupid, but, good God! doctor, there never was anything so vulgar as
Mr. C. When I got his note to ask leave to come, the name deceived me;
I thought he might be a son of Admiral C. But when he came into the
room with his great thighs and pantaloons so tight that he could
hardly sit down, I thought he was more like a butcher than anything
else. He was a man entirely without breeding, with his Ma’ams and
ladyships. I asked him a few questions, as――‘Pray, sir, will you allow
me to ask if you are a relation of Admiral C’s.?’――‘No, ma’am, I am no
relation at all.’――‘Will you permit me to inquire what is the motive
of your visit to me?’――‘Only to see your ladyship, ma’am.’――‘Do you
come to this country with any particular object?’――‘To be a
merchant.’――‘You are probably conversant in mercantile affairs?’――‘No,
ma’am, I am come to learn,’――and so on. After some time, I told them
that I never saw people in the morning, and would take my leave of
them, as they probably would wish to set off early; and I desired them
to order what they liked for their breakfast. Next morning, when I
thought, as a matter of course, they were gone, in came a note from
them to say, they were not going till next day, and then another to
say they did not know, and then a third to say that, as they expected
ships, and God knows what, they must go.――Good God! they might go to
the devil for me: I had taken my leave of them, and there was an end
of it. Mr. C. was a downright vulgar merchant’s clerk, come to Syria,
I suppose, to set up for himself. Lord St. Asaph said to me――‘Lady
Hester, you really should consider who you are, and not allow people
of that description to pay visits to you.’

“There was a man who bore a great resemblance to the Duke of Cambridge
and the Duke of Clarence, but something between both, who passed two
or three years in this neighbourhood and sometimes came to see me; he
was good-natured, and I liked him. He went about with a sort of
pedlar’s box, full of trinkets and gewgaws to show to the peasant
woman, thus bringing the whole population of the village out of their
houses: and then giving away beads and earrings to get the young girls
around him.

“Of the English, who have visited me here, I liked Captain Pechell and
Captain Yorke very much, and thought them both clever men.

“Colonel Howard Vyse one day came up to the village and wrote me a
note, and did everything he could to see me. He was an old
Coldstream:――it broke my heart not to see him; but it would have
revived too many melancholy reflections. Poor man! I believe he was
very much hurt; but I could not help it.

“A man came here――I believe the only one who was saved out of a party
that was killed going across the Desert――and asked me for a letter to
the Arabs. I sent him away, telling him that he might just as well
come and ask me for a pot of beer. What had I to do with their schemes
and their navigation of the Euphrates? Yet, for this, this officer
wrote verses upon the wall of the room against me.

“Then Mr. Croix de la Barre came, but I could not see him. He said he
wanted to talk politics with me, and learn the customs and manners of
the natives. I should tire you, doctor, if I were to tell you how many
have come. I saw Lord B******, when he was travelling, at the baths of
Tiberias, where Abdallah Pasha happened to be. Lord B. proposed
calling on the pasha, and equipped himself for that purpose with a
pair of pistols and a _yatagàn_ in his girdle, after the fashion of a
Turkish subaltern; for the Franks, who surrounded him as dragomans and
menials, had taught him to adopt what accorded with their ideas of
finery, and not what was suitable to his rank. Luckily, he mentioned
his intention the day before to me, and I told him that there was a
full dress of ceremony in Turkey as well as in Europe, and I lent him
the most essential part of it, a _benýsh_,[41] with which he presented
himself. At first there was some hesitation, on his entering the room
with his people, as to which was the great Mylord; for his lordship’s
doctor, who sat down close by him, and poked his head forward with an
air of great attention to what the pasha said, made him doubt whether
the doctor was not the chief personage; it being a part of Oriental
etiquette that no dependant should obtrude himself into the least
notice in his superior’s presence: nay, generally speaking, it is
required that doctors, secretaries, dragomans, and the like, should
remain standing during such interviews. This difficulty being got
over, the pasha, after some questions about Lord B.’s health, asked
him what brought him to Tiberias, a part of his province the least
beautiful and most barren. The question would have led most persons to
say that, knowing the pasha was there, he seized the opportunity of
paying his respects to him, or some such complimentary speech. But
Lord B., with a _naïveté_ somewhat plebeian, replied, that he came to
see the baths. The pasha coldly desired that proper persons should
show them to him, and soon after broke up the interview. The very
attendants of his Highness were struck with the incivility and want of
tact which Lord B. showed, and it was one of them who told me the
story. But this was not all: the pasha, who is fond of consulting
European doctors, requested Lord B., who was to depart next day, to
leave his doctor behind for twenty-four hours; which request Lord B.
refused. After he was gone, the pasha sent me a pelisse of
considerable value, with a request that I should present it in his
name to Lord B., but I returned it, saying Lord B. was gone; for I did
not think his incivility deserved it. So much for English breeding!
and then let them go and call the Turks barbarians.

“Mr. Elliot came to see me from Constantinople, in order to make the
pashas and governors of the neighbouring provinces treat me well. He
fell ill, and I sent for the doctor of a frigate that was on the
coast for him――a man who could kick his forehead with his toe. I
quizzed Mr. Elliot a great deal.

“But now, doctor, what did Mr. Forster say about the Scotch? If he
agrees with me that they sprang from hereabouts, I might have given
him some useful hints on that subject: but we will write him a
letter[42] about it.”

When I told her that Mr. Forster had spoken of a work of Sir Jonah
Barrington’s on Ireland, in which it was said that Mr. Pitt got up the
Irish rebellion in order to make the necessity of the Union more
palatable to parliament, she observed that, if she met him, she would
settle his business for him. “Mr. Pitt liked the Irish,” said she.
“There were some fools who thought to pay their court by abusing them,
and would talk of men’s legs like Irish porters, or some such stuff:
but I always answered, they would be very much pleased to have their
own so, which was much better than having them like a pair of tongs:
and I was certain to observe a little smile of approbation in Mr.
Pitt’s eyes, at what I had said.”

In this way her ladyship would run on from topic to topic――with a
rapidity and fluency which frequently rendered it difficult to
preserve notes of even the heads of her discourse. Her health was
slightly improved: she attended a little more closely to my advice,
but still would never allow me to see her until her coughing fit was
over, which usually lasted for about a couple of hours. Notwithstanding
this, her pulse maintained a degree of vigour which was very
extraordinary, considering the state of attenuation to which she was
reduced. She had a great reluctance in touching on her bad symptoms,
but dwelt readily on such as were favourable. “I certainly have got
small abscesses,” she answered to me, “but it is not consumption:
because there are hours in the day when my lungs are perfectly free,
as there are others when I can hardly breathe. Sometimes, doctor, my
pulse is entirely gone, or so thin――so thin!――as to be but just
perceptible, and no more. You pretend to find it very readily and tell
me it is not bad: but Zezefôon can’t feel it, and Sàada can’t feel it,
and old Pierre has tried, and says the same. I think, too,” continued
she, “I was a little delirious this morning; for, when I awoke, I
asked where Zezefôon had gone, although there she was, sitting up on
her mattress by my bedside before my eyes.”


     [37] The reader ought to be informed that, a few years
          before this time, Beshýr Jumbalàt, a man of the first
          family of the Druzes, had risen by his possessions
          and influence to such power in Mount Lebanon as to
          excite the jealousy of the Emir Beshýr, the recognized
          prince of the Druzes, by right of investiture from
          the Porte. The Emir (who is a Mussulman) entertained
          such fears of being supplanted by a chief of his power
          and popularity, that, after a variety of intrigues
          and plots, he at last succeeded in effectually
          awakening the distrust of Abdallah, the Pasha of Acre,
          who finally united with the Emir in a plan for his
          destruction. The person of the unfortunate Beshýr
          Jumbalàt was accordingly seized, his palace razed to
          the ground, and his possessions confiscated; nor was
          their jealousy set at rest until they ultimately got
          rid of him by strangulation.

     [38] Ben Jonson, in his “Alchemist,” alludes to such a
          book, “Ay, and a treatise penned by Adam.”

     [39] It may be right to mention that Mr. Forster, as I
          believe, is not one of the family alluded to in this
          anecdote: but, as Lady Hester’s remarks hinged on his
          name, I thought it best to retain it.

     [40] This note I afterwards read and copied. These two
          gentlemen presented themselves at the gate, and Lady
          Hester dictated the following message to them, which
          Miss Williams wrote:――“Lady Hester Stanhope presents
          her compliments to Mr. Anson and Mr. Strangways, and
          acquaints them that she is little in the habit of
          seeing European travellers, therefore declines the
          honour of their visit.” To this was returned following
          answer:――“Mr. Anson presents his compliments to Lady
          Hester Stanhope, and begs to assure her he has not
          the slightest wish to intrude where his visit is
          accounted disagreeable: but having, during a three
          months’ residence among the Arabs, met with universal
          hospitality, he took for granted that he would not
          have met with the first refusal in an English house.”

     [41] The benýsh is a large mantle, reaching to the ground,
          ample, and folding over, with bagging sleeves hanging
          considerably below the tips of the fingers. When worn,
          it leaves nothing seen but the head and face. This is
          synonymous with a dress coat.

     [42] A long letter was subsequently written, in which she
          explained her theory of the origin of the Scotch; and,
          having learned by a note from Mr. Forster that they
          would return from Beyrout to Sayda in their way to
          St. Jean d’Acre, I rode down to Sayda in the hope of
          meeting him. Circumstances, however, made them set off
          a day sooner than they intended and I missed them. The
          letter Lady Hester took back into her own possession,
          and seemed to set so much value on it that she would
          not even give me a copy. At the time I could have
          repeated the substance of it with tolerable accuracy
          from memory; but, as she strictly regarded it in the
          light of a private communication, I did not consider
          myself justified in making any use of it without her
          sanction. It will be sufficient to say that she found
          a great resemblance between the names of the Scotch
          nobility and certain terms in the Arabic language,
          indicating patronymics, dignities, offices, &c. Her
          general notion was that Scotland had been peopled
          by the flight of some tribes of Arabs in the middle
          ages. She once had an intention of writing to Sir
          Walter Scott, to urge him to make some researches
          on that head, and she showed me a list of Scotch
          names apparently of Arabic origin. Thus she would
          say Gower meant Gaôor, or infidel; and by a stretch
          of deduction, commonly indulged in even to still
          greater excess by people who have a favourite theory
          to sustain, she would argue that, as Mr. Pitt used to
          say that Lord Granville was the counterpart of the
          statue of Antinous, with the same face and the same
          _pose_ when he stood talking unconcernedly, therefore
          the race of Antinous, which was also Eastern, was
          continued in him.

                             END OF VOL. II.

                        FREDERICK SHOBERL, JUNIOR,
                  51, RUPERT STREET, HAYMARKET, LONDON.

Transcriber’s Note

This book was written in a period when many words had not become
standardized in their spelling. Words may have multiple spelling
variations or inconsistent hyphenation in the text. These have been
left unchanged unless indicated below. Obsolete and alternative
spellings were left unchanged.

Footnotes were renumbered sequentially and were moved to the end of
the chapter. Obvious printing errors, such as backwards, upside down,
or partially printed letters and punctuation, were corrected. Final
stops missing at the end of sentences and abbreviations were added.
Punctuation was adjusted to standard usage. Duplicate letters and
words at line endings or page breaks were removed.

Footnotes [3] and [22] were missing anchors in the text. Anchors were
added where they may have belonged.

The following items were changed:

  that to than, line 756
  Pourcignac to Pourceaugnac, Footnote [17]
  Dairies to Diaries, Footnote [22]
  he to she, line 4836
  crew to grew, line 4909
  venemous to venomous, line 5256
  espistle to epistle, line 5622
  Bankes to Banks, line 5805

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