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Title: Reminiscences of Captain Gronow
Author: Gronow, R. H. (Rees Howell), 1794-1865
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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version by Al Haines.

Reminiscences of Captain Gronow


Captain Rees Howell Gronow


The spelling in this book is rather creative (including the occasional
spelling of "ankle" as "ancle"), and the punctuation is remarkably
varied. I have tried to preserve both, except that the spaces between a
word and the following colon or semicolon have been removed. There are
also many French words and phrases, whose meaning will usually be
obvious as soon as you realise they are French.  Of course I apologize
for any genuine errors in spelling and punctuation that have crept into
this file.

Captain Gronow is an entertaining raconteur who brings his own
experiences in the Regency period and the wars with France delightfully
to life. Gronow published several sets of memoirs.  This file covers
the first half of what he published.  Search the web for "Captain
Gronow" to learn more about this interesting gentleman.

The text is arranged as a series of topics, each with a title in
capital letters.  Sometimes there is continuity in this arrangement,
sometimes there is not.  There is no other structure to the text.

I have used the character for "pounds" (money) in this text: '£'. If
the character in single quotes does not look like a pound sign to you,
well, at least you know what is intended. The book text uses a lower
case 'l' for this purpose, but in computer fonts the 'l', looking just
like a '1' when following a string of digits, is confusing.

--Tobias D. Robison, September, 2001 tdr21@columbia.edu

Reminiscences of Captain Gronow

Formerly of the Grenadier Guards, and M.P. for Stafford:


Anecdotes of the camp, the court, and the clubs, at the close of the
last war with France.

Related by himself.

  "O friends regretted, scenes for ever dear!
  Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
  Drooping she bends o'er pensive fancy's urn,
  To trace the hours which never can return."


Smith, Elder and Co., 65, Cornhill.





It has been my lot to have lived through the greater part of one of the
most eventful centuries of England's history, and I have been thrown
amongst most of the remarkable men of my day; whether soldiers,
statesman, men of letters, theatrical people, or those whose birth and
fortune--rather, perhaps, than their virtues or talents--have caused
them to be conspicuous in society at home or abroad.  Nature having
endowed me with a strong memory, I can recall with all their original
vividness scenes that took place fifty years ago, and distinctly
recollect the face, walk, and voice, as well as the dress and general
manner, of everyone whom I have known. I have frequently repeated to my
friends what I have seen and heard since the year that I joined the
Guards (1813), and have been urged to commit to paper my anecdotes and

Unfortunately, I have not the power of efficiently describing in words
the pictures that are hung up in the long gallery of my memory: a man
may see very distinctly the landscape before him, yet he may be unable
to delineate that which he gazes upon and is intimately acquainted
with. A viva voce narrative of an incident told to a friend in
conversation may pass muster, and one is able to fill up any gaps in an
imperfect description; but it always occurred to me that I had no right
to task a reader's time and patience unless I could put before him what
I had to say in a lucid and complete form; I therefore refrained from
committing myself to print. I have at length, however, yielded to the
suggestion of friends, and written down some anecdotes in the best way
I could. Soldiers are not generally famous for literary excellence, and
when I was young, the military man was, perhaps, much less a scholar
than he is at the present day; but I hope that the interest of the
matter will make up for any deficiency of style.

In going over more than half a century, and treating of men, women and
events, it was necessary to leave out many anecdotes which would,
perhaps, have been more interesting than most of those that I have
given; for I would not willingly offend, or hurt the feelings of any
one, and I wish to respect the memory of the dead, as well as to take
into consideration the sensitiveness of the living.  My Reminiscences,
it will be seen, are nothing more than miniature illustrations of
contemporary history; and though the reader may find here and there
scraps of biographical matter, I confine myself to facts and
characteristics which were familiar to the circle in which I moved, and
perhaps are as much public property as the painted portraits of

Should this work meet with the approbation of the public, I hope at a
future time to publish an additional one, as my memory still serves me
with sufficient materials for another volume of a similar kind.

R. H. Gronow.


After leaving Eton, I received an Ensign's commission in the First
Guards during the month of December, 1812.  Though many years have
elapsed, I still remember my boyish delight at being named to so
distinguished a regiment, and at the prospect of soon taking a part in
the glorious deeds of our army in Spain.  I joined in February 1813,
and cannot but recollect with astonishment how limited and imperfect
was the instruction which an officer received at that time: he
absolutely entered the army without any military education whatever. We
were so defective in our drill, even after we had passed out of the
hands of the sergeant, that the excellence of our non-commissioned
officers alone prevented us from meeting with the most fatal disasters
in the face of the enemy.  Physical force and our bull-dog energy
carried many a hard-fought field.  Luckily, nous avons change tout
cela, and our officers may now vie with those of any other army in an
age when the great improvements in musketry, in artillery practice, and
in the greater rapidity of manoeuvring, have entirely changed the art
of war, and rendered the individual education of those in every grade
of command an absolute necessity.

After passing through the hands of the drill sergeant with my friends
Dashwood, Batty, Browne, Lascelles, Hume, and Masters, and mounting
guard at St. James's for a few months, we were hurried off, one fine
morning, in charge of a splendid detachment of five hundred men to join
Lord Wellington in Spain.  Macadam had just begun to do for England
what Marshal Wade did in Scotland seventy years before; and we were
able to march twenty miles a day with ease until we reached Portsmouth.
There we found transports ready to convey a large reinforcement, of
which we formed part, to Lord Wellington, who was now making his
arrangements, after taking St. Sebastian, for a yet more important
event in the history of the Peninsular War--the invasion of France.


We sailed under convoy of the Madagascar frigate, commanded by Captain
Curtis; and, after a favourable voyage, we arrived at Passages.  Our
stay there was short, for we were ordered to join the army without loss
of time.  In three hours we got fairly into camp, where we were
received with loud cheers by our brothers in arms.

The whole British army was here under canvas; our allies, the Spaniards
and Portuguese, being in the rear.  About the middle of October, to our
great delight, the army received orders to cross the Bidassoa. At three
o'clock on the morning of the 15th our regiment advanced through a
difficult country, and, after a harassing march, reached the top of a
hill as the gray light of morning began to dawn.  We marched in
profound silence, but with a pleasurable feeling of excitement amongst
all ranks at the thought of meeting the enemy, and perhaps with not an
equally agreeable idea that we might be in the next world before the
day was over.

As we ascended the rugged side of the hill, I saw, for the first time,
the immortal Wellington.  He was accompanied by the Spanish General,
Alava, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, and Major, afterwards Colonel Freemantle.
He was very stern and grave-looking; he was in deep meditation, so long
as I kept him in view, and spoke to no one.  His features were bold,
and I saw much decision of character in his expression. He rode a
knowing-looking, thorough-bred horse, and wore a gray overcoat, Hessian
boots, and a large cocked hat. We commenced the passage of the Bidassoa
about five in the morning, and in a short time infantry, cavalry, and
artillery found themselves upon French ground.  The stream at the point
we forded was nearly four feet deep, and had Soult been aware of what
we were about, we should have found the passage of the river a very
arduous undertaking.

Three miles above, we discovered the French army, and ere long found
ourselves under fire.  The sensation of being made a target to a large
body of men is at first not particularly pleasant, but "in a trice, the
ear becomes more Irish and less nice."  The first man I ever saw killed
was a Spanish soldier, who was cut in two by a cannon ball. The French
army, not long after we began to return their fire, was in full
retreat; and after a little sharp, but desultory fighting, in which our
Division met with some loss, we took possession of the camp and strong
position of Soult's army.  We found the soldiers' huts very
comfortable; they were built of branches of trees and furze, and formed
squares and streets, which had names placarded up, such as Rue de
Paris, Rue de Versailles, &c.  We were not sorry to find ourselves in
such commodious quarters, as well as being well housed.  The scenery
surrounding the camp was picturesque and grand.  From our elevated
position, immediately in front, we commanded a wide and extensive
plain, intersected by two important rivers, the Nive and the Nivelle.
On the right, the lofty Pyrenees, with their grand and varied outline,
stood forth conspicuously in a blue, cloudless sky; on our left was the
Bay of Biscay, with our cruisers perpetually on the move.

We witnessed from the camp, one night about twelve o'clock, a fight at
sea, between an English brig and a French corvette, which was leaving
the Adour with provisions and ammunition.  She was chased by the brig,
and brought to action.  The night was sufficiently clear to enable us
to discover distinctly the position of the vessels and the measured
flash of their guns.  They were at close quarters, and in less than
half an hour we discovered the crew of the corvette taking to their
boats.  Shortly afterwards the vessel blew up with a loud explosion. We
came to the conclusion that sea-fighting was more agreeable than
land-fighting, as the crews of the vessels engaged without previous
heavy marching, and with loose light clothing; there was no manoeuvring
or standing for hours on the defensive; the wounded were immediately
taken below and attended to, and the whole affair was over in a
pleasingly brief period.


The French infantry soldier averaged about five feet five or six in
height; in build they were much about what they are now, perhaps a
little broader over the shoulder.  They were smart, active, handy
fellows, and much more able to look after their personal comforts than
British soldiers, as their camps indicated. The uniform of those days
consisted in a schako, which spread out at the top; a short-waisted,
swallow-tailed coat; and large, baggy trousers and gaiters.  The
clothing of the French soldier was roomy, and enabled him to march and
move about at ease: no pipeclay accessories occupied their attention;
in a word, their uniforms and accoutrements were infinitely superior to
our own, taking into consideration the practical necessities of
warfare.  Their muskets were inferior to ours, and their firing less
deadly.  The French cavalry we thought badly horsed; but their
uniforms, though showy, were, like those of the infantry, comfortably
large and roomy.

I have frequently remarked that firearms are of little use to the
mounted soldier, and often an incumbrance to man and horse.  Cavalry
want only one arm--the sabre.  Let the men be well mounted and at home
in the saddle.  It requires great knowledge in a Commander-in-chief to
know when and how to use his cavalry.  It has been my misfortune to
witness oft-repeated blunders in the employment of the best-mounted
regiments in the world.  I consider the French generals had more
knowledge of the use of cavalry than our own, when a great battle was
to be fought.


If the present generation of Englishmen would take the trouble of
looking at the newspaper which fifty years ago informed the British
public of passing events both at home and abroad, they would,
doubtless, marvel at the very limited and imperfect amount of
intelligence which the best journals were enabled to place before their
readers.  The progress of the Peninsular campaign was very imperfectly
chronicled; it will, therefore, be easily imagined what interest was
attached to certain letters that appeared in the Morning Chronicle
which criticised with much severity, and frequently with considerable
injustice, the military movements of Lord Wellington's Spanish campaign.

The attention of the Commander-in-Chief being drawn to these periodical
and personal comments on his conduct of the war, his lordship at once
perceived from the information which they contained that they must have
been written by an officer holding a high command under him. Determined
to ascertain the author--who, in addressing a public journal, was
violating the Articles of War, and, it might be, assisting the
enemy--means were employed in London to identify the writer.  The
result was, that Lord Wellington discovered the author of the letters
to be no other than Sir Charles Stewart, the late Lord Londonderry.  As
soon as Lord Wellington had made himself master of this fact, he
summoned Sir Charles Stewart to head-quarters at Torres Vedras; and on
his appearance, he, without the least preface, addressed him thus:--

"Charles Stewart, I have ascertained with deep regret that you are the
author of the letters which appeared in the Morning Chronicle abusing
me and finding fault with my military plans."

Lord Wellington paused here for a moment, and then continued:

"Now, Stewart, you know your brother Castlereagh is my best friend, to
whom I owe everything; nevertheless, if you continue to write letters
to the Chronicle, or any other newspaper, by God, I will send you home."

Sir Charles Stewart was so affected at this rebuke that he shed tears,
and expressed himself deeply penitent for the breach of confidence and
want of respect for the Articles of War.  They immediately shook hands
and parted friends.  It happened, however, that Sir Charles Stewart did
not remain long in the cavalry, of which he was Adjutant-General.
Within a few weeks he was named one of the Commissioners deputed to
proceed to the Allied Armies, where the Sovereigns were then completing
their plans to crush Napoleon.


During the winter of 1813, the Guards were stationed with head-quarters
at St Jean de Luz, and most comfortable we managed to make them.  For
some short time previously we had been on scanty commons, and had
undergone considerable privation: indeed we might have said, like the
Colonel to Johnny Newcome on his arrival to join his regiment, "We sons
of Mars have long been fed on brandy and cigars."  I had no cause to
complain personally; for my servant, a Sicilian, was one of the most
accomplished foragers (ill-natured persons might give him a worse name)
in the whole army; and when others were nearly starving, he always
managed to provide meat or poultry.  He rode on his mule sometimes from
twenty to thirty miles, often running the greatest dangers, to procure
me a good meal; of which he took care to have, very justly, a large
share for himself.

At St Jean de Luz, we were more attentive to our devotions than we had
been for some time.  Divine service was performed punctually every
Sunday on the sand-hills near the town; Lord Wellington and his
numerous Staff placed themselves in the midst of our square, and his
lordship's chaplain read the service, to which Lord Wellington always
appeared to listen with great attention.

The mayor of the town, thinking to please "the great English lord,"
gave a ball at the Hotel de Ville: our Commander-in-Chief did not go
but was represented by Waters.  I was there, and expected to see some
of the young ladies of the country so famed for their beauty; they
were, however, far too patriotic to appear, and the only lady present
was Lady Waldegrave, then living with her husband at head-quarters.
What was one partner among so many?  The ball was a dead failure, in
spite of the efforts of the mayor, who danced, to our intense
amusement, an English hornpipe, which he had learnt in not a very
agreeable manner, viz.  when a prisoner of war in the hulks at Plymouth.

There were two packs of hounds at St Jean de Luz; one kept by Lord
Wellington, the other by Marsden, of the Commissariat: our officers
went uncommonly straight.  Perhaps our best man across country (though
sometimes somewhat against his will) was the late Colonel Lascelles of
my regiment, then, like myself, a mere lad.  He rode a horse seventeen
hands high, called Bucephalus, which invariably ran away with him, and
more than once had nearly capsized Lord Wellington.  The good living at
St Jean de Luz agreed so well with my friend that he waxed fat, and
from that period to his death was known to the world by the jovial
appellation of Bacchus Lascelles.

Shortly before we left St Jean de Luz, we took our turn of outposts in
the neighbourhood of Bidart, a large village, about ten miles from
Bayonne. Early one frosty morning in December, an order came, that if
we saw the enemy advancing, we were not to fire or give the alarm.
About five, we perceived two battalions wearing grenadier caps coming
on.  They turned out to belong to a Nassau regiment which had occupied
the advanced post of the enemy, and, hearing that Napoleon had met with
great reverses in Germany, signified to us their intention to desert.
They were a fine-looking body of men, and appeared, I thought, rather
ashamed of the step they had taken.  On the same day, we were relieved,
and on our way back met Lord Wellington with his hounds.  He was
dressed in a light blue frock coat (the colour of the Hatfield hunt)
which had been sent out to him as a present from Lady Salisbury, then
one of the leaders of the fashionable world, and an enthusiastic
admirer of his lordship.

Here, I remember seeing for the first time a very remarkable character,
the Hon.  W.  Dawson, of my regiment.  He was surrounded by muleteers,
with whom he was bargaining to provide carriage for innumerable hampers
of wine, liqueurs, hams, potted meat, and other good things, which he
had brought from England.  He was a particularly gentlemanly and
amiable man, much beloved by the regiment: no one was so hospitable or
lived so magnificently. His cooks were the best in the army, and he,
besides, had a host of servants of all nations--Spaniards, French,
Portuguese, Italians--who were employed in scouring the country for
provisions. Lord Wellington once honoured him with his company; and on
entering the ensign's tent, found him alone at table, with a dinner fit
for a king, his plate and linen in good keeping, and his wines perfect.
Lord Wellington was accompanied on this occasion by Sir Edward Pakenham
and Colonel du Burgh, afterwards Lord Downes.  It fell to my lot to
partake of his princely hospitality and dine with him at his quarters,
a farmhouse in a village on the Bidassoa, and I never saw a better
dinner put upon table. The career of this amiable Amphitryon, to our
great regret, was cut short, after exercising for about a year a
splendid but not very wise hospitality.  He had only a younger
brother's fortune; his debts became very considerable, and he was
obliged to quit the Guards.  He and his friends had literally eaten up
his little fortune.


I may here recount an instance of the folly and foolhardiness of youth,
and the recklessness to which a long course of exposure to danger
produces. When Bayonne was invested, I was one night on duty on the
outer picket. The ground inside the breastwork which had been thrown up
for our protection by Burgoyne was in a most disagreeable state for any
one who wished to repose after the fatigues of the day, being knee-deep
in mud of a remarkably plastic nature.  I was dead tired, and
determined to get a little rest in some more agreeable spot; so calling
my sergeant, I told him to give me his knapsack for a pillow; I would
make a comfortable night of it on the top of the breastwork, as it was
an invitingly dry place.  "For heaven's sake take care, sir," said he;
"you'll have fifty bullets in you: you will be killed to a certainty."
"Pooh, nonsense," said I, and climbing up, I wrapt myself in my cloak,
laid my head on the knapsack, and soon fell into a sound sleep.

By the mercy of Providence I remained in a whole skin, either from the
French immediately underneath not perceiving me, or not thinking me
worth a shot; but when General Stopford came up with Lord James Hay
(who not long since reminded me of this youthful escapade) I received a
severe wigging, and was told to consider myself lucky that I was not
put under arrest for exposing my life in so foolish a manner.

Among the many officers of the Guards who were taken prisoners in the
unfortunate sortie from Bayonne, was the Hon.  H. Townshend, commonly
called Bull Townshend.  He was celebrated as a bon vivant, and in
consequence of his too great indulgence in the pleasures of the table,
had become very unwieldy and could not move quick enough to please his
nimble captors, so he received many prods in the back from a sharp
bayonet.  After repeated threats, however, he was dismissed with what
our American friends would be pleased to designate "a severe booting."
The late Sir Willoughby Cotton was also a prisoner.  It really seemed
as if the enemy had made choice of our fattest officers.  Sir
Willoughby escaped by giving up his watch and all the money which he
had in his pockets; but this consisting of a Spanish dollar only, the
smallness of the sum subjected him to the same ignominious treatment as
had been experienced by Townshend.

Among the numerous bad characters in our ranks, several were coiners,
or utterers of bad money.  In the second brigade of Guards, just before
we arrived at St. Jean de Luz, a soldier was convicted of this offence,
and was sentenced to receive 800 lashes.  This man made sham Spanish
dollars out of the pewter spoons of the regiment.  As he had before
been convicted and flogged, he received this terrible sentence, and
died under the lash.  Would it not have been better to have condemned
him to be shot?--  It would have been more humane, certainly more
military, and far less brutal.


When the headquarters of the army were at St Jean de Luz, Soult made a
movement in front of our right centre, which the English general took
for a reconnaissance.  As the French general perceived that we had
ordered preparations to receive him, he sent a flag of truce to demand
a cessation of hostilities, saying that he wanted to shoot an officer
and several men for acts of robbery committed by them, with every sort
of atrocity, on the farmers and peasantry of the country.  The
execution took place in view of both armies, and a terrible lesson it
was.  I cannot specify the date of this event, but think it must have
been the latter end of November, 1813. About the same time General
Harispe, who commanded a corps of Basques, issued a proclamation
forbidding the peasantry to supply the English with provisions or
forage, on pain of death; it stated that we were savages, and, as a
proof of this, our horses were born with short tails.  I saw this
absurd proclamation, which was published in French and in the Basque
languages, and distributed all over the country. Before we left the
neighbourhood of Bayonne for Bordeaux, a soldier was hanged for
robbery, on the sands of the Adour. This sort of punishment astonished
the French almost as much as it did the soldier. On a march we were
very severe, and if any of our men were caught committing an act of
violence or brigandage, the offender was tried by a drum-head
court-martial, and hanged in a very short time.

I knew an officer of the 18th Hussars, W. R., young, rich, and a
fine-looking fellow, who joined the army not far from St Sebastian.
His stud of horses was remarkable for their blood, his grooms were
English, and three in number.  He brought with him a light cart to
carry forage, and a fourgon for his own baggage.  All went on well,
till he came to go on outpost duty; but not finding there any of the
comforts to which he had been accustomed, he quietly mounted his
charger, told his astonished sergeant that campaigning was not intended
for a gentleman, and instantly galloped off to his quarters, ordering
his servants to pack up everything immediately, as he had hired a
transport to take him off to England. He left us before any one had
time to stop him; and though despatches were sent off to the
Commander-in-Chief, requesting that a court-martial might sit to try
the young deserter, he arrived home long enough before the despatches
to enable him to sell out of his regiment. He deserved to have been

Sir John Hope, who commanded our corps d'armee at Bayonne, had his
quarters at a village on the Adour, called Beaucauld.  He was good
enough to name me to the command of the village; which honour I did not
hold for many days, for the famous sortie from Bayonne took place soon
after, and the general was made prisoner.


Amongst the distinguished men in the Peninsular war whom my memory
brings occasionally before me, is the well-known and highly popular
Quartermaster General Sir John Waters, who was born at Margam, a Welsh
village in Glamorganshire.  He was one of those extraordinary persons
that seem created by kind nature for particular purposes; and, without
using the word in an offensive sense, he was the most admirable spy
that was ever attached to an army.  One would almost have thought that
the Spanish war was entered upon and carried on in order to display his
remarkable qualities.  He could assume the character of Spaniards of
every degree and station, so as to deceive the most acute of those whom
he delighted to imitate.  In the posada of the village he was hailed by
the contrabandist or the muleteer as one of their own race; in the gay
assemblies he was an accomplished hidalgo; at the bull-fight the
toreador received his congratulations as from one who had encountered
the toro in the arena; in the church he would converse with the friar
upon the number of Ave Marias and Pater-nosters which could lay a
ghost, or tell him the history of everyone who had perished by the
flame of the Inquisition, relating his crime, whether carnal or
anti-Catholic; and he could join in the seguadilla or in the guaracha.
But what rendered him more efficient than all was his wonderful power
of observation and accurate description, which made the information he
gave so reliable and valuable to the Duke of Wellington.  Nothing
escaped him.  When amidst a group of persons, he would minutely watch
the movement, attitude, and expression of every individual that
composed it; in the scenery by which he was surrounded he would
carefully mark every object:--not a tree, not a bush, not a large
stone, escaped his observation; and it was said that in a cottage he
noted every piece of crockery on the shelf, every domestic utensil, and
even the number of knives and forks that were got ready for use at
dinner. His acquaintance with the Spanish language was marvellous; from
the finest works of Calderon to the ballads in the patois of every
province, he could quote, to the infinite delight of those with whom he
associated.  He could assume any character that he pleased: he could be
the Castilian, haughty and reserved; the Asturian, stupid and plodding;
the Catalonian, intriguing and cunning; the Andalusian, laughing and
merry;--in short, he was all things to all men.  Nor was he incapable
of passing off, when occasion required, for a Frenchman; but as he
spoke the language with a strong German accent, he called himself an
Alsatian. He maintained that character with the utmost nicety; and as
there is a strong feeling of fellowship, almost equal to that which
exists in Scotland, amongst all those who are born in the departments
of France bordering on the Rhine, and who maintain their Teutonic
originality, he always found friends and supporters in every regiment
in the French service.

He was on one occasion entrusted with a very difficult mission by the
Duke of Wellington, which he undertook effectually to perform, and to
return on a particular day with the information that was required.

Great was the disappointment when it was ascertained beyond a doubt
that just after leaving the camp he had been taken prisoner, before he
had time to exchange his uniform.  Such, however, was the case: a troop
of dragoons had intercepted him, and carried him off; and the
commanding officer desired two soldiers to keep a strict watch over him
and carry him to head-quarters.  He was of course disarmed, and being
placed on a horse, was, after a short time, galloped off by his guards.
He slept one night under durance vile at a small inn, where he was
allowed to remain in the kitchen; conversation flowed on very glibly,
and as he appeared a stupid Englishman, who could not understand a word
of French or Spanish, he was allowed to listen, and thus obtained
precisely the intelligence that he was in search of.  The following
morning, being again mounted, he overheard a conversation between his
guards, who deliberately agreed to rob him, and to shoot him at a mill
where they were to stop, and to report to their officer that they had
been compelled to fire at him in consequence of his attempt to escape.

Shortly before they arrived at the mill, for fear that they might meet
with some one who would insist on having a portion of the spoil, the
dragoons took from the prisoner his watch and his purse, which he
surrendered with a good grace.  On their arrival at the mill, they
dismounted, and in order to give some appearance of truth to their
story, they went into the house; leaving their prisoner outside, in the
hope that he would make some attempt to escape.  In an instant Waters
threw his cloak upon a neighbouring olive bush, and mounted his cocked
hat on the top. Some empty flour sacks lay upon the ground, and a horse
laden with well-filled flour sacks stood at the door.  Sir John
contrived to enter one of the empty sacks and throw himself across the
horse.  When the soldiers came out of the house they fired their
carbines at the supposed prisoner, and galloped off at their utmost

A short time after the miller came out and mounted his steed; the
general contrived to rid himself of the encumbrance of the sack, and
sat up, riding behind the man, who, suddenly turning round, saw a
ghost, as he believed, for the flour that still remained in the sack
had completely whitened his fellow-traveller and given him a most
unearthly appearance. The frightened miller was "putrified," as Mrs.
Malaprop would say, at the sight, and a push from the white spectre
brought the unfortunate man to the ground, when away rode the gallant
quartermaster with his sacks of flour, which, at length bursting, made
a ludicrous spectacle of man and horse.

On reaching the English camp, where Lord Wellington was anxiously
deploring his fate, a sudden shout from the soldiers made his lordship
turn round, when a figure, resembling the statue in "Don Juan,"
galloped up to him. The duke, affectionately shaking him by the hand,

"Waters, you never yet deceived me; and though you have come in a most
questionable shape, I must congratulate you and myself."

When this story was told at the clubs, one of those listeners, who
always want something more, called out, "Well, and what did Waters
say?" to which Alvanley replied--

"Oh, Waters made a very flowery speech, like a well-bred man."


We expected to remain quietly in our winter quarters at St. Jean de
Luz; but, to our surprise, early one morning, we were aroused from
sleep by the beating of the drum calling us to arms.  We were soon in
marching order.  It appeared that our outposts had been severely pushed
by the French, and we were called upon to support our companions in

The whole of the British army, as well as the division of the Guards,
had commenced a forward movement.  Soult, seeing this, entirely changed
his tactics, and from that time, viz. the 9th of December, a series of
engagements took place. The fighting on the 9th was comparatively
insignificant.  When we were attacked on the 10th, the Guards held the
mayor's house, and the grounds and orchards attached: this was an
important station.

Large bodies of the enemy's infantry approached, and, after desultory
fighting, succeeded in penetrating our position, when many hand-to-hand
combats ensued.  Towards the afternoon, officers and men having
displayed great gallantry, we drove the enemy from the ground which
they courageously disputed with us, and from which they eventually
retreated to Bayonne.  Every day there was constant fighting along the
whole of our line, which extended from the sea to the lower Pyrenees--a
distance probably not less than thirty miles.

On the 11th, we only exchanged a few shots, but on the 12th Soult
brought into action from fifteen to twenty thousand men, and attacked
our left with a view of breaking our line.  One of the most remarkable
incidents of the 12th was the fact of an English battalion being
surrounded by a division of French in the neighbourhood of the mayor's
house--which, as before observed, was one of our principal strategical
positions. The French commanding officer, believing that no attempt
would be made to resist, galloped up to the officer of the British
regiment, and demanded his sword.  Upon this, without the least
hesitation, the British officer shouted out, "This fellow wants us to
surrender: charge, my boys! and show them what stuff we are made of."
Instantaneously, a hearty cheer rang out, and our men rushed forward
impetuously, drove off the enemy at the point of the bayonet, and soon
disposed of the surrounding masses. In a few minutes they had taken
prisoners, or killed, the whole of the infantry regiment opposed to

On the 13th was fought the bloody battle of the Nivelle.  Soult had
determined to make a gigantic effort to drive us back into Spain.
During the night of the 12th, he rapidly concentrated about sixty
thousand troops in front of Sir Rowland Hill's corps d'armee,
consisting of 15,000 men, who occupied a very strong position, which
was defended by some of the best artillery in the world.  At daybreak
Sir Rowland Hill was astonished to find himself threatened by masses of
infantry advancing over a country luckily intersected by rivulets,
hedges, and woods, which prevented the enemy from making a rapid
advance; whilst, at the same time, it was impossible on such ground to
employ cavalry.  Sir Rowland, availing himself of an elevated position,
hurriedly surveyed his ground, and concentrated his men at such points
as he knew the nature of the field would induce the enemy to attack.
The French, confident of success from their superior numbers, came
gallantly up, using the bayonet for the first time in a premeditated
attack; Our men stood their ground, and for hours acted purely on the
defensive; being sustained by the admirable practice of our artillery,
whose movements no difficulty of ground could, on this occasion,
impede, so efficiently were the guns horsed, and so perfect was the
training of the officers.  It was not until mid-day that the enemy
became discouraged at finding that they were unable to make any serious
impression on our position; they then retired in good order, Sir
Rowland Hill not daring to follow them.

Lord Wellington arrived just in time to witness the end of the battle;
and while going over the field with Sir Rowland Hill, he remarked that
he had never seen so many men hors de combat in so small a space.

I must not omit to mention a circumstance which occurred during this
great fight, alike illustrative of cowardice and of courage.  The
colonel of an infantry regiment, who shall be nameless, being hard
pressed, showed a disposition not only to run away himself, but to
order his regiment to retire.  In fact, a retrograde movement had
commenced, when my gallant and dear friend Lord Charles Spencer,
aide-de-camp to Sir William Stewart, dashed forward, and, seizing the
colours of the regiment, exclaimed, "If your colonel will not lead you,
follow me, my boys." The gallantry of this youth, then only eighteen
years of age, so animated the regiment, and restored their confidence,
that they rallied and shared in the glory of the day.


Immediately after the battle of Nivelle, Lord Wellington determined to
advance his whole line on to French ground.  The right, under his own
command, pushed on towards Orthes, whilst the left, under the command
of Sir John Hope, proceeded in the direction of Bayonne.  We (the
Guards) were incorporated in the latter corps d'armee.

Whilst these operations were going on, Soult was organizing his
discouraged army, in order to make, as early as possible, another
convenient stand. The enemy fell back on Orthes, and there took up a
strong position; Soult was, nevertheless, destined to be beaten again
at Orthes.  It so happened that, for the first time since the battle of
Vittoria, our cavalry were engaged: the nature of the ground at Nive
and Nivelle was such as to prevent the possibility of employing the
mounted soldier.

I must here record an incident which created a considerable sensation
in military circles in connection with the battle of Orthes.  The 10th
Hussars, officered exclusively by men belonging to the noblest families
of Great Britain, showed a desire to take a more active part in the
contest than their colonel (Quintin) thought prudent. They pressed hard
to be permitted to charge the French cavalry on more than one occasion,
but in vain.  This so disgusted every officer in the regiment, that
they eventually signed a round robin, by which they agreed never again
to speak to their colonel.  When the regiment returned to England, a
court of inquiry was held, which resulted, through the protection of
the Prince Regent, in the colonel's exoneration from all blame, and at
the same time the exchange of the rebellious officers into other

It was at the battle of Orthes that the late Duke of Richmond was shot
through the body, gallantly fighting with the 7th Fusiliers. Lord
Wellington had determined to cross the Adour, and Sir John Hope was
intrusted with a corps d'armee, which was the first to perform this
difficult operation. It was necessary to provide Sir John Hope with a
number of small boats; these were accordingly brought on the backs of
mules from various Spanish ports, it being impossible, on account of
the surf at the entrance of the Adour, as well as the command which the
French held of that river, for Lord Wellington to avail himself of
water carriage.  Soult had given orders for the forces under General
Thevenot to dispute the passage.

The first operations of our corps were to throw over the 3rd Guards,
under the command of the gallant Colonel Stopford; this was not
accomplished without much difficulty: but it was imperatively
necessary, in order to protect the point where the construction of the
bridge of boats would terminate.  They had not been long on the French
side of the river before a considerable body of men were seen issuing
from Bayonne. Sir John Hope ordered our artillery, and rockets, then
for the first time employed, to support our small band.  Three or four
regiments of French infantry were approaching rapidly, when a
well-directed fire of rockets fell amongst them. The consternation of
the Frenchmen was such, when these hissing, serpent-like projectiles
descended, that a panic ensued, and they retreated upon Bayonne.  The
next day the bridge of boats was completed, and the whole army crossed.
Bayonne was eventually invested after a contest, in which it was
supposed our loss exceeded 500 or 600 men.  Here we remained in camp
about six weeks, expecting to besiege the citadel; but this event never
came off: we, however, met with a severe disaster and a reverse.  The
enemy made an unexpected sortie, and surrounded General Sir John Hope,
when he and the whole of his staff were taken prisoners.  The French
killed and wounded about 1,000 men on this occasion.

The hardly-contested battle of Toulouse was fought about this period,
but the Guards were not present to share the honours of a contest which
closed the eventful war of the Spanish Peninsula.


When we reached Bordeaux, which had now become a stronghold of the
Royalists, we were received by the inhabitants with a welcome which
resembled what would be shown to friends and deliverers, rather than to
a foreign soldiery. Nothing could be more gratifying and more
acceptable to our feelings, since it was the first time after our
arrival on the Continent that we met with cordiality and an apparent
desire to make our quarters as comfortable as possible. The Duc
d'Angouleme had reached Bordeaux before us, and no doubt his presence
had prepared the way for all the friends of the Bourbons. Everywhere
some description of white rag was doing duty for a Royalist banner. I
lived at M.  Devigne's, a rich wine-merchant who had a family of two
sons and two beautiful daughters; the latter were, as I thought, taken
remarkable care of by their maternal parent. Here I had evidently
fallen upon my legs, for not only was the family a most agreeable one,
but their hospitality was of the most generous kind. Sir Stapylton
Cotton was our frequent visitor, together with M. Martignac, afterwards
Minister of Charles the Tenth.

Here I had an opportunity of meeting some of the prettiest women of a
city famed all over Europe for its female beauty.  The young ladies
were remarkable for their taste in dress, which in those days consisted
of a mantilla a l'Espagnole, and silken shawls of varied hues, so
admirably blended, that the eye was charmed with their richness of
colour.  The grisettes, who were as much admired by the soldiers as
were the high dames by the officers, were remarkable for a coquettish
species of apron of a red dye, which was only to be obtained from the

Of course we were all very anxious to taste the Bordeaux wines; but our
palates, accustomed to the stronger vintages of Spain, I suspect were
not in a condition to appreciate the more delicate and refined bouquets
which ought to characterize claret.  A vin ordinaire, which now at
restaurateur's would cost three francs, was then furnished at the
hotels for fifteen sous: a Larose, Lafitte, Margot, such as we are now
paying eight or ten francs a bottle for, did not cost a third. I must
not, however, forget that greater attention and care is now employed in
the preparation of French wines. The exportation to England of the
light red wines of France was not sufficiently profitable, as I learnt
from my host, at that time to attract the cupidity of commerce.

In the Guards, Bordeaux was more affectionately remembered in connexion
with its women than its wine.  We left it with regret, and the more
youthful and imaginative amongst us said that we were wafted across the
Channel by the gentle sighs of the girls we left behind us.


Our army, despite its defects, was nevertheless infinitely better
administered at home when I joined than it had been a few years before;
owing principally to the inquiry that had taken place in the House of
Commons, relative to the bribery and corruption which had crept in, and
which had been laid open by the confessions of a female, who created no
small sensation in those days, and who eventually terminated her
extraordinary career, not very long since, in Paris.

The squibs fired off by Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke had a much greater
influence, and produced more effect upon the English army, than all the
artillery of the enemy directed against the Duke of York when
commanding in Holland. This lady was remarkable for her beauty and her
fascinations; and few came within the circle over which she presided
who did not acknowledge her superior power.  Her wit, which kept the
House of Commons, during her examination, in a continued state of
merriment, was piquant and saucy.  Her answers on that occasion have
been so often brought before the public, that I need not repeat them;
but, in private life, her quick repartee, and her brilliant sallies,
rendered her a lively, though not always an agreeable companion.  As
for prudence, she had none; her dearest friend, if she had any, was
just as likely to be made the object of her ridicule as the most
obnoxious person of her acquaintance.

Her narrative of her first introduction to the Duke of York has often
been repeated; but, as all her stories were considered apocryphal, it
is difficult to arrive at a real history of her career.  Certain
however, is it that, about the age of sixteen, she was residing at
Blackheath--a sweet, pretty, lively girl--when, in her daily walk
across the heath, she was passed, on two or three occasions, by a
handsome, well-dressed cavalier, who, finding that she recognised his
salute, dismounted; pleased with her manner and wit, he begged to be
allowed to introduce a friend. Accordingly, on her consenting, a person
to whom the cavalier appeared to pay every sort of deference was
presented to her, and the acquaintance ripened into something more than
friendship.  Not the slightest idea had the young lady of the position
in society of her lover, until she accompanied him, on his invitation,
to the theatre, where she occupied a private box, when she was
surprised at the ceremony with which she was treated, and at observing
that every eye and every lorgnette in the house were directed towards
her in the course of the evening. She accepted this as a tribute to her
beauty.  Finding that she could go again to the theatre when she
pleased, and occupy the same box, she availed herself of this
opportunity with a female friend, and was not a little astonished at
being addressed as Her Royal Highness.  She then discovered that the
individual into whose affections she had insinuated herself was the son
of the King, the Duke of York, who had not long before united himself
to a lady, for whom she had been mistaken.

Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke was soon reconciled to the thought of being the
wife of a prince by the left hand, particularly as she found herself
assiduously courted by persons of the highest rank, and more especially
by military men.  A large house in a fashionable street was taken for
her, and an establishment on a magnificent scale gave her an
opportunity of surrounding herself with persons of a sphere far beyond
anything she could in her younger days have dreamt of; her father
having been in an honourable trade, and her husband being only a
captain in a marching regiment.  The duke, delighted to see his fair
friend so well received, constantly honoured her dinner-table with his
presence, and willingly gratified any wish that she expressed; and he
must have known (and for this he was afterwards highly censured) that
her style of living was upon a scale of great expense, and that he
himself contributed little towards it.  The consequence was that the
hospitable lady eventually became embarrassed, and knew not which way
to turn to meet her outlay. It was suggested to her that she might
obtain from the duke commissions in the army, which she could easily
dispose of at a good price.  Individuals quickly came forward, ready to
purchase anything that came within her grasp, which she extended not
only to the army, but, as it afterwards appeared, to the Church; for
there were reverend personages who availed themselves of her
assistance, and thus obtained patronage, by which they advanced their
worldly interests very rapidly.


Amongst those who paid great attention to Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke was
Colonel Wardle, at that time a remarkable member of the House of
Commons, and a bold leader of the Radical Opposition.  He got
intimately acquainted with her, and was so great a personal favourite
that it was believed he wormed out all her secret history, of which he
availed himself to obtain a fleeting popularity.

Having obtained the names of some of the parties who had been fortunate
enough, as they imagined, to secure the lady's favour, he loudly
demanded an inquiry in the House of Commons as to the management of the
army by the Commander-in-Chief, the Duke of York.  The nation and the
army were fond of his Royal Highness, and every attempt to screen him
was made; but in vain.  The House undertook the task of investigating
the conduct of the duke, and witnesses were produced, amongst whom was
the fair lady herself, who by no means attempted to screen her
imprudent admirer.  Her responses to the questions put to her were
cleverly and archly given, and the whole mystery of her various
intrigues came to light.  The duke consequently resigned his place in
the Horse Guards, and at the same time repudiated the beautiful and
dangerous cause of his humiliation.  The lady, incensed at the
desertion of her royal swain, announced her intention of publishing his
love-letters, which were likely to expose the whole of the royal family
to ridicule, as they formed the frequent themes of his correspondence.
Sir Herbert Taylor was therefore commissioned to enter into a
negotiation for the purchase of the letters; this he effected at an
enormous price, obtaining a written document at the same time by which
Mrs. Clarke was subjected to heavy penalties if she, by word or deed,
implicated the honour of any of the branches of the royal family.  A
pension was secured to her, on condition that she should quit England,
and reside wherever she chose on the Continent. To all this she
consented, and, in the first instance, went to Brussels, where her
previous history being scarcely known, she was well received; and she
married her daughters without any inquiry as to the fathers to whom she
might ascribe them.

Mrs. Clarke afterwards settled quietly and comfortably in Paris,
receiving occasionally visits from members of the aristocracy who had
known her when mingling in a certain circle in London.  The Marquis of
Londonderry never failed to pay his respects to her, entertaining a
very high opinion of her talents.  Her manners were exceedingly
agreeable, and to the latest day she retained pleasing traces of past
beauty.  She was lively, sprightly, and full of fun, and indulged in
innumerable anecdotes of the members of the royal family of
England--some of them much too scandalous to be repeated.  She regarded
the Duke of York as a big baby, not out of his leading-strings, and the
Prince of Wales as an idle sensualist, with just enough of brains to be
guided by any laughing, well-bred individual who would listen to stale
jokes and impudent ribaldry.  Of Queen Charlotte she used to speak with
the utmost disrespect, attributing to her a love of domination and a
hatred of every one who would not bow down before any idol that she
chose to set up; and as being envious of the Princess Caroline and her
daughter the Princess Charlotte of Wales, and jealous of their
acquiring too much influence over the Prince of Wales.  In short, Mary
Anne Clarke had been so intimately let into every secret of the life of
the royal family that, had she not been tied down, her revelations
would have astonished the world, however willing the people might have
been to believe that they were tinged with scandal and exaggeration.

The way in which Colonel Wardle first obtained information of the sale
of commissions was singular enough: he was paying a clandestine visit
to Mrs. Clarke, when a carriage with the royal livery drove up to the
door, and the gallant officer was compelled to take refuge under the
sofa; but instead of the royal duke, there appeared one of his
aide-de-camps, who entered into conversation in so mysterious a manner
as to excite the attention of the gentleman under the sofa, and led him
to believe that the sale of a commission was authorised by the
Commander-in-Chief; though it afterwards appeared that it was a private
arrangement of the unwelcome visitor.  At the Horse-Guards, it had
often been suspected that there was a mystery connected with
commissions that could not be fathomed; as it frequently happened that
the list of promotions agreed on was surreptitiously increased by the
addition of new names.  This was the crafty handiwork of the
accomplished dame; the duke having employed her as his amanuensis, and
being accustomed to sign her autograph lists without examination.


In the year 1814, my battalion of the Guards was once more in its old
quarters in Portman Street barracks, enjoying the fame of our Spanish
campaign.  Good society at the period to which I refer was, to use a
familiar expression, wonderfully "select."  At the present time one can
hardly conceive the importance which was attached to getting admission
to Almack's, the seventh heaven of the fashionable world. Of the three
hundred officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half a dozen were
honoured with vouchers of admission to this exclusive temple of the
beau monde; the gates of which were guarded by lady patronesses, whose
smiles or frowns consigned men and women to happiness or despair. These
lady patronesses were the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and
Sefton, Mrs. Drummond Burrell, now Lady Willoughby, the Princess
Esterhazy, and the Countess Lieven.

The most popular amongst these grandes dames was unquestionably Lady
Cowper, now Lady Palmerston.  Lady Jersey's bearing, on the contrary,
was that of a theatrical tragedy queen; and whilst attempting the
sublime, she frequently made herself simply ridiculous, being
inconceivably rude, and in her manner often ill-bred.  Lady Sefton was
kind and amiable, Madame de Lieven haughty and exclusive, Princess
Esterhazy was a bon enfant, Lady Castlereagh and Mrs. Burrell de tres
grandes dames.

Many diplomatic arts, much finesse, and a host of intrigues, were set
in motion to get an invitation to Almack's.  Very often persons whose
rank and fortunes entitled them to the entree anywhere, were excluded
by the cliqueism of the lady patronesses; for the female government of
Almack's was a pure despotism, and subject to all the caprices of
despotic rule: it is needless to add that, like every other despotism,
it was not innocent of abuses.  The fair ladies who ruled supreme over
this little dancing and gossiping world, issued a solemn proclamation
that no gentleman should appear at the assemblies without being dressed
in knee-breeches, white cravat, and chapeau bras.  On one occasion, the
Duke of Wellington was about to ascend the staircase of the ball-room,
dressed in black trousers, when the vigilant Mr. Willis, the guardian
of the establishment, stepped forward and said, "Your Grace cannot be
admitted in trousers," whereupon the Duke, who had a great respect for
orders and regulations, quietly walked away.

In 1814, the dances at Almack's were Scotch reels and the old English
country-dance; and the orchestra, being from Edinburgh, was conducted
by the then celebrated Neil Gow.  It was not until 1815 that Lady
Jersey introduced from Paris the favourite quadrille, which has so long
remained popular.  I recollect the persons who formed the very first
quadrille that was ever danced at Almack's: they were Lady Jersey, Lady
Harriet Butler, Lady Susan Ryder, and Miss Montgomery; the men being
the Count St. Aldegonde, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Montague, and Charles
Standish. The "mazy waltz" was also brought to us about this time; but
there were comparatively few who at first ventured to whirl round the
salons of Almack's; in course of time Lord Palmerston might, however,
have been seen describing an infinite number of circles with Madame de
Lieven. Baron de Neumann was frequently seen perpetually turning with
the Princess Esterhazy; and, in course of time, the waltzing mania,
having turned the heads of society generally, descended to their feet,
and the waltz was practised in the morning in certain noble mansions in
London with unparalleled assiduity.

The dandies of society were Beau Brummell (of whom I shall have to say
something on another occasion), the Duke of Argyle, the Lords
Worcester, Alvanley, and Foley, Henry Pierrepoint, John Mills,
Bradshaw, Henry de Ros, Charles Standish, Edward Montagu, Hervey Aston,
Dan Mackinnon, George Dawson Damer, Lloyd (commonly known as Rufus
Lloyd), and others who have escaped my memory.  They were great
frequenters of White's Club, in St. James's Street, where, in the
famous bay window, they mustered in force.

Drinking and play were more universally indulged in then than at the
present time, and many men still living must remember the couple of
bottles of port at least which accompanied his dinner in those days.
Indeed, female society amongst the upper classes was most notoriously
neglected; except, perhaps, by romantic foreigners, who were the heroes
of many at fashionable adventure that fed the clubs with ever
acceptable scandal. How could it be otherwise, when husbands spent
their days in the hunting-field, or were entirely occupied with
politics, and always away from home during the day; whilst the
dinner-party, commencing at seven or eight, frequently did not break up
before one in the morning. There were then four-, and even five-bottle
men; and the only thing that saved them was drinking very slowly, and
out of very small glasses. The learned head of the law, Lord Eldon, and
his brother, Lord Stowell, used to say that they had drunk more bad
port than any two men in England; indeed, the former was rather apt to
be overtaken, and to speak occasionally somewhat thicker than natural,
after long and heavy potations.  The late Lords Panmure, Dufferin, and
Blayney, wonderful to relate, were six-bottle men at this time; and I
really think that if the good society of 1815 could appear before their
more moderate descendants in the state they were generally reduced to
after dinner, the moderns would pronounce their ancestors fit for
nothing but bed.


The greatest vocalist of whom I have a recollection, is Madame
Catalani. In her youth, she was the finest singer in Europe, and she
was much sought after by all the great people during her sejour in
London. She was extremely handsome, and was considered a model as wife
and mother. Catalani was very fond of money, and would never sing
unless paid beforehand. She was invited, with her husband, to pass some
time at Stowe, where a numerous but select party had been invited; and
Madame Catalani, being asked to sing soon after dinner, willingly
complied. When the day of her departure came, her husband placed in the
hands of the Marquis of Buckingham the following little billet:--"For
seventeen songs, seventeen hundred pounds." This large sum was paid at
once, without hesitation; proving that Lord Buckingham was a refined
gentleman, in every sense of the word.

Catalani's husband, M.  de Valabreque, once fought a duel with a German
baron who had insulted the prima donna; the weapons used were sabres,
and Valabreque cut half of the Baron's nose clean off.  Madame Catalani
lived for many years, highly respected, at a handsome villa near
Florence. Her two sons are now distinguished members of the Imperial
court in Paris; the eldest being Prefet du Palais, and the youngest
colonel of a regiment of hussars.

When George the Fourth was Regent, Her Majesty's Theatre, as the
Italian Opera in the Haymarket is still called, was conducted on a very
different system from that which now prevails. Some years previous to
the period to which I refer, no one could obtain a box or a ticket for
the pit without a voucher from one of the lady patronesses; who, in
1805, were the Duchesses of Marlborough, Devonshire, and Bedford, Lady
Carlisle, and some others. In their day, after, the singing and the
ballet were over, the company used to retire into the concert-room,
where a ball took place, accompanied by refreshments and a supper.
There all the rank and fashion of England were assembled on a sort of
neutral ground. At a later period, the management of the Opera House
fell into the hands of Mr. Waters, when it became less difficult to
obtain admittance; but the strictest etiquette was still kept up as
regarded the dress of the gentlemen, who were only admitted with
knee-buckles, ruffles, and chapeau bras. If there happened to be a
drawing-room, the ladies would appear in their court-dresses, as well
as the gentlemen, and on all occasions the audience of Her Majesty's
Theatre was stamped with aristocratic elegance.  In the boxes of the
first tier might have been seen the daughters of the Duchess of Argyle,
four of England's beauties; in the next box were the equally lovely
Marchioness of Stafford and her daughter, Lady Elizabeth Gore, now the
Duchess of Norfolk: not less remarkable was Lady Harrowby and her
daughters Lady Susan and Lady Mary Ryder.  The peculiar type of female
beauty which these ladies so attractively exemplified, is such as can
be met with only in the British Isles: the full, round, soul-inspired
eye of Italy, and the dark hair of the sunny south, often combined with
that exquisitely pearly complexion which seems to be concomitant with
humidity and fog.  You could scarcely gaze upon the peculiar beauty to
which I refer without being as much charmed with its kindly expression
as with its physical loveliness.


England can boast of a Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton, and many other
illustrious poets, clearly indicating that the national character of
Britons is not deficient in imagination; but we have not had one single
masculine inventive genius of the kitchen.  It is the probable result
of our national antipathy to mysterious culinary compounds, that none
of the bright minds of England have ventured into the region of
scientific cookery. Even in the best houses, when I was a young man,
the dinners were wonderfully solid, hot and stimulating.  The menu of a
grand dinner was thus composed:--Mulligatawny and turtle soups were the
first dishes placed before you; a little lower, the eye met with the
familiar salmon at one end of the table, and the turbot, surrounded by
smelts, at the other.  The first course was sure to be followed by a
saddle of mutton or a piece of roast beef; and then you could take your
oath that fowls, tongue, and ham, would as assuredly succeed as
darkness after day.

Whilst these never ending pieces de resistance were occupying the
table, what were called French dishes were, for custom's sake, added to
the solid abundance.  The French, or side dishes, consisted of very
mild but very abortive attempts at Continental cooking, and I have
always observed that they met with the neglect and contempt that they
merited. The universally adored and ever popular boiled potato,
produced at the very earliest period of the dinner, was eaten with
everything, up to the moment when sweets appeared.  Our vegetables, the
best in the world, were never honoured by an accompanying sauce, and
generally came to the table cold.  A prime difficulty to overcome was
the placing on your fork, and finally in your mouth, some half-dozen
different eatables which occupied your plate at the same time.  For
example, your plate would contain, say, a slice of turkey, a piece of
stuffing, a sausage, pickles, a slice of tongue, cauliflower, and
potatoes.  According to habit and custom, a judicious and careful
selection from this little bazaar of good things was to be made, with
an endeavour to place a portion of each in your mouth at the same
moment.  In fact, it appeared to me that we used to do all our compound
cookery between our jaws.  The dessert--generally ordered at Messrs.
Grange's, or at Owen's, in Bond Street--if for a dozen people, would
cost at least as many pounds. The wines were chiefly port, sherry, and
hock; claret, and even Burgundy, being then designated "poor, thin,
washy stuff."  A perpetual thirst seemed to come over people, both men
and women, as soon as they had tasted their soup; as from that moment
everybody was taking wine with everybody else till the close of the
dinner; and such wine as produced that class of cordiality which
frequently wanders into stupefaction. How all this sort of eating and
drinking ended was obvious, from the prevalence of gout, and the
necessity of everyone making the pill-box their constant bedroom


When the eldest son of George the Third assumed the Regency, England
was in a state of political transition. The convulsions of the
Continent were felt amongst us; the very foundations of European
society were shaking, and the social relations of men were rapidly
changing.  The Regent's natural leanings were towards the Tories;
therefore as soon as he undertook the responsibility of power, he
abruptly abandoned the Whigs and retained in office the admirers and
partisans of his father's policy.  This resolution caused him to have
innumerable and inveterate enemies, who never lost an opportunity of
attacking his public acts and interfering with his domestic relations.

The Regent was singularly imbued with petty royal pride.  He would
rather be amiable and familiar with his tailor than agreeable and
friendly with the most illustrious of the aristocracy of Great Britain;
he would rather joke with a Brummell than admit to his confidence a
Norfolk or a Somerset.  The Regent was always particularly well-bred in
public, and showed, if he chose, decidedly good manners; but he was in
the habit very often of addressing himself in preference to those whom
he felt he could patronise.  His Royal Highness was as much the victim
of circumstances and the child of thoughtless imprudence as the most
humble subject of the crown.  His unfortunate marriage with a Princess
of Brunswick originated in his debts; as he married that unhappy lady
for one million sterling, William Pitt being the contractor!  The
Princess of Wales married nothing but an association with the Crown of
England.  If the Prince ever seriously loved any woman, it was Mrs.
Fitzherbert, with whom he had appeared at the altar.

Public opinion in England, under the inspiration of the Whigs, raised a
cry of indignation against the Prince.  It was imagined, I presume,
that royal personage should be born without heart or feeling; that he
should have been able to live only for the good of the State and for
the convenience of his creditors.  The Princess of Wales was one of the
most unattractive and almost repulsive women for an elegant-minded man
that could well have been found amongst German royalty. It is not my
intention to recall the events of the Regency. It is well known that
the Prince became eventually so unpopular as to exclude himself as much
as possible from public gaze.  His intimate companions, after the trial
of Queen Caroline, were Lords Cunningham and Fife, Sir Benjamin
Bloomfield, Sir William Macmahon, Admiral Nagle, Sir A. Barnard, Lords
Glenlyon, Hertford, and Lowther.  These gentlemen generally dined with
him; the dinner being the artistic product of that famous gastronomic
savant, Wattiers.  The Prince was very fond of listening after dinner
to the gossip of society.  When he became George the Fourth, no change
took place in these personnels at the banquet, excepting that with the
fruits and flowers of the table was introduced the beautiful
Marchioness of Conyngham, whose brilliant wit, according to the
estimation of his Majesty, surpassed that of any other of his friends,
male or female.


Carlton House, at the period to which I refer, was a centre for all the
great politicians and wits who were the favorites of the Regent. The
principal entrance of this palace in Pall Mall, with its screen of
columns, will be remembered by many. In the rear of the mansion was an
extensive garden that reached from Warwick Street to Marlborough House;
green sward, stately trees, (probably two hundred years old), and beds
of the choicest flowers, gave to the grounds a picturesque attraction
perhaps unequalled.  It was here that the heir to the throne of England
gave, in 1813, an open-air fete, in honour of the battle of Vittoria.
About three o'clock P.M. the elite of London society, who had been
honoured with an invitation, began to arrive--all in full dress; the
ladies particularly displaying their diamonds and pearls, as if they
were going to a drawing-room.  The men were, of course, in full dress,
wearing knee-buckles.  The regal circle was composed of the Queen, the
Regent, the Princess Sophia and Mary, the Princess Charlotte, the Dukes
of York, Clarence, Cumberland, and Cambridge.

This was the first day that her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte
appeared in public.  She was a young lady of more than ordinary
personal attractions; her features were regular, and her complexion
fair, with the rich bloom of youthful beauty; her eyes were blue and
very expressive, and her hair was abundant, and of that peculiar light
brown which merges into the golden: in fact, such hair as the
Middle-Age Italian painters associate with their conceptions of the
Madonna.  In figure her Royal Highness was somewhat over the ordinary
height of women, but finely proportioned and well developed.  Her
manners were remarkable for a simplicity and good-nature which would
have won admiration and invited affection in the most humble walks of
life.  She created universal admiration, and I may say a feeling of
national pride, amongst all who attended the ball.  The Prince Regent
entered the gardens giving his arm to the Queen, the rest of the royal
family following.  Tents had been erected in various parts of the
grounds, where the bands of the Guards were stationed.  The weather was
magnificent, a circumstance which contributed to show off the admirable
arrangements of Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, to whom had been deputed the
organization of the fete, which commenced by dancing on the lawn.

The Princess Charlotte honoured with her presence two dances.  In the
first she accepted the hand of the late Duke of Devonshire, and in the
second that of the Earl of Aboyne, who had danced with Marie
Antoinette, and who, as Lord Huntley, lived long enough to dance with
Queen Victoria. The Princess entered so much into the spirit of the
fete as to ask for the then fashionable Scotch dances.  The Prince was
dressed in the Windsor uniform, and wore the garter and star.  He made
himself very amiable, and conversed much with the Ladies Hertford,
Cholmondeley, and Montford. Altogether, the fete was a memorable event.

A year afterwards, the Duke of York said to his royal niece, "Tell me,
my dear, have you seen anyone among the foreign princes whom you would
like to have for a husband?"  The Princess naively replied, "No one so
much prepossesses me as Prince Leopold of Coburg.  I have heard much of
his bravery in the field, and I must say he is personally agreeable to
me.  I have particularly heard of his famous cavalry charge at the
battle of Leipsic, where he took several thousand prisoners, for which
he was rewarded with the Order of Maria Therese."  In a few months
afterwards she became the wife of the man whom she so much admired, and
from whom she was torn away not long after by the cruel hand of death.
It will be remembered that she died in childbirth, and her offspring
expired at the same time.  The accoucheur who attended her was so much
affected by the calamity, that he committed suicide some short time


Amongst the curious freaks of fortune there is none more remarkable in
my memory than the sudden appearance, in the highest and best society
in London, of a young man whose antecedents warranted a much less
conspicuous career: I refer to the famous Beau Brummell.  We have
innumerable instances of soldiers, lawyers, and men of letters,
elevating themselves from the most humble stations, and becoming the
companions of princes and lawgivers; but there are comparatively few
examples of men obtaining a similarly elevated position simply from
their attractive personal appearance and fascinating manners.
Brummell's father, who was a steward to one or two large estates, sent
his son George to Eton.  He was endowed with a handsome person, and
distinguished himself at Eton as the best scholar, the best boatman,
and the best cricketer; and, more than all, he was supposed to possess
the comprehensive excellences that are represented by the familiar term
of "good fellow."  He made many friends amongst the scions of good
families, by whom he was considered a sort of Crichton; and his
reputation reached a circle over which reigned the celebrated Duchess
of Devonshire. At a grand ball given by her Grace, George Brummell,
then quite a youth, appeared for the first time in such elevated
society. He immediately became a great favourite with the ladies, and
was asked by all the dowagers to as many balls and soirees as he could

At last the Prince of Wales sent for Brummell, and was so much pleased
with his manner and appearance, that he gave him a commission in his
own regiment, the 10th Hussars.  Unluckily, Brummell, soon after
joining his regiment, was thrown from his horse at a grand review at
Brighton, when he broke his classical Roman nose.  This misfortune,
however, did not affect the fame of the beau; and although his nasal
organ had undergone a slight transformation, it was forgiven by his
admirers, since the rest of his person remained intact.  When we are
prepossessed by the attractions of a favourite, it is not a trifle that
will dispel the illusion; and Brummell continued to govern society, in
conjunction with the Prince of Wales. He was remarkable for his dress,
which was generally conceived by himself; the execution of his sublime
imagination being carried out by that superior genius, Mr. Weston,
tailor, of Old Bond Street.  The Regent sympathised deeply with
Brummell's labours to arrive at the most attractive and gentlemanly
mode of dressing the male form, at a period when fashion had placed at
the disposal of the tailor the most hideous material that could
possibly tax his art.  The coat may have a long tail or a short tail, a
high collar or a low collar, but it will always be an ugly garment.
The modern hat may be spread out at the top, or narrowed, whilst the
brim may be turned up or turned down, made a little wider or a little
more narrow, still it is inconceivably hideous.  Pantaloons and Hessian
boots were the least objectionable features of the costume which the
imagination of a Brummell and the genius of a Royal Prince were called
upon to modify or change. The hours of meditative agony which each
dedicated to the odious fashions of the day have left no monument save
the coloured caricatures in which these illustrious persons have

Brummell, at this time, besides being the companion and friend of the
Prince, was very intimate with the Dukes of Rutland, Dorset, and
Argyll, Lords Sefton, Alvanley, and Plymouth.  In the zenith of his
popularity he might be seen at the bay window of White's Club,
surrounded by the lions of the day, laying down the law, and
occasionally indulging in those witty remarks for which he was famous.
His house in Chapel Street corresponded with his personal "get up"; the
furniture was in excellent taste, and the library contained the best
works of the best authors of every period and of every country.  His
canes, his snuff-boxes, his Sevres china, were exquisite; his horses
and carriage were conspicuous for their excellence; and, in fact, the
superior taste of a Brummell was discoverable in everything that
belonged to him.

But the reign of the king of fashion, like all other reigns, was not
destined to continue for ever.  Brummell warmly espoused the cause of
Mrs. Fitzherbert, and this of course offended the Prince of Wales. I
refer to the period when his Royal Highness had abandoned that
beautiful woman for another favourite.  A coldness sprang up between
the Prince and his protege, and finally, the mirror of fashion was
excluded from the royal presence. A curious accident brought Brummell
again to the dinner-table of his royal patron; he was asked one night
at White's to take a hand at whist, when he won from George Harley
Drummond 20,000£. This circumstance having been related by the Duke of
York to the Prince of Wales, the beau was again invited to Carlton
House.  At the commencement of the dinner, matters went off smoothly;
but Brummell, in his joy at finding himself with his old friend, became
excited, and drank too much wine.  His Royal Highness--who wanted to
pay off Brummell for an insult he had received at Lady Cholmondeley's
ball, when the beau, turning towards the Prince, said to Lady
Worcester, "Who is your fat friend?"--had invited him to dinner merely
out of a desire for revenge.  The Prince therefore pretended to be
affronted with Brummell's hilarity, and said to his brother, the Duke
of York, who was present, "I think we had better order Mr. Brummell's
carriage before he gets drunk." Whereupon he rang the bell, and
Brummell left the royal presence.  This circumstance originated the
story about the beau having told the Prince to ring the bell. I
received these details from the late General Sir Arthur Upton, who was
present at the dinner. The latter days of Brummell were clouded with
mortifications and penury.  He retired to Calais, where he kept up a
ludicrous imitation of his past habits.  At least he got himself named
consul at Caen; but he afterwards lost the appointment, and eventually
died insane, and in abject poverty, either at Boulogne or Calais.


This singular man, more than forty years ago, occupied a large portion
of public attention; his eccentricities were the theme of general
wonder, and great was the curiosity to catch a glance at as strange a
being as any that ever appeared in English society.  This extraordinary
individual was a native of one of the West India Islands, and was
represented as a man of extraordinary wealth; to which, however, he had
no claim.

About the year 1808 there arrived at the York Hotel, at Bath, a person
about the age of fifty, somewhat gentlemanlike, but so different from
the usual men of the day that considerable attention was directed to
him.  He was of a good figure; but his face was sallow, seamed with
wrinkles, and more expressive of cunning than of any other quality. His
dress was remarkable: in the day-time he was covered at all seasons
with enormous quantities of fur; but the evening costume in which he
went to the balls made a great impression, from its gaudy appearance;
for his buttons as well as his knee-buckles were of diamonds. There was
of course great curiosity to know who this stranger was; and this
curiosity was heightened by an announcement that he proposed to appear
at the theatre in the character of Romeo.  There was something so
unlike the impassioned lover in his appearance--so much that indicated
a man with few intellectual gifts--that everybody was prepared for a
failure. No one, however, anticipated the reality.

On the night fixed for his appearance the house was crowded to
suffocation. The playbills had given out that "an amateur of fashion"
would for that night only perform in the character of Romeo; besides,
it was generally whispered that the rehearsals gave indication of
comedy rather than tragedy, and that his readings were of a perfectly
novel character.

The very first appearance of Romeo convulsed the house with laughter.
Benvolio prepares the audience for the stealthy visit of the lover to
the object of his admiration; and fully did the amateur give the
expression to one sense of the words uttered, for he was indeed the
true representative of a thief stealing onwards in the night, "with
Tarquin's ravishing strides," and disguising his face as if he were
thoroughly ashamed of it.  The darkness of the scene did not, however,
show his real character so much as the masquerade, when he came forward
with hideous grin, and made what he considered his bow,--which
consisted in thrusting his head forward and bobbing it up and down
several times, his body remaining perfectly upright and stiff, like a
toy mandarin with moveable head.

His dress was outre in the extreme: whether Spanish, Italian, or
English, no one could say; it was like nothing ever worn.  In a cloak
of sky-blue silk, profusely spangled, red pantaloons, a vest of white
muslin, surmounted by an enormously thick cravat, and a wig a la
Charles the Second, capped by an opera hat, he presented one of the
most grotesque spectacles ever witnessed upon the stage.  The whole of
his garments were evidently too tight for him; and his movements
appeared so incongruous, that every time he raised his arm, or moved a
limb, it was impossible to refrain from laughter: but what chiefly
convulsed the audience was the bursting of a seam in an inexpressible
part of his dress, and the sudden extrusion through the red rent of a
quantity of white linen sufficient to make a Bourbon flag, which was
visible whenever he turned round.  This was at first supposed to be a
wilful offence against common decency, and some disapprobation was
evinced; but the utter unconsciousness of the odd creature was soon
apparent, and then urestrained mirth reigned throughout the boxes, pit,
and gallery.  The total want of flexibility of limb, the awkwardness of
his gait, and the idiotic manner in which he stood still, all produced
a most ludicrous effect; but when his guttural voice was heard, and his
total misapprehension of every passage in the play, especially the
vulgarity of his address to Juliet, were perceived, everyone was
satisfied that Shakspeare's Romeo was burlesqued on that occasion.

The balcony scene was interrupted by shrieks of laughter, for in the
midst of one of Juliet's impassioned exclamations, Romeo quietly took
out his snuff-box and applied a pinch to his nose; on this a wag in the
gallery bawled out, "I say, Romeo, give us a pinch," when the
impassioned lover, in the most affected manner, walked to the side
boxes and offered the contents of his box first to the gentlemen, and
then, with great gallantry, to the ladies.  This new interpretation of
Shakspeare was hailed with loud bravos, which the actor acknowledged
with his usual grin and nod.  Romeo then returned to the balcony, and
was seen to extend his arms; but all passed in dumb show, so incessant
were the shouts of laughter. All that went on upon the stage was for a
time quite inaudible, but previous to the soliloquy "I do remember an
apothecary," there was for a moment a dead silence; for in rushed the
hero with a precipitate step until he reached the stage lamps, when he
commenced his speech in the lowest possible whisper, as if he had
something to communicate to the pit that ought not to be generally
known; and this tone was kept up throughout the whole of the soliloquy,
so that not a sound could be heard.

The amateur actor showed many indications of aberration of mind, and
seemed rather the object of pity than of amusement; he, however,
appeared delighted with himself, and also with his audience, for at the
conclusion he walked first to the left of the stage and bobbed his head
in his usual grotesque manner at the side boxes; then to the right,
performing the same feat; after which, going to the centre of the stage
with the usual bob, and placing his hand upon his left breast, he
exclaimed, "Haven't I done it well?"  To this inquiry the house,
convulsed as it was with shouts of laughter, responded in such a way as
delighted the heart of Kean on one great occasion, when he said, "The
pit rose at me." The whole audience started up as if with one accord,
giving a yell of derision, whilst pocket-handkerchiefs waved from all
parts of the theatre.

The dying scene was irresistibly comic, and I question if Liston,
Munden, or Joey Knight, was ever greeted with such merriment; for Romeo
dragged the unfortunate Juliet from the tomb, much in the same manner
as a washerwoman thrusts into her cart the bag of foul linen. But how
shall I describe his death?  Out came a dirty silk handkerchief from
his pocket, with which he carefully swept the ground; then his opera
hat was carefully placed for a pillow, and down he laid himself.  After
various tossings about he seemed reconciled to the position; but the
house vociferously bawled out, "Die again, Romeo!"  and, obedient to
the command, he rose up, and went through the ceremony again.  Scarcely
had he lain quietly down, when the call was again heard, and the
well-pleased amateur was evidently prepared to enact a third death; but
Juliet now rose up from her tomb, and gracefully put an end to this
ludicrous scene by advancing to the front of the stage and aptly
applying a quotation from Shakspeare:--

  "Dying is such sweet sorrow,
  That he will die again until to-morrow."

Thus ended an extravaganza such as has seldom been witnessed; for
although Coates repeated the play at the Haymarket, amidst shouts of
laughter from the playgoers, there never was so ludicrous a performance
as that which took place at Bath on the first night of his appearance.
Eventually he was driven from the stage with much contumely, in
consequence of its having been discovered that, under pretence of
acting for a charitable purpose, he had obtained a sum of money for his
performances. His love of notoriety led him to have a most singular
shell-shaped carriage built, in which, drawn by two fine white horses,
he was wont to parade in the park; the harness, and every available
part of the vehicle (which was really handsome) were blazoned over with
his heraldic device--a cock crowing, and his appearance was heralded by
the gamins of London shrieking out "cock-a-doodle-doo." Coates
eventually quitted London and settled at Boulogne, where a fair lady
was induced to become the partner of his existence, notwithstanding the
ridicule of the whole world.


That extensive district of park land, the entrances of which are in
Piccadilly and Oxford Street, was far more rural in appearance in 1815
than at the present day.  Under the trees cows and deer were grazing;
the paths were fewer and none told of that perpetual tread of human
feet which now destroys all idea of country charms and illusions. As
you gazed from an eminence, no rows of monotonous houses reminded you
of the vicinity of a large city, and the atmosphere of Hyde Park was
then much more like what God has made it than the hazy, gray,
coal-darkened half-twilight of the London of to-day.  The company which
then congregated daily about five, was composed of dandies and women in
the best society; the men mounted on such horses as England alone could
then produce. The dandy's dress consisted of a blue coat with brass
buttons, leather breeches, and top boots; and it was the fashion to
wear a deep, stiff white cravat, which prevented you from seeing your
boots while standing. All the world watched Brummell to imitate him,
and order their clothes of the tradesman who dressed that sublime
dandy.  One day a youthful beau approached Brummell and said, "Permit
me to ask you where you get your blacking?"  "Ah!"  replied Brummell,
gazing complacently at his boots, "my blacking positively ruins me.  I
will tell you in confidence; it is made with the finest champagne!"

Many of the ladies used to drive into the park in a carriage called a
vis-a-vis, which held only two persons.  The hammer-cloth, rich in
heraldic designs, the powdered footmen in smart liveries, and a
coachman who assumed all the gaiety and appearance of a wigged
archbishop, were indispensable.  The equipages were generally much more
gorgeous than at a later period, when democracy invaded the parks, and
introduced what may be termed a "brummagem society," with
shabby-genteel carriages and servants. The carriage company consisted
of the most celebrated beauties, amongst whom were remarked the
Duchesses of Rutland, Argyle, Gordon, and Bedford, Ladies Cowper,
Foley, Heathcote, Louisa Lambton, Hertford, and Mountjoy.  The most
conspicuous horsemen were the Prince Regent (accompanied by Sir
Benjamin Bloomfield); the Duke of York and his old friend, Warwick
Lake; the Duke of Dorset, on his white horse; the Marquis of Anglesea,
with his lovely daughters; Lord Harrowby and the Ladies Ryder; the Earl
of Sefton and the Ladies Molyneux; and the eccentric Earl of Moreton on
his long-tailed grey.  In those days "pretty horsebreakers" would not
have dared to show themselves in Hyde Park; nor did you see any of the
lower or middle classes of London intruding themselves in regions
which, with a sort of tacit understanding, were then given up
exclusively to persons of rank and fashion.


There was a class of men, of very high rank, such as Lords Wellington,
Nelson, and Collingwood, Sir John Moore and some few others who never
frequented the clubs. The persons to whom I refer, and amongst whom
were many members of the sporting world, used to congregate at a few
hotels.  The Clarendon, Limmer's, Ibbetson's, Fladong's, Stephens', and
Grillon's, were the fashionable hotels. The Clarendon was then kept by
a French cook, Jacquiers, who contrived to amass a large sum of money
in the service of Louis the Eighteenth in England, and subsequently
with Lord Darnley.  This was the only public hotel where you could get
a genuine French dinner, and for which you seldom paid less than three
or four pounds; your bottle of champagne or of claret, in the year
1814, costing you a guinea.

Limmer's was an evening resort for the sporting world; in fact, it was
a midnight Tattersal's, where you heard nothing but the language of the
turf, and where men with not very clean hands used to make up their
books.  Limmer's was the most dirty hotel in London; but in the gloomy,
comfortless coffee-room might be seen many members of the rich
squirearchy, who visited London during the sporting season.  This hotel
was frequently so crowded that a bed could not be obtained for any
amount of money; but you could always get a very good plain English
dinner, an excellent bottle of port, and some famous gin-punch.
Ibbetson's hotel was chiefly patronized by the clergy and young men
from the universities.  The charges there were more economical than at
similar establishments. Fladong's, in Oxford Street, was chiefly
frequented by naval men; for in those days there was no club for
sailors.  Stephens', in Bond Street, was a fashionable hotel, supported
by officers of the army and men about town.  If a stranger asked to
dine there, he was stared at by the servants, and very solemnly assured
that there was no table vacant.  It was not an uncommon thing to see
thirty or forty saddle-horses and tilburys waiting outside this hotel.
I recollect two of my old Welsh friends, who used each of them to
dispose of five bottles of wine daily, residing here in 1815, when the
familiar joints, boiled fish and fried soles, were the only eatables
you could order.


The members of the clubs in London, many years since, were persons,
almost without exception, belonging exclusively to the aristocratic
world.  "My tradesmen," as King Allen used to call the bankers and the
merchants, had not then invaded White's, Boodle's, Brookes', or
Wattiers', in Bolton Street, Piccadilly; which, with the Guards,
Arthur's, and Graham's, were the only clubs at the West End of the
town.  White's was decidedly the most difficult of entry; its list of
members comprised nearly all the noble names of Great Britain.

The politics of White's club were then decidedly Tory.  It was here
that play was carried on to an extent which made many ravages in large
fortunes, the traces of which have not disappeared at the present day.
General Scott, the father-in-law of George Canning and the Duke of
Portland, was known to have won at White's 200,000£.; thanks to his
notorious sobriety and knowledge of the game of whist.  The General
possessed a great advantage over his companions by avoiding those
indulgences at the table which used to muddle other men's brains.  He
confined himself to dining off something like a boiled chicken, with
toast-and-water; by such a regimen he came to the whist-table with a
clear head, and possessing as he did a remarkable memory, with great
coolness and judgment, he was able honestly to win the enormous sum of
200,000£.  At Brookes', for nearly half a century, the play was of a
more gambling character than at White's.  Faro and macao were indulged
in to an extent which enabled a man to win or to lose a considerable
fortune in one night. It was here that Charles James Fox, Selwyn, Lord
Carlisle, Lord Robert Spencer, General Fitzpatrick, and other great
Whigs, won and lost hundreds of thousands; frequently remaining at the
table for many hours without rising.

On one occasion, Lord Robert Spencer contrived to lose the last
shilling of his considerable fortune, given him by his brother, the
Duke of Marlborough; General Fitzpatrick being much in the same
condition, they agreed to raise a sum of money, in order that they
might keep a faro bank.  The members of the club made no objection, and
ere long they carried out their design.  As is generally the case, the
bank was a winner, and Lord Robert bagged, as his share of the
proceeds, 100,000£. He retired, strange to say, from the foetid
atmosphere of play, with the money in his pocket, and never again
gambled. George Harley Drummond, of the famous banking-house, Charing
Cross, only played once in his whole life at White's Club at whist, on
which occasion he lost 20,000£. to Brummell. This event caused him to
retire from the banking-house of which he was a partner.

Lord Carlisle was one of the most remarkable victims amongst the
players at Brookes', and Charles Fox, his friend, was not more
fortunate, being subsequently always in pecuniary difficulties.  Many a
time, after a long night of hard play, the loser found himself at the
Israelitish establishment of Howard and Gibbs, then the fashionable and
patronized money-lenders.  These gentlemen never failed to make hard
terms with the borrower, although ample security was invariably

The Guards' Club was established for the three regiments of Foot
Guards, and was conducted upon a military system.  Billiards and low
whist were the only games indulged in.  The dinner was, perhaps, better
than at most clubs, and considerably cheaper.  I had the honour of
being a member for several years, during which time I have nothing to
remember but the most agreeable incidents.  Arthur's and Graham's were
less aristocratic than those I have mentioned; it was at the latter,
thirty years ago, that a most painful circumstance took place.  A
nobleman of the highest position and influence in society was detected
in cheating at cards, and after a trial, which did not terminate in his
favour, he died of a broken heart.

Upon one occasion, some gentlemen of both White's and Brookes' had the
honour to dine with the Prince Regent, and during the conversation, the
Prince inquired what sort of dinners they got at their clubs; upon
which, Sir Thomas Stepney, one of the guests, observed that their
dinners were always the same, "the eternal joints, or beefsteaks, the
boiled fowl with oyster sauce, and an apple tart--this is what we have,
sir, at our clubs, and very monotonous fare it is."  The Prince,
without further remark, rang the bell for his cook, Wattier, and, in
the presence of those who dined at the Royal table, asked him whether
he would take a house and organize a dinner club.  Wattier assented,
and named Madison, the Prince's page, manager, and Labourie, the cook,
from the Royal kitchen. The club flourished only a few years, owing to
the high play that was carried on there.  The Duke of York patronized
it, and was a member. I was a member in 1816, and frequently saw his
Royal Highness there. The dinners were exquisite; the best Parisian
cooks could not beat Labourie. The favourite game played there was
macao.  Upon one occasion, Jack Bouvrie, brother of Lady Heytesbury,
was losing large sums, and became very irritable; Raikes, with bad
taste, laughed at Bouverie, and attempted to amuse us with some of his
stale jokes; upon which, Bouverie threw his play-bowl, with the few
counters it contained, at Raikes's head; unfortunately it struck him,
and made the City dandy angry, but no serious results followed this
open insult.


It appears to be a law of natural history that every generation
produces and throws out from the mob of society a few conspicuous men,
that pass under the general appellation of "men about town." Michael
Angelo Taylor was one of those remarkable individuals whom everyone was
glad to know; and those who had not that privilege were ever talking
about him, although he was considered by many a bit of a bore.  Michael
Angelo was a Member of Parliament for many years, and generally sat in
one of the most important committees of the House of Commons; for he
was a man of authority and an attractive speaker.  In appearance he was
one of that sort of persons whom you could not pass in the streets
without exclaiming, "Who can that be?"  His face blushed with port
wine, the purple tints of which, by contrast, caused his white hair to
glitter with silvery brightness; he wore leather breeches, top boots,
blue coat, white waistcoat, and an unstarched and exquisitely white
neckcloth, the whole surmounted by a very broad-brimmed beaver;--such
was the dress of the universally known Michael Angelo Taylor.  If you
met him in society, or at the clubs, he was never known to salute you
but with the invariable phrase, "What news have you?"  Upon one
occasion, riding through St. James's Park, he met the great Minister,
Mr. Pitt, coming from Wimbledon, where he resided. He asked Mr. Pitt
the usual question, upon which the Premier replied, "I have not yet
seen the morning papers."

"Oh, that won't do, Mr. Pitt.  I am Sure that you know something, and
will not tell me." Mr. Pitt good-humouredly replied: "Well, then, I am
going to a Cabinet Council, and I will consult my colleagues whether I
can divulge State secrets to you or not." Upon another occasion, on
entering Boodle's, of which he was a member, he observed the celebrated
Lord Westmoreland at table, where the noble lord was doing justice to a
roast fowl. Taylor, of course, asked him the news of the day, and Lord
Westmoreland coolly told the little newsmonger to go into the other
room and leave him to finish his dinner, promising to join him after he
had done.  The noble Lord kept his word, and the first thing he heard
from Mr. Taylor was, "Well, my lord, what news?  what had you for

His lordship replied, "A Welsh leg of mutton." "What then--what then?"
"Don't you think a leg of mutton enough for any man?"  "Yes, my lord,
but you did not eat it all." "Yes, Taylor, I did." "Well, I think you
have placed the leg of mutton in some mysterious place, for I see no
trace of it in your lean person."

Lord Westmoreland was remarkable for an appetite which made nothing of
a respectable joint, or a couple of fowls.

I know not whether Mr. Poole, the author of Paul Pry, had Michael
Angelo in his head when he wrote that well-known comedy; but certainly
he might have sat for a character whose intrusive and inquisitive
habits were so notorious, that people on seeing him approach always
prepared for a string of almost impertinent interrogations.

Another remarkable man about town was Colonel Cooke, commonly called
Kangaroo Cooke, who was for many years the private aide-de-camp and
secretary of H.  R.  H.  the Duke of York. He was the brother of
General Sir George Cooke and of the beautiful Countess of Cardigan,
mother of the gallant Lord Cardigan, and the Ladies Howe, Baring, and
Lucan. During his career he had been employed in diplomatic
negotiations with the French, previous to the peace of Paris.  He was
in the best society, and always attracted attention by his dandified
mode of dress.

Colonel Armstrong, another pet of the Duke of York, was known, when in
the Coldstream Guards, to be a thorough hard-working soldier, and his
non-commissioned officers were so perfect, that nearly all the
adjutants of the different regiments of the line were educated by him.
He was a strict disciplinarian, but strongly opposed to corporal
punishment, and used to boast that during the whole time that he
commanded the regiment only two men had been flogged.

Colonel Mackinnon, commonly called "Dan," was an exceedingly well-made
man, and remarkable for his physical powers in running, jumping,
climbing, and such bodily exercises as demanded agility and muscular
strength. He used to amuse his friends by creeping over the furniture
of a room like a monkey.  It was very common for his companions to make
bets with him: for example, that he would not be able to climb up the
ceiling of a room, or scramble over a certain house-top.  Grimaldi, the
famous clown, used to say, "Colonel Mackinnon has only to put on the
motley costume, and he would totally eclipse me."

Mackinnon was famous for practical jokes; which were, however, always
played in a gentlemanly way.  Before landing at St. Andero's, with some
other officers who had been on leave in England, he agreed to personate
the Duke of York, and make the Spaniards believe that his Royal
Highness was amongst them.  On nearing the shore, a royal standard was
hoisted at the masthead, and Mackinnon disembarked, wearing the star of
his shako on his left breast, and accompanied by his friends, who
agreed to play the part of aides-de-camp to royalty.  The Spanish
authorities were soon informed of the arrival of the Royal
Commander-in-Chief of the British army; so they received Mackinnon with
the usual pomp and circumstance attending such occasions.  The mayor of
the place, in honour of the illustrious arrival, gave a grand banquet,
which terminated with the appearance of a huge bowl of punch. Whereupon
Dan, thinking that the joke had gone far enough, suddenly dived his
head into the porcelain vase, and threw his heels into the air.  The
surprise and indignation of the solemn Spaniards was such, that they
made a most intemperate report of the hoax that had been played on them
to Lord Wellington; Dan, however, was ultimately forgiven, after a
severe reprimand.

Another of his freaks very nearly brought him to a court-martial. Lord
Wellington was curious about visiting a convent near Lisbon, and the
lady abbess made no difficulty; Mackinnon, hearing this, contrived to
get clandestinely within the sacred walls, and it was generally
supposed that it was neither his first nor his second visit. At all
events, when Lord Wellington arrived, Dan Mackinnon was to be seen
among the nuns, dressed out in their sacred costume, with his head and
whiskers shaved, and as he possessed good features, he was declared to
be one of the best-looking amongst those chaste dames.  It was supposed
that this adventure, which was known to Lord Byron, suggested a similar
episode in Don Juan, the scene being laid in the East.  I might say
more about Dan's adventures in the convent, but have no wish to be

Another dandy of the day was Sir Lumley Skeffington, who used to paint
his face, so that he looked like a French toy; he dressed a la
Robespierre, and practised other follies, although the consummate old
fop was a man of literary attainments, and a great admirer and patron
of the drama. Skeffington was remarkable for his politeness and courtly
manners; in fact, he was invited everywhere, and was very popular with
the ladies. You always knew of his approach by an avant-courier of
sweet smells; and when he advanced a little nearer, you might suppose
yourself in the atmosphere of a perfumer's shop.  He is thus
immortalized by Byron, in the English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,
alluding to the play written by Skeffington, The Sleeping Beauty:--

  "In grim array though Lewis' spectres rise,
  Still Skeffington and Goose divide the prize:
  And sure great Skeffington must claim our praise,
  For skirtless coats and skeletons of plays
  Renowned alike; whose genius ne'er confines
  Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs,
  Nor sleeps with 'sleeping beauties' but anon
  In five facetious acts comes thundering on,
  While poor John Bull, bewildered with the scene,
  Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean;
  But as some hands applaud--a venal few--
  Rather than sleep, John Bull applauds it too."

Long Wellesley Pole was a fashionable who distinguished himself by
giving sumptuous dinners at Wanstead, where he owned one of the finest
mansions in England.  He used to ask his friends to dine with him after
the opera at midnight; the drive from London being considered
appetisant.  Every luxury that money could command was placed before
his guests at this unusual hour of the night.  He married Miss Tylney
Pole, an heiress of fifty thousand a-year, yet died quite a beggar: in
fact, he would have starved, had it not been for the charity of his
cousin, the present Duke of Wellington, who allowed him three hundred


Two battalions of my regiment had started from Brussels; the other (the
2nd), to which I belonged, remained in London, and I saw no prospect of
taking part in the great events which were about to take place on the
Continent.  Early in June I had the honour of dining with Colonel
Darling, the deputy adjutant-general, and I was there introduced to Sir
Thomas Picton, as a countryman and neighbour of his brother, Mr.
Turbeville, of Evenney Abbey, in Glamorganshire.  He was very gracious,
and, on his two aides-de-camp--Major Tyler and my friend Chambers, of
the Guards--lamenting that I was obliged to remain at home, Sir Thomas
said, "Is the lad really anxious to go out?"  Chambers answered that it
was the height of my ambition.  Sir Thomas inquired if all the
appointments to his staff were filled up; and then added, with a grim
smile, "If Tyler is killed, which is not at all unlikely, I do not know
why I should not take my young countryman: he may go over with me if he
can get leave." I was overjoyed at this, and, after thanking the
General a thousand times, made my bow and retired.

I was much elated at the thoughts of being Picton's aide-de-camp,
though that somewhat remote contingency depended upon my friends Tyler,
or Chambers, or others, meeting with an untimely end; but at eighteen
on ne doute de rien. So I set about thinking how I should manage to get
my outfit, in order to appear at Brussels in a manner worthy of the
aide-de-camp of the great General.  As my funds were at a low ebb, I
went to Cox and Greenwood's, those staunch friends of the hard-up
soldier. Sailors may talk of the "little cherub that sits up aloft,"
but commend me for liberality, kindness, and generosity, to my old
friends in Craig's Court. I there obtained 200£., which I took with me
to a gambling-house in St. James' Square, where I managed, by some
wonderful accident, to win 600£.; and, having thus obtained the sinews
of war, I made numerous purchases, amongst others two first-rate horses
at Tattersall's for a high figure, which were embarked for Ostend,
along with my groom. I had not got leave; but I thought I should get
back, after the great battle that appeared imminent, in time to mount
guard at St.  James's. On a Saturday I accompanied Chambers in his
carriage to Ramsgate, where Sir Thomas Picton and Tyler had already
arrived; we remained there for the Sunday, and embarked on Monday in a
vessel which had been hired for the General and suite.  On the same day
we arrived at Ostend, and put up at an hotel in the square; where I was
surprised to hear the General, in excellent French, get up a flirtation
with our very pretty waiting-maid.

Sir Thomas Picton was a stern-looking, strong-built man, about the
middle height, and considered very like the Hetman Platoff.  He
generally wore a blue frock-coat, very tightly buttoned up to the
throat; a very large black silk neckcloth, showing little or no
shirt-collar; dark trousers, boots, and a round hat: it was in this
very dress that he was attired at Quatre Bras, as he had hurried off to
the scene of action before his uniform arrived. After sleeping at
Ostend, the General and Tyler went the next morning to Ghent, and on
Thursday to Brussels.  I proceeded by boat to Ghent, and, without
stopping, hired a carriage, and arrived in time to order rooms for Sir
Thomas at the Hotel d'Angleterre, Rue de la Madeleine, at Brussels: our
horses followed us.

While we were at breakfast, Colonel Canning came to inform the General
that the Duke of Wellington wished to see him immediately.  Sir Thomas
lost not a moment in obeying the order of his chief, leaving the
breakfast-table and proceeding to the park, where Wellington was
walking with Fitzroy Somerset and the Duke of Richmond.  Picton's
manner was always more familiar than the Duke liked in his lieutenants,
and on this occasion he approached him in a careless sort of way, just
as he might have met an equal.  The Duke bowed coldly to him, and said,
"I am glad you are come, Sir Thomas; the sooner you get on horseback
the better; no time is to be lost.  You will take the command of the
troops in advance.  The Prince of Orange knows by this time that you
will go to his assistance."  Picton appeared not to like the Duke's
manner; for, when he bowed and left, he muttered a few words which
convinced those who were with him that he was not much pleased with his


I got upon the best of my two horses, and followed Sir Thomas Picton
and his staff to Quatre Bras at full speed.  His division was already
engaged in supporting the Prince of Orange, and had deployed itself in
two lines in front of the road to Sombref when he arrived. Sir Thomas
immediately took the command. Shortly afterwards, Kempt's and Pack's
brigades arrived by the Brussels road, and part of Alten's division by
the Nivelles road.

Ney was very strong in cavalry, and our men were constantly formed into
squares to receive them.  The famous Kellerman, the hero of Marengo,
tried a last charge, and was very nearly being taken or killed, as his
horse was shot under him when very near us.  Wellington at last took
the offensive;--a charge was made against the French, which succeeded,
and we remained masters of the field.  I acted as a mere spectator, and
got, on one occasion, just within twenty or thirty yards of some of the
cuirassiers; but my horse was too quick for them.

On the 17th, Wellington retreated upon Waterloo, about eleven o'clock.
The infantry were masked by the cavalry in two lines, parallel to the
Namur road.  Our cavalry retired on the approach of the French cavalry,
in three columns, on the Brussels road.  A torrent of rain fell, upon
the Emperor's ordering the heavy cavalry to charge us; while the fire
of sixty or eighty pieces of cannon showed that we had chosen our
position at Waterloo.  Chambers said to me, "Now, Gronow, the loss has
been very severe in the Guards, and I think you ought to go and see
whether you are wanted; for, as you have really nothing to do with
Picton, you had better join your regiment, or you may get into a
scrape." Taking his advice, I rode off to where the Guards were
stationed; the officers--amongst whom I remember Colonel Thomas and
Brigade-Major Miller--expressed their astonishment and amazement on
seeing me, and exclaimed, "What the deuce brought you here?  Why are
you not with your battalion in London?  Get off your horse, and explain
how you came here!"

Things were beginning to look a little awkward, when Gunthorpe, the
adjutant, a great friend of mine, took my part and said, "As he is
here, let us make the most of him; there's plenty of work for everyone.
Come, Gronow, you shall go with the Hon.  Captain Clements and a
detachment to the village of Waterloo, to take charge of the French
prisoners." I said, "What the deuce shall I do with my horse?"  Upon
which the Hon.  Captain Stopford, aide-de-camp to Sir John Byng,
volunteered to buy him.  Having thus once more become a foot soldier, I
started according to orders, and arrived at Waterloo.


The day on which the battle of Waterloo was fought seemed to have been
chosen by some providential accident for which human wisdom is unable
to account.  On the morning of the 18th the sun shone most gloriously,
and so clear was the atmosphere that we could see the long, imposing
lines of the enemy most distinctly. Immediately in front of the
division to which I belonged, and, I should imagine, about half a mile
from us, were posted cavalry and artillery; and to the right and left
the French had already engaged us, attacking Huguemont and La Haye
Sainte.  We heard incessantly the measured boom of artillery,
accompanied by the incessant rattling echoes of musketry.

The whole of the British infantry not actually engaged were at that
time formed into squares; and as you looked along our lines, it seemed
as if we formed a continuous wall of human beings. I recollect
distinctly being able to see Bonaparte and his staff; and some of my
brother officers using the glass, exclaimed, "There he is on his white
horse."  I should not forget to state that when the enemy's artillery
began to play on us, we had orders to lie down, when we could hear the
shot and shell whistling around us, killing and wounding great numbers;
then again we were ordered on our knees to receive cavalry. The French
artillery--which consisted of three hundred guns, though we did not
muster more than half that number--committed terrible havoc during the
early part of the battle, whilst we were acting on the defensive.


About four P.M. the enemy's artillery in front of us ceased firing all
of a sudden, and we saw large masses of cavalry advance: not a man
present who survived could have forgotten in after life the awful
grandeur of that charge.  You discovered at a distance what appeared to
be an overwhelming, long moving line, which, ever advancing, glittered
like a stormy wave of the sea when it catches the sunlight.  On they
came until they got near enough, whilst the very earth seemed to
vibrate beneath the thundering tramp of the mounted host.  One might
suppose that nothing could have resisted the shock of this terrible
moving mass. They were the famous cuirassiers, almost all old soldiers,
who had distinguished themselves on most of the battlefields of Europe.
In an almost incredibly short period they were within twenty yards of
us, shouting "Vive l'Empereur!"  The word of command, "Prepare to
receive cavalry," had been given, every man in the front ranks knelt,
and a wall bristling with steel, held together by steady hands,
presented itself to the infuriated cuirassiers.

I should observe that just before this charge the duke entered by one
of the angles of the square, accompanied only by one aide-de-camp; all
the rest of his staff being either killed or wounded.  Our
commander-in-chief, as far as I could judge, appeared perfectly
composed; but looked very thoughtful and pale.  He was dressed in a
grey great-coat with a cape, white cravat, leather pantaloons, Hessian
boots, and a large cocked hat a la Russe.

The charge of the French cavalry was gallantly executed; but our
well-directed fire brought men and horses down, and ere long the utmost
confusion arose in their ranks.  The officers were exceedingly brave,
and by their gestures and fearless bearing did all in their power to
encourage their men to form again and renew the attack. The duke sat
unmoved, mounted on his favourite charger.  I recollect his asking the
Hon. Lieut.-Colonel Stanhope what o'clock it was, upon which Stanhope
took out his watch, and said it was twenty minutes past four.  The Duke
replied, "The battle is mine; and if the Prussians arrive soon, there
will be an end of the war."


Soon after the cuirassiers had retired, we observed to our right the
red hussars of the Garde Imperiale charging a square of Brunswick
riflemen, who were about fifty yards from us. This charge was
brilliantly executed, but the well-sustained fire from the square
baffled the enemy, who were obliged to retire after suffering a severe
loss in killed and wounded. The ground was completely covered with
those brave men, who lay in various positions, mutilated in every
conceivable way.  Among the fallen we perceived the gallant colonel of
the hussars lying under his horse, which had been killed, All of a
sudden two riflemen of the Brunswickers left their battalion, and after
taking from their helpless victim his purse, watch, and other articles
of value, they deliberately put the colonel's pistols to the poor
fellow's head and blew out his brains. "Shame!  shame!"  was heard from
our ranks, and a feeling of indignation ran through the whole line; but
the deed was done: this brave soldier lay a lifeless corpse in sight of
his cruel foes, whose only excuse perhaps was that their sovereign, the
Duke of Brunswick, had been killed two days before by the French.

Again and again various cavalry regiments, heavy dragoons, lancers,
hussars, carabineers of the Guard, endeavoured to break our walls of
steel. The enemy's cavalry had to advance over ground which was so
heavy that they could not reach us except at a trot; they therefore
came upon us in a much more compact mass than they probably would have
done if the ground had been more favourable.  When they got within ten
or fifteen yards they discharged their carbines, to the cry of "Vive l'
Empereur!" their fire produced little effect, as that of cavalry
generally does. Our men had orders not to fire unless they could do so
on a near mass; the object being to economize our ammunition, and not
to waste it on scattered soldiers.  The result was, that when the
cavalry had discharged their carbines, and were still far off, we
occasionally stood face to face, looking at each other inactively, not
knowing what the next move might be.  The lancers were particularly
troublesome, and approached us with the utmost daring.  On one occasion
I remember, the enemy's artillery having made a gap in the square, the
lancers were evidently waiting to avail themselves of it, to rush among
us, when Colonel Staples at once observing their intention, with the
utmost promptness filled up the gap, and thus again completed our
impregnable steel wall; but in this act he fell mortally wounded.  The
cavalry seeing this, made no attempt to carry out their original
intentions, and observing that we had entirely regained our square,
confined themselves to hovering round us.  I must not forget to mention
that the lancers in particular never failed to despatch our wounded
whenever they had an opportunity of doing so.

When we received cavalry, the order was to fire low; so that on the
first discharge of musketry the ground was strewed with the fallen
horses and their riders, which impeded the advance of those behind them
and broke the shock of the charge.  It was pitiable to witness the
agony of the poor horses, who really seemed conscious of the dangers
that surrounded them: we often saw a poor wounded animal raise its
head, as if looking for its rider to afford him aid.  There is nothing
perhaps amongst the episodes of a great battle more striking than the
debris of a cavalry charge, where men and horses are seen scattered and
wounded on the ground in every variety of painful attitude. Many a time
the heart sickened at the moaning tones of agony which came from man
and scarcely less intelligent horse, as they lay in fearful agony upon
the field of battle.


It was about five o'clock on that memorable day, that we suddenly
received orders to retire behind an elevation in our rear.  The enemy's
artillery had come up en masse within a hundred yards of us.  By the
time they began to discharge their guns, however, we were lying down
behind the rising ground, and protected by the ridge before referred
to.  The enemy's cavalry was in the rear of their artillery, in order
to be ready to protect it if attacked; but no attempt was made on our
part to do so. After they had pounded away at us for about half an
hour, they deployed, and up came the whole mass of the Imperial
infantry of the Guard, led on by the Emperor in person.  We had now
before us probably about 20,000 of the best soldiers in France, the
heroes of many memorable victories; we saw the bearskin caps rising
higher and higher as they ascended the ridge of ground which separated
us, and advanced nearer and nearer to our lines. It was at this moment
the Duke of Wellington gave his famous order for our bayonet charge, as
he rode along the line: these are the precise words he made use
of--"Guards, get up and charge!"  We were instantly on our legs, and
after so many hours of inaction and irritation at maintaining a purely
defensive attitude--all the time suffering the loss of comrades and
friends--the spirit which animated officers and men may easily be
imagined.  After firing a volley as soon as the enemy were within shot,
we rushed on with fixed bayonets, and that hearty hurrah peculiar to
British soldiers.

It appeared that our men, deliberately and with calculation, singled
out their victims; for as they came upon the Imperial Guard our line
broke, and the fighting became irregular.  The impetuosity of our men
seemed almost to paralyze their enemies: I witnessed several of the
Imperial Guard who were run through the body apparently without any
resistance on their parts.  I observed a big Welshman of the name of
Hughes, who was six feet seven inches in height, run through with his
bayonet, and knock down with the butt end of his firelock, I should
think a dozen at least of his opponents.  This terrible contest did not
last more than ten minutes, for the Imperial Guard was soon in full
retreat, leaving all their guns and many prisoners in our hands.  The
famous General Cambronne was taken prisoner fighting hand to hand with
the gallant Sir Colin Halkett, who was shortly after shot through the
cheeks by a grape-shot.  Cambronne's supposed answer of "La Garde ne se
rend pas" was an invention of after-times, and he himself always denied
having used such an expression.


Early on the morning after the battle of Waterloo, I visited Huguemont,
in order to witness with my own eyes the traces of one of the most
hotly-contested spots of the field of battle.  I came first upon the
orchard, and there discovered heaps of dead men, in various uniforms:
those of the Guards in their usual red jackets, the German Legion in
green, and the French dressed in blue, mingled together. The dead and
the wounded positively covered the whole area of the orchard; not less
than two thousand men had there fallen.  The apple-trees presented a
singular appearance; shattered branches were seen hanging about their
mother-trunks in such profusion that one might almost suppose the
stiff-growing and stunted tree had been converted into the willow:
every tree was riddled and smashed in a manner which told that the
showers of shot had been incessant. On this spot I lost some of my
dearest and bravest friends, and the country had to mourn many of its
most heroic sons slain here.

I must observe that, according to the custom of commanding officers,
whose business it is after a great battle to report to the
Commander-in-Chief, the muster-roll of fame always closes before the
rank of captain.  It has always appeared to me a great injustice that
there should ever be any limit to the roll of gallantry of either
officers or men.  If a captain, lieutenant, an ensign, a sergeant, or a
private, has distinguished himself for his bravery, his intelligence,
or both, their deeds ought to be reported, in order that the sovereign
and nation should know who really fight the great battles of England.
Of the class of officers and men to which I have referred, there were
many of even superior rank who were omitted to be mentioned in the
public despatches.

Thus, for example, to the individual courage of Lord Saltoun and
Charley Ellis, who commanded the light companies, was mainly owing our
success at Huguemont.  The same may be said of Needham, Percival,
Erskine, Grant, Vyner, Buckley, Master, and young Algernon Greville,
who at that time could not have been more than seventeen years old.
Excepting Percival, whose jaws were torn away by a grape-shot, everyone
of these heroes miraculously escaped.

I do not wish, in making these observations, to detract from the
bravery and skill of officers whose names have already been mentioned
in official despatches, but I think it only just that the services of
those I have particularized should not be forgotten by one of their
companions in arms.


No individual officer more distinguished himself than did General Byng
at the battle of Waterloo. In the early part of the day he was seen at
Huguemont, leading his men in the thick of the fight; later he was with
the battalion in square, where his presence animated to the utmost
enthusiasm both officers and men.  It is difficult to imagine how this
courageous man passed through such innumerable dangers from shot and
shell without receiving a single wound.  I must also mention some other
instances of courage and devotion in officers belonging to this
brigade; for instance, it was Colonel MacDonell, a man of colossal
stature, with Hesketh, Bowes, Tom Sowerby, and Hugh Seymour, who
commanded from the inside the Chateau of Huguemont.  When the French
had taken possession of the orchard, they made a rush at the principal
door of the chateau, which had been turned into a fortress.  MacDonell
and the above officers placed themselves, accompanied by some of their
men, behind the portal and prevented the French from entering. Amongst
other officers of that brigade who were most conspicuous for bravery, I
would record the names of Montague, the "vigorous Gooch," as he was
called, and the well-known Jack Standen.


One of the most intimate friends of the Duke of Wellington was the Earl
of March, afterwards Duke of Richmond.  He was a genuine hard-working
soldier, a man of extraordinary courage, and one who was ever found
ready to gain laurels amidst the greatest dangers.  When the 7th
Fusiliers crossed the Bidassoa, the late duke left the staff and joined
the regiment in which he had a company.  At Orthes, in the thick of the
fight, he received a shot which passed through his lungs; from this
severe wound he recovered sufficiently to be able to join the Duke of
Wellington, to whom he was exceedingly useful at the battle of
Waterloo.  On his return to England, he united himself to the most
remarkably beautiful girl of the day, the eldest daughter of Lord
Anglesea, and whose mother was the lovely Duchess of Argyle.


When Lord Uxbridge gave orders to Sir W. Ponsonby and Lord Edward
Somerset to charge the enemy, our cavalry advanced with the greatest
bravery, cut through everything in their way, and gallantly attacked
whole regiments of infantry; but eventually they came upon a masked
battery of twenty guns, which carried death and destruction through our
ranks, and our poor fellows were obliged to give way.  The French
cavalry followed on their retreat, when, perhaps, the severest
hand-to-hand cavalry fighting took place within the memory of man.  The
Duke of Wellington was perfectly furious that this arm had been engaged
without his orders, and lost not a moment in sending them to the rear,
where they remained during the rest of the day.  This disaster gave the
French cavalry an opportunity of annoying and insulting us, and
compelled the artillerymen to seek shelter in our squares; and if the
French had been provided with tackle, or harness of any description,
our guns would have been taken.  It is, therefore, not to be wondered
at that the Duke should have expressed himself in no measured terms
about the cavalry movements referred to. I recollect that, when his
grace was in our square, our soldiers were so mortified at seeing the
French deliberately walking their horses between our regiment and those
regiments to our right and left, that they shouted, "Where are our
cavalry?  why don't they come and pitch into those French fellows?"


A day or two after our arrival in Paris from Waterloo, Colonel Felton
Hervey having entered the dining-room with the despatches which had
come from London, the Duke asked, "What news have you, Hervey?"  upon
which, Colonel Felton Hervey answered, "I observe by the Gazette that
the Prince Regent has made himself Captain-General of the Life Guards
and Blues, for their brilliant conduct at Waterloo."

"Ah!"  replied the Duke, "his Royal Highness is our Sovereign, and can
do what he pleases; but this I will say, the cavalry of other European
armies have won victories for their generals, but mine have invariably
got me into scrapes.  It is true that they have always fought gallantly
and bravely, and have generally got themselves out of their
difficulties by sheer pluck."

The justice of this observation has since been confirmed by the charge
at Balaklava, where our cavalry undauntedly rushed into the face of
death under the command of that intrepid officer Lord Cardigan.


Experience has taught me that there is nothing more valuable than the
opinions of intelligent foreigners on the military and naval
excellences, and the failures, of our united service.  Marshal
Excelmann's opinion about the British cavalry struck me as remarkably
instructive: he used to say, "Your horses are the finest in the world,
and your men ride better than any Continental soldiers; with such
materials, the English cavalry ought to have done more than has ever
been accomplished by them on the field of battle.  The great deficiency
is in your officers, who have nothing to recommend them but their dash
and sitting well in their saddles; indeed, as far as my experience
goes, your English generals have never understood the use of cavalry:
they have undoubtedly frequently misapplied that important arm of a
grand army, and have never, up to the battle of Waterloo, employed the
mounted soldier at the proper time and in the proper place.  The
British cavalry officer seems to be impressed with the conviction that
he can dash and ride over everything; as if the art of war were
precisely the same as that of fox-hunting.  I need not remind you of
the charge of your two heavy brigades at Waterloo: this charge was
utterly useless, and all the world knows they came upon a masked
battery, which obliged a retreat, and entirely disconcerted
Wellington's plans during the rest of the day."

"Permit me," he added, "to point out a gross error as regards the dress
of your cavalry. I have seen prisoners so tightly habited that it was
impossible for them to use their sabres with facility." The French
Marshal concluded by observing--"I should wish nothing better than such
material as your men and horses are made of; since with generals who
wield cavalry, and officers who are thoroughly acquainted with that
duty in the field, I do not hesitate to say I might gain a battle."

Such was the opinion of a man of cool judgment, and one of the most
experienced cavalry officers of the day.


I propose giving my own impression of the aspect of Paris and its
vicinity when our regiment entered that city on the 25th of June, 1815.
I recollect we marched from the plain of St. Denis, my battalion being
about five hundred strong, the survivors of the heroic fight of the
18th of June. We approached near enough to be within fire of the
batteries of Montmartre, and bivouacked for three weeks in the Bois de
Boulogne.  That now beautiful garden was at the period to which I refer
a wild pathless wood, swampy, and entirely neglected.  The Prussians,
who were in bivouac near us, amused themselves by doing as much damage
as they could, without any useful aim or object: they cut down the
finest trees, and set the wood on fire at several points.  There were
about three thousand of the Guards then encamped in the wood, and I
should think about ten thousand Prussians. Our camp was not remarkable
for its courtesy towards them; in fact, our intercourse was confined to
the most ordinary demands of duty, as allies in an enemy's country.

I believe I was one of the first of the British army who penetrated
into the heart of Paris after Waterloo.  I entered by the Porte
Maillot, and passed the Arc de Triomphe, which was then building.  In
those days the Champs Elysees only contained a few scattered houses,
and the roads and pathways were ancle deep in mud. The only attempt at
lighting was the suspension of a few lamps on cords, which crossed the
roads. Here I found the Scotch regiments bivouacking; their peculiar
uniform created a considerable sensation amongst the Parisian women,
who did not hesitate to declare that the want of culottes was most
indecent.  I passed through the camp, and proceeded on towards the
gardens of the Tuilleries.  This ancient palace of the Kings of France
presented, so far as the old front is concerned, the same aspect that
it does at the present day; but there were then no flower-gardens,
although the same stately rows of trees which now ornament the grounds
were then in their midsummer verdure.

Being in uniform, I created an immense amount of curiosity amongst the
Parisians; who, by the way, I fancied regarded me with no loving looks.
The first house I entered was a cafe in the garden of the Tuilleries,
called Legac's.  I there met a man who told me he was by descent an
Englishman; though he had been born in Paris, and had really never
quitted France.  He approached me, saying, "Sir, I am delighted to see
an English officer in Paris, and you are the first I have yet met
with."  He talked about the battle of Waterloo, and gave me some useful
directions concerning restaurants and cafes.  Along the Boulevards were
handsome houses, isolated, with gardens interspersed, and the roads
were bordered on both sides with stately, spreading trees, some of them
probably a hundred years old.  There was but an imperfect pavement, the
stepping-stones of which were adapted to display the Parisian female
ankle and boot in all their calculated coquetry; and the road showed
nothing but mother earth, in the middle of which a dirty gutter served
to convey the impurities of the city to the river.  The people in the
streets appeared sulky and stupefied: here and there I noticed groups
of the higher classes evidently discussing the events of the moment.

How strange humanity would look in our day in the costume of the first
empire.  The ladies wore very scanty and short skirts, which left
little or no waist; their bonnets were of exaggerated proportions, and
protruded at least a foot from their faces, and they generally carried
a fan. The men wore blue or black coats, which were baggily made, and
reached down to their ankles; their hats were enormously large, and
spread out at the top.

I dined the first day of my entrance into Paris at the Cafe Anglais, on
the Boulevard des Italiens, where I found to my surprise several of my
brother officers.  I recollect the charge for the dinner was about
one-third what it would be at the present day.  I had a potage,
fish--anything but fresh, and, according to English predilections and
taste, of course I ordered a beef-steak and pommes de terre.  The wine,
I thought, was sour.  The dinner cost about two francs. The theatres at
this time, as may easily be imagined, were not very well attended.  I
recollect going to the Francais, where I saw for the first time the
famous Talma. There was but a scanty audience; in fact all the best
places in the house were empty.

It may easily be imagined that, at a moment like this, most of those
who had a stake in the country were pondering over the great and real
drama that was then taking place.  Napoleon had fled to Rochfort; the
wreck of his army had retreated beyond the Loire; no list of killed and
wounded had appeared; and, strange to say, the official journal of
Paris had made out that the great Imperial army at Waterloo had gained
a victory.  There were, nevertheless, hundreds of people in Paris who
knew to the contrary, and many were already aware that they had lost
relations and friends in the great battle.

Louis XVIII. arrived, as well as I can remember, at the Tuileries on
the 26th of July, 1815, and his reception by the Parisians was a
singular illustration of the versatile character of the French nation,
and the sudden and often inexplicable changes which take place in the
feeling of the populace.  When the Bourbon, in his old lumbering state
carriage, drove down the Boulevards, accompanied by the Garde du Corps,
the people in the streets and at the windows displayed the wildest joy,
enthusiastically shouting "Vive le Roi!"  amidst the waving of hats and
handkerchiefs, while white sheets or white rags were made to do the
duty of a Bourbon banner.  The king was dressed in a blue coat with a
red collar, and wore also a white waistcoat and a cocked hat with a
white cockade in it.  His portly and good-natured appearance seemed to
be appreciated by the crowd, whom he saluted with a benevolent smile.
I should here mention that two great devotees of the Church sat
opposite to the King on this memorable occasion.  The cortege proceeded
slowly down the Rue de la Paix until the Tuileries was reached, where a
company of the Guards, together with a certain number of the Garde
Nationale of Paris, were stationed.

It fell to my lot to be on duty the day after, when the Duke of
Wellington and Lord Castlereagh arrived to pay their respects to the
restored monarch. I happened to be in the Salle des Marechaux when
these illustrious personages passed through that magnificent apartment.
The respect paid to the Duke of Wellington on this occasion may be
easily imagined, from the fact that a number of ladies of the highest
rank, and of course partisans of the legitimate dynasty, formed an
avenue through which the hero of Waterloo passed, exchanging with them
courteous recognitions.  The King was waiting in the grand reception
apartment to receive the great British captain.  The interview, I have
every reason to believe, was not confined to the courtesies of the

The position of the Duke was a difficult one. In the first place, he
had to curb the vindictive vandalism of Blucher and his army, who would
have levelled the city of Paris to the ground, if they could have done
so; on the other hand, he had to practise a considerable amount of
diplomacy towards the newly-restored King. At the same time the Duke's
powers from his own Government were necessarily limited.  A spirit of
vindictiveness pervaded the restored Court against Napoleon and his
adherents, which the Duke constantly endeavoured to modify.  I must not
forget to give an illustration of this state of feeling.  It was
actually proposed by Talleyrand, Fouche, and some important
ecclesiastics of the ultra-royalist party, to arrest and shoot the
Emperor Napoleon, who was then at Rochfort: so anxious were they to
commit this criminal, inhuman, and cowardly act, on an illustrious
fallen enemy, who had made the arms of France glorious throughout
Europe, that they suggested to the Duke, who had the command of the old
wooden-armed semaphores, to employ the telegraph to order what I should
have designated by no other name than the assassination of the Caesar
of modern history.


As an illustration of the false impressions which are always
disseminated concerning public men, I must record the following
fact:--The Duke of Wellington was accused of being implicated in the
military murder of Ney.  Now, so far from this being the truth, I know
positively that the Duke of Wellington used every endeavour to prevent
this national disgrace; but the Church party, ever crafty and ever
ready to profit by the weakness and passions of humanity, supported the
King in his moments of excited revenge.  It is a lamentable fact, but
no less historical truth, that the Roman Catholic Church has ever
sought to make the graves of its enemies the foundations of its power.
The Duke of Wellington was never able to approach the King or use his
influence to save Marshal Ney's life; but everything he could do was
done, in order to accomplish his benevolent views. I repeat, the
influence of the ultra-montane party triumphed over the Christian
humanity of the illustrious Duke.


France has often been called the centre of European fashion and gaiety;
and the Palais Royal, at the period to which I refer, might be called
the very heart of French dissipation.  It was a theatre in which all
the great actors of fashion of all nations met to play their parts: on
this spot were congregated daily an immense multitude, for no other
purpose than to watch the busy comedy of real life that animated the
corridors, gardens, and saloons of that vast building, which was
founded by Richelieu and Mazarin, and modified by Philippe Egalite.
Mingled together, and moving about the area of this oblong-square block
of buildings, might be seen, about seven o'clock P.M., a crowd of
English, Russian, Prussian, Austrian, and other officers of the Allied
armies, together with countless foreigners from all parts of the world.
Here, too, might have been seen the present King of Prussia, with his
father and brother, the late king, the Dukes of Nassau, Baden, and a
host of continental princes, who entered familiarly into the amusements
of ordinary mortals, dining incog. at the most renowned restaurants,
and flirting with painted female frailty.

A description of one of the houses of the Palais Royal, will serve to
portray the whole of this French pandemonium.  On the ground floor is a
jeweller's shop, where may be purchased diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and
every description of female ornament, such as only can be possessed by
those who have very large sums of money at their command.  It was here
that the successful gambler often deposited a portion of his winnings,
and took away some costly article of jewellery, which he presented to
some female friend who had never appeared with him at the altar of
marriage. Beside this shop was a staircase, generally very dirty, which
communicated with the floors above.  Immediately over the shop was a
cafe, at the counter of which presided a lady, generally of more than
ordinary female attractions, who was very much decolletee, and wore an
amount of jewellery which would have made the eye of an Israelite
twinkle with delight. And there la creme de la creme of male society
used to meet, sip their ice and drink their cup of mocha, whilst
holding long conversations, almost exclusively about gambling and women.

Men's thoughts, in this region, seemed to centre night and day upon the
tapis vert, and at the entrance of this salon was that fatal chamber,
over which might have been written the famous line of Dante, "Voi che
entrate lasciate ogni speranza."  The reader will at once understand
that I am referring to the gambling-house, the so-called "hell" of
modern society.  In one room was the rouge et noir table, which, from
the hour of twelve in the morning, was surrounded by men in every stage
of the gambling malady. There was the young pigeon, who, on losing his
first feather, had experienced an exciting sensation which, if followed
by a bit of good luck, gave him a confidence that the parasites around
him, in order to flatter his vanity, would call pluck.  There were
others in a more advanced stage of the fever, who had long since lost
the greater part of their incomes, having mortgaged their property, and
been in too frequent correspondence with the Jews.  These men had not
got to the last stage of gambling despair, but they were so far
advanced on the road to perdition that their days were clouded by
perpetual anxiety, which reproduced itself in their very dreams.  The
gambler who has thus far advanced in his career, lives in an inferno of
his own creation: the charms of society, the beauty of woman, the
attractions of the fine arts, and even the enjoyment of a good dinner,
are to him rather a source of irritation than delight.  The confirmed
gamester is doing nothing less than perpetually digging a grave for his
own happiness.

The third and most numerous group of men round the tapis vert consisted
of a class most of whom had already spent their fortunes, exhausted
their health, and lost their position in society, by the fatal and
demoralizing thirst for gold, which still fascinated them.  These
became the hawks of the gambling table; their quick and wild-glancing
eyes were constantly looking out for suitable game during the day, and
leaving it where it might be bagged at night.  Both at the rouge et
noir table and roulette the same sort of company might be met with.
These gambling-houses were the very fountains of immorality: they
gathered together, under the most seductive circumstances, the swindler
and the swindled.  There were tables for all classes--the workman might
play with 20 sous, or the gentleman with 10,000 francs.  The law did
not prevent any class from indulging in a vice that assisted to fill
the coffers of the municipality of Paris.

The floor over the gambling-house was occupied by unmarried women. I
will not attempt to picture some of the saddest evils of the society of
large cities; but I may add that these Phrynes lived in a style of
splendour which can only be accounted for by the fact of their
participating in the easily-earned gains of the gambling-house regime.
Such was the state of the Palais Royal under Louis XVIII. and Charles
X.: the Palais Royal of the present day is simply a tame and
legitimately-commercial mart, compared with that of olden times.
Society has changed; Government no longer patronizes such nests of
immorality; and though vice may exist to the same extent, it assumes
another garb, and does not appear in the open streets, as at the period
to which I have referred.

At that time, the Palais Royal was externally the only well-lighted
place in Paris.  It was the rendezvous of all idlers, and especially of
that particular class of ladies who lay out their attractions for the
public at large.  These were to be seen at all hours in full dress,
their bare necks ornamented with mock diamonds and pearls; and thus
decked out in all their finery, they paraded up and down, casting their
eyes significantly on every side.  Some strange stories are told in
connection with the gambling houses of the Palais Royal.  An officer of
the Grenadier Guards came to Paris on leave of absence, took apartments
here, and never left it until his time of absence had expired.  On his
arrival in London one of his friends inquired whether this was true, to
which he replied, "Of course it is; for I found everything I wanted
there, both for body and mind."


There is no more ordinary illusion belonging to humanity than that
which enables us to discover, in the fashions of the day, an elegance
and comeliness of dress which a few years after we ourselves regard as
odious caricatures of costume.  Thousands of oddly-dressed English
flocked to Paris immediately after the war: I remember that the burden
of one of the popular songs of the day was, "All the world's in Paris;"
and our countrymen and women having so long been excluded from French
modes, had adopted fashions of their own quite as remarkable and
eccentric as those of the Parisians, and much less graceful.  British
beauties were dressed in long, strait pelisses of various colours; the
body of the dress was never of the same colour as the skirt; and the
bonnet was of the bee-hive shape, and very small.  The characteristic
of the dress of the gentleman was a coat of light blue, or
snuff-colour, With brass buttons, the tail reaching nearly to the
heels; a gigantic bunch of seals dangled from his fob, whilst his
pantaloons were short and tight at the knees; and a spacious waistcoat,
with a voluminous muslin cravat and a frilled shirt, completed the
toilette.  The dress of the British military, in its stiff and formal
ugliness, was equally cumbrous and ludicrous.

Lady Oxford--that beautiful and accomplished woman, who lived in her
hotel in the Rue de Clichy--gave charming soirees, at which were
gathered the elite of Paris society.  Among these were Edward Montague,
Charles Standish, Hervey Aston, Arthur Upton, "Kangaroo" Cook, Benjamin
Constant, Dupin, Casimir Perier, as well as the chief Orleanists.  On
one occasion, I recollect seeing there George Canning and the
celebrated Madame de Stael.  Cornwall, the eldest son of the Bishop of
Worcester, had, from some unaccountable cause, a misunderstanding with
Madame de Stael, who appeared very excited, and said to Lady Oxford, in
a loud voice, "Notre ami, M. Cornewal, est grosso, rosso, e furioso."
It should be observed that the gentleman thus characterized was
red-haired, and hasty in temper. All who heard this denunciation were
astounded at the lady's manner, for she looked daggers at the object of
her sarcasm.

Fox, the secretary of the embassy, was an excellent man, but odd,
indolent, and careless in the extreme; he was seldom seen in the
daytime, unless it was either at the embassy in a state of negligee, or
in bed.  At night he used to go to the Salon des Etrangers; and, if he
possessed a Napoleon, it was sure to be thrown away at hazard, or rouge
et noir. On one occasion, however, fortune favoured him in a most
extraordinary manner.  The late Henry Baring having recommended him to
take the dice-box, Fox replied, "I will do so for the last time, for
all my money is thrown away upon this infernal table."  Fox staked all
he had in his pockets; he threw in eleven times, breaking the bank, and
taking home for his share 60,000 francs.  After this, several days
passed without any tidings being heard of him; but upon my calling at
the embassy to get my passport vised, I went into his room, and saw it
filled with Cashmere shawls, silk, Chantilly veils, bonnets, gloves,
shoes, and other articles of ladies' dress.  On my asking the purpose
of all this millinery, Fox replied, in a good-natured way, "Why, my
dear Gronow, it was the only means to prevent those rascals at the
salon winning back my money."


An order had been given to the managers of all the theatres in Paris to
admit a certain number of soldiers of the army of occupation, free of
expense.  It happened that a party of the Guards, composed of a
sergeant and a few men, went to the Theatre des Varietes on the
Boulevards, where one of the pieces, entitled Les Anglaises pour Rire,
was admirably acted by Potier and Brunet.  In this piece Englishwomen
were represented in a very ridiculous light by those accomplished
performers.  This gave great offence to our soldiers, and the sergeant
and his men determined to put a stop to the acting; accordingly they
stormed the stage, and laid violent hands upon the actors, eventually
driving them off.  The police were called in, and foolishly wanted to
take our men to prison; but they soon found to their cost that they had
to deal with unmanageable opponents, for the whole posse of gendarmes
were charged and driven out of the theatre.  A crowd assembled on the
Boulevards; which, however, soon dispersed when it became known that
English soldiers were determined, coute qu'il coute, to prevent their
countrywomen from being ridiculed. It must be remembered that the only
revenge which the Parisians were able to take upon the conquerors was
to ridicule them; and the English generally took it in good humour, and
laughed at the extravagant drollery of the burlesque.

The English soldiers generally walked about Paris in parties of a
dozen, and were quiet and well-behaved.  They usually gathered every
day on the Boulevard du Temple, where they were amused with the
mountebanks and jugglers there assembled.

This part of Paris is now completely changed: but at the time I speak
of, it was an extensive open place, where every species of fun was
carried on, as at fairs: there were gambling, rope-dancing, wild
beasts, and shows; booths for the sale of cakes, gingerbread, fruit,
and lemonade; and every species of attraction that pleases the
multitude; but that space has now been built upon, and these sports
have all migrated to the barriers.

During the time our troops remained, we had only one man found dead in
the streets: it was said that he had been murdered; but of that there
was considerable doubt, for no signs of violence were found.  This was
strongly in contrast to what occurred to the Prussian soldiers. It was
asserted, and, indeed, proved beyond a doubt, that numbers of them were
assassinated; and in some parts of France it was not unusual to find in
the morning, in deep wells or cellars, several bodies of soldiers of
that nation who had been killed during the night; so strong was the
hatred borne against them by the French.


Stage-coaches, or four-in-hand teams, were introduced in Paris in 1815
by Captain Bacon, of the 10th Hussars (afterwards a general in the
Portuguese service), Sir Charles Smith, Mr. Roles, the brewer, and
Arnold, of the 10th.  They used to meet opposite Demidoff's house,
afterwards the Cafe de Paris, and drive to the Boulevard Beaumarchais,
and then back again, proceeding to the then unfinished Arc du Triomphe.
Crowds assembled to witness the departure of the teams; and it created
no little amusement to the Parisian to see perched upon Sir C. Smith's
coach one or two smartly-dressed ladies, who appeared quite at home.
Sir Charles was likewise a great supporter of the turf, and was the
first man who brought over from England thorough-bred horses. By his
indefatigable energy he contrived to get up very fair racing in the
neighbourhood of Valenciennes; his trainer at this time being Tom
Hurst, who is now, I believe, at Chantilly; and all the officers of our
several cavalry and infantry regiments contributed their efforts to
make these races respectable in the eyes of foreigners.  Be this as it
may, they were superior to those in the Champs de Mars, though under
the patronage of the King.

I shall not forget the first time I witnessed racing in Paris, for it
was more like a review of Gensdarmes and National Guards; the course
was kept by a forest of bayonets, while mounted police galloped after
the running horses, and, in some instances, reached the goal before
them. The Duc d' Angouleme, with the Duc de Guiche and the Prefet, were
present; but there was only one small stand, opposite to a sentry-box
where the judge was placed.  The running, to say the least of it, was
ridiculous: horses and riders fell; and the fete, as it was called,
ended with a flourish of trumpets.  Wonderful changes have taken place
since that time, and at the Bois de Boulogne and at Chantilly may be
seen running equal to that of our best races in England; and our
neighbours produce horses, bred in France, that can carry off some of
the great prizes in our own "Isthmian games."


At the present day, Paris may be said to be a city of cafes and
restaurants. The railroads and steamboats enable the rich of every
quarter of the globe to reach the most attractive of all European
cities with comparative economy and facility.  All foreigners arriving
in Paris seem by instinct to rush to the restaurateurs', where
strangers may be counted by tens of thousands.  It is not surprising
that we find in every important street these gaudy modern triclinia,
which, I should observe, are as much frequented by a certain class of
French people as by foreigners, for Paris is proverbially fond of
dining out; in fact, the social intercourse may be said to take place
more frequently in the public cafe than under the domestic roof.

In 1815, I need scarcely remark that the condition of the roads in
Europe, and the enormous expense of travelling, made a visit to Paris a
journey which could only be indulged in by a very limited and wealthy
class of strangers. Hotels and cafes were then neither so numerous nor
so splendid as at the present day: Meurice's Hotel was a very
insignificant establishment in the Rue de l'Echiquier; and in the Rue
de la Paix, at that time unfinished, there were but two or three
hotels, which would not be considered even second-rate at the present
time.  The site of the Maison Dore, at the corner of the Rue Lafitte,
was then occupied by a shabby building which went by the name of the
Hotel d'Angleterre, and was kept by the popular and once beautiful
Madame Dunan.  The most celebrated restaurant was that of Beauvilliers,
in the Rue de Richelieu; mirrors and a little gilding were the
decorative characteristics of this house; the cuisine was far superior
to that of any restaurateur of our day, and the wines were first-rate.
Beauvilliers was also celebrated for his supreme de volaille, and for
his cotelette a la Soubise.  The company consisted of the most
distinguished men of Paris; here were to be seen Chateaubriand, Bailly
de Ferrette, the Dukes of Fitzjames, Rochefoucauld, and Grammont, and
many other remarkable personages. It was the custom to go to the
theatres after dinner, and then to the Salon des Etrangers, which was
the Parisian Crockford's.

Another famous dining-house was the Rocher de Cancaille, in the Rue
Mandar, kept by Borel, formerly one of the cooks of Napoleon.  Here the
cuisine was so refined that people were reported to have come over from
England expressly for the purpose of enjoying it: indeed, Borel once
showed me a list of his customers, amongst whom I found the names of
Robespierre, Charles James Fox, and the Duke of Bedford.  In the Palais
Royal the still well-known Trois Freres Provenceaux was in vogue, and
frequented much by the French officers; being celebrated chiefly for
its wines and its Provence dishes: it was in the Palais Royal that
General Lannes, Junot, Murat, and other distinguished officers, used to
meet Bonaparte just before and during the Consulate; but the cafes,
with the exception of the Mille Colonnes, were not nearly so smartly
fitted-up as they now are.  The Cafe Turc, on the Boulevard du Temple,
latterly visited chiefly by shopkeepers, was much frequented: smoking
was not allowed, and then, as now, ladies were seen here; more
especially when the theatres had closed.


In July, 1815, it was agreed by the Sovereigns of Russia, Austria,
Prussia, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and a host of petty German Powers--who
had become wonderfully courageous and enthusiastically devoted to
England, a few hours after the Battle of Waterloo--that a grand review
should be held on the plains of St. Denis, where the whole of the
allied forces were to meet.  Accordingly, at an early hour on a fine
summer morning, there were seen issuing from the various roads which
centre on the plains of St.  Denis, numerous English, Russian,
Prussian, and Austrian regiments of horse and foot, in heavy marching
order, with their bands playing; and finally a mass of men, numbering
not less than 200,000, took up their positions on the wide-spreading
field.  About twelve o'clock, the Duke of Wellington,
commander-in-chief of the allied army, approached, mounted on a
favourite charger; and, strange as it may appear, on his right was
observed a lady in a plain riding-habit, who was no other than Lady
Shelley, the wife of the late Sir John Shelley.  Immediately behind the
Duke followed the Emperors of Austria, and Russia; the Kings of
Prussia, Holland, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg; several German princes, and
general officers; the whole forming one of the most illustrious and
numerous staffs ever brought together.  The Duke of Wellington, thus
accompanied, took up his position, and began manoeuvering, with a
facility and confidence which elicited the admiration of all the
experienced soldiers around him.  Being on duty near his grace, I had
an opportunity of hearing Prince Schwartzenberg say to the Duke, "You
are the only man who can so well play at this game."  The review lasted
two hours; then the men marching home to their quarters, through a
crowd of spectators which included the whole population of Paris.  The
most mournful silence was observed throughout on the part of the French.


It is only just to say that the moderation shown by the British army,
from the Duke of Wellington down to the private soldier, during our
occupation of Paris, contrasted most favourably with that of the
Russian and Prussian military.  Whilst we simply did our duty, and were
civil to all those with whom we came in contact, the Russians and
Prussians were frequently most insubordinate, and never lost an
opportunity of insulting a people whose armies had almost always
defeated them on the day of battle.  I remember one particular
occasion, when the Emperor of Russia reviewed his Garde Imperiale, that
the Cossacks actually charged the crowd, and inflicted wounds on the
unarmed and inoffensive spectators. I recollect, too, a Prussian
regiment displaying its bravery in the Rue St.  Honore on a number of
hackney coachmen; indeed, scarcely a day passed without outrages being
committed by the Russian and Prussian soldiers on the helpless
population of the lower orders.


England was represented at this period by Sir Charles Stuart, who was
one of the most popular ambassadors Great Britain ever sent to Paris.
He made himself acceptable to his countrymen, and paid as much
attention to individual interests as to the more weighty duties of
State.  His attaches, as is always the case, took their tone and manner
from their chief, and were not only civil and agreeable to all those
who went to the Embassy, but knew everything and everybody, and were of
great use to the ambassador, keeping him well supplied with information
on whatever event might be taking place.  The British Embassy, in those
days, was a centre where you were sure to find all the English
gentlemen in Paris collected, from time to time.  Dinners, balls, and
receptions, were given with profusion throughout the season: in fact,
Sir Charles spent the whole of his private income in these noble
hospitalities. England was then represented, as it always should be in
France, by an ambassador who worthily expressed the intelligence, the
amiability, and the wealth, of the great country to which he belonged.
At the present day, the British Embassy emulates the solitude of a
monastic establishment; with the exception, however, of that
hospitality and courtesy which the traveller and stranger were wont to
experience, even in monasteries.


Few circumstances created a greater sensation than the escape of
Lavalette from the Conciergerie, after he had been destined by the
French Government to give employment to the guillotine. The means by
which the prisoner avoided his fate and disappointed his enemies,
produced a deep respect for the English character, and led the French
to believe that, however much the Governments of France and England
might be disposed to foster feelings either of friendship or of enmity,
individuals could entertain the deepest sense of regard for each other,
and that a chivalrous feeling of honour would urge them on to the
exercise of the noblest feelings of our nature. This incident likewise
had a salutary influence in preventing acts of cruelty and of
bloodshed, which were doubtless contemplated by those in power.

Lavalette had been, under the Imperial Government, head of the Post
Office, which place he filled on the return of the Bourbons; and when
the Emperor Napoleon arrived from Elba, he continued still to be thus
employed.  Doubtless, on all occasions when opportunity presented
itself, he did all in his power to serve his great master; to whom,
indeed, he was allied by domestic ties, having married into the
Beauharnais family.  When Louis the Eighteenth returned to Paris after
the battle of Waterloo, Lavalette and the unfortunate Marshal Ney were
singled out as traitors to the Bourbon cause, and tried, convicted, and
sentenced to death. The 26th of December was the day fixed for the
execution of Lavalette, a man of high respectability and of great
connections, whose only fault was fidelity to his chief.  On the
evening of the 21st, Madame Lavalette, accompanied by her daughter and
her governess, Madame Dutoit, a lady of seventy years of age, presented
herself at the Conciergerie, to take a last farewell of her husband.
She arrived at the prison in a sedan chair.  On this very day the
Procureur-general had given an order that no one should be admitted
without an order signed by himself; the greffier having, however, on
previous occasions been accustomed to receive Madame Lavalette with the
two ladies who now sought also to enter the cell, did not object to it;
so these three ladies proposed to take coffee with Lavalette. The under
gaoler was sent to a neighbouring cafe to obtain it, and during his
absence Lavalette exchanged dresses with his wife.  He managed to pass
undetected out of the prison, accompanied by his daughter, and entered
the chair in which Madame Lavalette had arrived; which, owing to the
management of a faithful valet, had been placed so that no observation
could be made of the person entering it. The bearers found the chair
somewhat heavier than usual, but were ignorant of the change that had
taken place, and were glad to find, after proceeding a short distance,
that the individual within preferred walking home, and giving up the
sedan to the young lady.  On the greffier entering the cell, he quickly
discovered the ruse, and gave the alarm; the under gaoler was
despatched to stop the chair, but he was too late.

Lavalette had formed a friendship with a young Englishman of the name
of Bruce; to whom he immediately had recourse, throwing himself upon
his generosity and kind feeling for protection, which was
unhesitatingly afforded.  But as Bruce could do nothing alone, he
consulted two English friends who had shown considerable sympathy for
the fate of Marshal Ney--men of liberal principles and undoubted
honour, and both of them officers in the British service: these were
Captain Hutchinson and General Sir Robert Wilson.  To the latter was
committed the most difficult task, that of conveying out of France the
condemned prisoner; but for this achievement few men were better fitted
than Sir Robert Wilson, a man of fertile imagination, ready courage,
great assurance, and singular power of command over others; who spoke
French well, and was intimately acquainted with the military habits of
different nations.

Sir Robert Wilson's career was a singular one: he had commenced life an
ardent enemy of Bonaparte, and it was upon his evidence, collected in
Egypt and published to the world, that the great general was for a long
time believed to have poisoned his wounded soldiers at Jaffa.
Afterwards he was attached to the Allied Sovereigns in their great
campaign; but upon his arrival in Paris, his views of public affairs
became suddenly changed; he threw off the yoke of preconceived
opinions, became an ardent liberal, and so continued to the last hours
of his life.  The cause of this sudden change of opinion has never been
thoroughly known, but certain it is that on every occasion he supported
liberal opinions with a firmness and courage that astonished those who
had known him in his earlier days.

Sir Robert undertook, in the midst of great dangers and difficulties,
to convey Lavalette out of France; having dressed him in the uniform of
an English officer, and obtained a passport under a feigned name, he
took him in a cabriolet past the barriers as far as Compiegne, where a
carriage was waiting for them.  They passed through sundry examinations
at the fortified towns, but fortunately escaped; the great difficulty
being that, owing to Lavalette's having been the director of the posts,
his countenance was familiar to almost all the postmasters who supplied
relays of horses.  At Cambray three hours were lost, from the gates
being shut, and at Valenciennes they underwent three examinations; but
eventually they got out of France. The police, however, became
acquainted with the fact that Lavalette had been concealed in the Rue
de Helder for three days, at the apartments of Mr. Bruce, and this
enabled them to trace all the circumstances, showing that it was at the
apartments of Hutchinson that Lavalette had changed his dress, and that
he had remained there the night before he quitted Paris.  The
consequence was that Sir Robert Wilson, Bruce, and Hutchinson, were
tried for aiding the escape of a prisoner; and each of them was
condemned to three months' imprisonment: the under-gaoler, who had
evidently been well paid for services rendered, had two years'
confinement allotted to him. I went to see Sir Robert Wilson during his
stay in the Conciergerie--a punishment not very difficult to bear, but
which marked him as a popular hero for his life.  A circumstance I
remember made a strong impression on me, proving that, however great
may be the courage of a man in trying circumstances, a trifling
incident might severely shake his nerves.  I was accompanied by a
favourite dog of the Countess of Oxford, who, not being aware of the
high character of Sir Robert, or dissatisfied with his physiognomy, or
for some good canine reason, took a sudden antipathy, and inserted his
teeth into a somewhat fleshy part, but without doing much injury.  The
effect, however, on the General was extraordinary: he was most earnest
to have the dog killed; but being certain that the animal was in no way
diseased, I avoided obeying his wishes, and fear that I thus lost the
good graces of the worthy man.


When the restoration of the Bourbons took place, a variety of
circumstances combined to render duelling so common, that scarcely a
day passed without one at least of these hostile meetings.  Amongst the
French themselves there were two parties always ready to distribute to
each other "des coups d'epees"--the officers of Napoleon's army and the
Bourbonist officers of the Garde du Corps.  Then, again, there was the
irritating presence of the English, Russian, Prussian, and Austrian
officers in the French capital.  In the duels between these soldiers
and the French, the latter were always the aggressors.  At Tortoni's,
on the Boulevards, there was a room set apart for such quarrelsome
gentlemen, where, after these meetings, they indulged in riotous
champagne breakfasts. At this cafe might be seen all the most notorious
duellists, amongst whom I can call to mind an Irishman in the Garde du
Corps, W--, who was a most formidable fire-eater.  The number of duels
in which he had been engaged would seem incredible in the present day:
he is said to have killed nine of his opponents in one year!

The Marquis de H--, descended of an ancient family in Brittany, also in
the Garde du Corps, likewise fought innumerable duels, killing many of
his antagonists.  I have heard that on entering the army he was not of
a quarrelsome disposition, but was laughed at, and bullied into
fighting by his brother officers; and, like a wild beast that had once
smelt blood, from the day of his first duel he took a delight in such
fatal scenes--being ever ready to rush at and quarrel with any one.
The marquis has now, I am glad to say, subsided into a very quiet,
placable, and peacemaking old gentleman; but at the time I speak of he
was much blamed for his duel with F--, a young man of nineteen.  While
dining at a cafe he exclaimed, "J'ai envie de tuer quelq'un," and
rushed out into the street and to the theatres, trying to pick a
quarrel; but he was so well known that no one was found willing to
encounter him. At last, at the Theatre de la Porte St.  Martin, he
grossly insulted this young man, who was, I think, an eleve of the
Ecole Polytechnique, and a duel took place, under the lamp-post near
the theatre, with swords. He ran F-- through the body, and left him
dead upon the ground.

The late Marshal St. A-- and General J-- were great duellists at this
time, with a whole host of others whose names I forget.  The meetings
generally took place in the Bois de Boulogne, and the favourite weapon
of the French was the small sword, or the sabre; but foreigners, in
fighting with the French, who were generally capital swordsmen, availed
themselves of the use of pistols.  The ground for a duel with pistols
was marked out by indicating two spots, which were twenty-five paces
apart; the seconds then generally proceeded to toss up who should have
the first shot; when the principals were placed, and the word was given
to fire.

The Cafe Foy, in the Palais Royal, was the principal place of
rendezvous for the Prussian officers, and to this cafe the French
officers on half-pay frequently proceeded in order to pick quarrels
with their foreign invaders; swords were quickly drawn, and frequently
the most bloody frays took place: these originated not in any personal
hatred, but from national jealousy on the part of the French, who could
not bear the sight of foreign soldiers in their capital; which, ruled
by the great captain of the age, had, like Rome, influenced the rest of
the world.  On one occasion our Guards, who were on duty at the Palais
Royal, were called out to put an end to one of these encounters, in
which fourteen Prussians and ten Frenchmen were either killed or

The French took every opportunity of insulting the English; and very
frequently, I am sorry to say, those insults were not met in a manner
to do honour to our character, Our countrymen in general were very
pacific; but the most awkward customer the French ever came across was
my fellow-countryman the late gallant Colonel Sir Charles S--, of the
Engineers, who was ready for them with anything: sword, pistols, sabre,
or fists--he was good at all; and though never seeking a quarrel, he
would not put up with the slightest insult.  He killed three Frenchmen
in Paris, in quarrels forced upon him.  I remember, in October, 1815,
being asked by a friend to dine at Beauvillier's, in the Rue Richelieu,
when Sir Charles S--, who was well known to us, occupied a table at the
farther end of the room.  About the middle of the dinner we heard a
most extraordinary noise, and, on looking up, perceived that it arose
from S--'s table; he was engaged in beating the head of a
smartly-dressed gentleman with one of the long French loaves so well
known to all who have visited France.  Upon asking the reason of such
rough treatment on the part of our countryman, he said he would serve
all Frenchmen in the same manner if they insulted him.  The offence, it
seems, proceeded from the person who had just been chastised in so
summary a manner: he had stared and laughed at S-- in a rude way, for
having ordered three bottles of wine to be placed upon his table.  The
upshot of all this was a duel, which took place next day at a place
near Vincennes, and in which S-- shot the unfortunate jester.

When Sir Charles returned to Valenciennes, where he commanded the
Engineers, he found on his arrival a French officer waiting to avenge
the death of his relation, who had only been shot ten days before at
Vincennes. They accordingly fought, before S-- had time even to shave
himself or eat his breakfast; he having only just arrived in his coupe
from Paris. The meeting took place in the fosse of the fortress, and
the first shot from S--'s pistol killed the French officer, who had
actually travelled in the diligence from Paris for the purpose, as he
boasted to his fellow-travellers, of killing an Englishman.

I recollect dining, in 1816, at Hervey Aston's, at the Hotel Breteuil
in the Rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries, where I met Seymour
Bathurst and Captain E--, of the Artillery, a very good-looking man.
After dinner, Mrs. Aston took us as far as Tortoni's, on her way to the
Opera.  On entering the cafe, Captain E-- did not touch his hat
according to the custom of the country, but behaved himself, a la John
Bull, in a noisy and swaggering manner; upon which, General, then
Colonel J--, went up to E-- and knocked off his hat, telling him that
he hoped he would in future behave himself better.  Aston, Bathurst,
and I, waited for some time, expecting to see E-- knock J-- down, or,
at all events, give him his card as a preliminary to a hostile meeting,
on receiving such an insult; but he did nothing.  We were very much
disgusted and annoyed at a countryman's behaving in such a manner, and,
after a meeting at my lodgings, we recommended Captain E--, in the
strongest terms, to call out Colonel J--, but he positively refused to
do so, as he said it was against his principles. This specimen of the
white feather astonished us beyond measure.  Captain E-- shortly after
received orders to start for India, where I believe he died of
cholera--in all probability of FUNK.

I do not think that Colonel J-- would altogether have escaped with
impunity, after such a gratuitous insult to an English officer; but he
retired into the country almost immediately after the incident at
Tortoni's, and could not be found.

There were many men in our army who did not thus disgrace the British
uniform when insulted by the French.  I cannot omit the names of my old
friends Captain Burges, Mike Fitzgerald, Charles Hesse, and Thoroton;
each of whom, by their willingness to resent gratuitous offences,
showed that insults to Englishmen were not to be committed with
impunity. The last named officer having been grossly insulted by
Marshal V--, without giving him the slightest provocation, knocked him
down: this circumstance caused a great sensation in Paris, and brought
about a court of inquiry, which ended in the acquittal of Captain
Thoroton. My friend, B--, though he had only one leg, was a good
swordsman, and contrived to kill a man at Lyons who had jeered him
about the loss of his limb at Waterloo.  My old and esteemed friend,
Mike Fitzgerald, son of Lord Edward and the celebrated Pamela, was
always ready to measure swords with the Frenchmen; and, after a brawl
at Silves', the then fashionable Bonapartist cafe at the corner of the
Rue Lafitte and the Boulevard, in which two of our Scotch countrymen
showed the white feather, he and another officer placed their own cards
over the chimney-piece in the principal room of the cafe, offering to
fight any man, or number of men, for the frequent public insult offered
to Britons.  This challenge, however, was never answered.

A curious duel took place at Beauvais during the occupation of France
by our army.  A Captain B--, of one of our cavalry regiments quartered
in that town, was insulted by a French officer, B-- demanded
satisfaction, which was accepted; but the Frenchman would not fight
with pistols. B-- would not fight with swords; so at last it was agreed
that they should fight on horseback, with lances.  The duel took place
in the neighbourhood of Beauvais, and a crowd assembled to witness it.
B-- received three wounds; but, by a lucky prod, eventually killed his
man. B-- was a fine-looking man and a good horseman.  My late friend
the Baron de P--, so well known in Parisian circles, was second to the
Frenchman on this occasion.

A friend of mine--certainly not of a quarrelsome turn, but considered
by his friends, on the contrary, as rather a good-natured man--had
three duels forced upon him in the course of a few weeks.  He had
formed a liaison with a person whose extraordinary beauty got him into
several scrapes and disputes.  In January 1 1817, a few days after this
acquaintance had been formed, Jack B--, well known at that time in the
best society in London, became madly in love with the fair lady, and
attempted one night to enter her private box at Drury Lane; this my
friend endeavoured to prevent; violent language was used, and a duel
was the consequence. The parties met a few miles from London, in a
field close to the Uxbridge Road, where B--, who was a hot-tempered
man, did his best to kill my friend; but, after the exchange of two
shots, without injury to either party, they were separated by their
seconds. B-- was the son of Lady Bridget B--, and the seconds were
Payne, uncle to George Payne, and Colonel Joddrell of the Guards.

Soon after this incident, my friend accompanied the lady to Paris,
where they took up their residence at Meurice's, in the Rue de
l'Echiquier. The day after their arrival, they went out to take a walk
in the Palais Royal, and were followed by a half-pay officer of
Napoleon's army, Colonel D.--a notorious duellist, who observed to the
people about him that he was going to bully "un Anglais."  This man was
exceedingly rude in his remarks, uttered in a loud voice; and after
every sort of insult expressed in words, he had the impudence to put
his arm round the lady's waist.  My friend indignantly asked the
colonel what he meant; upon which the ruffian spat in my friend's face:
but he did not get off with impunity, for my friend, who had a crab
stick in his hand, caught him a blow on the side of the head, which
dropped him.  The Frenchman jumped up, and rushed at the Englishman;
but they were separated by the bystanders. Cards were exchanged, and a
meeting was arranged to take place the next morning in the
neighbourhood of Fassy.  When my friend, accompanied by his second,
Captain H--, of the 18th, came upon the ground, he found the colonel
boasting of the number of officers of all nations whom he had killed,
and saying, "I'll now complete my list by killing an Englishman." "Mon
petit tir aura bientot ton conte, car je tire fort bien."  My friend
quietly said, "Je ne tire pas mal non plus," and took his place.  The
colonel, who seems to have been a horrible ruffian, after a good deal
more swaggering and bravado, placed himself opposite, and, on the
signal being given, the colonel's ball went through my friend's
whiskers, whilst his ball pierced his adversary's heart, who fell dead
without a groan.

This duel made much noise in Paris, and the survivor left immediately
for Chantilly, where he passed some time.  On his return to Paris, the
second of the man who had been killed, Commander P., insulted and
challenged my friend. A meeting was accordingly agreed upon, and
pistols were again the weapons used.  Again my friend won the toss, and
told his second, Captain H--, that he would not kill his antagonist,
though he richly deserved death for wishing to take the life of a
person who had never offended him; but that he would give him a lesson
which he should remember. My friend accordingly shot his antagonist in
the knee; and I remember to have seen him limping about the streets of
Paris twenty years after this event.

When the result of this second duel was known, not less than eleven
challenges from Bonapartists were received by the gentleman in
question; but any further encounters were put a stop to by the Minister
of War, or the Duc d'Angouleme (I forget which), who threatened to
place the officers under arrest if they followed up this quarrel any
further. When the news reached England, the Duke of York said that my
friend could not have acted otherwise than he had done in the first
duel, considering the gross provocation that he had received; but he
thought it would have been better if the second duel had been avoided.

In the deeds I have narrated, the English seem to have had the
advantage, but many others took place, in which Englishmen were killed
or wounded: these I have not mentioned, as their details do not recur
to my memory; but I do not remember a single occasion on which
Frenchmen were not the aggressors.  At a somewhat later period than
this, the present Marquis of H--, then Lord B--, had a duel with the
son of the Bonapartist General L--.  General S-- was Lord B--'s second,
and the principals exchanged several shots without injury to either
party.  This duel, like the preceding, originated with the Frenchman,
who insulted the Englishman at the Theatre Francais in the most
unprovoked manner.  At the present day our fiery neighbours are much
more amenable to reason, and if you are but civil, they will be civil
to you; duels consequently are of rare occurrence. Let us hope that the
frequency and the animus displayed in these hostile meetings originated
in national wounded vanity rather than in personal animosity.

In the autumn of 1821 I was living in Paris, when my old friend H--,
Adjutant of the 1st Foot Guards, called upon me, and requested that I
would be his second in a duel with Mr. N--, an officer in the same
regiment. After hearing what he had to say, and thinking I could serve
him, I consented.  It was agreed by Captain F--, R.N., of Pitmore, Mr.
N--'s second, that the duel should take place in the Bois de Boulogne.
After an exchange of shots, Captain F. and myself put an end to the
duel. The cause of the quarrel was that Mr. N--, now Lord G--,
proclaimed in the presence of Captain H-- and other officers, that a
lady, the wife of a brother officer, was "what she ought not to be."
When the report reached the ear of the Colonel, H. R. H.  the Duke of
York requested Mr. N-- to leave the regiment, or be brought to a
court-martial; and then the duel took place, happily without bloodshed.
Both of the officers, it need scarcely be stated, behaved with courage
and coolness.


From 1820 to 1830 pistol shooting was not much practised.  One evening,
in the Salon des Etrangers, I was introduced to General F--, a very
great duellist, and the terror of every regiment he commanded; he was
considered by Napoleon to be one of his best cavalry officers, but was
never in favour, in consequence of his duelling propensities.  It was
currently reported that F--, in a duel with a very young officer lost
his toss, and his antagonist fired first at him; when, finding he had
not been touched, he deliberately walked close up to the young man,
saying, "Je plains ta mere," and shot him dead.  But there were some
doubts of the truth of this story; and I trust, for the honour of
humanity, that it was either an invention or a gross exaggeration.

The night I was introduced to F--, I was told to be on my guard, as he
was a dangerous character.  He was very fond of practising with
pistols, and I frequently met him at Lapage's, the only place at that
time where gentlemen used to shoot.  F--, in the year 1822, was very
corpulent, and wore an enormous cravat, in order, it was said, to hide
two scars received in battle. He was a very slow shot.

The famous Junot, Governor-General of Paris, whom I never saw, was
considered to be the best shot in France.  My quick shooting surprised
the habitues at Lapage's, where we fired at a spot chalked on the
figure of a Cossack painted on a board, and by word of command,
"One--two--three."  F--, upon my firing and hitting the mark forty
times in succession, at the distance of twenty paces, shrieked out,
"Tonnerre de Dieu, c'est magnifique!" We were ever afterwards on good
terms, and supped frequently together at the Salon.  At Manton's, on
one occasion, I hit the wafer nineteen times out of twenty.  When my
battalion was on duty at the Tower in 1819, it happened to be very
cold, and much snow covered the parade and trees.  For our amusement it
was proposed to shoot at the sparrows in the trees from Lady Jane
Grey's room; and it fell to my lot to bag eleven, without missing one:
this, I may say, without flattering myself, was considered the best
pistol-shooting ever heard of.

Manton assigned as the reason why pistols had become the usual arms for
duels, the story (now universally laughed at) of Sheridan and Captain
Matthews fighting with swords on the ground, and mangling each other in
a frightful way.  These combatants narrated their own story; but its
enormous exaggeration has been proved even on Sheridan's own evidence,
and the blood that poured from him seems merely to have been the
excellent claret of the previous night's debauch. The number of wounds
said to have been inflicted on each other was something so incredible
that nothing but the solemn asseverations of the parties could have
gained belief; and in those days Sheridan had not obtained that
reputation for rodomontade which he afterwards enjoyed by universal


The distinguishing characteristics of the residents of the "noble
Faubourg," as it was called at the time I am speaking of, were
indomitable pride and exclusiveness, with a narrow-minded ignorance of
all beyond the circle in which its members moved.  In our day of
comparative equality and general civility, no one who has not arrived
at my age, and lived in Paris, can form any idea of the insolence and
hauteur of the higher classes of society in 1815.  The glance of
unutterable disdain which the painted old duchesse of the Restoration
cast upon the youthful belles of the Chausse d'Antin, or the handsome
widows of Napoleon's army of heroes, defies description. Although often
responded to by a sarcastic sneer at the antediluvian charms of the
emigree, yet the look of contempt and disgust often sank deep into the
victim's heart, leaving there germs which showed themselves fifteen
years later in the revolution of 1830. In those days, this privileged
class was surrounded by a charmed circle, which no one could by any
means break through.  Neither personal attractions nor mental
qualifications formed a passport into that exclusive society; to enter
which the small nobility of the provinces, or the nouveau riche, sighed
in vain.  It would have been easier for a young Guardsman to make his
way into the Convent des Oiseaux--the fashionable convent in
Paris--than for any of these parvenus to force an entrance into the
Faubourg St. Germain.

One of the first acts which followed the Restoration of the Bourbons
was the grant of a pecuniary indemnity, amounting to a milliard, or
forty millions sterling, to be distributed amongst the emigres who had
lost fortunes or estates by their devotion to the royal family. They
had now, therefore, the means of receiving their friends, political
partisans, and foreigners, with more than usual splendour; and it must
be admitted that those who were thought worthy to be received were
treated like spoiled children, and petted and flattered to their
heart's content. In their own houses they were really des grands
seigneurs, and quite incapable of treating their invited guests with
the insolence that became the fashion among the Jewish parvenus during
the reign of the "citizen king."  It is one thing to disdain those whom
one does not think worthy of our acquaintance, and another to insult
those whom one has thought proper to invite.

In their own houses, the inhabitants of the Faubourg St.  Germain were
scrupulously polite: even if some enterprising foreigner should have
got in surreptitiously, as long as he was under his host's roof he was
treated with perfect courtesy; though ignominiously "cut" for the
remainder of his days.  All this was not very amiable; but the
inhabitants of the "noble Faubourg" were never distinguished for their
amiability. Their best characteristics were the undaunted courage with
which they met death upon the scaffold, and the cheerfulness and
resignation with which they ate the bitter bread of exile.  In general,
les grandes dames were not remarkable for their personal attractions,
nor for the elegance of their appearance or dress.  The galaxy of
handsome women that formed the court of the Emperor had perhaps sent
beauty somewhat out of fashion; for the high-born ladies who took their
place were what we should call dowdy, and had nothing distinguished in
their appearance.  Many of those who belonged to the most ancient
families were almost vulgar in outward form and feature: their manner
had a peculiar off-hand, easy style; and they particularly excelled in
setting down any unlucky person who had happened to offend them.  Their
main object, at this time, was to stand well at court, therefore they
adapted themselves to circumstances, and could be devout with the
Dauphine and sceptical with Louis the Eighteenth.

The men of the aristocracy of the Revolution were less clever and
satirical than the women; but, on the other hand, they had far more of
the distinguished bearing and graceful urbanity of the grands seigneurs
of the olden time. The emigre nobles would have gazed with unutterable
horror at their degenerate descendants of the present day; but these
young, booted, bearded, cigar-smoking scions of la jeune France would
have run round their courteous, but, perhaps, rather slow ancestors, in
all the details of daily life.

The principal houses of reception in those days were those of the
Montmorencys, the Richelieus, Birons, Rohans, Goutaut Talleyrands,
Beauffremonts, Luxemburgs, Crillons, Choiseuls, Chabots, Fitzjames,
Grammonts, Latours de Pin, Coislins, and Maillys.  Most of these
mansions are now occupied as public offices, or Jesuitical schools, or
by foreign Ministers. Those who are now supposed to be the great people
of the Faubourg St. Germain are nothing more than actors, who put on a
motley dress and appear before the public with the view of attracting
that attention to which they are not entitled; it is, therefore, an
error to suppose that the modern faubourg is anything like what it was
during the days of the Bourbons.  At the present moment the only
practical aid the inhabitants of this locality can accord to the
legitimist cause in Europe, is by getting up subscriptions for the
Papacy, and such exiled Sovereigns as Francis II.; and, in order to do
so, they generally address themselves to married women and widows: in
fact, it is from the purses of susceptible females, many of whom are
English, that donations are obtained for legitimacy and Popery in

It is to be regretted that the most renowned and ancient families of
France have, in society and politics, yielded their places to another
class.  That refinement of perception, sensitiveness, and gentle
bearing, which take three or four generations to produce, are no longer
the characteristics of Parisian society.  The gilded saloons of the
Tuileries, and those magnificent hotels whose architects have not been
geniuses of art, but the children of Mammon, are occupied by the Jew
speculator, the political parasite, the clever schemer, and those
who--whilst following the fortune of the great man who rules
France--are nothing better than harpies.  Most of these pretended
devotees of imperialism have, speaking figuratively, their portmanteaus
perpetually packed, ready for flight.  The Emperor's good nature, as
regards his entourage, has never allowed him to get rid of men who,
perhaps, ought not to be seen so near the Imperial throne of France.
The weakest feature of Napoleon III.'s Government is the conspicuous
presence of a few persons in high places, whose cupidity is so
extravagant that, in order to gratify their lust of wealth, they would
not hesitate, indirectly at least, to risk a slur on the reputation of
their master and benefactor, in order to gain their own ends.


When the allies entered Paris, after the Battle of Waterloo, the
English gentlemen sought, instinctively, something like a club.  Paris,
however, possessed nothing of the sort; but there was a much more
dangerous establishment than the London clubs, namely, a rendezvous for
confirmed gamblers. The Salon des Etrangers was most gorgeously
furnished, provided with an excellent kitchen and wines, and was
conducted by the celebrated Marquis de Livry, who received the guests
and did the honours with a courtesy which made him famous throughout
Europe. The Marquis presented an extraordinary likeness to the Prince
Regent of England, who actually sent Lord Fife over to Paris to
ascertain this momentous fact. The play which took place in these
saloons was frequently of the most reckless character; large fortunes
were often lost, the losers disappearing, never more to be heard of.
Amongst the English habitues were the Hon. George T--, the late Henry
Baring, Lord Thanet, Tom Sowerby, Cuthbert, Mr. Steer, Henry Broadwood,
and Bob Arnold.

The Hon.  George T--, who used to arrive from London with a very
considerable letter of credit expressly to try his luck at the Salon
des Etrangers, at length contrived to lose his last shilling at rouge
et noir.  When he had lost everything he possessed in the world, he got
up and exclaimed, in an excited manner, "If I had Canova's Venus and
Adonis from Alton Towers, my uncle's country seat, it should be placed
on the rouge, for black has won fourteen times running!"

The late Henry Baring was more fortunate at hazard than his countryman,
but his love of gambling was the cause of his being excluded from the
banking establishment.  Col. Sowerby, of the Guards, was one of the
most inveterate players in Paris; and, as is frequently the case with a
fair player, a considerable loser.  But, perhaps, the most incurable
gamester amongst the English was Lord Thanet, whose income was not less
than 50,000£. a year, every farthing of which he lost at play.
Cuthbert dissipated the whole of his fortune in like manner.  In fact,
I do not remember any instance where those who spent their time in this
den did not lose all they possessed.

The Marquis de L-- had a charming villa at Romainville, near Paris, to
which, on Sundays, he invited not only those gentlemen who were the
most prodigal patrons of his salon, but a number of ladies, who were
dancers and singers conspicuous at the opera; forming a society of the
strangest character, the male portion of which were bent on losing
their money, whilst the ladies were determined to get rid of whatever
virtue they might still have left. The dinners on these occasions were
supplied by the chef of the Salon des Etrangers, and were such as few
renommes of the kitchens of France could place upon the table.

Amongst the constant guests was Lord Fife, the intimate friend of
George IV., with Mdlle. Noblet, a danseuse, who gave so much
satisfaction to the habitues of the pit at the opera, both in Paris and
London.  His lordship spent a fortune upon her; his presents in jewels,
furniture, articles of dress, and money, exceeded 40,000£. In return
for all this generosity, Lord Fife asked nothing more than the lady's
flattery and professions of affection.

Hall Standish was always to be seen in this circle; and his own hotel
in the Rue le Pelletier was often lighted up, and fetes given to the
theatrical and demi-monde.  Standish died in Spain, leaving his gallery
of pictures to Louis Philippe.

Amonst others who visited the Salon des Etrangers were Sir Francis
Vincent, Gooch, Green, Ball Hughes, and many others whose names I no
longer remember. Of foreigners the most conspicuous were Blucher,
General Ormano, father-in-law of Count Walewski, Pacto, and Clari, as
well as most of the ambassadors at the court of the Tuileries.  As at
Crockford's, a magnificent supper was provided every night for all who
thought proper to avail themselves of it.  The games principally played
were rouge et noir and hazard; the former producing an immense profit,
for not only were the whole of the expenses of this costly
establishment defrayed by the winnings of the bank, but a very large
sum was paid annually to the municipality of Paris.  I recollect a
young Irishman, Mr. Gough, losing a large fortune at this tapis vert.
After returning home about two A.M., he sat down and wrote a letter,
giving reasons as to why he was about to commit suicide: these, it is
needless to say, were simply his gambling reverses. A pistol shot
through the brain terminated his existence.  Sir Francis Vincent--a man
of old family and considerable fortune--was another victim of this
French hell, who contrived to get rid of his magnificent property, and
then disappeared from society.

In calling up my recollections of the Salon des Etrangers, some forty
years since, I see before me the noble form and face of the Hungarian
Count Hunyady, the chief gambler of the day, who created considerable
sensation in his time.  He became tres a la mode: his horses, carriage,
and house were considered perfect, while his good looks were the theme
of universal admiration. There were ladies' cloaks "a la Huniade,"
whilst the illustrious Borel, of the Rocher de Cancaile, named new
dishes after the famous Hungarian. Hunyady's luck for a long time was
prodigious: no bank could resist his attacks; and at one time he must
have been a winner of nearly two millions of francs.  His manners were
particularly calm and gentlemanlike; he sat apparently unmoved, with
his right hand in the breast of his coat, whilst thousands depended
upon the turning of a card or the hazard of a die.  His valet, however,
confided to some indiscreet friend that his nerves were not of such
iron temper as he would have made people believe, and that the count
bore in the morning the bloody marks of his nails, which he had pressed
into his chest in the agony of an unsuccessful turn of fortune.  The
streets of Paris were at that time not very safe; consequently the
Count was usually attended to his residence by two gensdarmes, in order
to prevent his being attacked by robbers.  Hunyady was not wise enough
(what gamblers are?) to leave Paris with his large winnings, but
continued as usual to play day and night.  A run of bad luck set in
against him, and he lost not only the whole of the money he had won,
but a very large portion of his own fortune.  He actually borrowed 50£.
of the well-known Tommy Garth--who was himself generally more in the
borrowing than the lending line--to take him back to Hungary.


I had the honour of being invited to an evening party at the Tuileries
in the winter of 1816, and was in conversation with the Countess de
l'Espinasse, when the Duchess did me the honour to ask me if I intended
going to St. Germain to hunt.  I replied in the negative, not having
received an invitation; upon which the Duchess graciously observed that
if I would attend mass the following morning in the Royal Chapel, she
would manage it. Accordingly I presented myself there dressed in a
black coat and trousers and white neckcloth; but at the entrance, a
huge Swiss told me I could not enter the chapel without knee-buckles.
At that moment Alexandre Gerardin, the grand veneur, came to my
assistance; he spoke to the Duchess, who immediately gave instructions
that Mr. Gronow was to be admitted "sans culottes." The card for the
hunt came; but the time to get the uniform was so short, that I was
prevented going to St. Germain.  At that time the fascinating Duchess
de Berri was the theme of admiration of everyone.  All who could obtain
admission to the chapelle were charmed with the grace with which, on
passing through the happy group who had been fortunate enough to gain
the privilege, she cast her glance of recognition upon those who were
honoured with her notice.  When again I had the honour of being in the
presence of the Duchess, she inquired whether the hunt amused me; and
upon my telling her that I had been unable to go, in consequence of the
want of the required uniform, the Duchess archly remarked "Ah!  M. le
Capitaine, parceque vous n'avez pas jamais des culottes."


When I was presented at the Court of Louis XVIII., Lord Westmoreland,
the grandfather of the present lord, accompanied Sir Charles Stewart to
the Tuileries. On our arrival in the room where the King was, we formed
ourselves into a circle, when the King good-naturedly inquired after
Lady Westmoreland, from whom his lordship was divorced, and whether she
was in Paris.  Upon this, the noble lord looked sullen, and refused to
reply to the question put by the King.  His Majesty, however, repeated
it, when Lord Westmoreland hallooed out, in bad French, "Je ne sais
pas, je ne sais pas, je ne sais pas."  Louis, rising, said, "Assez,
milord; assez, milord."

On one occasion, Lord Westmoreland, who was Lord Privy Seal, being
asked what office he held, replied, "Le Chancelier est le grand sceau
(Sot); moi je suis le petit sceau d' Angleterre."  On another occasion,
he wished to say "I would if I could, but I can't," and rendered it,
"Je voudrais si je coudrais, mais je ne cannais pas."


Among the many English who then visited Paris was Alderman Wood, who
had previously filled the office of Lord Mayor of London.  He ordered a
hundred visiting cards, inscribing upon them, "Alderman Wood, feu Lord
Maire de Londres," which he had largely distributed amongst people of
rank--having translated the word "late" into "feu," which I need hardly
state means "dead."


A few years after the restoration of the Bourbons, the opera was the
grand resort of all the fashionable world.  Sostennes de la
Rochefoucauld was Minister of the Household, and his office placed him
at the head of all the theatres.  M. de la Rochefoucauld was
exceedingly polite to our countrymen, and gave permission to most of
our dandies to go behind the scenes, where Bigottini, Fanny Bias,
Vestris, Anatole, Paul, Albert, and the other principal dancers,
congregated.  One of our countrymen, having been introduced by M. de la
Rochefoucauld to Mademoiselle Bigottini, the beautiful and graceful
dancer, in the course of conversation with this gentleman, asked him in
what part of the theatre he was placed; upon which he replied,
"Mademoiselle, dans un loge rotie," instead of "grillee."  The lady
could not understand what he meant, until his introducer explained the
mistake, observing, "Les diables des Anglais pensent toujours a leur


In 1822 I saw this beautiful person for the first time.  She was
originally one of the figurantes at the opera at Vienna, and was at
this time about fourteen years of age, and of delicate and graceful
proportions.  Her hair was auburn, her eyes blue and large, and her
face wore an expression of great tenderness. Some years after the Duke
of Reichstadt, the son of the great Napoleon, was captivated with her
beauty; in a word, he became her acknowledged admirer, while her
marvellous acting and dancing drew around her all the great men of the
German court.  The year following she went to Naples, where a brother
of the King fell desperately in love with her.  Mademoiselle Elssler
went soon afterwards to Paris, where her wit electrified all the
fashionable world, and her dancing and acting in the Diable Boiteux
made the fortune of the entrepreneur. In London her success was not so
striking; but her cachucha will long be remembered, as one of the most
exquisite exhibitions of female grace and power ever seen at her
Majesty's Theatre, and in expressiveness, her pantomimic powers were


When the father of the present ex-King of Naples came to Paris during
the reign of Charles X., Louis Philippe, then Duke of Orleans, living
at the Palais Royal, gave a very grand fete to his royal cousin. I had
the honour to be one of the party invited, and witnessed an
extraordinary scene, which I think worth relating.  About eleven
o'clock, when the rooms were crowded, Charles X. arrived, with a
numerous suite.  On entering, he let fall his pocket-handkerchief--it
was then supposed by accident; upon this, Louis Philippe fell upon one
knee and presented the handkerchief to his Sovereign; who smiled and
said, "Merci, mon cher; merci."  This incident was commented upon for
many days, and several persons said that the handkerchief was purposely
thrown down to see whether Louis Philippe would pick it up.

At that period, the Orleans family were en mauvais odeur at the
Tuileries, and consequently, this little incident created considerable
gossip among the courtly quidnuncs.  I remember that when Lord William
Bentinck was asked what he thought of the circumstance, he
good-naturedly answered, "The King most probably wanted to know how the
wind blew."

It was known that a large number of persons hostile to the court were
invited; and among these were Casimir Perier, the Dupins, Lafitte,
Benjamin Constant, and a host of others who a few years afterwards
drove out the eldest branch that occupied the throne to make way for
Louis Philippe.


The late Lord Thanet, celebrated for having been imprisoned in the
Tower for his supposed predilection for republicanism, passed much of
his time in Paris, particularly at the Salon des Etrangers.  His
lordship's infatuation for play was such, that when the gambling-tables
were closed, he invited those who remained to play at chicken-hazard
and ecarte; the consequence was that, one night, he left off a loser of
120,000£. When told of his folly and the probability of his having been
cheated, he exclaimed, "Then I consider myself lucky in not having lost
twice that sum!"


Soon after Lord Granville's appointment, a strange occurrence took
place at one of the public gambling-houses.  A colonel, on half-pay, in
the British service, having lost every farthing that he possessed,
determined to destroy himself, together with all those who were
instrumental in his ruin.  Accordingly, he placed a canister full of
fulminating powder under the table, and set it on fire: it blew up, but
fortunately no one was hurt.  The police arrested the colonel, and
placed him in prison; he was, however, through the humane interposition
of our ambassador, sent out of France as a madman.


Marshal Blucher, though a very fine fellow, was a very rough diamond,
with the manners of a common soldier.  On his arrival in Paris, he went
every day to the salon, and played the highest stakes at rouge et noir.
The salon, during the time that the marshal remained in Paris, was
crowded by persons who came to see him play.  His manner of playing was
anything but gentlemanlike, and when he lost, he used to swear in
German at everything that was French, looking daggers at the croupiers.
He generally managed to lose all he had about him, also all the money
his servant, who was waiting in the ante-chamber, carried. I recollect
looking attentively at the manner in which he played; he would put his
right hand into his pocket, and bring out several rouleaus of
Napoleons, and throw them on the red or black. If he won the first
coup, he would allow it to remain; but when the croupier stated that
the table was not responsible for more than ten thousand francs, then
Blucher would roar like a lion, and rap out oaths in his native
language, which would doubtless have met with great success at
Billingsgate, if duly translated: fortunately, they were not heeded, as
they were not understood by the lookers-on.

At that period there were rumours--and reliable ones, too--that Blucher
and the Duke of Wellington were at loggerheads.  The Prussians wanted
to blow up the Bridge of Jena; but the Duke sent a battalion of our
regiment to prevent it, and the Prussian engineers who were mining the
bridge were civilly sent away: this circumstance created some ill-will
between the chiefs.

A sort of congress of the Emperors of Austria and Russia and the King
of Prussia, with Blucher and Wellington, met at the Hotel of Foreign
Affairs, on the Boulevard, when, after much ado, the Duke of Wellington
emphatically declared that if any of the monuments were destroyed he
would take the British army from Paris: this threat had the desired
effect.  Nevertheless, Blucher levied contributions on the poor
Parisians, and his army was newly clothed. The Bank of France was
called upon to furnish him with several thousand pounds, which, it was
said, were to reimburse him for the money lost at play.  This, with
many other instances of extortion and tyranny, was the cause of
Blucher's removal, and he took his departure by order of the King.

I once saw a regiment of Prussians march down the Rue St. Honore when a
line of half-a-dozen hackney-coachmen were quietly endeavouring to make
their way in a contrary direction; suddenly some of the Prussian
soldiers left their ranks, and with the butt-end of their muskets
knocked the poor coachmen off their seats.  I was in uniform, and felt
naturally ashamed at what I had seen: some Frenchmen came up to me and
requested me to report what I had witnessed to the Duke of Wellington;
but, upon my telling them it would be of no avail, they one and all
said the English ought to blush at having allies and friends capable of
such wanton brutality.

The fact is that the French had behaved so ill at Berlin, after the
Battle of Jena, in 1806, that the Prussians had sworn to be revenged,
if ever they had the opportunity to visit upon France the cruelties,
the extortion, insults, and hard usage their own capital had suffered;
and they kept their word.

One afternoon, when upwards of a hundred Prussian officers entered the
galleries of the Palais Royal, they visited all the shops in turn,
insulting the women and striking the men, breaking the windows and
turning everything upside down: nothing, indeed, could have been more
outrageous than their conduct.  When information was brought to Lord
James Hay of what was going on, he went out, and arrived just as a
troop of French gensdarmes were on the point of charging the Prussians,
then in the garden.  He lost no time in calling out his men, and,
placing himself between the gensdarmes and the officers, said he should
fire upon the first who moved. The Prussians then came to him and said,
"We had all vowed to return upon the heads of the French in Paris the
insults that they had heaped upon our countrymen in Berlin; we have
kept our vow, and we will now retire."  Nothing could equal the bitter
hatred which existed, and still exists, between the French and the


One of the features of high society after the long war was a passion
for gambling; so universal was it that there are few families of
distinction who do not even to the present day retain unpleasant
reminiscences of the period.  When people become systematic players,
they are often obliged to raise money at an exorbitant interest, and
usually under such circumstances fly to the Israelites.  I have often
heard players wish these people in almost every uncomfortable quarter
of the known and unknown worlds. The mildness and civility with which
the Christian in difficulties always addresses the moneyed Israelite,
contrast forcibly with the opprobrious epithets lavished on him when
the day for settlement comes.  When a man requires money to pay his
debts of honour, and borrows from the Jews, he knows perfectly well
what he is doing; though one of the last things which foolish people
learn is how to trace their own errors to their proper source. Hebrew
money-lenders could not thrive if there were no borrowers: the gambler
brings about his own ruin.  The characteristics of the Jew are never
more perceptible than when they come in contact with gentlemen to ruin
them.  On such occasions, the Jew is humble, supercilious, blunderingly
flattering; and if he can become the agent of any dirty work, is only
too happy to be so, in preference to a straightforward and honest
transaction.  No man is more vulgarly insulting to those dependent upon
him than the Jew, who invariably cringes to his superiors; above all,
he is not a brave man.  It will be seen, from these observations, what
is my opinion of a class of traders who in all parts of the world are
sure to embrace what may be termed illicit and illegitimate commerce.
At the same time, I suspect that the Jew simply avails himself of the
weakness and vices of mankind, and will continue in this line of
business so long as imprudent and extravagant humanity remains what it

Two usurers, who obtained much notoriety from the high game which was
brought to them, were men known by the names of Jew King and Solomon.
These were of very different characters: King was a man of some talent,
and had good taste in the fine arts.  He had made the peerage a
complete study, knew the exact position of everyone who was connected
with a coronet, the value of their property, how deeply the estates
were mortgaged, and what encumbrances weighed upon them.  Nor did his
knowledge stop there: by dint of sundry kind attentions to the clerks
of the leading banking-houses, he was aware of the balances they kept;
and the credit attached to their names; so that, to the surprise of the
borrower, he let him into the secrets of his own actual position.  He
gave excellent dinners, at which many of the highest personages of the
realm were present; and when they fancied that they were about to meet
individuals whom it would be upon their conscience to recognize
elsewhere, were not a little amused to find clients quite as highly
placed as themselves, and with purses quite as empty.  King had a
well-appointed house in Clarges Street; but it was in a villa upon the
banks of the Thames, which had been beautifully fitted up by Walsh
Porter in the Oriental style, and which I believe is now the seat of
one of the most favoured votaries of the Muses, Sir Edward Bulwer
Lytton, that his hospitalities were most lavishly and luxuriously
exercised. Here it was that Sheridan told his host that he liked his
table better than his multiplication table; to which his host, who was
not only witty, but often the cause of wit in others, replied, "I know,
Mr. Sheridan: your taste is more for Jo-king than for Jew King,"
alluding to King, the actor's admirable performance in Sheridan's
School for Scandal.

King kept a princely establishment, and a splendid equipage which he
made to serve as an advertisement of his calling.  A yellow carriage,
with panels emblazoned with a well-executed shield and armorial
bearings, and drawn by two richly-caparisoned steeds, the Jehu on the
box wearing, according to the fashion of those days, a coat of many
capes, a powdered wig, and gloves a l'Henri Quatre, and two spruce
footmen in striking but not gaudy livery, with long canes in their
hands, daily made its appearance in the Park from four to seven in the
height of the season. Mrs. King was a fine-looking woman, and being
dressed in the height of fashion, she attracted innumerable gazers, who
pronounced the whole turn-out to be a work of refined taste, and worthy
a man of "so much principal and interest."

It happened that during one of these drives, Lord William L., a man of
fashion, but, like other of the great men of the day, an issuer of
paper money discounted at high rates by the usurers, was thrown off his
horse.  Mr. and Mrs. King immediately quitted the carriage and placed
the noble lord within.  On this circumstance being mentioned in the
clubs, Brummell observed it was only "a Bill Jewly (duly) taken up and

Solomon indulged in many aliases, being known by the names of
Goldsched, Slowman, as well as by other noms de guerre; and he was
altogether of a different cast from King, being avaricious,
distrustful, and difficult to deal with.  He counted upon his gains
with all the grasping feverishness of the miser; and owing to his great
caution he had an immense command of money, which the confidence of his
brethren placed in his hands. To the jewellers, the coachmakers, and
the tailors, who were obliged to give exorbitant accommodation to their
aristocratic customers, and were eventually paid in bills of an
incredibly long date, Solomon was of inestimable use.  Hamlet,
Houlditch, and other dependants upon the nobility, were often compelled
to seek his assistance.

Hamlet, the jeweller, was once looked up to as the richest tradesman at
the West End.  His shop at the corner of Cranbourne Alley exhibited a
profuse display of gold and silver plate, whilst in the jewel room
sparkled diamonds, amethysts, rubies, and other precious stones, in
every variety of setting.  He was constantly called on to advance money
upon such objects, which were left in pawn only to be taken out on the
occasion of a great banquet, or when a court dress was to be worn. His
gains were enormous, though it was necessary to give long credit; and
his bills for twenty or thirty thousand pounds were eagerly discounted.
In fact, he was looked upon as a second Croesus, or a Crassus, who
could have bought the Roman empire; and his daughter's hand was sought
in marriage by peers.  But all at once the mighty bubble collapsed.  He
had advanced money to the Duke of York, and had received as security
property in Nova Scotia, consisting chiefly of mines, which, when he
began to work them, turned out valueless, after entailing enormous
expense. Loss upon loss succeeded, and in the end bankruptcy.  I have
even heard that this man, once so envied for his wealth, died the
inmate of an almshouse.

Some persons of rank, tempted by the offers of these usurers, lent
their money to them at a very high interest.  A lady of some position
lent a thousand pounds to King, on the promise of receiving annually 15
per cent.; which he continued to pay with the utmost regularity.  Her
son being in want of money applied for a loan of a thousand pounds,
which King granted at the rate of 80 per cent.; lending him of course
his mother's money.  In a moment of tenderness the young man told his
tale to her, when she immediately went to King and upbraided him for
not making her a party to his gains, and demanded her money back.  King
refused to return it, saying that he had never engaged to return the
principal; and dared her to take any proceedings against him, as, being
a married woman, she had no power over the money.  She, however,
acknowledged it to her husband, obtained his forgiveness, and after
threats of legal interference, King was compelled to refund the money,
besides losing much of his credit and popularity by the transaction.


To Lord Alvanley was awarded the reputation, good or bad, of all the
witticisms in the clubs after the abdication of the throne of dandyism
by Brummell; who, before that time, was always quoted as the sayer of
good things, as Sheridan had been some time before. Lord Alvanley had
the talk of the day completely under his control, and was the arbiter
of the school for scandal in St. James's.  A bon mot attributed to him
gave rise to the belief that Solomon caused the downfall and
disappearance of Brummell; for on some friends of the prince of dandies
observing that if he had remained in London something might have been
done for him by his old associates, Alvanley replied, "He has done
quite right to be off: it was Solomon's judgment."

When Sir Lumley Skeffington, who had been a lion in his day--and whose
spectacle, the Sleeping Beauty, produced at a great expense on the
stage, had made him looked up to as deserving all the blandishments of
fashionable life--re-appeared some years after his complete downfall
and seclusion in the bench, he fancied that by a very gay external
appearance he would recover his lost position; but he found his old
friends very shy of him.  Alvanley being asked, on one occasion, who
that smart-looking individual was, answered, "It is a second edition of
the Sleeping Beauty bound in calf, richly gilt, and illustrated by many

One of the gay men of the day, named Judge, being incarcerated in the
Bench, some one observed he believed it was the first instance of a
Judge reaching the bench without being previously called to the bar; to
which Alvanley replied, "Many a bad judge has been taken from the bench
and placed at the bar."  He used to say that Brummell was the only
Dandelion that flourished year after year in the hot-bed of the
fashionable world: he had taken root. Lions were generally annual, but
Brummell was perennial, and quoted a letter from Walter Scott: "If you
are celebrated for writing verses, or for slicing cucumbers, for being
two feet taller, or two feet less, than any other biped, for acting
plays when you should be whipped at school, or for attending schools
and institutions when you should be preparing for your grave, your
notoriety becomes a talisman, an 'open sesame,' which gives way to
everything, till you are voted a bore, and discarded for a new
plaything."  This appeared in a letter from Walter Scott to the Earl of
Dalkeith, when he himself, Belzoni, Master Betty the Roscius, and old
Joseph Lancaster, the schoolmaster, were the lions of the season, and
were one night brought together by my indefatigable old friend, Lady
Cork, who was "the Lady of Lyons" of that day.


This excellent man had the last days of his life embittered by the
money-lenders. He had commenced his career surrounded by every
circumstance that could render existence agreeable; fortune, in his
early days, having smiled most benignantly on him.  His father was a
man of considerable ability, and was to the past generation what
Rowland Hill is in the present day--the great benefactor of
correspondents. He first proposed and carried out the mail-coach
system; and letters, instead of being at the mercy of postboys, and a
private speculation in many instances, became the care of Government,
and were transmitted under its immediate direction.

During the lifetime of Mr. Palmer, the reward due to him for his
suggestions and his practical knowledge was denied; and he accordingly
went to Bath, and became the manager and proprietor of the theatre,
occasionally treading the boards himself, for which his elegant
deportment and good taste eminently qualified him.  He has often been
mistaken for Gentleman Palmer, whose portrait is well drawn in the
Memoir of Sheridan by Dr. Sigmond, prefixed to Bohn's edition of
Sheridan's plays.  Mr. Palmer was successful in his undertaking, and at
his death, his son found himself the inheritor of a handsome fortune,
and became a universal favourite in Bath.

The corporation of that city, consisting of thirty apothecaries, were,
in those borough-mongering days, the sole electors to the House of
Commons, and finding young Palmer hospitable, and intimate with the
Marquis of Bath and Lord Camden, and likewise desiring for themselves
and their families free access to the most agreeable theatre in
England, returned him to Parliament. He entered the army and became a
conspicuous officer in the 10th Hussars, which, being commanded by the
Prince Regent, led him at once into Carlton House, the Pavilion at
Brighton, and consequently into the highest society of the country; for
which his agreeable manners, his amiable disposition, and his
attainments, admirably qualified him. His fortune was sufficiently
large for all his wants; but, unfortunately, as it turned out, the
House of Commons voted to him, as the representative of his father,
100,000£., which he was desirous of laying out to advantage.

A fine opportunity, as he imagined, had presented itself to him; for,
in travelling in the diligence from Lyons to Paris, a journey then
requiring three days, he met a charming widow, who told a tale that had
not only a wonderful effect upon his susceptible heart, but upon his
amply-filled purse.  She said her husband, who had been the proprietor
of one of the finest estates in the neighbourhood of Bordeaux, was just
dead, and that she was on her way to Paris to sell the property, that
it might be divided, according to the laws of France, amongst the
family.  Owing, however, to the absolute necessity of forcing a sale,
that which was worth an enormous sum would realize one-quarter only of
its value. She described the property as one admirably fitted for the
production of wine; that it was, in fact, the next estate to the
Chateau Lafitte, and would prove a fortune to any capitalist.  The
fascinations of this lady, and the temptation of enormous gain to the
speculator, impelled the gallant colonel to offer his services to
relieve her from her embarrassment; and by the time the diligence
arrived in Paris, he had become the proprietor of a fine domain, which
was soon irrevocably fixed on him by the lady's notary, in return for a
large sum of money: which, had the colonel proved a man of business,
would no doubt have been amply repaid, and might have become the source
of great wealth.

Palmer, however, conscious of his inability, looked around him for an
active agent, and believed he had found one in a Mr. Gray, a man of
captivating manners and good connexions, but almost as useless a person
as the General himself.  Fully confident in his own abilities, Gray had
already been concerned in many speculations, not one of which had ever
succeeded, but all had led to the demolition of large fortunes.
Plausible in his address, and possessing many of those superficial
qualities that please the multitude, he appeared to be able to secure
for the claret--which was the production of the estate--a large
clientele. Palmer's claret, under his auspices, began to be talked of
in the clubs; and the bon vivant was anxious to secure a quantity of
this highly-prized wine.  The patronage of the Prince Regent was
considered essential, who, with his egotistical good nature, and from a
kindly feeling for Palmer, gave a dinner at Carlton House, when a fair
trial was to be given to his claret.  A select circle of gastronomes
was to be present, amongst whom was Lord Yarmouth, well known in those
days by the appellation of "Red-herrings," from his rubicund whiskers,
hair, and face, and from the town of Yarmouth deriving its principal
support from the importation from Holland of that fish; Sir Benjamin
Bloomfield, Sir William Knighton, and Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, were also of
the party.  The wine was produced, and was found excellent, and the
spirits of the party ran high; the light wine animating them without
intoxication.  The Prince was delighted, and, as usual upon such
occasions, told some of his best stories, quoted Shakspeare, and was
particularly happy upon the bouquet of the wine as suited "to the holy
Palmer's kiss."

Lord Yarmouth alone sat in moody silence, and, on being questioned as
to the cause, replied that whenever he dined at his Royal Highness's
table, he drank a claret which he much preferred--that which was
furnished by Carbonell. The Prince immediately ordered a bottle of this
wine; and to give them an opportunity of testing the difference, he
desired that some anchovy sandwiches should be served up.  Carbonell's
wine was placed upon the table: it was a claret made expressly for the
London market, well-dashed with Hermitage, and infinitely more to the
taste of the Englishman than the delicately-flavoured wine they had
been drinking.  The banquet terminated in the Prince declaring his own
wine superior to that of Palmer's, and suggesting that he should try
some experiments on his estate to obtain a better wine.  Palmer come
from Carlton House much mortified.  On Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt attempting
to console him, and saying that it was the anchovies that had spoiled
the taste of the connoisseurs, the general said loudly enough to be
heard by Lord Yarmouth, "No; it was the confounded red herrings." A
duel was very nearly the consequence.

General Palmer, feeling it his duty to follow the advice of the Prince,
rooted out his old vines, planted new ones, tried all sorts of
experiments at an immense cost, but with little or no result. He and
his agent, in consequence, got themselves into all sorts of
difficulties, mortgaged the property, borrowed largely, and were at
last obliged to have recourse to usurers, to life assurances, and every
sort of expedient to raise money.  The theatre at Bath was sold, the
Reform in Parliament robbed him of his seat, and at last he and his
agent became ruined men. A subscription would have been raised to
relieve him, but he preferred ending his days in poverty to living upon
the bounty of his friends.  He sold his commission, and was plunged in
the deepest distress; while the accumulation of debt to the usurers
became so heavy, that he was compelled to pass through the Insolvent
Court. Thus ended the career of a man who had been courted in society,
idolized in the army, and figured as a legislator for many years.  His
friends, of course, fell off, and he was to be seen a mendicant in the
streets of London--shunned where he once was adored.  Gray, his agent,
became equally involved; but, marrying a widow with some money, he was
enabled to make a better fight.  Eventually, however, he became a prey
to the money-lender, and his life ended under circumstances distressing
to those who had known him in early days.


One of the most agreeable men of the day was "Monk" Lewis.  As the
author of the Monk and the Tales of Wonder, he not only found his way
into the best circles, but had gained a high reputation in the literary
world. His poetic talent was undoubted, and he was intimately connected
with Walter Scott in his ballad researches.  His Alonzo the Brave and
the Fair Imogene was recited at the theatres, and wherever he went he
found a welcome reception.  His West Indian fortune and connections,
and his seat in Parliament, gave him access to all the aristocratic
circles; from which, however, he was banished upon the appearance of
the fourth and last dialogue of the Pursuits of Literature.  Had a
thunderbolt fallen upon him, he could not have been more astonished
than he was by the onslaught of Mr. Matthias, which led to his
ostracism from fashionable society.

It is not for me to appreciate the value of this satirical poem, which
created such an extraordinary sensation, not only in the fashionable,
but in the political world; I, however, remember that whilst at
Canning's, at the Bishop of London's, and at Gifford's, it was
pronounced the most classical and spirited production that had ever
issued from the press, it was held up at Lord Holland's, at the Marquis
of Lansdowne's, and at Brookes's, as one of the most spiteful and
ill-natured satires that had ever disgraced the literary world; and one
which no talent or classic lore could ever redeem.  Certain it is, that
Matthias fell foul of poor "Monk" Lewis for his romance: obscenity and
blasphemy were the charges laid at his door; he was acknowledged to be
a man of genius and fancy, but this added only to his crime, to which
was superadded that of being a very young man.  The charges brought
against him cooled his friends and heated his enemies; the young ladies
were forbidden to speak to him, matrons even feared him, and from being
one of the idols of the world, he became one of the objects of its
disdain. Even his father was led to believe that his son had abandoned
the paths of virtue, and was on the high road to ruin.

"Monk" Lewis, unable to stand against the outcry thus raised against
him, determined to try the effects of absence, and took his departure
for the island in which his property was; but unfortunately for those
who dissented from the ferocious judgment that was passed upon him, and
for those who had discrimination enough to know that after all there
was nothing very objectionable in his romance, and felt assured that
posterity would do him justice, this amiable and kind-hearted man died
on his passage out; leaving a blank in one variety of literature which
has never been filled up.

The denunciation was not followed by any other severe criticism; but
editors have, in compliance with the insinuations of Matthias, omitted
the passages which he pointed out as objectionable, so that the
original text is seldom met with.

"Monk" Lewis had a black servant, affectionately attached to his
master; but so ridiculously did this servant repeat his master's
expressions, that he became the laughing-stock of all his master's
friends: Brummell used often to raise a hearty laugh at Carlton House
by repeating witticisms which he pretended to have heard from Lewis's
servant.  Some of these were very stale; yet they were considered so
good as to be repeated at the clubs, greatly adding to the reputation
of the Beau as a teller of good things.  "On one occasion," said
Brummell, "I called to inquire after a young lady who had sprained her
ancle; Lewis, on being asked how she was, had said in the black's
presence, 'The doctor has seen her, put her legs straight, and the poor
chicken is doing well.' The servant, therefore, told me, with a
mysterious and knowing look, 'Oh, sir, the doctor has been here; she
has laid eggs, and she and the chickens are doing well.'"

Such extravagances in those days were received as the essence of wit,
and to such stories did the public give a willing ear, repeating them
with unwearying zest.  Even Sheridan's wit partook of this character,
making him the delight of the Prince, who ruled over the fashionable
world, and whose approbation was sufficient to give currency to
anything, however ludicrous and absurd.


There is a pleasure in recalling to memory even the school-boy pranks
of men who make a figure in the world.  The career of Turton promised
to be a brilliant one; and had he not offended against the moral
feeling of the country, and lost his position, he would have mounted to
the highest step in the ladder of fortune.  At Eton he showed himself a
dashing and a daring boy, and was looked upon by Dr. Goodall, the then
head master, as one of his best classical scholars; by his
schoolfellows he was even more highly regarded, being the acknowledged
"cock of the school."  Amongst the qualities that endeared him to them
was a fearlessness which led him into dangers and difficulties, from
which his pluck only could extricate him.  He was a determined poacher:
not one of the skulking class, but of a daring that led him to exert
his abilities in Windsor Park itself; where he contrived to bag game,
in spite of the watchfulness of the keepers and the surveillance of the
well-paid watchers of the night.  On one occasion; however, by some
unlucky chance, tidings of his successes reached the ears of the royal
gamekeeper, who formed a plan by which to entrap him; and so nearly
were they pouncing upon Turton that he was obliged to take to his heels
and fly, carrying with him a hare which he had caught.  The keepers
followed close upon his heels until they came to the Thames, into which
Turton plunged, and, still holding his prize by his teeth, swam to the
other side; to the astonishment and dismay of his pursuers, who had no
inclination for a cold bath: their mortification was great at seeing
Turton safely landed on the other side.  He reached the college in
safety; and the hare served for the enjoyment of merry friends.

Turton's history in after life I will not pursue; but must express my
regret that he threw away golden opportunities of showing his love for
classic lore, and his ability to meet the difficulties of life, in the
same bold way in which he swam the Thames and baffled the Windsor


This is another friend to whom I am pleased to pay the tribute of a
reminiscence, and who, if he was not as well known as most of those I
have spoken of, was yet highly prized by many of the most distinguished
persons, and formed one of a circle that had great influence in
England. Being the son of the well-known Lord Strangford, the
translator of Camoens, he had a first place in aristocratic society,
and had he not given himself up to indulgences and amusements, might
have reached the rank of statesman. The late Lord Strangford was
distinguished by those external qualifications which are everywhere
acceptable; his manners were polished and easy, his conversation
elegant and witty, and these, added to great personal attractions, gave
him a charm which was generally felt.  Disraeli, Sir Edward Bulwer
Lytton, and the leading men of the day, were his associates. When Lord
Aberdeen became Minister for Foreign Affairs he selected George Smythe
as under secretary; in which capacity he acquitted himself with great
ability.  He could not, however, act under Lord Palmerston, and rather
than do so gave up his position.  He did not long survive, but died
very young; just as he was beginning to learn the value of his rare
abilities, and had ascertained how best they might have been of use to
his country.


I have a very vivid recollection of George Talbot, a brother of the
late Earl of Shrewsbury, and who was a fashionable man about town, of
whom there are many anecdotes in circulation.  The only one that took
my fancy was related to me in Paris, where he was as usual in the midst
of the gayest of the gay, recklessly spending his money, and oftentimes
resorting for resources to the gambling-table, where at last he was
thoroughly pigeoned.

Talbot had tried in vain all the usual means of recruiting his empty
purse.  Being a Roman Catholic, like most of the members of one of the
oldest families in Great Britain, he was a regular attendant upon the
ceremonies of his Church, and acquainted with all the clergy in Paris;
so he took the resolution of going to his confessor, unburdening his
conscience, and at the same time seeking counsel from the holy father,
as to the best way of raising the wind. After entering minutely into
his condition, and asking the priest how he could find funds to pay his
debts and take him home, the confessor seemed touched by his tale of
woe, and after much apparent consideration recommended him to trust in
Providence.  Talbot seemed struck with such sensible advice, and
promised to call again in a few days.  This second visit was made in
due course; he again mourned over his condition, and requested the
priest's advice and assistance.  His story was listened to as before,
with much commiseration, but he was again recommended to trust in
Providence. Talbot came away quite crest-fallen, and evidently with
little hope of any immediate relief.  After the lapse of a few days,
however, he appeared again before his confessor, apparently much
elated, and invited the worthy abbe to dine with him at the Rocher du
Cancale.  This invitation was gladly accepted, the holy father not
doubting but that he should have all the delicacies in the land, to
which, in common with the rest of the clergy, he had no objection; nor
was he disappointed. The dinner was recherche; the best the
establishment could furnish was placed before them, and most heartily
and lovingly did the worthy abbe devote himself to what was offered.
At the end of the repast the carte a payer was duly furnished; but what
was the astonishment of the reverend guest when Talbot declared that
his purse was completely au sec, and that it had been a long time
empty; but that upon this occasion, as upon all others, he trusted, as
the abbe had advised him, in Providence. The Abbe Pecheron, recovering
from his surprise, and being of a kind and generous disposition,
laughed heartily at Talbot's impudence, and feeling that he had
deserved this rebuke pulled out his purse, paid for the dinner, and did
what he should have done at first--wrote to the members of Talbot's
family, and obtained for him such assistance as enabled him to quit
Paris and return home, where he afterwards led a more sober life.


I was once invited to dinner by Sir James Burges, father of my friend,
Captain Burges, of the Guards: it was towards the end of the season
1815.  I there met, to my great delight, Lord Byron and Sir Walter
Scott; and amongst the rest of the company were Lord Caledon, and
Croker, the Secretary to the Admiralty.  Sir James had been private
secretary to Pitt at the time of the French Revolution, and had a fund
of curious anecdotes about everything and everybody of note at the end
of the last century.  I remember his telling us the now generally
received story of Pitt dictating a King's speech off-hand--then a more
difficult task than at the present day--without the slightest
hesitation; this speech being adopted by his colleagues nearly word for
word as it was written down.

Walter Scott was quite delightful, appearing full of fire and
animation, and told some interesting anecdotes connected with his early
life in Scotland.  I remember his proving himself, what would have been
called in the olden times he delighted to portray, "a stout
trencher-man." Nor were his attentions confined by any means to the
eatables; on the contrary, he showed himself worthy to have made a
third in the famous carousal in Ivanhoe, between the Black Knight and
the Holy Clerk of Copmanhurst.

Byron, whom I had before seen at the shooting galleries and elsewhere,
was then a very handsome man, with remarkably fine eyes and hair; but
was, as usual, all show-off and affectation.  I recollect his saying
that he disliked seeing women eat, or to have their company at dinner,
from a wish to believe, if possible, in their more ethereal nature; but
he was rallied into avowing that his chief dislike to their presence at
the festive board arose from the fact of their being helped first, and
consequently getting all the wings of the chickens, whilst men had to
be content with the legs or other parts.  Byron, on this occasion, was
in great good humour, and full of boyish and even boisterous mirth.

Croker was also agreeable, notwithstanding his bitter and sarcastic
remarks upon everything and everybody.  The sneering, ill-natured
expression of his face, struck me as an impressive contrast to the
frank and benevolent countenance of Walter Scott.

I never assisted at a more agreeable dinner. According to the custom of
the day, we sat late; the poets, statesmen, and soldiers, all drank an
immense quantity of wine, and I for one felt the effects of it next
day.  Walter Scott gave one or two recitations, in a very animated
manner, from the ballads that he had been collecting, which delighted
his auditory; and both Lord Byron and Croker added to the hilarity of
the evening by quotations from, and criticisms on the more prominent
writers of the period.


I knew very little of Lord Byron personally, but lived much with two of
his intimate friends, Scrope Davis and Wedderburn Webster; from whom I
frequently heard many anecdotes of him.  I regret that I remember so
few; and wish that I had written down those told me by poor Scrope
Davis, one of the most agreeable men I ever met.

When Byron was at Cambridge, he was introduced to Scrope Davis by their
mutual friend, Matthews, who was afterwards drowned in the river Cam.
After Matthews's death, Davis became Byron's particular friend, and was
admitted to his rooms at all hours.  Upon one occasion he found the
poet in bed with his hair en papillote, upon which Scrope cried, "Ha,
ha!  Byron, I have at last caught you acting the part of the Sleeping

Byron, in a rage, exclaimed, "No, Scrope; the part of a d----d fool,
you should have said."

"Well, then, anything you please; but you have succeeded admirably in
deceiving your friends, for it was my conviction that your hair curled

"Yes, naturally, every night," returned the poet; "but do not, my dear
Scrope, let the cat out of the bag, for I am as vain of my curls as a
girl of sixteen."

When in London, Byron used to go to Manton's shooting-gallery, in Davis
street, to try his hand, as he said, at a wafer.  Wedderburn Webster
was present when the poet, intensely delighted with his own skill,
boasted to Joe Manton that he considered himself the best shot in
London. "No, my lord," replied Manton, "not the best; but your
shooting, to-day, was respectable;" upon which Byron waxed wroth, and
left the shop in a violent passion.

Lords Byron, Yarmouth, Pollington, Mountjoy, Walliscourt, Blandford,
Captain Burges, Jack Bouverie, and myself, were in 1814, and for
several years afterwards, amongst the chief and most constant
frequenters of this well-known shooting-gallery, and frequently shot at
the wafer for considerable sums of money.  Manton was allowed to enter
the betting list, and he generally backed me.  On one occasion, I hit
the wafer nineteen times out of twenty.

Byron lived a great deal at Brighton, his house being opposite the
Pavilion. He was fond of boating, and was generally accompanied by a
lad, who was said to be a girl in boy's clothes. This report was
confirmed to me by Webster, who was then living at Brighton.  The vivid
description of the page in Lara, no doubt, gave some plausibility to
this often-told tale.  I myself witnessed the dexterous manner in which
Byron used to get into his boat; for, while standing on the beach, I
once saw him vault into it with the agility of a harlequin, in spite of
his lame foot.

On one occasion, whilst his lordship was dining with a few of his
friends in Charles Street, Pall Mall, a letter was delivered to Scrope
Davis, which required an immediate answer.  Scrope, after reading its
contents, handed it to Lord Byron.  It was thus worded:--

"MY DEAR SCROPE,--Lend me 500£. for a few days; the funds are shut for
the dividends, or I would not have made this request.


The reply was:--

"My DEAR BRUMMELL,--All my money is locked up in the funds.


This was just before Brummell's escape to the Continent.

I have frequently asked Scrope Davis his private opinion of Lord Byron,
and invariably received the same answer--that he considered Lord Byron
very agreeable and clever, but vain, overbearing, conceited,
suspicious, and jealous.  Byron hated Palmerston, but liked Peel, and
thought that the whole world ought to be constantly employed in
admiring his poetry and himself: he never could write a poem or a drama
without making himself its hero, and he was always the subject of his
own conversation.

During one of Henry Hobhouse's visits to Byron, at his villa near
Genoa, and whilst they were walking in the garden, his lordship
suddenly turned upon his guest, and, apropos of nothing, exclaimed,
"Now, I know, Hobhouse, you are looking at my foot."  Upon which
Hobhouse kindly replied, "My dear Byron, nobody thinks of or looks at
anything but your head."


Shelley, the poet, cut off at so early an age; just when his great
poetical talents had been matured by study and reflection, and when he
probably would have produced some great work, was my friend and
associate at Eton. He was a boy of studious and meditative habits,
averse to all games and sports, and a great reader of novels and
romances.  He was a thin, slight lad, with remarkably lustrous eyes,
fine hair, and a very peculiar shrill voice and laugh. His most
intimate friend at Eton was a boy named Price, who was considered one
of the best classical scholars amongst us.  At his tutor, Bethell's,
where he lodged, he attempted many mechanical and scientific
experiments.  By the aid of a common tinker, he contrived to make
something like a steam-engine, which, unfortunately, one day suddenly
exploded; to the great consternation of the neighbourhood and to the
imminent danger of a severe flogging from Dr. Reate.

Soon after leaving school, and about the year 1810, he came, in a state
of great distress and difficulty, to Swansea, when we had an
opportunity of rendering him a service; but we never could ascertain
what had brought him to Wales, though we had reason to suppose it was
some mysterious affaire du coeur.

The last time I saw Shelley was at Genoa, in 1822, sitting on the
sea-shore, and, when I came upon him, making a true poet's meal of
bread and fruit; He at once recognized me, jumped up, and appearing
greatly delighted, exclaimed, "Here you see me at my old Eton habits;
but instead of the green fields for a couch, I have here the shores of
the Mediterranean. It is very grand, and very romantic.  I only wish I
had some of the excellent brown bread and butter we used to get at
Spiers's: but I was never very fastidious in my diet."  Then he
continued, in a wild and eccentric manner: "Gronow, do you remember the
beautiful Martha, the Hebe of Spiers's?  She was the loveliest girl I
ever saw, and I loved her to distraction."

Shelley was looking careworn and ill; and, as usual, was very
carelessly dressed.  He had on a large and wide straw hat, his long
brown hair, already streaked with grey, flowing in large masses from
under it, and presented a wild and strange appearance.

During the time I sat by his side he asked many questions about myself
and many of our schoolfellows; but on my questioning him in turn about
himself, his way of life, and his future plans, he avoided entering
into any explanation: indeed, he gave such short and evasive answers,
that, thinking my inquisitiveness displeased him, I rose to take my
leave.  I observed that I had not been lucky enough to see Lord Byron
in any of my rambles, to which he replied, "Byron is living at his
villa, surrounded by his court of sycophants; but I shall shortly see
him at Leghorn." We then shook hands.  I never saw him again; for he
was drowned shortly afterwards, with his friend, Captain Williams, and
his body was washed ashore near Via Reggio.  Every one is familiar with
the romantic scene which took place on the sea-shore when the remains
of my poor friend and Captain Williams were burnt, in the presence of
Byron and Trelawney, in the Roman fashion. His ashes were gathered into
an urn, and buried in the Protestant cemetery at Rome.  He was but
twenty-nine years of age at his death.


In the year 1803, my father received a letter of introduction from Mr.
Rees, of the well-known firm of Longman, Paternoster Row, presenting
Robert Southey, the poet, to him.  He came into Wales with the hope of
finding a cottage to reside in.  Accordingly, a cavalcade was formed,
consisting of Mr. W. Gwynne, the two brothers Southey, my father, and
myself, and we rode up the Valley of Neath to look at a cottage about
eight miles from the town.  The poet, delighted with the scenery and
situation, decided upon taking it; but the owner, unfortunately for the
honour of Welshmen, actually declined to let it to Robert Southey,
fearing that a poet could not find security for the small annual rent
of twenty-five pounds. This circumstance led the man of letters, who
eventually became one of the most distinguished men of his day, to seek
a home elsewhere, and the Lakes were at length chosen as his residence.
Probably the picturesque beauties of Cumberland compensated the
Laureate for the indignity put upon him by the Welshman.

An act of Vandalism perpetrated in the same Vale of Neath, and
reflecting no honour on my countrymen, deserves here to be noted with
reprobation. A natural cascade, called Dyllais, which was so beautiful
as to excite the admiration of travellers, was destroyed by an agent to
Lord Jersey, the proprietor of the estate, in order to build a few
cottages and the lock of a canal. The rock down which this beautiful
cascade had flowed from the time of the Flood, and which had created a
scene of beauty universally admired, was blown up with gunpowder by
this man, who could probably appreciate no more beautiful sight than
that which presents itself from a window in Gray's or Lincoln's Inn, of
which he was a member.


One of my most intimate friends was the late Captain Hesse, generally
believed to be a son of the Duke of York, by a German lady of rank.
Though it is not my intention to disclose certain family secrets of
which I am in possession, I may, nevertheless, record some
circumstances connected with the life of my friend, which were familiar
to a large circle with whom I mixed.  Hesse, in early youth, lived with
the Duke and Duchess of York; he was treated in such a manner by them
as to indicate an interest in him by their Royal Highnesses which could
scarcely be attributed to ordinary regard, and was gazetted a cornet in
the 18th Hussars at seventeen years of age.  Shortly afterwards, he
went to Spain, and was present in all the battles in which his regiment
was engaged; receiving a severe wound in the wrist at the battle of
Vittoria.  When this became known in England, a royal lady wrote to
Lord Wellington, requesting that he might be carefully attended to;
and, at the same time, a watch, with her portrait, was forwarded, which
was delivered to the wounded Hussar by Lord Wellington himself.  When
he had sufficiently recovered, Hesse returned to England, and passed
much of his time at Oatlands, the residence of the Duchess of York; he
was also honoured with the confidence of the Princess Charlotte and her
mother, Queen Caroline.

Many delicate and important transactions were conducted through the
medium of Captain Hesse; in fact, it was perfectly well known that he
played a striking part in many scenes of domestic life which I do not
wish to reveal.  I may, however, observe that the Prince Regent sent
the late Admiral Lord Keith to Hesse's lodgings, who demanded, in his
Royal Highness's name, the restitution of the watch and letters which
had been sent him when in Spain.  After a considerable amount of
hesitation, the Admiral obtained what he wanted the following day;
whereupon Lord Keith assured him that the Prince Regent would never
forget so great a mark of confidence, and that the heir to the throne
would ever afterwards be his friend.  I regret to say, from personal
knowledge, that, upon this occasion the Prince behaved most
ungratefully and unfeelingly; for, after having obtained all he wanted,
he positively refused to receive Hesse at Carlton House.

Hesse's life was full of singular incidents.  He was a great friend of
the Queen of Naples, grandmother of the ex-Sovereign of the Two
Sicilies; in fact, so notorious was that liaison, that Hesse was
eventually expelled from Naples under an escort of gendarmes.  He was
engaged in several affairs of honour, in which he always displayed the
utmost courage; and his romantic career terminated by his being killed
in a duel by Count L--, natural son of the first Napoleon.  He died as
he had lived, beloved by his friends, and leaving behind him little but
his name and the kind thoughts of those who survived him.


When I returned to London from Paris, in 1815, upon promotion, I was
accompanied by Colonel Brooke, who was good enough to invite me to pass
some time at his brother's, Sir R. Brookes, in Cheshire, upon the
occasion of the christening of his eldest son. The fete was truly
magnificent, and worthy of our excellent host; and all the great people
of the neighbouring counties were present.

Soon afterwards I went to the Hale, a country house near Liverpool,
belonging to Mr. Blackburn, one of the oldest members of the House of
Commons, where many persons, who had been at Sir Richard Brookes's, met
again.  Mr. Blackburn was extremely absent and otherwise odd: upon one
occasion I gave him a letter to frank, which he deliberately opened and
read in my presence; and on my asking him if it amused him, he replied
that he did not understand what it meant.  Upon another occasion the
Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by Mr. Blackburn, went out to shoot
pheasants in the preserves near the Hale; when all of a sudden, Mr. B.
observing that the Duke's gun was cocked, asked his Royal Highness
whether he always carried his gun cocked.  "Yes, Blackburn, always,"
was the reply.

"Well then, good morning, your Royal Highness; I will no longer
accompany you."

At dinner Mr. Blackburn was very eccentric: he would never surrender
his place at table even to royalty; so the Duke was obliged to sit near
him.  Whenever the royal servant filled the Duke's glass with wine and
water, Mr. B. invariably drank it off; until at length, the Duke asked
his servant for more wine and water, and anticipating a repetition of
the farce that had so often been played, drank it off, and said, "Well,
Blackburn, I have done you at last."  After dinner the Duke and the men
went to join the ladies in the drawing-room, where the servant in royal
livery was waiting, holding a tray upon which was a cup of tea for the
Duke.  Mr. Blackburn, observing the servant in waiting, and that nobody
took the cup of tea, determined on drinking it; but the domestic
retired a little, to endeavour to prevent it.  Mr. Blackburn, however,
followed and persisted; Upon which the servant said, "Sir, it is for
his Royal Highness."

"D---- his Royal Highness, I will have this tea."

The Duke exclaimed, "That's right, Blackburn," and ordered the servant
to hand it to him.


Among the odd characters I have met with, I do not recollect anyone
more eccentric than the late Lieutenant-colonel Kelly, of the First
Foot Guards, who was the vainest man I ever encountered.  He was a
thin, emaciated-looking dandy, but had all the bearing of the
gentleman. He was haughty in the extreme, and very fond of dress; his
boots were so well varnished that the polish now in use could not
surpass Kelly's blacking in brilliancy; his pantaloons were made of the
finest leather, and his coats were inimitable: in short, his dress was
considered perfect.

His sister held the place of housekeeper to the Custom-house, and when
it was burnt down, Kelly was burnt with it, in endeavoring to save his
favorite boots.  When the news of his horrible death became known, all
the dandies were anxious to secure the services of his valet, who
possessed the mystery of the inimitable blacking.  Brummell lost no
time in discovering his place of residence, and asked what wages he
required; the servant answered, his late master gave him 150£. a-year,
but it was not enough for his talents, and he should require 200£.;
upon which Brummell said, "well, if you will make it guineas, I shall
be happy to attend upon you." The late Lord Plymouth eventually secured
this phoenix of valets at 200£. a-year, and bore away the sovereignty
of boots.


Lord Allen being rather the worse for drinking too much wine at dinner,
teased Count D'Orsay, and said some very disagreeable things, which
irritated him; when suddenly John Bush entered the club and shook hands
with the Count, who exclaimed, "Voila, la difference entre une bonne
bouche et une mauvaise haleine."

The following bon mot was also attributed to the Count: General Ornano,
observing a certain nobleman--who, by some misfortune in his youth,
lost the use of his legs--in a Bath chair, which he wheeled about, and
inquiring the name of the English peer, D'Orsay answered, "Pere la

The Count had many disciples among our men of fashion, but none of them
succeeded in copying the original.  His death produced, both in London
and in Paris, a deep and universal regret.  The Count's life has been
so well delineated in the public prints, that nothing I could say would
add to the praise that has been bestowed upon him.  Perfectly natural
in manners and language, highly accomplished, and never betraying the
slightest affectation or pretension, he had formed friendships with
some of the noblest and most accomplished men in England.  He was also
a great favourite in Paris, where he had begun to exercise his talent
as an artist, when death prematurely removed him from society.


Mr. Phelps, a chorus singer, and an excellent musician, with good looks
and address, contrived to ingratiate himself with the Marchioness of
Antrim, and was fortunate enough to marry her ladyship, by whose means
he was created a baronet, and allied to some of our most aristocratic


The late Lord Bloomfield likewise owed his elevation to the Peerage to
his musical talents.  When the Prince of Wales was living at the
Pavilion at Brighton, he wanted some one who could accompany him on the
violoncello, and having ascertained that Captain Bloomfield, of the
Royal Artillery, who was then at Brighton with his troop, was an
accomplished violoncello player, the captain was accordingly summoned
to appear before the Prince, at the Pavilion.  From that night
commenced an intimacy which for many years existed between the Prince
and Captain Bloomfield; who for a considerable length of time was well
known in fashionable circles under the title of Sir Benjamin
Bloomfield.  A court intrigue, headed by a fascinating marchioness,
caused him to be sent into splendid exile: this lady attributing to Sir
Benjamin Bloomfield her being compelled to send back some jewels which
had been presented to her by the Prince Regent; but which, it was
discovered, belonged to the Crown, and could not be alienated.  Sir
Benjamin was created a Peer, and sent to Stockholm as ambassador, where
his affable manners and his unostentatious hospitality rendered him
exceedingly popular; and he became as great a favorite with Bernadotte
as he had been with the Prince Regent.  The name of Bloomfield is at
this day respected in Sweden.


When Mr. Canning retired from Portugal, he was received at Paris with a
distinction and a deference perhaps never before bestowed on a foreign
diplomatist; he dined with Charles X. almost tete-a-tete, and was
scrambled for by the leading aristocracy of France.  It happened that
he also dined, on one occasion, with the Bailly Ferret, who was the
oldest foreign ambassador in Paris; and it was generally understood
that Canning, who had the reputation of being a gourmand, and was not
in robust health at the time, never thoroughly recovered from these
Parisian hospitalities. A short time after, this great orator, and the
most brilliant statesman of the day, breathed his last at Chiswick, in
the same room in which Charles James Fox died.


This lady used to give fashionable balls and masquerades, to which I
look back with much pleasure. The Prince Regent frequently honoured her
fetes with his presence.  Mrs. Boehm, on one occasion, sent invitations
to one of her particular friends, begging him to fill them up, and
tickets were given by him to Dick Butler (afterwards Lord Glengal) and
to Mr. Raikes.  Whilst they were deliberating in what character they
should go, Dick Butler--for by that name he was only then
known--proposed that Raikes should take the part of Apollo; which the
latter agreed to, provided Dick would be his lyre.  The noble lord's
reputation for stretching the long bow rendered this repartee so
applicable, that it was universally repeated at the clubs.


This gentleman was proverbially fond of punning.  About the same time
that he was made Provost of Eton, he received, also, a Stall at
Windsor. A young lady of his acquaintance, while congratulating him on
his elevation, and requesting him to give the young ladies of Eton and
Windsor a ball during the vacation, happened to touch his wig with her
fan, and caused the powder to fly about.  Upon which the doctor
exclaimed, "My dear, you see you can get the powder out of the canon,
but not the ball."


When Lord Melbourne offered the garter to the Duke of Leinster, his
grace is reported to have answered that he did not want it; adding, "It
will, no doubt, be eagerly accepted by one of your lordship's
supporters in the Upper House."  On another occasion, when Lord
Normanby was soliciting Lord Melbourne to be made a marquis, the noble
Premier observed, in his jocular way, "Why, Normanby, you are not such
a d----d fool as to want that!" The favour, however, was eventually


His Royal Highness, who was in the habit of saying very ludicrous
things, asked one of his friends in the House of Lords, on the occasion
when William IV. assented to Lord Grey's Proposition to pass the Reform
Bill coute qui coute, "Who is Silly Billy now?"  This was in allusion
to the general opinion that was prevalent of the Royal Duke's weakness,
and which had obtained for him the sobriquet of "Silly Billy."

The Duke frequently visited Cheltenham during the season.  Upon one
occasion, he called upon Colonel Higgins, brother to the equerry of his
Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and, on inquiring of the servant if
his master was at home, received for answer, "My master is dying."

"Dying!"  repeated the Duke; "have you sent for a doctor?"

"No, sir."

His Royal Highness immediately ran back into the street, and, having
the good fortune to find a medical man, he requested him to come at
once to Colonel Higgins, as he was on the point of death.  The Duke and
the doctor soon reached the colonel's house, and, after again asking
the servant how his master was, that functionary replied, "I told you,
sir, that he is dying." They mounted the staircase, and were rather
amused to find the reported invalid busily occupied in dyeing his hair.


In 1819, this venerable lady lived in Old Burlington Street, where she
gave many parties, to persons of all nations, and contrived to bring
together foreigners from the wilds of America, the Cape of Good Hope,
and even savages from the isles of the Pacific; in fact, she was the
notorious lion-hunter of her age. It was supposed that she had a
peculiar ignorance of the laws of meum and tuum, and that her monomania
was such that she would try to get possession of whatever she could
place her hands upon; so that it was dangerous to leave in the
ante-room anything of value.  On application being made, however, the
articles were usually returned the following day, the fear of the law
acting strongly upon her ladyship's bewildered brain.


This leader of fashion, who was wont to be the admiration of all
circles, was looked upon as the most ambitious of women, and her vanity
was fully gratified by the marriage of her daughters to the first
people in the realm--the Dukes of Richmond, Manchester, and Bedford,
and the Marquis of Cornwallis.


The two Miss Trees, Maria and Ellen (the latter now Mrs. Kean), were
the great favourites of the Bath Stage for many seasons before they
became leading stars in London.  Miss Ellen Tree made her first
appearance in a grand entertainment, called the Cataract of the Ganges,
in a magnificent car drawn by six horses.  Her beauty made a deep
impression on the audience, which was naturally increased by her
subsequent exhibition of great talents.

Miss Maria Tree was much admired as a vocalist, and her Viola, in
Twelfth Night, was one of the most popular performances of the day.
Mr. Bradshaw became desperately enamoured of her during her engagement
in London, and having learnt that she was about to go by the mail coach
to Birmingham, where she was to perform her principal characters,
thought it a favourable opportunity of enjoying her society; so he sent
his servant to secure him a place by the mail, under the name of
Tomkins.  At the appointed time for departure, Mr. Bradshaw was at the
office, and jumping into the coach was soon whirled away; but great was
his disappointment at finding that the fair object of his admiration
was not a fellow-passenger: he was not consoled by discovering that
there were two mails, the one the Birmingham, mail, the other the
Birmingham and Manchester, and that whilst he was journeying by the
latter, Miss Tree was travelling in the other.

On arriving at Birmingham, early in the morning, he left the coach and
stepped into the hotel, determined to remain there, and go to the
theatre on the following evening.  He went to bed, and slept late the
following day; and on waking he remembered that his trunk with all his
money had gone on to Manchester, and that he was without the means of
paying his way.  Seeing the Bank of Birmingham opposite the hotel, he
went over and explained his position to one of the partners, giving his
own banker's address in London, and showing letters addressed to him as
Mr. Bradshaw. Upon this he was told that with such credentials he might
have a loan; and the banker said he would write the necessary letter
and cheque, and send the money over to him at the hotel.  Mr. Bradshaw,
pleased with this kind attention, sat himself down comfortably to
breakfast in the coffee-room.  According to promise, the cashier made
his appearance at the hotel, and asked the waiter for Mr. Bradshaw.

"No such gentleman here," was the reply.

"Oh, yes, he came by the London mail."

"No, sir; no one came but Mr. Tomkins, who was booked as inside
passenger to Manchester."

The cashier was dissatisfied; but the waiter added, "Sir, you can look
through the window of the coffee-room door, and see the gentleman

On doing so, he beheld the Mr. Tomkins, alias Mr. Bradshaw, and
immediately returned to the Bank, telling what he himself had heard and
seen.  The banker went over to the hotel, had a consultation with the
landlord, and it was determined that a watch should be placed upon the
suspicious person who had two names and no luggage, and who was booked
to Manchester but had stopped at Birmingham.

The landlord summoned boots--a little lame fellow, of most ludicrous
appearance,--and pointing to the gentleman in the coffee-room, told him
his duty for the day was to follow him wherever he went, and never to
lose sight of him; but above all to take care that he did not get away.
Boots nodded assent, and immediately mounted guard.  Mr. Bradshaw
having taken his breakfast and read the papers, looked at his watch,
and sallied forth to see something of the goodly town of Birmingham. He
was much surprised at observing a little odd-looking man surveying him
most attentively, and watching his every movement; stopping whenever he
stopped, and evidently taking a deep interest in all he did. At last,
observing that he was the object of this incessant espionage, and
finding that he had a shilling left in his pocket, he hailed one of the
coaches that ran short distances in those days when omnibuses were not.
This, however, did not suit little boots, who went up to him and
insisted that he must not leave the town.

Mr. Bradshaw's indignation was naturally excessive, and he immediately
returned to the hotel, where he found a constable ready to take him
before the mayor as an impostor and swindler. He was compelled to
appear before his worship, and had the mortification of being told that
unless he could give some explanation, he must be content with a
night's lodging in a house of detention.  Mr. Bradshaw had no
alternative but to send to the fair charmer of his heart to identify
him; which she most readily did, as soon as rehearsal was over.
Explanations were then entered into; but he was forced to give the
reason of his being in Birmingham, which of course made a due
impression on the lady's heart, and led to that happy result of their
interviews--a marriage which resulted in the enjoyment of mutual
happiness for many years.


Some of the most magnificent fortunes of England have, in the first
instance, been undermined by an extravagant expenditure on jewellery,
which has been given to ladies, married and unmarried, who have
fascinated their wealthy admirers and made them their slaves.  Hamlet,
and Rundell and Bridge, were in my day patronized by the great, and
obtained large sums of money from their enamoured clients, to whom they
often became bankers.

On the day after the coronation of George IV., Hamlet made his
appearance at the house of Mr. Coutts, in Piccadilly, the corner of
Stratton Street. It was during dinner; but, owing no doubt to a
previous arrangement, he was at once admitted, when he placed before
the rich banker a magnificent diamond cross, which had been worn the
previous day by the Duke of York. It at once attracted the admiration
of Mrs. Coutts, who loudly exclaimed, "How happy I should be with such
a splendid specimen of jewellery." "What is it worth?"  immediately
exclaimed Mr. Coutts.  "I could not allow it to pass out of my
possession for less than 15,000£.," said the wary tradesman.  "Bring me
a pen and ink," was the only answer made by the doting husband; and he
at once drew a cheque for that amount upon the bank in the Strand; and
with much delight the worthy old gentleman placed the jewel upon the
fair bosom of the lady:

   "Upon her breast a sparkling cross she wore,
   Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore."

The Earl of C--, whose reputation in the sporting world was of the
highest order, and who had obtained some notoriety by his amours, fell
into the hands of Hamlet, who was known to the aristocracy by his mock
title of "Prince of Denmark."  Hamlet placed before him, on one
occasion, jewels to the amount of thirty thousand pounds, and
volunteered, as his client was not of age, to give him credit for
several months.  The offer was accepted, and the brilliant present
became the possession of a young lady, one of the Terpsichorean tribe
(Mademoiselle Le G.), whose charms had captivated the youthful
nobleman, and who had so irrevocably fascinated him by the expression
of her love, awakened by the prospect of a rich remuneration, that she
accepted him as the sole possessor of a heart which had been before at
the disposal of any rich admirer whose purse was worthy her

This lady, who is now somewhat advanced in years, but has still the
remains of beauty, is living in France upon her estate; the produce of
the many charms which she once possessed, and which she turned to such
advantage, as to make her society even up to this day courted by those
who look upon wealth as the great source of distinction, and who are
willing to disbelieve any stories that they may accidentally hear of
her previous history.


I knew Lord Henry perhaps better than any other Englishman, having
lived with him on terms of great intimacy.  He was famous for his
racing stud and good taste in his carriages and riding-horses.  It was
said, by persons who were little acquainted with him, that he was fond
of masquerades, fighting, and was also the terror of pugilists, from
his great strength and science in boxing; on the contrary, he was a
gentle, retiring, and humane man, and never was known to have been
present at a masquerade, or any place of the sort.  But it
unfortunately happened that a man named "Franconi," of the Circus--a
low-born and vulgar fellow--resembled him in looks and stature, and
having been mistaken for my noble friend gave himself out as Lord
Seymour in those dens of infamy, where the noble lord was unknown.

Lord Henry was a man of fine taste, and fond of the arts, and, at his
death, his paintings, library, and plate fetched a considerable sum at
public auction.  During his lifetime he patronized young artists: often
advancing them money, and assisting them in every possible way.

Lord Henry Seymour was the founder of the French Jockey Club, and, in
conjunction with the late Duke de Gramont (better known in England as
the Count de Guiche), made racing in France what it now is: that is,
they placed the turf upon a respectable footing.  Lord Henry
established a school of arms and gymnasium in his hotel on the
Boulevard des Italiens, which became the most celebrated in Europe.  He
himself was an adept in the art of fencing, his skill was considered by
the professors to be incomparable.

His kindness of heart and unostentatious generosity were his noblest
qualities.  One morning, whilst we were breakfasting in his library, a
friend entered, and, with a sad countenance, informed Lord Henry that
he had that morning been visiting an old friend of his, a man of good
birth, who, with his wife and children, were absolutely starving, and
that they were reduced to sleep upon straw.  Lord Henry, touched by
this painful information, asked where those poor people were to be
found, and being told, he said not a word more, but ordered his
carriage and went out.  The next morning the same gentleman made his
appearance, and said, "I call to tell you, Seymour, that I am just come
from my poor friend, who, I am happy to say, has received relief, in
the shape of furniture, bedding, linen, and food, from some kind
person, who also left a considerable sum of money to purchase wearing
apparel for the family."

Seymour never moved a muscle of his face, and we were wondering from
whence the relief came, when a fine-looking fellow entered, bowing in
the most respectful manner, and addressed his lordship in the following
terms:--"My lord, I am obliged to confess that I have taken some
trouble to discover the name of our benefactor, and, from all I have
been able to learn, it cannot be any other than your lordship; I
therefore deem it my duty, on behalf of my wife, children, and self, to
return you my heartfelt thanks for this unexampled act of charity
towards a perfect stranger."  The poor fellow shed tears in thus
addressing his lordship, who kindly gave him his hand, and promised to
be his friend for the future; which promise he fulfilled, by procuring
him a place under the Government, that enabled him to live happily and
bring up his family with honour and comfort.


I will not permit this little volume to make its appearance in English
society, without a few words about a people with whom I have mingled
for nearly forty years.  When I first came to France, few of my
countrypeople travelled, save those belonging to the rich and
aristocratic classes; it was not, therefore, surprising that those
whose interest it might have been, on both sides of the Channel, to
create a bad feeling between England and France, found little
difficulty in doing so.  An Englishman was taught to hate the French as
well as to observe the Ten Commandments; and a Frenchman, on the other
hand, was educated with the idea that his only enemy on the face of the
earth was an Englishman.

I regard this stimulated hostile feeling between two nations which must
ever influence the welfare of the human race more than any others, as
one of the greatest calamities that could curse humanity.  We have only
to read history from the days of Agincourt up to our later struggles
with Napoleon I., to come to the conclusion that the two bravest and
the most intelligent nations on the face of the earth have, from
DYNASTIC ambition, and a want of the people knowing each other, been
ever engaged in inflicting mutual disasters, which have impeded for
centuries the progress, civilization, and prosperity of both; whilst
the want of a proper understanding between the two countries has
materially aided in retarding other nations in obtaining that political
emancipation necessary to the happiness of mankind.

I have lived through a period characterized by sanguinary wars and huge
national debts, and have remained in this world long enough to
calculate their results.  I am afraid we must often be content with
that empty glory which lives only in the pages of history.  A battle
fought fifty years ago appears very often of no more utility than the
splendid tomb of a Necropolis.  Events and objects for which men by
thousands were brought together in deadly combat assume, a few years
afterwards, mighty small proportions; and those who have taken part in
deadly struggles, at a later period marvel at the enthusiasm which then
animated them. I am no believer in that era of happiness which some
divines imagine to be so near at hand; nor do I imagine that the next
two or three hundred years will witness the sword turned into the
reaping-hook of peaceful industry; but what I do believe in, and what I
hope for, is that nations will know each other better than they did of
old. It will be more difficult for sovereigns and governments to bring
about wars between neighboring nations now, than it was before the
existence of that intercommunication which in our day has been created
by the press, the railway, and the electric telegraph.

I have lived long enough to find hundreds of my countrymen
participating in a real knowledge of the French, and believing with me
that they are a brave, intelligent, and generous nation. Nearly half a
century of experience amongst them has taught me that there is much to
learn and much that is worthy of imitation in France. The social habits
of the French, and their easy mode of communication, always gain the
admiration, and often invite the attachment of foreigners. They are
less prejudiced than we islanders, and are much more citizens of the
world than ourselves. I have received an immense amount of courtesy in
France; and if there be less of solid friendship--which, however, in
England is based too often on a similarity of birth, position, and
wealth--in France, you have, at least, a greater chance than in England
of making a friend of a man who neither looks to your ancestors nor
your amount of riches before he proffers you the most sincere intimacy,
and, if necessary, disinterested aid, purely on the ground of your own
merit and character.

Many of the better qualities of the French are not discoverable by the
superficial traveller, any more than the sterling qualities of the
Englishman are appreciated by the foreigner who makes a brief sojourn
in Great Britain.  Slowly, but, I believe, surely, the agreeable
knowledge that I possess of the French is becoming more universal; and
I cannot but imagine that such a correct appreciation will be fraught
with the most valuable political as well as social results.

Intelligent Englishmen have lived long enough to appreciate the genius
of Napoleon I., whose mode of governing France has been applied by
Napoleon III. with a success which prejudice even has been compelled to
acknowledge. But I remember a period when probably not a dozen
Englishmen could have been found to speak of the first Emperor with the
most ordinary common sense.  I will, however, record one honourable
exception to the rule. The late Lord Dudley and Ward, an eccentric, but
able man, was at Vienna, in the midst of a large party, who were all
more or less abusing or depreciating the fallen hero, whose very name
had so long created fear and hatred amongst them.  It was naturally
supposed that the Englishman who was silently listening to this
conversation must of course, as the natural enemy of France, approve of
all that had been said. Prince Metternich turned at last to his guest,
and said, "Et vous, my Lord, que pensez vous de Napoleon?"  "Je pense,"
replied Lord Dudley, "qu'il a rendu la gloire passee douteuse, et la
renommee future impossible."

As an old soldier and an admirer of the Duke of Wellington, I cannot
altogether admit the entire justice of the observation; yet, spoken by
an Englishman to the enemies of the exiled Emperor, it was a gallant
homage paid to fallen greatness.

The great man who now wields the destinies of France possesses many of
the remarkable qualities of the founder of his dynasty: his energetic
will, his extensive and varied knowledge, his aptitude for government,
his undaunted bravery, and that peculiar tact which leads him to say
the right thing at the right time.  But to these rare gifts he joins
the most princely generosity, and a kind and gentle heart: he has never
been known to forsake a friend, or leave unrewarded any proofs of
devotion shown to him in his days of exile. He is adored by the vast
majority of the French nation, and even his political opponents, if
accidentally brought under the influence of his particularly winning
and gracious manner, are, in spite of themselves, charmed and softened.

There can be no doubt that Napoleon III. enjoys a well-merited
popularity, and that there is throughout all classes a deep and earnest
confidence that the honour and glory of France are safe in his hands.

It is just this mighty power, founded on the love and trust of his
people, which is the surest pledge that peace will be maintained
between our country and France.  Napoleon III. does not require to
court popularity by pandering to the anti-English prejudices still
retained by a small minority of his subjects; and, unlike the
representatives of less popular dynasties, he can afford to show that
he is not only the beloved and mighty ruler of the French nation, but
also the firm ally and faithful friend of England.

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