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Title: The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope — Volume 1
Author: A. M. W. Stirling (compiler), - To be updated
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope — Volume 1" ***








The following papers, which extend over a space of nearly seventy years
during a most interesting period of our National History, may be said to
form a sequel and a conclusion to two previous publications, _Coke of
Norfolk and his Friends_, which appeared in 1906, and _Annals of a
Yorkshire House_, which appeared in 1911. They are, however, more
essentially a continuation of the latter, in which the Cannon Hall
muniments and anecdotes were brought down to the years 1805-6, from which
date the narrative is resumed in the present volume.

In that first series of Papers which was published in the Annals, the bulk
of the correspondence centred round the personality of Walter Spencer-
Stanhope, M.P., who lived from 1749 to 1821. In the present series, the
correspondence is principally addressed to or written by John Spencer-
Stanhope, his son, who lived from 1787 to 1873. Other letters, doubtless,
there were in plenty, to and from other members of the family, but only
those have survived which found their way back to the old Yorkshire house
whence so many of them had originally set forth with their messages of
love and home tidings, and which were there preserved, eventually, by the
grandmother of the present writer, Lady Elizabeth, wife of John Stanhope
and daughter of the celebrated 'Coke of Norfolk.'

The following book, therefore, is appropriately termed the "Letter-bag" of
the lady to whom its existence is due, although her personal contribution
to its contents does not commence before the year 1822, when she first
became a member of the family circle of its correspondents. In it, in
brief, is represented the social existence of two generations and the
current gossip of over half-a-century, as first set forth by their nimble
pens in all the freshness of novelty. Thus it is an ever-shifting scene to
which we are introduced. We become one with the daily life of a bygone
century, with a family party absorbed in a happy, busy existence. We
mingle with the gay throng at the routs and assemblies which they
frequented. We meet the "very fine" beaux at whom they mocked, and the
"raging belles" whom they envied. Then the scene changes, and we are out
on the ocean with Cuthbert Collingwood, in our ears rings a clash of arms
long since hushed, a roar of cannon which has been silent throughout the
passing of a century, while we gauge with a grim realisation the iron that
entered into the soul of a strong man battling for his country's gain.
Then the black curtain of death shrouds that scene, and we are back once
more in the gay world of _ton_, with its petty gossip and its petty
aims.... Later, other figures move across the boards; Wellington, as the
ball-giver, the gallant _chevalier des dames_; Napoleon, in his _bonnet de
nuit_, a mysterious, saturnine figure; his subordinates, who shared his
greed without the dignity of its magnitude; next, in strange contrast,
Coke of Norfolk, the peaceful English squire, seen thus for the first
time--not as a public character, a world-wide benefactor--but in the
intimacy of his domestic life, as "Majesty," the butt of his daughter's
playful sallies, as the beloved father, the tender grandfather, a
gracious, benevolent presence. We read the romance of his daughter, that
pretty, prim courtship of a bygone day; we see her home life as a young
wife, the coming of another race of merry children; by and by, we follow
the fortunes of graceful "little Madam" with her brilliant eyes, and see
the advent of yet another lover of a later day. So the scenes shift, the
figures come and go, the great things and the small of life intermingle.
And as we read, by almost imperceptible stages, the Georgian has merged
into the Victorian, and the young generation of one age has faded into the
older generation of the next, till we are left confronted with the
knowledge, albeit difficult of credence, that both have vanished into the
mists of the Unknown.

Meanwhile, one aspect of this glimpse into the past requires but little
insistence. Among these two generations of Stanhopes a high standard of
education prevailed. This, coupled with the opportunities which they
possessed of mingling with the best-known people of their day, both in
England and France, makes it obvious that records written by such writers,
with all the happy abandon of a complete sympathy between scribe and
recipient, have a value which transcends any more laboured enumeration of
historical data. The worth of their correspondence lies in the fact that
it presents, artlessly and candidly, the outlook of a contemporary family,
of good position and more than average intelligence, upon events ordinary
and extraordinary, under four sovereigns. And while many books have been
edited describing the sayings and doings of Royal personages and political
leaders during that period, few have yet been published which present them
in the intimate guise in which they jostle each other throughout the
following pages, and fewer still which give any adequate picture of the
social life as lived during these years by the less notable bulk of the

Yet more, the writers of these letters are no mere puppets of ancient
history, who move in a world unreal to us and shadowy. Their remarks to us
are instinct with the freshness--the actuality--of to-day. Whether as
happy, noisy schoolboys and girls, or as men and women of the fashionable
world bent on pursuit of pleasure or of learning, to us they are
emphatically alive. Almost we can hear and echo the laughter of that merry
home-circle; their jests are our own, differently phrased, their joys and
sorrows knit our hearts to them across the century. They lived at a date
so near our own that it has all the charm of similarity--with a
difference; and it is just this likeness and unlikeness which lend such
piquancy to their experiences.






_From a miniature by Cosway_







_From a picture painted while he was a prisoner in the Tower_







_From an ivory bust_

  "In town what numbers into fame advance,
  Conscious of merit in the coxcombs' dance,
  The Op'ra, Almack's, park, assembly, play,
  Those dear destroyers of the tedious day,
  That wheel of fops, that saunter of the town,
  Call it diversion, and the pill goes down."


For the enlightenment of those readers who have not read the previous
volumes of which the present is the continuation, it may be well to
recapitulate briefly the material with which these dealt.

In 1565 a branch of the Stanhopes came from Lancashire into Yorkshire, and
eventually settled at Horsforth, Low Hall, near Calverley Bridge, in the
latter county. During the period of the Civil Wars, a branch of the family
of Spencer migrated from the borders of Wales into Yorkshire, and in the
reign of Charles II. one of them purchased the house and land at that date
constituting the estate of Cannon Hall. In 1748 Walter Stanhope of
Horsforth united the two families by his marriage with Ann Spencer of
Cannon Hall, and their son Walter, eventually inheriting both properties
from his respective uncles, bore the name of Spencer-Stanhope.

Walter Spencer-Stanhope was for thirty-nine years a member of the House of
Commons, during which time he represented respectively Haslemere,
Carlisle, and Hull. In 1787 he married Mary Winifred Pulleine, who
inherited the estates of Roddam and Dissington in Northumberland, in trust
for her third and fourth sons. By her he had fifteen children, but his
eldest son and first-born child, owing to an accident at birth, was
rendered _non compos_, and his second son, John, was therefore in the
position of his heir.

Mrs Stanhope, an exemplary and affectionate mother, appears occasionally
to have become confused with the number of her progeny and to have been
fearful of forgetting the order of their rapid entrance into the world or
of certain events which formed a sequel to their arrival. She therefore
compiled a list of such incidents, which is here subjoined, since the
reader may find it useful for occasional reference.

    _The Family of Walter Spencer-Stanhope of Cannon Hall._

    Walter Spencer Spencer-Stanhope, his first-born, came into the world
    about eight o'clock in the morning of the 26th of August, 1784, & was
    christened in Horsforth Chapel the 25th of September following, his
    Sponsors were Edward Collingwood, John Ashton Shuttleworth, Esqre., &
    Mrs Lawson of Chirton. He was inoculated by Baron Dimsdale the 13th of
    February, 1787, and had about 30 small-Pox. He had the measles very
    favourably in November 1790.

    Marianne, our next-born, came into the world in Grosvenor Square on
    the 23rd of May, 1786, about 7 o'clock in the morning, was baptised
    there on the 20th June following. Her Sponsors were Sir Richard Carr
    Glyn, Mrs Stanhope, and Mrs Greame his mother and aunt. She was
    inoculated by Baron Dimsdale the 13th of February 1787, and was very
    full. She had the measles in Grosvenor Square very favourably in March
    1806. [1]

    John, his third child, came into the world in Grosvenor Square on the
    27th of May, 1787, between 6 & 8 o'clock in the morning. He had
    private Baptism in his house that Evening & public Baptism on June
    25th, 1787, or thereabouts. His Sponsors were the Earl of
    Chesterfield, Sir Mathew White Ridley and Lady Glyn. He was inoculated
    the 12th February, 1788, by Baron Dimsdale and had the disorder
    favourably. He had the Measles and Whooping-cough at Sunbury. [2]

    Anne, his 4th child, was born September 7th, 1788, between 6 & 8 in
    the Morning at Cannon Hall, was christened at Cawthorne Church,
    November 2nd, 1788, having received private Baptism about a Fortnight
    after she was born. She was inoculated by Baron Dimsdale on or about
    24th of April, 1789, and had the Disorder very favourably. Her
    Sponsors were the Countess of Burford, Mrs Marriott & Mr Pulleine. [3]

    Catherine, his fifth Child, was born between 6 & 8 o'clock on the
    morning of September, 1789, at Cannon Hall; was christened at the
    beginning of November following, having received private Baptism 3
    weeks before. Her Sponsors were Mrs Bigge, Mrs Anne Shafto & Colonel
    Glyn, She was inoculated by Baron Dimsdale, the beginning of April,
    1790, and had the Disorder very favourably. She died 20th of November,
    1795, of a Complaint in the Throat or Lungs, and was buried at
    Cawthorne Church.

    Elizabeth, our next Child, was born on the 5th of November 1790, about
    1 o'clock in the afternoon, had first private Baptism & was afterwards
    christened at Cawthorne Church on the 11th of December following. The
    Sponsors were Mrs Ord, of Morpeth, Mrs Pulleine & Mr John Collingwood.
    She was inoculated by Baron Dimsdale in March 1791 & had the disorder
    very favourably. Died April 15th, 1801, of obstruction, in Grosvenor
    Square, and was buried in St James's Chapel, Hampstead Road.

    Edward, our seventh Child, was born on the 30th October, 1791 at 1/2
    past twelve at noon, was christened at Cannon Hall in December. The
    Sponsors were Mr Collingwood, Mr Fawkes of Farnley & Mr Glyn. He was
    inoculated by Baron Dimsdale April 1st, 1792 & had the Disorder very
    favourably. Had the measles in 1806. [4]

    William, our eighth Child was born at 1/2 past four o'clock on the 4th
    of January 1793, was christened on the 5th of February following, at
    Cawthorne Church. His Sponsors were Admiral Roddam, Mr Carr Ibbotson
    and Mrs Beaumont. He was inoculated by Baron Dimsdale the 24th of
    March, 1793, & had the Disorder very favourably. He had the Measles at
    Sunbury School May 1802. Went to Sea in the Ocean to join Lord
    Collingwood off Cadiz, March, 1806. [5]

    Thomas Henry, our ninth Child, was born at 1/2 past one in the morning
    the 14th of May 1794, was christened the 9th of June following in
    Grosvenor Square. His Sponsors were Lady Carr Glyn, Collingwood Roddam
    Esqre., & Ashton Shuttleworth Esqre. He was inoculated by Baron
    Dimsdale in April 1795 & had the Disorder very favourably. Had the
    Measles at Sunbury 1802. Died April the 3rd, 1808, after a long and
    painful illness. Was buried with Eliza in St James's Chapel in
    Hampstead Road.

    Charles, our tenth Child, born on the 14th October, 1795, christened
    at Cawthorne, Sponsors Colonel Beaumont, James Shuttleworth Esqre., &
    Mrs Elizabeth Roddam. Was inoculated in the spring, 1796, by Baron
    Dimsdale. [6]

    Isabella, our eleventh Child, was born on the 20th of October 1797, at
    one in the morning, christened at Cawthorne Church the 8th of December
    following. Sponsors, Mrs Roddam, Mrs Smith of Dorsetshire & Mr Smyth
    of Heath. Was inoculated in Autumn 1798 by Mr Greaves of Clayton. [7]

    Philip, our twelfth Child, was born January 25th, 1799, at one in the
    morning; was christened by Mr Phipps February, 1799. The Sponsors were
    Mr Edwyn Stanhope, the Rev. John Smith, Westminster & Lady Augusta
    Lowther. Was inoculated with the Cow-pox May 1800 by Mr Knight. Had
    the Measles at Putney in the Autumn, 1806. [8]

    Frances Mary, our thirteenth Child was born on the 27th of June, 1800,
    at 1/2 past twelve at Noon in Grosvenor Square & was christened there
    by the Rev. Mr Armstrong on the 26th of July following. The Sponsors
    were Samuel Thornton Esqre, Mrs Greame of Bridlington & Mrs Marriott
    of Horsmonden, Kent. Inoculated with the Cow-pox by Mr Greaves in the
    Autumn of 1800. [9]

    Maria Alicia, our fourteenth Child, was born at Cannon Hall the 4th of
    September 1802, 1/2 before seven in the Morning & was christened at
    Cannon Hall by the Rev. Goodair on 22nd of October following. The
    Sponsors were the Rev. D. Marriott, Mrs Henry Pulleine of Carlton &
    Mrs Morland of Court Lodge, Kent. Inoculated with the Cow-pox by Mr
    Whittle in Grosvenor Square the Spring following. [10]

    Hugh, our fifteenth Child, [11] was born September 30th, 1804, about
    five in the Morning & was christened at Cawthorne Church by the Rev.
    Mr Goodair the 1st of November following. The Sponsors were Edward
    Collingwood Esqre., Mr Smith of Dorsetshire & Lady Elizabeth Lowther
    of Swillington. The four youngest had the measles at Ramsgate.

As will be seen by this comprehensive list, of the fifteen children of
Walter Spencer-Stanhope and his wife, three only failed to attain
maturity. The tale of their brief lives has no part in the following
correspondence, and might be dismissed without comment, save that the
mention of them serves to bring yet nearer to us that mother whose
powerful brain, warm heart and tireless pen bound to her the affections of
her children with a devotion seldom surpassed.

Of Henry Stanhope, destined to die after much suffering, many letters, not
inserted here, remain eloquent of the manner in which, throughout his long
illness, his mother denied herself to all her acquaintance and never left
his side. Of little Catherine Stanhope, who expired at the age of five,
two pathetic mementoes exist. One is a large marquise ring which never
left the mother's finger till she, too, was laid in the grave; the other a
silken tress like spun sunshine, golden still as on that day in a dead
century when, viewing it through her tears, Mrs Stanhope labelled it
tenderly--"_My dear little Catherine's hair, cut off the morning I lost
her, November 20th, 1795._" Of little Elizabeth a more curious and
harrowing reminiscence has survived.

    _Grosvenor Square, Saturday, April the 28th, the day on which the
    remains of my dear child were deposited in the vault at Mrs
    Armstrong's Chapel between six and seven in the morning, attended by
    her dear, afflicted father._

So little Elizabeth, in the spring-time of her life, passed to her grave
at a strangely early hour on that April morning; and her mother, in the
hushed house, took up the thread of life once more with pious submission
and the iron will for which she was remarkable.

At the date at which this book opens, many years had gone by since that
storm of sorrow had fallen upon her, suddenly, like a bolt from the blue.
All unsuspected, indeed, another grief, the death of her little son, was
approaching; but for the present contentment reigned.

[Illustration: MARIANNE]


[Illustration: ANNE]

[Illustration: ISABELLA]

[Illustration: FRANCES]

[Illustration: MARIA]

After celebrating the Christmas festivities, as usual, in Yorkshire, early
in January, 1805, she journeyed with her husband and family back to their
house in London, No. 28 Grosvenor Square, a building since much altered,
but still standing at the corner of Upper Grosvenor Street. [12] There she
was occupied introducing into society her clever eldest daughter Marianne,
aged nineteen, and preparing for the _début_ of her second daughter, Anne;
and thence with the dawning of that year destined to be momentous in
English history, she wrote to her son John, his father's heir-
presumptive, a youth of eighteen, who had just gone to Christ Church:

    The New Year smiles upon us, and, thank God, finds us all well, except
    Henry, and he gains strength. May you see many happy ones and may the
    commencing year prove as happy to you as I have   every reason to
    believe the last was.... You are really, my dear John, the most
    _gallant_ son I ever heard of to make such very flattering
    speeches.... It is vastly gratifying to a mother to have a son desire
    to hear from her so frequently, and such a request must always be
    attended to with pleasure.

How assiduously the writer fulfilled her promise is testified by those
packets of letters, dim with the dust and blight of a vanished century,
but in which her reward is likewise attested. "I do not believe," she
affirms proudly, "that there is a man at either of the Universities who
writes so often to his mother as you do, and let me beg you will continue
to do so, for the hearing from you is one of the chief pleasures of my
life." Moreover, that family of eight sons and five daughters, who, at
this date, shared her attention, in their relations to each other were
singularly united. Throughout their lives, indeed, the tie of blood
remained to them of paramount importance, although, as often happens, this
fact bred in them a somewhat hypercritical view of the world which lay
without that charmed circle. Graphic and lively as it will be seen are
their writings, their wit was at times so keen-edged that it is said to
have caused considerable alarm to the dandies and belles of their
generation, who suffered from the too vivacious criticism of their young
contemporaries. This was more particularly so in the case of Marianne, the
eldest daughter, afterwards the anonymous author of the satirical novel
_Almack's_. Brilliant and full of humour as is her correspondence, it
shows her to have been what family tradition reports, rich in talent and
accomplishments, gifted with imagination and keenly observant of her
surroundings, but withal cynical of speech and critical of temperament--a
woman, perhaps, more to be feared than loved.

Her brother John, the recipient of most of the following letters, was, on
the contrary, a youth of exceptional amiability, and unalterably popular
with all whom he encountered. Intellectual from his earliest childhood, in
later life he was a profound classical scholar. A seven months' child,
however, the constitutional delicacy which was a constant handicap to him
throughout his existence had been further accentuated by an unlucky
accident. When at Westminster, a fall resulting from a push given to him
by Ralph Nevill, Lord Abergavenny's son, had broken his collar-bone, and
with the Spartan treatment to which children were then subjected, this
injury received no attention. But what he lacked in physical strength was
supplied by dauntless grit and mental energy, so that, although in the
future debarred by his health from taking any active part in political
life, he early attained, as we shall see, to no mean fame as a traveller
and an explorer, while he was regarded as one of the savants of his

During 1805, when he was yet a freshman at Christ Church, his younger
brothers and sisters were likewise variously employed with their
education, the boys at the celebrated schools of Sunbury and Westminster,
the girls in the seclusion of a large school-room in the rambling house in
Grosvenor Square. And that the learning for which they all strove was of a
comprehensive nature, moreover, that those of their party who had already
entered the gay world never disdained to share such labours, is shown in a
letter written many years afterwards to John by his brother Charles, in
which the writer complains sarcastically--

    You have no idea how happy, year by year, as of yore, the little ones
    seem--(for they will always be called so, though now Frances is as big
    as me and amazingly handsome). Yet still they have not one moment of
    time to themselves. They cram and stuff with accomplishments
    incessantly, and they prison me in my room & won't allow me to pry
    into the haunts of the Muses. Marianne and Anne have been learning to
    paint for these last two years, and make (_I_ think) but slow
    progress. Marianne never will have done (I wish I could be so
    industrious). She is now beginning to learn the harp. They are both
    learning to sing from some great star, which is only money and time
    thrown away; & Isabella, Frances and Maria learn to dance of one of
    the most celebrated Opera dancers. Isabella learns a new instrument
    something like a guitar, called a harp-lute. Marianne and Anne, having
    learnt French, German, Latin and Italian, are now at a loss to find
    something left to know, and talk of learning Russian. They will be
    dyed blue-stocking up to their very chins.

Allowing for the exaggeration of a schoolboy, the letter throws an
interesting light on the standard of education aimed at by those who,
despite the imputation to the contrary, had no pretension to belong to the
recognised blue-stocking coteries of their day. And the father of that
busy, happy circle, in the seriousness of his own life and aims, presented
the same contrast to many of his contemporaries which was reflected in his

Fourteen years senior to his wife, and at this date in his fifty-seventh
year, Walter Stanhope had been M.P. respectively for his different
constituencies since 1775. A keen politician, he was punctilious in his
attendance at the House.

Nevertheless, as shown in a former volume, although a man of ability and
of intense earnestness of purpose, his devotion to his political labours
never wholly counteracted a certain lethargy of temperament which,
throughout his life, limited achievement. Thus, although in his youth
undoubtedly gifted with a lively fancy, or with what his generation termed
sensibility, this very trait seems at variance with the sum of his later
career. True, that under stress of emotion he could rise to heights of
impassioned oratory which provoked by its very evidence of latent power;
but the tenor of his existence was scarcely in accordance with these brief
flashes of genius, and the fulfilment of his prime belied its promise. The
record of his life remains one which commands respect rather than
admiration. Level-headed, sober in judgment and conduct, even while
possessed of a wit which was rare and a discernment at times profound, his
days flowed on in an undeviating adherence to duty which makes little
appeal to the imagination. As a churchman, as a parent, as a landowner, as
a politician he fulfilled each avocation with credit. As a man of the
world he could toy with but remain unmastered by the foibles of his age.
While a Fox and a Pitt rose to heights and sank to depths which Stanhope
never touched; while a Wilberforce was imbued with religious fervour as
with a permeating flame, Stanhope, to his contemporaries, presented
something of an anomaly. As in his early years he had been a Macaroni who
eschewed the exaggerations of his sect, so throughout life he could gamble
without being a gamester, could drink without being a toper, be a
politician without party acumen, and a man of profoundly religious
feelings devoid of fanaticism. But since he who himself is swayed by the
intensity of his convictions is he who in turn sways his fellows, possibly
the very restraint which saved Stanhope from folly debarred him from fame.

Meantime his generation was one of colossal exaggeration, both in talent
and in idiocy, in virtue and in vice. Men sinned like giants and as giants
atoned. Common sense, mediocrity--save upon the throne--were rare. Even
the fools in their folly were great. The spectacle was recurrent of men
who would smilingly stake a fortune as a wager, who could for hours drench
their drink-sodden brains in wine, then rise like gods refreshed, and with
an iron will throw off the stupor which bound them, to wield a flood of
eloquence that swayed senates and ruled the fate of nations. Even the fops
in their foppishness were of a magnitude in harmony with their period.
They could promote dandyism to a fine art and win immortality by
perfecting the rôle. Their affectation became an adjunct of their
greatness, their eccentricity an assumption of supremacy; their very
insolence was a right divine before which the common herd bowed with a
limitless tolerance.

In the world of London, as that celebrated gossip, Gronow, points out,
from generation to generation, certain men of fashion have come to the
fore amongst the less conspicuous mass of their fellows, and have been
defined by the general term of "men about town." The earlier
representatives of that race, the Macaronis of a former date, ere 1805 had
been replaced by a clique of dandies whose pretensions to recognition were
based on a less worthy footing. For while those previous votaries of
fashion, although derided and caricatured according to the humour of their
day, were, none the less, valuable patrons of art and literature, the
exquisites of a later date could seldom lay claim to such distinction. To
dine, to dress, to exhibit sufficient peculiarity in their habits and
rudeness in their manners whereby to enhance that fictitious value in the
eyes of those who did not dare to emulate such foibles, was the end and
aim of their existence. Yet it is doubtful whether posterity remembers
them less faithfully. Side by side with the great names of their century
there has come down to us the record of these apparently impudent
pretenders to fame, and it is questionable whether a Nash, a Brummell, or
a D'Orsay are less familiar to the present generation than those whose
claim to the recognition of posterity was not so ephemeral.

Thus, while the circle of acquaintance with which the lives of Stanhope
and his family at this date mingled serves to throw into sharper relief
his own divergence of character from that of many of his contemporaries--
those men who to great abilities, and sometimes to great achievement,
joined the pettiness of a fop and the follies of a mountebank--still more
did the typical man-about-town, with his whims and his foibles, his
shallow aims and his lost opportunities, compare strangely with the larger
souls of his generation. For the moment was one which called forth the
greatness or the littleness of those who met it, and which heightened that
contrast of contemporary lives.

With the coming of the nineteenth century the political outlook for
England had waxed grave. The air was full of wars and rumours of wars.
Napoleon, the mighty scourge of the civilised world, was minded to
accomplish the downfall of the one Power which still defied his strength.
"The channel is but a ditch," he boasted, "and anyone can cross it who has
but the courage to try." Boats were in readiness at Boulogne and at most
of the French ports, fitted up for the attempt, while the Conqueror of
Europe dallied only for the psychological moment to put his project into
execution. With bated breath Europe awaited the possible demolition of the
sole barrier which yet lay between the Tyrant and universal monarchy,
while upon the other side of the "ditch" the little Island expected his
arrival in a condition of prolonged tension and stubborn courage. At any
moment her blue waters and green fields might be dyed with blood. At any
moment a swarm of foreign invaders might trample her pride in the dust,
and crush her as other nations had been effectually crushed. But she meant
to sell her liberty dear. Out of a population averaging 9,000,000 souls
there were 120,000 regular troops, 347,000 volunteers, and 78,000 militia;
and still Napoleon paused.

Upon the threatened throne still sat good Farmer George and his prim
German consort, models of dull domesticity, of narrow convictions, of
punctilious etiquette--the epitome of respectable and respected
mediocrity, save when, with a profound irony, the recurring blast of
insanity transformed the personality of the stolid monarch, and shattered
the complacency of the smug little Court. Within its shelter hovered the
bevy of amiable Princesses, whose minutest word and glance yet lives for
us in the searchlight of Fanny Burney's adoring scrutiny. Afar, the sons
pursued their wild careers. The Prince of Wales, the mirror of fashion,
diced and drank, coquetted with politics and kingship, and--a very
travesty of chivalry--betrayed his friend, broke the heart of the woman
who loved him, deserted the woman who had wedded him, and tortured with
petty jealousy the sensitive soul of the child who might rule after him.

In secret silence Mrs Fitzherbert endured the calumny of the world, and
ate out her heart in faith to the faithless. With flippant and undignified
frivolity the Princess of Wales strove to support an anomalous position
and find balm to her wounded pride and weak brain; while the passionate,
all-human child-princess, Charlotte, awakening with pitiful precocity to
the realities of an existence which was to deal with her but harshly,
pitted her stormy soul against a destiny which decreed that before her the
sweets of life were eternally to be flaunted, to be eternally withheld.

       *       *       *       *       *

But with the dawning of 1805 the crisis of England's fate approached
consummation. Napoleon's plans were known to be completed. Pitt's
Continental Allies were secretly arming. The sea-dogs who guarded the
safety of our shores--Nelson, Collingwood, Cornwallis, Calder--were on the
alert. Yet while England's very existence as a Nation hung in the balance,
in the gay world of London those who represented the _ton_ danced and
flirted, attended routs and assemblies, complaining fretfully of the
unwonted dullness of the town, or in their drawing-rooms discussed the
topics of the hour--the acting of the wonder-child Roscius; the lamentable
scandal relating to Lord Melville; or, ever and again--with a tremor--the
possibilities of invasion.





    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _January 18th, 1805._

    Here we are established as of old and beginning our usual
    avocations.... Our Opera-box we like extremely. I generally take some
    young woman, which makes us cheerful. Miss Glyn [1] was of my party
    one night, and was well pleased. Little Roscius [2] appeared again
    to-night. I almost despair of seeing him, though I will try.

    On Saturday morning, Marianne and I and five or six hundred others
    went to hear Mr Sydney Smith [3] lecture upon the _Conduct of the
    Human Understanding_. His voice is fine and he is well satisfied
    with himself. I cannot say we came away much wiser, but we were well
    amused. I hear that Mr Smith protests that all women of talent are

    Lady de Clifford [4] is to be Governess to Princess Charlotte, Mrs and
    Miss Trimmer [5] the acting ones. I doubt the mother accepting the
    appointment. On the 25th February there is to be a grand ball at

[Illustration: MRS. TRIMMER]

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope_.
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _February 1st, 1805._


    I fear you will have thought me long in performing my promise, but as
    I was to have gone to Court yesterday, I delayed writing to you until
    the ceremony was over; as it is, instead of my letter being full of
    royalty, peers and ribbons, you must accept nothing but the remnant of
    those ideas, which the interesting hairbreadth adventures of _Tom
    Jones_ have left me; in plain English the Drawing-room was put off
    on account of the Queen's indisposition, and I am just at the end of
    the above-mentioned delightful book. Oh! had I the wit of Partridge,
    the religion of Thwackum, or the learning of Square, I might describe
    with tolerable accuracy the intolerable stupidity of this great town.
    The Opera is thin of company, thin of performers, thin of lights, thin
    of _figurantes_, thin of scene-shifters, thin of everything! One
    night we were a good deal entertained by having his R.H., & _chère
    amie_ [6] in the next box to us, really they squabbled so, you
    would have imagined they were man and wife....

    As for Politicks, of which you ask so much, everyone here seems
    discontented. All Pitt's friends, angry that he has deserted them for
    Addington, and Lord Stafford, the head of them all, angry that the
    ribbon should be given to Lord Abercorn--to one who has protected
    rather than to one who has insulted Pitt--"Such little things are
    great to little men."

    The King, everyone agrees, looks charmingly and is more composed than
    he has been for long. Lady de Clifford is appointed Governess to the
    Princess (Charlotte)--_the bosom friend of Mrs Fitzherbert,
    hélas!_--and Mrs and Miss Trimmer under her; some say they will not
    accept it. Dr Fisher, Bishop of Exeter, is to be Governor. I am for
    making he and Mrs Trimmer disagree about Religion.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope. February 23rd._

    On Thursday Marianne and I attended the Drawingroom, and so
    disagreeable a crowd I never was in. Miss Drummond [7] looked very
    well and Miss Glyn quite pretty--the great Hoop suits her figure. I
    have not heard you mention being acquainted with a young man of the
    name of Knox-Irish. [8] His father and mother live in this street, and
    are friends of Mrs Beaumont's. [9]

    I have finished the Life of Sir William Jones. [10] His acquirements
    appear to have been wonderful--eight languages perfectly, but I think
    it was twenty-eight of which he had more or less some knowledge. He
    was withal a very religious man. His attainments were of the right
    sort, for they fixed his principles and all his writings are in favor
    of Virtue.

    The speech Mr Windham made in the House of Commons was full of wit,
    and would I think amuse you.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._

    The apparent good spirits in which you write, even after a
    Mathematical Lecture, gives us reason to hope that that favourite
    exercise has not quite deprived you of your valuable intellect Long
    may it continue thus! Long may you be the glory of CH. CH.
    Mathematicians; and when you have left the British Athens, long may
    your name stand forward among the lists of those Worthies who
    discovered that two parallel, straight lines might run on to all
    Eternity without ever meeting!

    As a little incitement to you to continue acquiring learning, I will
    send you a short account of the manner that two Dukes of Suffolk
    (_sic_) spent their time at Cambridge in 1550:

    "During dinner, one of them read a Chapter of the Greek Testament, and
    did afterwards translate it into English; they then said Grace, in
    turns; & did afterwards propound questions, either in Philosophy or
    Divinity; & so spent all the time at Meat in Latin disputation.

    "When there was any Public disputation, they were always present;
    every Morning they did read & afterwards translate some of Plato in
    Greek, & at Supper present their Labours. They were of St John's
    College, & every day were devoted to private lectures, & the Residue
    they did account for."

    I ought almost to apologise for sending you so long an extract, but I
    thought it would remind you so forcibly of yourself and your
    distribution of your time, that I was unwilling to deny you the
    pleasure of the comparison.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._

    Thanks for the account of the distribution of your time. I flatter
    myself you are too much attached to home and to the life you have led
    here ever to get into the idle way of spending Sunday, which I fear
    you will witness too frequently at Oxford, for from your account of
    what they are obliged to do on that day, a very small portion only
    need be given up to the religious duties of the day.

    I was particularly pleased with a passage I met with the other day in
    which Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, speaking of Lord Bolingbrook,
    who, you know, was an unbeliever and from his talents and eloquence
    had too much weight at the time, says, "Raleigh and Clarendon
    believed, Lock and Newton believed, where then is the discredit to
    Revelation if Lord Bolingbrook was an Infidel. 'A scorner,' saith
    Solomon, 'seeketh Wisdom and findeth it not'"

    I know not if your father took any notice of the part of your letter
    to him where you mention that, in a lecture, it had been proved that
    the Blacks were a species between men and monkeys--I think, for I have
    not your letter, that I have stated rightly what was said. It might be
    asserted, but surely could not be _proved_, and it is doctrine I
    do not like, as it goes directly to justify using them as beasts of
    burthen--a very good argument for a slave dealer.

    _March 1st._

    Your father is very well. He was sorry for the fate of the Slave Trade
    Bill last night.

    The Elopement and distress in the House of Petre has been the chief
    subject of conversation for the last few days. Miss Petre [11] made
    her escape from her father's house in Norfolk with her Brothers' tutor
    on Monday last. It is said they are at Worcester and married only by a
    Catholic Priest. However, Lord and Lady P. are gone there and it is
    expected she will be brought back to-night. They can do nothing but
    get her married to the man at Church. She is 18, he 30, and no
    Gentleman. She was advertised and 20 guineas reward offered to anyone
    who could give an account of the stray sheep. It is a sad History.
    What misery this idle girl has caused her parents, and probably
    ensured her own for life.

    _Marianne Stanhope to John Spencer Stanhope._
    _March 3rd._

    You have doubtless read in the papers the account of Miss Petre's
    elopement with her brother's tutor, Mr Philips. He is a very low man,
    quite another class, always dined with the children, never associated
    the least with the family, a sort of upper servant. Lady Petre thought
    him rather forward, he was to have left them at Easter. She had seen
    her daughter at twelve the night before, and only missed her at
    breakfast. Her clothes were all gone. A friend of his, a brandy
    merchant, accompanied her in the chaise, the tutor rode first. A
    clergyman refused to marry them some time ago at Lambeth, but they
    have since been married at Oxford by a Mr Leslie, a Catholic priest,
    which is not enough. They are not yet discovered.

    _The Same._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _March 4th, 1805._


    ... London cannot be duller, those who remember it formerly were
    astonished at the change that time has wrought, and those ho look
    forward to the future, hope it will not always be so; but without a
    joke, except the Opera and the house of Glyn, I have scarcely seen
    anybody or been anywhere. We have three dinner engagements this week,
    besides one at home, but not one Assembly. You must know that we
    contrive to go out almost every night, but that it is only one degree
    better, or if you please, two degrees worse, than dozing at home;
    then, you know, as the existence of an Assembly is the not having room
    to stir, when you have plenty of elbow room from the thinness of the
    company it must be bad; besides another thing, when you have no time
    for conversation, you fancy everybody is agreeable, and in fashionable
    life, trust me, imagination is always preferable to reality!

    Not a ball have I heard of excepting one the other night at Mr
    Johnstone's, Hanover Square. Now you know, balls without dancing are
    such very enchanting things! Without the Opera it requires a stretch
    of imagination to know how we should have existed. Our neighbour, Mrs
    Fitzherbert, in the next box to our own, affords us plenty of
    amusement. I shall almost become an adept at finding out Royalty by
    their conversation, from frequently overhearing what passes between
    the Lady, and not only one but several of their R.H.'s. I will give
    you an infallible guide to a Royal conversation. Stupidity for its
    basis, an ignorance of intellectual merit for one prop, and a contempt
    of moral excellence for the other; witticisms, _double entendres_,
    mimickry, and every species of oaths that any English gentleman ever
    made use of for the _fond_; as a whole you may call it double refined
    folly and vulgarity. This is only doing justice to the conversations I
    have overheard; far be it from me to wish to diminish the meridian
    lustre with which these noble gentlemen shine. Let me rather forgive
    _them_ for understanding who have no conduct and those for conduct who
    have no understanding. The excellent qualifications of the lady as an
    associate are evident, she has neither conduct nor understanding.

    The ball at Windsor has been the general subject of conversation this
    last week. The House of Stanhope put in a good appearance. Mrs
    Pierrepont was there. The supper was most magnificent. Seats were
    raised above the rest for the Royal Family; during the entertainment
    the King rose, and gave the Queen's health, while everybody bowed and
    curtseyed. Afterwards, the Queen repeated the same compliment to His

    Our next-door flirt complained much to Lord Grantham at being obliged
    to dance a great deal with Lord Petersham, which she thought very
    tiresome. Mr Kinnaird [12] seems quite off, Lord P. quite out of
    spirits. Papa thinks he really loves not her purse but _her_. She
    seems to love nobody, and flirts with everybody. I saw her at Court on
    Thursday se'nnight looking beautifully cross at not having a man near
    her. The Drawing-room was a dreadful squash.

    I have seen a good deal of the Kinnairds lately, we dine there to-
    morrow and stay the evening. Georgiana is very pleased and looks well.

    The Royal Institution is more the _ton_ than anything and Ladies
    of all ages submit to a squeeze of an hundred people in a morning, to
    hear lectures on the Human Understanding, Experimental Philosophy,
    Painting, Music or Geology. We only attend a course of the latter--
    don't shout at the name, it means the History of the Earth. You see
    how wise I grow! Mr Eyre thinks all the ladies will be pedants, and
    when you have been there, you will think so too. To see so large a
    party, the majority ladies, not very handsome though all listening
    with profound attention to the opinion of Descartes and Newton, some
    taking notes and all looking quite scientific, is really ridiculous.
    Mr Davy, [13] who lectures on Geology or the Chemical History of the
    Earth, is very clever, his style is good, his matter interesting, and
    to make use of an expression I heard a gentleman use, he certainly
    writes on the subject _con amore_.

    I hope you will like Sir Wm. Jones's life. I have not read it but have
    heard it is very clever. My lectures at present are _Metastasio_,
    and _St Simon's Memoirs_, the Bp. of London's lectures and Bigland's
    _Letters on Ancient History_.

    There is a little tale of Miss Edgeworth's which is much admired, "The
    Modern Griselda," which you must read.

Of the names mentioned in this letter, that of Lord Petersham deserves
more than a passing notice. Among the members of the House of Stanhope, it
must first be remarked, there were to be found some notable exceptions to
the prevailing social type of that generation. Philip, Earl of
Chesterfield, for one, although he failed to keep up the traditions of his
famous predecessor in art and elegance, was never notorious for the
weaknesses of his day; and Charles, the 3rd Earl Stanhope, more violently
eschewed the foppishness of many of his contemporaries, devoting all his
attention to mechanical contrivances and scientific research. His
simplicity of life, however, was said to be the expression of his
Republican tendencies which he had inherited in a pronounced form from his
father, who had likewise left behind him the reputation of having been a
magnificent patron of learning. In fact, in order to emphasize his
democratic principles, so shabby had been the attire of the second Earl
Stanhope, that on one occasion he had actually been stopped by a new door-
keeper as he was about to enter the House of Lords. "Now then, honest man,
go back!" quoth this vigilant guardian of the sacred precincts; "you can
have no business in such a place, honest man!" And it was only with
considerable difficulty that the eccentric peer had asserted his right to
admittance among his fellows, whose honesty was enhanced by a more elegant

In marked contrast, therefore, to these other members of the family, it
was in the Harrington branch that the foibles of the _beau monde_ were
cultivated with intention.

Charles, 3rd Earl of Harrington, born the same year as Charles, 3rd Earl
Stanhope, had married Jane, daughter and heiress of Sir John Fleming, Bt,
who proved no unworthy successor to her celebrated predecessor
immortalised by George Selwyn for vivacity and abnormal conversational
powers. [14] The drawing-room of this later Lady Harrington was recognised
as a great social centre where her friends could meet, if not actually
without invitation, at least at a shortness of notice which marked the
informality of the entertainment and lent to it a subtle charm. The
hostess, whose energy was unbounded, would go out in the morning and pay
about thirty calls, leaving at each house an invitation bidding her
friends to assemble at Harrington House that same evening.

She would then walk up Bond Street at the hour at which the fashionable
young men of the day were likely to be abroad, and would dart from one
side of the road to the other as she spied a suitable object for her
purpose. A circle of friends assembled thus three or four times a week,
resulted in the formation of a recognised clique, the delightful
informality of which was much appreciated by her young relations from
Grosvenor Square, and the _entrée_ into which was much envied by those who
were admitted only to the larger and more stately parties reserved for the
less favoured.

Nor were Lady Harrington's impromptu evening assemblies less celebrated
than her perpetual tea-drinkings at Harrington House. The superior quality
of this expensive beverage in which the family of Stanhope indulged there,
and the frequency with which Lady Harrington presented it to her visitors
at all hours of the day, gave rise to the saying that where you saw a
Stanhope, there you saw a tea-pot. A story current in town was that when
her son, General Lincoln Stanhope, returned home after a prolonged absence
in India, he found the family party precisely as he had left them many
years before, seated in the long gallery sipping their favourite
refreshment. On his entry, his father looked up from this absorbing
occupation, and, with a restraint indicative of the highest breeding, gave
voice to the characteristic greeting--"Hullo! Linky, my dear boy, you are
just in time for a cup of tea!"

Such a home was the very atmosphere in which to develop a fashionable man
of the period; and the eldest son of the House, Charles. Lord Petersham,
did not discredit his surroundings. Tall, handsome, and faultlessly clad,
he was one of the most celebrated dandies of his day. Decidedly affected
in his manners, he spoke with a slight lisp; and since he was said to
recall the pictures of Henri IV., he endeavoured to accentuate this
likeness by cultivating a pointed beard. He never went out till six in the
evening, and one of his hobbies indoors was the strenuous manufacture of a
particular sort of blacking which, he always maintained, once perfected,
would surpass every other. His sitting-room emphasized his eccentricity.
One side of it represented the family _penchant_, being covered with
shelves upon which were placed canisters containing the most expensive and
perfect kinds of tea. On the other, in beautiful jars, reposed an equally
choice and varied assortment of snuffs. Lord Petersham's snuff-boxes and
his canes were alike celebrated; indeed, his collection of the former was
said to be the finest in England, and he was reported to have a fresh box
for every day in the year. Thus Gronow relates that once when a light
Sevres box which he was using, was admired, Lord Petersham responded with
a gentle lisp--"Yes, it is a nice summer box--but would certainly be
inappropriate for winter wear!"

Caricatures of the period represent the heir to the Earldom of Harrington
clad in light trousers and a brown coat, seated upon a brown prancing
horse. One of his whims, indeed, was to affect everything brown in hue--
brown steeds, brown liveries, brown carriages, brown harness and brown
attire. This was attributed to the fact of his having been in love with a
fair widow of the name of Brown, whose charms he thus endeavoured to
immortalise; but whatever the truth of this rumour, it is evident from the
letter of Marianne Stanhope, that at the age of twenty-five he honoured
with his devoted attention a lady whose personal attractions and unamiable
disposition afforded a fund of entertainment to his relations living next
door to her in Grosvenor Square. And this sidelight on the character of
the dandy gives pause to criticism. How much, perhaps, of the eccentricity
for which Lord Petersham was remarkable, like that of the celebrated Lady
Hester Stanhope, may be attributed to the buffetings of a secret fate?
Yet, this man who, with exceptional abilities and exceptional opportunity
for exercising those abilities, could contentedly fill his empty days with
the manufacture of blacking, or pass an entire night, as Gronow relates
him to have done, playing battledore and shuttlecock for a wager with Ball
Hughes, was, in much, a typical product of his generation. His mannerisms
were accepted by his contemporaries with a forbearance which bordered on
admiration, and, however childish his peculiarities, he remained
unalterably popular. Nor were the other members of his family less
appreciated for their good-nature and amiability.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _March 19th, 1805._

    I shall employ my Pen in sending you an account of last night's
    gaiety--the first really gay night Marianne has had.

    We began our evening at a concert at Mrs Methuen's, from thence we
    proceeded to a very fine Assembly at the Ladies' Townshends, and about
    twelve arrived at the Duchess of Bolton's, where we found them
    tripping on the light fantastick toe with great spirit. Marianne found
    herself near Lady A. Stanhope, [15] who was extremely attentive to
    her, & her first partner introduced to her by Lady Harrington was Mr
    Mercer. After supper she danced a Reel, and afterwards two dances with
    Mr Dashwood, & then two with Mr Cooke of the Guards. I need not, after
    this account of the ball say she was well amused. There were a great
    many men & very young ones, not too fine to dance. Lord Alvanley [16]
    is not amongst the smartest. Hay Drummond amused me, for _at five in
    the morning_, he asked me if I had a daughter there!--I was in bed
    by 1/2 after five.

    Marianne is quite well this morning and very well disposed to go to
    Almack's if your father does not object. On Thursday we go to another
    ball at Lady Ledespenser's.

    We have now delightful weather, soft rain yesterday; therefore I
    expect a pull in the Sociable will be delightful to-day & do us all
    good after our night's raking.

The Duchess of Bolton, [17] who was a cousin of Walter Stanhope, had been
a widow since 1794, when the dukedom became extinct on the death of her
husband. The latter, well known during the lifetime of his elder brother
as the eccentric Lord Henry Paulet, was believed to have supplied Smollet
with his character of Captain Whiffle in _Roderick Random_. For many years
he had resided at Bolton--formerly Baltimore--House, a quaintly
constructed, solitary mansion, standing on the outskirts of London amid
rural scenery, and encircled by a fine garden. Celebrated for its
hospitality in those the last days of its splendour, Bolton House had
opened its portals nightly to the guests who drove down from town to take
part in the festivities there, amongst the most frequent of whom had been
Walter Stanhope and his young wife. The duchess, however, subsequent to
her husband's death, had heard with dismay of a projected transformation
in her surroundings. The erection of new buildings in the neighbourhood
was predicted--houses which would blot out the rural scenery and for ever
destroy the privacy of her country home. And although this dreaded
innovation did not actually come to pass till 1801, long before the first
stone of Russell Square had been laid, the duchess had sold her threatened
mansion to Lord Loughborough, a friend of Walter Stanhope, and had
established herself in a new home but four doors from the house of the
latter, No. 32 Grosvenor Square.

Settled thus in the heart of London, her love of entertaining remained
undiminished, and beneath her hospitable roof the House of Stanhope, in
its various branches, continued to assemble as of yore. There Lady
Harrington still figured as one of the most constant guests, ever ready to
do a kindly action to any of her young relations whom she encountered. Mr
Mercer, whom she presented to Marianne Stanhope at the party on March
18th, was, as she was well aware, a man greatly in request in society, and
to whom an introduction was eagerly coveted on account of his exceptional
talent for music. Gifted with a remarkably fine voice, he sang duets in
company with a friend, in Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English.
"Mercer's voice and both their tastes are exquisite," relates Lord
Glenbervie at this date. "They accompany themselves, Mercer on the
Pianoforte, Gill on a Spanish guitar, which he has had made under his own
directions in London. Their foreign airs and words they have chiefly
picked up recently from ballad-singers in the streets."

Marianne Stanhope was therefore fortunate in securing this acquaintance,
as she was in having for a partner "Mr Cooke of the Guards," better known
in London society as "Kangaroo Cooke," for many years private aide-de-camp
and secretary to the Duke of York, and of whom Gronow relates that, "He
was in the best society and always attracted attention by his dandified
mode of dress." Still more, besides frequenting all the _Ton_ parties in
London at night, during the day he was invariably to be seen somewhere
between the barracks of the Horse Guards and the premises of Weston the
tailor in Bond Street, an ultra-fashionable promenade, which he paced and
re-paced, thus satisfactorily exhibiting the beauty of his clothes and
encountering the most select members of his acquaintance.

The curious nickname which clung to this dandy through life is usually
ascribed to a quaint resemblance noticeable in him to the Australian
quadruped after which he was called; but others attributed it rather to
the leaps and bounds by which he advanced socially, though on account of
his connections and the exquisite perfection of his dress this could not
be considered surprising. The fact that he bore such a name was well known
to him, and only on one occasion did it cause him any annoyance. Once,
when dining on board the flag-ship off Lisbon with Admiral Galton, he was
much startled by his host suddenly springing up and shouting out a
mysterious order, the terms of which seemed like a veiled insult. "Make
signal," thundered the Admiral, "for the _Kangaroo_ to get under way!" For
one instant the dismayed beau feared that this was a nautical form of
dismissal due to some offence of which he had unwittingly been guilty; but
his neighbour at table relieved his fears by explaining that the Admiral
was merely directing the immediate departure of one of the vessels of his
squadron, which, by a strange coincidence, bore the same name as his
honoured guest.

But a yet more celebrated leader of fashion mentioned by Mrs Stanhope as
being present at the ball given by the Duchess of Bolton was Lord
Alvanley. One of the accepted dandies in the same category as Lord
Petersham, the Duke of Argyle, Lords Foley and Worcester, Beau Brummell
and his great friend, Henry Pierrepont, Lord Alvanley had served with
distinction in the army, and further enjoyed the reputation of being one
of the wittiest men in Europe. Short and somewhat stout, with a small nose
and florid cheeks usually adorned with a lavish sprinkling of snuff, like
his rival Lord Petersham, he cultivated a lisp which accentuated the
humour of his utterances. He also adopted much the same method of
enhancing his value by indulging in certain peculiarities which, however
inconvenient to his fellows, appear to have been accepted by them with
surprising amiability. For instance, being fond of reading in bed, when he
at length felt sleep overpowering him, he would extinguish his candle by
the novel method of popping it alight under his bolster, or flinging it
into the middle of the room and taking a shot at it with his pillow--but
if the shot was unsuccessful, with a heavy sigh he left it to take its
chance. So well known, indeed, was this little habit of Lord Alvanley,
that hostesses who were anxious not to have their houses set on fire at
midnight would depute a servant to watch in a neighbouring apartment till
his lordship composed himself to sleep, a precaution which was invariably
adopted by Mrs Stanhope when he paid his annual visit to Cannon Hall.

However, despite such minor failings, Lord Alvanley enjoyed a popularity
seldom surpassed. To his other recommendations was added that of being a
celebrated _gourmet_, and the excellence was proverbial of the little
dinners which he gave in his house in Park Street, St James's, to which
never more than eight friends were bidden, and at which there was an
apricot tart on the sideboard all the year round. Moreover, although like
Brummell and Sheridan, many a _bon mot_ was fathered upon him to which he
had never given utterance, yet his reputation as a wit was well deserved,
and at a date when both the dandies and the fine ladies prided themselves
upon their undisguised insolence, Lord Alvanley remained a shining example
of good-nature, so that, save, perhaps, in one instance recorded in this
book, his wit never offended. Likewise, only once, it is said, did he
exhibit reluctance in consenting to oblige anyone who requested from him a
favour, on which occasion he conveyed his refusal in a singularly
characteristic manner. Some friends were anxious to get up a
representation of _Ivanhoe_, and begged Lord Alvanley to take the part of
Isaac. "That I fear is impossible," he replied. "Why so?" urged his
friends, "since you are so clever at doing different characters." "Ah,
but--" objected Lord Alvanley, "in all my life I have never been able to
_do_ a Jew!"

In truth, with the House of Israel his extravagance had made him painfully
familiar; nevertheless, as mentioned by Lord Broughton, on one occasion he
made his peccadilloes in this respect the subject of another jest. "Is
there any chance," he asked with assumed pathos, "of the ten tribes of
Israel being recovered? For I have exhausted the other two!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was three months after the ball at Bolton House, which had been
preceded by a concert at Mrs Methuen's that Mrs Stanhope mentions
attending another entertainment given by the latter hostess, to which she
went shortly after an evening of painful excitement.

    _Tuesday, June 18th, 1805._

    You would read in the papers of the riot at the Opera House. So
    complete and mischievous a one I never before saw, or ever wish to see
    again. I saw part of the stage pulled up and thrown into the Pitt, and
    when the scene was thrown down, it was only wonderful people were not
    killed, as the stage was full. Notwithstanding the damage was said to
    amount from £900 to £1200, we are to have an Opera to-night.

    It was said the House of Peers intended to, object to the Commons
    prosecuting one of their House, but I have not heard anything more of
    it--so I suppose it will pass over.

    It formed the great topick of conversation at the Methuen's ball where
    we were till five this morning--fine, but dull--the best supper I
    ever saw.

The Opera House, at the date of this occurrence, was usually a brilliant
and attractive scene. The accommodation was divided into seats in the
gallery, boxes and pit. The latter, where many of the _élite_ were seated,
was separated from the stage by the orchestra only, which then consisted
of less than half the number of performers of which it would be composed
to-day. There were, consequently, no stalls, but a passage led from the
entrance to the front seats, known as Fop's Alley from the dandies who
lounged and promenaded there, partly to see and partly to be seen by the
ladies with whom the house was filled.

The dress of these exquisites was ruled by a punctilious etiquette, and
their knee-breeches, lace ruffles, diamond buckles, and _chapeaux bras_
were subject to the strictest regulations and to every fluctuation of the
prevailing mode. Their gold-handled spy-glasses were impartially directed
towards the stars upon the stage or to the belles in the neighbouring
boxes, where, from the grand tier to the roof, was a dazzling display of
beauty and of fashion. Their excursions to the Green Room were likewise
interspersed with visits to those amongst the audience to whose boxes they
had the entree; and as they murmured platitudes to their fair
acquaintance, they traced languidly the locality of yet other friends whom
they could visit, whose names were inserted upon the paper fans with which
each lady was provided, and on which was printed a diagram of the boxes
and a list of their owners throughout the great building.

But on this momentous night the very atmosphere of the place was
transformed. At the first token of the coming storm, many of the
frightened beaux hurriedly vacated their beloved promenade, while certain
peaceable members of the audience also endeavoured to escape from the
building. But the majority remained, brazenly instigating or prolonging
the disgraceful scene which followed. The cause of the sudden riot was
afterwards related personally by Michael Kelly, the then celebrated actor
and stage manager.

On account of the length of the arias and ballets, and the impossibility
of being able to get the lady-singers ready to begin in time, the operas
seldom finished till after twelve o'clock on Saturdays. The Bishop of
London had therefore sent to inform Kelly that if the curtain did not drop
before midnight, the licence should be taken away and the house shut up.
Against this fiat there was no appeal, and for two or three weeks running,
Kelly was obliged, on Saturday night, to order the closing of the
performance in the midst of an interesting scene in the ballet. On these
two or three occasions this was submitted to with unexpected good-humour
by the subscribers and the general public, but such a state of affairs
could not long continue.

"On Saturday, the 15th of June (Oh! fatal night!)," Kelly relates, "the
demon of discord appeared in all his terrors in this hitherto undisturbed
region of harmony. The curtain fell before twelve o'clock, just as
Deshayes and Parisot were dancing a popular _pas de deux_. This was the
signal for the sports to begin: a universal outcry of `Raise the curtain!
Finish the ballet!' resounded from all parts of the House; hissing,
hooting, yelling, (in which most of the ladies of quality joined)

"The ballet master, D'Egville, was called for, and asked 'Why he allowed
the curtain to drop before the conclusion of the ballet?' He affirmed that
he had directions from me to do so. I was then called upon the stage, and
received a volley of hisses, yellings, etc. I stood it all, like brick and
mortar; but at last, thinking to appease them, I said the truth was that
an order had been received from the Bishop of London to conclude the
performance before midnight. Some person from the third tier of the boxes
who appeared to be a principal spokesman called out--'You know, Kelly,
that you are telling a lie.' I turned round very coolly and looking up at
the box from whence the lie came, I said, 'You are at a very convenient
distance; come down on the stage and use that language again, if you

"This appeal was received by the audience with a loud burst of applause,
and the universal cry of 'Bravo, Kelly: well replied!--turn him out! Turn
the fellow out of the boxes!' The gentleman left the box, but did not
think proper to make his appearance on the stage. This was a lucky turn as
regarded myself, but did not appease the rioters; for finding their
mandate for drawing up the curtain and finishing the ballet was not
obeyed, they threw all the chairs out of the boxes into the Pitt, tore up
the benches, broke the chandeliers, jumped into the orchestra, smashed the
pianoforte, and continued their valourous exploits by breaking all the
instruments of the poor unoffending performers. Having achieved deeds so
worthy of a polished nation, and imagining no more mischief could be done,
they quitted the scene of their despoliation with shouts of victory."

There was, however, a finale to the drama which the rioters did not
expect. Mr Goold, a lawyer and great friend of Kelly, identified some of
the ringleaders and brought actions against them for damages which cost
them many hundreds of pounds. The lustres, scenes and musical instruments
which had been destroyed alone were estimated at £1500. And the
prosecutions were only withdrawn on the culprits undertaking to apologise
for their conduct, as well as to recoup all who had suffered through their
misbehaviour. Meanwhile, many persons were frightened from attending the
Opera for fear of a repetition of such scenes, and the rival attraction of
the performances given by the young Roscius prospered in proportion.

This infant prodigy, who was born in 1791, first appeared on the stage at
the age of eleven, and for over five years personated the most difficult
characters before enraptured audiences, earning from fifty to seventy-five
guineas per night, apart from benefits, so that he really made from £4000
to £5000 a year.

In 1805, the House of Commons adjourned in a body to witness his
performance of _Hamlet_. Wherever he appeared an excited mob instantly
gathered; ladies vied with each other in the endeavour to kiss his hand,
and at the hour when he was expected at the Play House a larger crowd
assembled than ever collected to see the king. "He and Bonaparte now
divide the world," wrote Sir William Knightly at this date; "This is, I
believe, the first instance since the creation, of a child so much under
age, getting such an income by any ability. I think he is very excellent,
his gracefulness is unparalleled and the violence of the desire to see him
either on or off the stage is like a madness in the people."

In the autumn of 1805, Roscius went a tour in the Provinces; in August of
that year he was in the North, and Mr Smith, the Vicar of Newcastle
(formerly tutor to the sons of Walter Stanhope) wrote to Mrs Stanhope an
account of the prodigy's reception there:--

    _August 19th_.

    The Young Roscius is engaged here for three nights, and makes his
    _début_ this evening in the play of "Douglas"; places are as yet
    allowed to be taken only for the first four nights of his performance,
    and so great is the expectation of Newcastle, that if the boxes had
    held double the number of spectators, all the seats would have been

But whatever impression the young actor made on the other inhabitants of
Newcastle, the verdict pronounced by the critical Mr Smith is very
modified praise:--

    For Mrs Stanhope's comfort and the credit and taste of the people of
    Newcastle, I add that Master Betty has had a very good Benefit,
    considering the thinness of the Town. I should conjecture the house
    amounted to about £95; and admitting that he mouths a good deal, is
    indistinct in his lower tones, and does not pronounce very accurately,
    I was not displeased with his performance of Warwick in the play "Earl
    of Warwick."

an engraving by J. Ward after J. Northcote._]

Despite this far from enthusiastic verdict, great was the excitement of
the Stanhope family to hear that the next county to be visited by Roscius
was Yorkshire, whither they usually returned before Christmas. Ere that
date, however, their thoughts were much occupied by a double tragedy, the
death within a month of their friends, Lord and Lady Kinnaird. [18]

    _November 2nd, 1805._

    I sent you word of the truly deplorable situation of the two poor
    Kinnairds; within one month deprived of both parents, and all their
    brothers in Yeomanry. When the last accounts were received, the
    present Lord Kinnaird was at Vienna. Lady K. did not, as I sent you
    word, die in her carriage, tho' in it when she was seized. Lord K. was
    dining at the Ordinary at Perth races and was seized at dinner, the
    Uvula descending into the Windpipe. He recovered sufficiently to
    return into the room, but did not survive many days.

    Lord Primrose [19] from whom the whole detail came, sent us also an
    account of his gaieties, he and his father had been a tour in Scotland
    and had not neglected to visit at Drummond Castle with which he was
    enchanted, which he could not well fail being, as the lady of the
    Castle [20] is a passionate admirer of it, and takes great pleasure in
    it and manages much about the Estate.

    We have at last concluded Roscoe's elaborate work, the Life of Leo X,
    and I do not think I shall ever go through the whole again. The
    Italian wars are tiresome and to me always most uninteresting. I
    neither like Leo's principles nor those of his biographer. Parts I
    shall certainly read again. The style is elegant, and he is an able
    apologist. I certainly should recommend parts of the work to you; it
    will be an amusement to you at Christmas.

The comment of Mrs Stanhope, as a staunch Tory, upon the famous _Life of
Leo X._, which was then attracting much attention, affords an amusing
contrast to the extravagant praise bestowed upon the work by the Whigs of
the day. Shortly after she had finished its perusal she must have returned
with her family to Yorkshire, where a fresh excitement awaited her.

"The Gallery at Bretton," she writes, "is to be painted, as well as the
staircase. The Architect says, he has worked there six months already. We
are going over to see the result of his labours."

Bretton Park, which was then undergoing such complete renovation, is
situated about a couple of miles from Cannon Hall, and its owner at this
date afforded endless food for discussion both in Yorkshire and London.

In a previous volume, [21] reference has been made to the celebrated Mrs
Beaumont, or, as she was universally called by her generation, Madame
Beaumont. The natural daughter of Sir Thomas Blackett of Bretton, she had
been made his heiress, and had married Colonel Beaumont, M.P. for York.
Although Mrs Stanhope and many others then living could remember her as a
village girl riding to Penistone every market day to sell butter and eggs,
Mrs Beaumont successfully ignored any such unpleasant reminiscences on the
part of those acquainted with her early life, and continued to dominate a
situation to which, thus heavily handicapped, she might well have

By dint of an unassailable belief in her wealth and importance, she held
her own with the county families, whose slights she ignored or repaid with
interest, and whom she alternately flouted and patronised. At once a
source of irritation and of amusement to her neighbours, this was
particularly so in the case of the family at Cannon Hall, whose property
adjoined her own and who were perpetually annoyed by her interference and
impertinence. There was unfortunately no boundary line between the
estates, so Mrs Beaumont used unhesitatingly to inform strangers that all
the land from the walls of Bretton to those of Cannon Hall was hers; while
on one occasion, when a dispute arose between herself and Mr Stanhope
respecting a certain tree, she settled the question in a characteristic
manner by causing this to be cut down in the night.

The letters of the younger Stanhopes were full of anecdotes of, or
complaints against their aggressive neighbour. "You can have no idea what
petty differences my father and Mrs Beaumont have about boundaries and
rights, which Madam Graspall claims in everything," wrote Edward Stanhope
on one occasion. "She warned us all not to shoot _anywhere_ on her ground
or Manors, also from Mr Bosville's, and she at once sent Mr Bird to shoot
on my father's land. However, we warned _him_ off! "But although the
sportsman with the inappropriate name met with a warm reception from the
younger branches of the House of Stanhope, Edward adds, "My mother never
will take part in these differences but chuses to call and dine. However,
as she was thus civil, this year Madam has chosen only to leave cards
without inquiring whether we were at home, and has now sent out cards for
a party and left us out!" None the less, although later in life, as we
shall see, the family at Bretton were cleverly satirised by Marianne
Stanhope, a show of friendship was maintained between the two families,
which, in the case of the younger generation was very genuine, for the
daughters of Madame Beaumont were the antithesis of their parent and were
simple and charming.

Yet Mrs Beaumont was undoubtedly one of the most curious characters of her
generation, in that, as stated, her self-assurance enabled her to tilt
successfully against the strong social prejudices of her day and to
sustain an all but impossible position with undoubted success. While
Yorkshire and London rang with tales of her effrontery, the imperturbable
lady, instead of perceiving snubs, dealt them, and in the height of her
triumphant career enjoyed the wrath of the amazed recipients. Meanwhile,
although many of the stories related of her were genuine, a few were
undoubtedly apocryphal, among which must be classed the following, very
generally believed in the West Riding a century ago.

It was said that being much addicted to gambling and proud of the
immensity of the wagers which she dared to risk, Madame Beaumont on one
occasion staked the entire Bretton estate on a game of chance. She lost;
and her opponent, being apparently as sporting as herself, dared her to
win it back by riding through Bretton Park and village astride on a
jackass with her face to the tail The idea of the haughty and pompous lady
undertaking such a penance must have seemed actually incredible, but
Madame Beaumont was not readily daunted. To the unbounded surprise of her
fellow-gamester she accomplished the feat and thus reinstated herself in
all her former wealth and grandeur.

In Yorkshire, she invariably drove about the country in a carriage drawn
by four beautiful black horses on which were seated postilions in velvet
jockey-caps. She owned an extraordinary number of carriages, and directly
news reached her that any visitor of importance was being entertained at
Cannon Hall, she would order out her finest equipage and drive over in
full state with the intention of enticing away the guest whose rank
attracted her. As usual, no rebuffs discouraged her-she failed to perceive
them. In London, she strove with equal determination to admit no one to
her parties who was not the possessor of a title--commoners, however well
born, were received by her with a scarcely concealed insolence. The big
yellow coach in which she and her daughters drove about town was a
familiar sight, making its triumphal progress through the most fashionable
streets, or drawn up by the Park railings that its occupants might
converse with the _élite_ among the loungers who thronged around it. For
those who scoffed at Madame Beaumont courted her diligently on account of
the excellence of her entertainments, while her luxury and the lavish
nature of her expenditure formed their favourite topic of jest and gossip.
Apart from her boundless hospitality to those whom she considered
sufficiently important to be honoured by it, the sums which she spent on
the house and stables at Bretton were said to have been enormous; and it
was doubtless with considerable curiosity that the family at Cannon Hall,
on their return to Yorkshire, hurried over to inspect the alterations
which their neighbour was effecting.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    CANNON HALL, _December 4th, 1805._

    We drove to Bretton this morning. We walked all over the gardens and
    the House. The number of people is enough to distract one Architect.
    Improvers, Agents, etc., etc., without end. Much is done, and still
    much remains to be done. Madame B. says she shall quite rejoice to
    leave the place. The plants appear in great order and are very
    valuable. The Collection is extremely large, but at present the plants
    are so very small that to the ignorant they appear of little value--
    which we know is impossible to be the case.

    Thanks for the account of your studies; as for mine, I cannot give a
    very favourable report of them. Hume's _Henry 8th_, Warton on Pope,
    _Cowper's Letters_, and _The Idler_, are the books I have at present
    in hand; but I have not much leisure. We are at present alone, and
    with my family round me, I do not wish for company. It is not a bustle
    of company I _like_, for I do not like the Society of the Country--it
    is morning, noon, and night.

    Roscius is now performing at Sheffield--I should like to see him

Life in the country at this date was apparently more exhausting than life
in London. No moment of the day was sacred from the encroachments of
visitors. Morning calls were the fashion, and it was held to be impolite
to refuse admission to friends who, after a long drive over bad roads, not
only expected the offer of some substantial refreshment, but in view of
the fatigue they had undergone and their desire that they should be
sufficiently recovered before undertaking the return journey, were apt to
outstay their welcome. Of a neighbour, however, who resided beyond the
distance practicable for a morning call, and with whom Marianne Stanhope
had apparently been staying at this date, she gives a more enthusiastic
description. Mr Fawkes of Farnley was the son of her father's old friend
and neighbour at Horsforth, in the days of his youth, Walter Hawkesworth,
[22] who took the name of Fawkes on inheriting the property of Farnley
under the will of a cousin. He was succeeded, in 1792, by this son, Walter
Ramsden Fawkes, who, in 1806, became Member for York, and later, as his
father had been before him, High Sheriff for the county. This younger Mr
Fawkes was a man of exceptional talent, who is best remembered by
posterity as having been one of the earliest and most munificent patrons
of J. M. W. Turner, but who was better known to his contemporaries for his
remarkable oratory. Mr Stanhope relates of him that once at a meeting
which was convened in Yorkshire to discuss the Peace of Amiens, he made a
speech so brilliant that the reporters declared themselves unable to take
it down, so completely were they carried away by its extraordinary
eloquence and beauty of language.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _December 4th, 1805._

    You cannot think how charmed I was with Mr Fawkes when we were at
    Farnley, he is so full of information and talent. He told us two
    stories which pleased me so much that I will endeavour to relate
    them--both facts.

    About ten years ago a friend of his was riding thro' a long and gloomy
    wood in one of the inland counties. As he came to the most intricate
    part, suddenly his horse made a dead pause, pricked up his ears,
    snorted, and when spurred, refused to proceed, his eyes all the time
    upon one spot on the ground. On looking towards this place, conceive
    the gentleman's horror at beholding a woman's body weltering in blood
    and a dog licking the wounds. The traveller stood for some minutes
    petrified with horror, his eyes rivetted on the body, when all at once
    the dog, perceiving him, set off full speed thro' the thickest part of
    the wood.

    He was resolved to pursue the animal, and instantly spurring his
    horse, he followed it through most intricate and unfrequented roads
    for about ten miles, when he saw it enter a miserable house in a
    little village. The traveller put up his horse, and entering the same
    house, desired they would bring him something to drink. There were
    three ill-looking fellows sitting round a table, under which the dog
    had lain down. The traveller's object was now to find out to whom the
    dog belonged, he tried every means, in vain, for about an hour, when,
    seizing hold of the poker he, under some trivial pretext, gave the dog
    a violent blow on the head, upon which one of the men with an oath
    asked him why he did this. The gentleman with much presence of mind,
    turned the poker promptly against the man who asked the question, and
    having overpowered him in a pretended quarrel, discovered in his
    pocket a bag of gold. The rest I do not know, but the man was hanged
    for the murder in Oxfordshire or Warwickshire about ten years ago. Is
    it not a curious story?

    Mr Fawkes thinks it would be a fine subject for a picture--the awful
    gloominess of the wood, the dead body, the dog licking the wounds, the
    horror of the horse, and the man's countenance as he sat contemplating
    the scene--he thinks might be wonderfully portrayed on canvas.

    His other story is of a different cast. You have doubtless heard of
    Edwards the great bookseller. He has quitted his shop in Town, and
    gone to reside at his native place, Halifax. He is a great miser, but
    being a man of talent, often visits Mr Fawkes. One day he arrived upon
    such a miserable hired horse that they resolved to play him a trick.
    Accordingly, after dinner the Steward came in, with a solemn face,
    stating that instead of killing a horse that was meant for the dogs,
    they had shot Mr Edwards's; that it was half eat before they found out
    the mistake. Edwards was in a dreadful pucker; but at last, having
    condoled with him, they told him that the only difference between his
    deceased horse & the one of Mr Fawkes's which they had meant to kill,
    was that Mr Fawkes's horse had not a white spot on its forehead, & his
    legs were not white, but that by _painting them_ it would look
    just the same, and that the people at the livery stable would never
    find out the mistake. Edwards was highly delighted with this plan,
    and, would you believe it, he was mean enough to hope by this means to
    cheat the man. You may picture what fun it was to Mr Fawkes and his
    servants to see him ride home on his _own_ hired horse all bedaubed
    with paint; after which he wrote word triumphantly, "The man at the
    Livery Stables has never found out the trick _we_ have put on him!"
    How they will all quiz him when finally they tell him the truth!!

    When shall you come to Yorkshire? You will find Frances grown quite a
    beauty and Philip an adept at _l'art militaire_. I am glad you
    were so pleased with the young Beaumonts. Their sister rode here the
    other day, she is a very nice girl and nearly pretty.

    Mr and the Miss Abbotts left us yesterday, after a week's visit They
    are very musical, but rather too Irish for our taste. To give you some
    idea of them, they talk of people being _beasts and puking whelps,
    and brutes_. They frequently _blest their souls and bodies_, and
    "_talked their fill_" which was not a "_few_." Surely this cannot be
    elegant, even in Ireland. Have you any Hibernian friends who could
    inform you on this subject? Adieu, breakfast waits. All here send
    their love.

These Hibernian friends were apparently not the only guests whose
peculiarities occasioned the Stanhope family some mild surprise. The
handsome Bishop of Carlisle [23] and his wife, Lady Anne Vernon, were at
this date frequently at Cannon Hall, and both of them and of their ten
sons various anecdotes are related. Mr Stanhope, indeed, as Member for
Carlisle, had long been intimate with the popular prelate, and used to
tell with what unstinted hospitality Dr Vernon was wont to receive his
countless visitors at the Palace on public days, also what a picturesque
sight he then invariably presented in his full-bottomed, snow-white wig
and bright, purple coat. But the good bishop, though extremely stately and
impressive of demeanour, was gifted with a keen sense of humour and could
enjoy a spice of frivolity when he could indulge in it without detracting
from his dignity. In 1807 he was appointed to the Archbishopric of York,
and was fond of retailing how a groom belonging to his old friend, Sir
James Graham, [24] got news of the event and rode hard to Netherby to take
his master the first tidings. Bursting into the dining-room where a large
party of guests were assembled, the man exultingly shouted out
the Information which he was desperately afraid someone else might have
anticipated--"Sir Jams! Sir Jams! The Bushopp has got his situation!" The
sense of humour cherished by Dr Vernon seems to have been inherited by his
sons in a different guise. In two undated letters Marianne relates to her

    Here is an anecdote of your friend, the sailor, Mr Vernon, [25] who
    has got some prize money. He was walking, I believe, a few days since
    with a gentleman in the streets when they met two men who spoke to him
    civilly and to whom he returned a very short answer. His companion
    inquired who they were. He said--"Two men who came over in the ship
    with me." "Then why were you so cold in your manner to them?" asked
    his friend. "Why, my dear fellow, because they were convicts returned
    from transportation!" was Vernon's answer.


    Your ball appears to have been very gay, but you never named your
    opinion of Miss Monckton. [26] I assure you her sisters at Harrogate
    were quite belles, the gentlemen made Charades on them. I must close
    my letter with a story of Mr Vernon, [27] told me by a gentleman we
    met at Sir Francis Wood's.

    At one of the Lichfield balls, he came in so late that everybody
    inquired the reason. He said he had been waiting for his tailor while
    he was sewing the buttons on his etceteras. Each of these buttons
    contained the picture of a French beauty, and he had the tailor in his
    room while his hair was being dressed in order to tell him which to
    place _nearest to his heart_.

    In the course of the evening he told a lady a wondrous story, and upon
    her looking surprised, he said vehemently--"Upon my honour, Madam, it
    is true!"--adding gently--"When I say 'Upon my honour' Madam, _never
    believe me_."

    Adieu, and at least believe me, Your affectionate sister, M. A. S. S.

Mr George Vernon, indeed, appears to have been of a somewhat
impressionable temperament, for a few years later his sister-in-law, Lady
Granville, writing from Trentham to announce her departure for Texel,
remarks, "I must take Mr Vernon away to flirt with my beauties there. It
will not be dangerous for Lady Harriet, and Corise bears a charmed life.
_He will be proud beyond measure and fancy both are in love with him._"
Yet with the dawning of 1806, the mention made by the Stanhopes of these
friends comes in sad contrast to the lively tales respecting them in which
they were wont to indulge.

As January drew to a close Walter Stanhope received an intimation that the
illness of William Pitt was likely to have a fatal termination. He
hastened up to town, and was in time to take a last farewell of his
friend. [28] His family followed more leisurely, and on the 27th, from
Grosvenor Square, Mrs Stanhope wrote:--

    I cannot say how shocked I was with the melancholy intelligence of
    Edward Vernon's death, and of the dangerous illness of George. I hear
    it was the scarlet fever.

On the 30th she adds:--

    This morning I had particular pleasure in reading the favourable
    report you sent your father of George Vernon. I now trust he will be
    restored to his afflicted parents, and great as is their loss they
    will have much cause for thankfulness to Providence when they reflect
    how near they were losing both their valuable sons. I hear that the
    Bishop and Lady Anne are wonderfully composed.

But the sinister note with which the year had dawned was unexpectedly
accentuated. In February she writes:--

    What a moment is the present! Every hour brings report of death. In
    addition to our great National losses is now the death of Lord
    Cornwallis--a man who was a blessing and ornament to his country.
    Awful and critical is the present period. Woronzow, the Russian
    Minister, is likewise dead. He is brother to the Woronzow who is
    Ambassador here. [29]

    In our Peerage there are also great changes, Lord Coventry, Lord
    Somers, and it is said, Lord Uxbridge, are _all_ dead.


    It is strange there is not a word mentioned of Lord Uxbridge's death
    in to-day's paper. The Ministry is still unsettled. Lord Moira is
    expected in Town to-day. You will be glad to hear Addington is
    certainly better, and that the family entertain hopes of his recovery.

    Pray inform Glyn I saw Lady and Miss Glyn to-day, the latter in great
    beauty, just returned from hearing Dr Crotch [30] lecture on Musick at
    the Institution, where they attend as assiduously as ever.


    Lo! Lord Coventry is come to life again! I wish it were possible the
    same could happen to Lord Cornwallis, but alas, that cannot be! Who
    will succeed him must yet remain a secret.

    Mrs Beaumont was with us last night. Col. Beaumont had in the morning
    inquired whether Gloucester House was to be sold, as provided they
    could renew the lease, they would like to have it.

    Egremont House is to be sold on the 13th. My opinion is they will have
    that. Why not both?

    What think you of Sydney Smith lecturing to small audiences? Such is
    popular favour. He may thank Westminster for the neglect he now meets

    I am reading a book I think you would be amused with. Turner's History
    of the Anglo Saxons. It contains much to amuse an Antiquarian, and I
    consider you as having a little taste that way. Lady Glyn, who is
    with us, is studying Juvenal. Marianne has just lifted her eyes from
    Euclid to desire her love to you. Anne is employed at her Harp.

Meanwhile, the family had resumed the placid routine of their usual life,
of which, in the next letter, Marianne furnishes her brother with a
graphic account.

    _February 14th, 1806._

    Mamma must, I am sure, have informed you of our various proceedings,
    in her numerous letters to you, and therefore I will not torment you
    with a repetition. Our life since we came to London has passed in its
    usual routine of _faisant bien des riens_; arranging the teaching
    geniuses, making the usual purchases and visiting the usual set;
    walking in Hyde Park, and watching the people in the Square. This
    morning, we have Mr Roussin for the third time, have taken a short
    turn in the Park, and called on Mrs M. Marriott, and at present Anne
    is rehearsing to Myer on the harp, who is all astonishment at the
    progress she has made. We dine and stay the evening at the Dowager
    Lady Glyn's.

    Anne relishes London vastly, and hitherto the little going out she has
    had agrees with her. The Opera is her delight. Papa took William
    there, and I never saw a child so happy. He enjoys going out

    Are you not outrageous at the manner in which Mr Singleton, [31] son-
    in-law to the great man who died for his country, was turned out? I
    think it is really a disgrace to the Nation. I should have thought
    every connection of my Lord Cornwallis would have been distinguished
    with honours, instead of which he is turned out of Office as soon as
    the account arrived of his Father-in-Law's death.

    The papers have indeed been in a most bloody humour, they have
    unjustly killed Lord Coventry, Lord Uxbridge, Lord Harrowby, and it
    was astonishingly reported that Lord Melville had destroyed himself,
    when he was quite well. It really was curious to hear people inquiring
    in the most melancholy tone, what was the cause of such a Lord's
    death, and the next person announcing merrily that he was perfectly
    well! Lord Kinnaird is expected home daily with the transports.

    We heard the other day that the Princesses had received a letter from
    the Duchess of Wurtemburg [32] since she had seen the Empress of
    France. Upon entering, the Duchess said she felt something like
    _effroi_, which Madame Bonaparte took for _Froid_ and she threw over
    her shoulders a most beautiful shawl she had been wearing herself. The
    Emperor was very polite and never named England or the English. He
    brought a most superb _présent de noces_ for the Princess of
    Wurtemburg who is going to be married.

    I wish also to tell you a story I heard of Erskine. He was dining one
    evening with a large party at Carlton House. The conversation turned
    upon Sir Robert Calder's sentence. [33] Erskine said, to set a pack of
    yellow Admirals who had never seen active service to judge a brave and
    distinguished Officer was horrible. "They might as well," said he,
    "_set a parcel of Attorney's clerks to judge Erskine_!" Is not
    this _Chancellor Ego_?--This was just before he was Chancellor.
    His wife died a short time ago, and his daughter wrote word to a
    friend that had her father known how soon her mother would die, he
    would not have behaved better to her! They must all be mad, I think.

Thomas Erskine, the third son of the 10th Earl of Buchan, was, in 1806,
appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and elevated to the
Peerage the same year by the title of Baron Erskine. Brilliant, eloquent
and witty, from his habit of invariably talking about himself and his
concerns, he was given the name of Chancellor Ego. Owing to his being of
opposite politics, the Stanhopes were disposed to view him somewhat
disparagingly, and owned, indeed, but slight acquaintance with him till
years afterwards when they met him at Holkham. It was on the occasion of a
dinner-party in London, however, that Lord Erskine once told John Stanhope
the following story, and which the latter used to recount as an instance
of the Chancellor's genuine kindliness of heart.

"In the days of my youth", Lord Erskine related, "I arrived in Edinburgh
one morning after a lengthy absence from Scotland, feeling delighted at
the prospect of re-visiting my old haunts and looking up my old friends. I
went first to a bookseller's shop which I was fond of visiting, and as I
was leaving it, to my surprise and pleasure I encountered an old butler
who had been for many years in my father's service. I noticed, however, to
my regret, that the old man looked greatly changed. He was pale, worn and
shadowy as a ghost. Moreover, when I greeted him genially he showed little
excitement at the unexpected encounter. 'I came to meet your honour,' he
said, very gravely, 'I want to solicit your interference with my Lord to
recover a sum of money due to me which the steward at the last settlement
would not pay.'

"Struck both by his manner and his unaccountable knowledge of my
movements, I decided to question him further respecting the cause of his
evident distress. Stepping back into the shop, therefore, I invited him to
follow me, explaining that there we could discuss the matter privately.
When, however, I turned round to hear what he had to tell me, I found that
he was gone, nor, on returning to the door, could I see him anywhere in
the street.

"Unable to account for his abrupt departure, and anxious to help him if it
lay in my power, I recalled that his wife had a little shop in the town,
and I succeeded in tracing my way thither. Judge of my astonishment on
finding the old woman in widow's mourning, and on learning from her that
her husband had been dead for some months! Still more was I startled upon
hearing that on his death-bed he had repeatedly told her that my father's
steward had wronged him of some money, but that when Master Tom returned
he would see her righted. Needless to say, as speedily as possible I
accomplished the old man's dying wish which had been so strangely brought
to my knowledge."

The next mention of Chancellor Ego which occurs in Mrs Stanhope's
correspondence is not so complimentary:--

    _June 3rd, 1806._

    Your sisters are now well, and propose being very gay. To-morrow, in
    the morning, we attend the Drawingroom, after which your father dines
    at what is called Mr Pitt's Dinner, & where the attendance is expected
    to be very large. In the evening, I am to have a few friends, amongst
    them Lady C. Wortley and Mr Mercer, who sing together most
    beautifully; after which I shall go to Mr Hope's, the finest house in
    London, with respect to taste and _vertu_.

    We have now fine weather. You would delight in Kensington Gardens, or
    perhaps you would prefer joining the impertinent Loungers who sit on
    Horseback, too lazy to join the walkers. The political world is at
    present in a strange situation. Should Lord Melville be acquitted he
    will probably take an active part in Indian affairs. There is a
    canvass against him, but I trust British Peers are not to be

    I hope our _Dancing Chancellor_ will act properly as far as he is
    concerned, but I believe he is now referred to the House of Peers. If
    the intelligence has not yet reached you, you will wonder at the
    expression "Dancing Chancellor." Know then that at Sheridan's ball the
    Lord High Chancellor of England [34] danced with Miss Drummond after
    having dined and sat too long with a party where was the Prime
    Minister, [35] the Chancellor of the Exchequer [36] and a greater
    Personage than any. They contrived to set Somerset House on fire
    _twice_, and, after dancing, the head of the Law amused himself
    with rowing on the Thames.--So much for the Rulers of this Land!

Thomas Hope of Deepdene, Surrey, and Duchess Street, Portland Place, who
is mentioned in the above letter, was a member of an eminent commercial
family, of Scottish descent, generally known as the Hopes of Amsterdam.
Having inherited an immense fortune at the age of eighteen, he became an
early patron of literature and the arts. Flaxman owed much to his support,
Thorwaldsen and Chantrey to his recognition of their genius early in life.
Crazy also about architecture, Mr Hope travelled all over the world,
studying famous buildings and collecting, meanwhile, priceless treasures
in pictures, statues, and furniture, so that on his return he
reconstructed his home in London, and replenished it with beautiful
possessions. In 1805 he published a handsome volume on Household
Furniture, illustrated by many drawings of the fine specimens in his own
house. He afterwards wrote other works, but is most celebrated as the
writer of a romance, _Anastasius_, the authorship of which was at one time
attributed to Byron, and of a scientific work, _The Origin and Prospects
of Man_, which may be considered the parent of the well-known _Vestiges of
Creation_, and which formed the basis of one of Carlyle's most remarkable

In 1806, he was, however, still looked upon as a mere superficial
dilettante, though, on account of the _objets d'art_ which he owned,
everyone was eager to gain access to his house. This desire was
accentuated with regard to the party which he gave that year, it being the
first for which he had issued invitations since his marriage, in the
previous April, with Louisa, the youngest daughter of the Right Rev. Lord
Decies, Archbishop of Tuam.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _June 6th, 1806._

    Had you been here on the Birthday night, you would have pronounced us
    of the Wronghead Family, for we had nothing but _contretemps_ from the
    moment we set out for the Drawingroom till the next day rose upon us.

    At three we set out in wind and rain for St James's, & drove down
    Grosvenor Street; but as there was a string of carriages from Oxford
    Street, to get in was impossible. We therefore turned about and tried
    Dover Street, but there we were not permitted to go. At last, after
    much whipping and much delay, we were admitted into the string in
    Albemarle Street, and in process of time reached St James's safely and
    proceeded as far as the Guard Room.--Further, we never arrived! All
    the people who came out of the Drawingroom looked expiring, and begged
    we would not attempt to go in, as they were almost dead, and many had
    fainted. Very soon we found the Queen had taken herself off, not
    having spoken to above one third of the Company. Notwithstanding that
    we had only our labour for our trouble, we were there till half past
    seven before we could get our carriage.

    In the evening I expected Mr Mercer and Lady C. Wortley to sing, and
    the Eyres. All came but Mr Mercer, the songster,--another
    disappointment! They stayed with me till half past eleven, when we set
    out for Mr T. Hope's rout, but after waiting in the street _till
    near one_, we found to get in was impossible. Therefore very
    reluctantly we turned about and came home. Did you ever hear of such
    disappointments? However, we are all quite well, which probably would
    not have been the case had we done all we intended.

    The Wit at the Drawingroom was to call it the _levée en masse_.
    London does not abound in wit. The only things of the sort I have
    heard are what has been said about Mrs Fox's Ball. The first is given
    to Fox himself who was asked what it was like, and referred the
    inquirer to the 22nd Chapter of the First Book of Samuel at the second
    verse, [37] where is to be found a very just description of it, tho'
    probably you would not have thought to have looked at your Bible for
    an account of Mrs Fox's Ball. The other was a _bon mot_ of your
    friend, Lyttleton [38] who said, "There was all the world, but little
    of his wife!"

    Last night I was at Mrs Law's, a very pleasant Assembly. Osborne
    Markham [39] was flirting with his intended, Lady Mary Thynne, a
    pretty-looking woman.

Mr Lyttleton, whose _bon mot_ respecting Mrs Fox's ball so pleased Mrs
Stanhope, was a constant source of amusement to her and her daughters.
Earlier that same year, on March 4th, she had written:--

    I suppose you saw the address which Mr Lyttleton made to the
    Freeholders of Worcestershire? It was very short & I think
    comprehended in these words:--"_Be assured that the Hon. William
    Henry Lyttleton will offer himself at the next county Meeting; if the
    Freeholders will be true to their interest & to the welfare of the

    This short address was posted in the corner of the newspaper. Now you
    must know that his father knows nothing about his offering himself;
    and this was printed in the corner of the newspaper that his sister
    might cut it out before his father saw it! I understand that he has
    the majority on the Poll at present & that he made a speech of above
    two hours in length.

In an undated letter she subsequently relates:--

    Have you heard the latest story of our friend Lyttleton? It appears
    that at some large party he was seated at the card table next to Mrs
    Beaumont who expressed herself very dissatisfied with the smallness of
    the stakes. "In the great houses which I frequent," she explained
    grandly to Lyttleton, "we constantly play for _paper_." "Madam,"
    said Lyttleton in a solemn whisper, "In the little houses which
    _I_ frequent, we play for note paper."

Meanwhile another event had been arranged to take place on that Birthday
night which for Mrs Stanhope proved so unfortunate, and had been announced
by her so early as May 30th previously:--

    On the Birthday, all the friends of Mr Pitt have agreed to dine
    together instead of on _his_ birthday, which is just past. The
    first idea rose from the Opposition wishing to dine together on the
    4th, but many objected. They then determined to celebrate Mr Pitt's
    birthday on that day. Your father means to be there.

"Pitt dinners," as they were subsequently termed, forthwith became an
annual institution, and were held in all parts of the United Kingdom. John
Stanhope, who, in 1806, was staying in Edinburgh, attended one in that
city, and eight days later was invited to be present at another public
banquet designed to be commemorative of a very different event.

Throughout the months of May and June, public attention had been absorbed
by the famous trial of Lord Melville. So early as May 6th, Mrs Stanhope
had written delightedly:--"You will be glad to hear that the cross-
examination of Mr Trotter went in fayour of Lord Melville who looked
perfectly composed the whole time." But not till the 12th did the end

    _June 13th, 1806._

    Your sisters both attended the trial and had the gratification of
    hearing Lord Melville acquitted. The Prince had the good sense not to
    vote. The Court was as full as possible & when the two youngest Peers
    voted on the first charge & said Guilty, there was something like a
    hiss from the House of Commons. I am glad it is over & I hope the
    country will not be put to the expense of any more trials of the same
    kind for many years. The Princes went and shook Lord Melville by the
    hand as soon as it was over.

Thus it was that eight days after the Pitt dinner, Edinburgh felt itself
called upon to give another banquet, designed to celebrate the joyful
event of Lord Melville's acquittal. It was likewise proposed to illuminate
the city, but the Solicitor-General (Chief Magistrate in the absence of
the Lord Advocate) prohibited such a demonstration. He was, in
consequence, nicknamed, "The Extinguisher General," and the friends of
Lord Melville, to the number of five hundred, consoled themselves by
singing a song written by Walter Stanhope for the occasion, and entitled,
"A Health to Lord Melville." Each of the eight verses of which it is
composed proposes a toast that was staunchly drunk by all present; but
perhaps those in honour of the volunteers and of the luckless Princess of
Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline, are the most significant.

  "Since here we are set in array round the table,
  Five hundred good fellows well met in a hall,
  Come listen, brave boys, and I'll sing as I'm able
  How innocence triumphed, and Pride got a fall;
    But push round the claret,
    Come, Stewards, don't spare it;
  With rapture you'll drink to the toasts that I give.
    Here, Boys,
    Off with it merrily,
  Melville for ever and long may he live!

  What _were_ the Whigs doing, when, boldly pursuing,
  Pitt banished Rebellion, gave treason a sting?
  Why, they swore on their honour, for Arthur O'Connor
  And fought hard for Despard, 'gainst Country & King!
    Well then, we knew, Boys,
    Pitt and Melville were true Boys,
  And tempest was raised by the friends of Reform.
    Ah, woe!
    Weep for his memory;
  Low lies the Pilot that weathered the storm. [40]

       *       *       *       *       *

  They would turn us adrift, tho', rely, Sir, upon it,
  Our own faithful Chronicles warrant us that
  The free Mountaineer, and his bonny brown bonnet
  Have oft gone as far as the Regular's hat.
    We laugh at their taunting,
    For all we are wanting
  Is licence our life for our country to give;
    Off with it merrily,
    Horse, Foot and Artillery,
  Each loyal Volunteer--long may he live!

       *       *       *       *       *

  And then our Revenue, Lord knows how they viewed it,
  While each petty Statesman talked lofty and big,
  And the Beer tax was weak as if Windham had brewed it,
  And the Pig Iron Duty a shame to a pig;
    In vain is their boasting,
    Too surely there's wanting
  What judgment, experience and steadiness give;
    Come, Boys,
    Drink about merrily,
  Health to sage Melville, and long may he live!

  Our King too,--our Princess--I dare not say more, Sir,
  May Providence watch them with mercy and might;
  While there's one Scottish arm that can wag a day more, Sir,
  They shall ne'er want a friend to stand up for their right.
    Be d--d he that dare not,
    For my part I'll spare not
  To beauty afflicted a tribute to give!
    Fill it up steadily,
    Drink it off readily,
  Here's to the Princess and long may she live!

  And since we must not set Auld Reekie [41] in glory,
  And make her brown visage as light as her heart,
  Till each man illumine his own upper storey
  Nor _Law_ trash nor Lawyer shall force us to part.
    In Grenville and Spencer
    And some few good men, Sir,
  High talents and honour slight difference forgive,
    But the Brewer we'll hoax;
    Tally ho! to the Fox;
  And drink Melville for ever as long as we live!"




To a man far distant from the memorable scene of Lord Melville's trial,
the news of the verdict, sent by Mrs Stanhope, must have caused peculiar

Among her numerous correspondents at this date, probably few had been more
frequently in her thoughts during the past two years than her kinsman,
Cuthbert Collingwood. From her earliest days, indeed, he had occupied a
certain prominence in her horizon. Her mother, Winifred Collingwood, had
belonged to another branch of the Northumberland family which owned a
common ancestor with that of the afterwards famous Admiral, [1] and this
tie had been strengthened rather than diminished throughout the passing of
generations by the propinquity of the two branches.

In the commencement of his naval career, Cuthbert Collingwood, on board
the _Lennox_, had attracted the hearty approbation of Mrs Stanhope's other
relation, Admiral Roddam, [2] the grand old veteran who had been in the
service about thirty-seven years before his young neighbour from
Northumberland had become his midshipman. In 1787 he won as warm an
appreciation from her husband when he stayed at Cannon Hall and first made
the acquaintance of Walter Stanhope, who then formed for him a lifelong
friendship. During the all-too-brief period when Collingwood was on shore,
there occur entries in Stanhope's Journal recording many a quiet rubber of
whist played with the man whose harsh fate was to render such moments of
happy social intercourse a precious recollection through long, lonely
years. Returned to his post, Captain Collingwood's thoughts clung to that
family circle he had left-to the man who basked in the happiness of a home
life from which he, personally, was debarred. Year by year Collingwood
kept his kinsman Stanhope in touch with all his movements. Year by year,
Stanhope and his wife responded, supplying the absent seaman with news of
the chief events which were happening in the political world at home. And
the letters from Collingwood, with their stern grip of a strenuous life,
with their deep underlying tragedy of a profound loneliness, afford a
curious contrast to the shallow utterances of other correspondents. Over
the intervening miles of ocean, from that isolated soul on guard, they
reached the family in Grosvenor Square, bearing, so it seemed, something
of the freshness and the force of the wind-rocked brine which they had
traversed. Into that restless routine of London life, they carried the
echo of a distant clash of arms, the mutterings of a brooding storm. They
told how the sea-dogs upon the alert were playing a desperate game of
tactics with their country's foe, the outcome of which none could foretell
and the chances of which few dared to contemplate. And in the minds of
those to whom they were addressed they awoke an answering apprehension,
which entered into the heart of their home-life, for one of that circle,
little William Stanhope, was shortly to join his great kinsman at sea and
to play his small part in the fierce ocean drama which was going forward.

    _Captain Collingwood to Walter Spencer-Stanhope_.
    _"Dreadnought" off_ CADIZ, _July 10th, 1805._

    I shall have great pleasure in taking your young sailor into my care,
    whenever you chuse he should come--and you may assure yourself that I
    will be as regardful of everything that relates to him as you yourself
    could be. Considering how uncertain my situation is or where I may be
    at any particular period, had I known your intention in March, I
    should have recommended that he embarked then, and made his first
    essay in a warm country and far from home....

    When I sailed from England I had under my command a fine fleet, but
    the change of circumstances since that has both altered my destination
    and reduced my force. I am now blocking up the ports here. On my
    arrival I found the Spaniards on the point of sailing, waiting only
    for the Carthagena Squadron to join them, and _they_ were actually at
    sea, in their way down, but recalled by a dispatch boat on our
    appearance off the coast. We never know whether we go too fast or too
    slow--had I been a few days later, we should probably have met them at
    sea with their ten sail, and made a good day of it.

And he proceeds to append a comment on the news of Lord Melville's
impeachment which had just reached him from Mrs Stanhope.

    Oh! how I lament the fall of Lord Melville! But I never can consent to
    rank him amongst the herd of peculators who prey upon the publick. He
    has been negligent in the economy and management of his office--he has
    paid too little attention to the management of his own money affairs.
    Had he been avaricious and greedy of wealth how many years has he been
    in official situations wherein he might have enriched himself--and is
    yet as poor as poverty, for I have it from good authority that his
    patent of Nobility was several months in office before he could raise
    £2000 to pay the fees of it, and Melville Castle must have been sold
    if his son had not taken it.

    Then the virulence with which he has been pursued from all quarters--
    not merely submitting his case to the calm deliberations of
    Parliament, or the lawful decisions of Courts of Justice, but made a
    subject for Pot house discussion, where the snobby meetings of half-
    drunk mechanicks have been convened to pass judgment on a man whose
    whole life has been devoted to his country's service, and whose
    conduct has been unimpeached till now. It is disgraceful to the
    justice of the country, for it matters little what may be the decision
    of a Court hereafter, when a man is already condemned in the publick
    opinion. Those to whom Lord Melville was before indifferent and those
    who blame the negligence of his office, have acquired a sort of
    respect for his misfortunes, in being the object of such a factious
    hue & cry.

    I was very sorry to hear Mr Collingwood [3] had been so indifferent in
    his health last spring, but I hope the warm weather will be of service
    to him--the last I heard from his home he was better, I beg my best
    and kindest regards to Mrs Stanhope & all your family and wishing you
    & them health and every possible happiness.

    I am, dear Sir,
    Your faithful & most humble servant,

    _The Same._
    _Sept 23rd._

    It is a long time since I have heard from England.... I have here a
    very laborious and a very anxious time. You will have heard from my
    wife, perhaps the narrow escape I have had from being cut off by the
    combined fleet. At that time I had only three ships with me and a
    frigate--they had 36 sail, and had they managed their affairs with the
    least ingenuity, I should have found it a very difficult thing to have
    fought my way through them, but we made good use of their want of
    skill and after seeing them safe into Port, we continued on our
    Station to blockade the town and prevent all commerce.

    I hope the Admiralty will give me credit for maintaining my station in
    the neighbourhood of so powerfull a fleet, for I never quitted them
    for a day, though I had but four ships; but now that I am reinforced
    by the squadron under Sir R. Calder, I have a fine fleet of 26 ships
    of line and some small frigates; and hope every good--and with God's
    blessing with me will do a good day's work for my country, whenever
    they give me an opportunity. That done, I shall be glad to retire to
    my home & enjoy the comforts of my family, for my strength fails, and
    the mind being on the full stretch, sinks and needs relief.

    I have a gentleman from Newcastle for my Captain, but he is a man of
    no talent as a sea-officer and of little assistance to me.

    How glad I shall be to get to my garden again at Morpeth and quitting
    the foe, see for the rest of my life only friends about me.

Ever through the thunder of cannon or the stress of a watch which ceased
neither day nor night, through the threatenings of death or the
allurements of fame, one thought was paramount in Collingwood's mind. A
yearning for a peaceful garden he had left behind--to him a veritable
garden of Paradise--for the innocent prattle of his children, the sweet
companionship of his wife. A dream of reunion tormented and sustained him.
"Whenever I think how I am to be happy again my thoughts carry me back to
Morpeth," he wrote. Incapable of a dramatic appeal to sympathy, his
letters to Stanhope, in their strong self-repression, breathe a longing
the more profound. For that Paradise of his dreams Collingwood would have
joyfully bartered fame, emolument, all that the world could offer, had not
duty claimed from him a prolonged sacrifice of all which he held dear.
Whether, if he could have looked on through the few remaining years of his
life and have foreseen the end of that longing and those dreams, his weary
spirit could still have borne the burden laid upon it, none may say. But
buoyed up by that ever-present hope he faced the strain of his eternal
watching with an unflinching courage, which may have been occasionally
strengthened by a recollection which visited him, and the remarkable
circumstances of which cannot be ignored.

For the week before the war had broken out, Collingwood, in the peace of
that distant Northumberland home, had been elated by a vision which
contained for him a strange element of great promise. In his sleep he had
seen with extraordinary vividness the English Fleet in battle array; the
details of their position were clear to him, and, later, he beheld an
engagement in progress the incidents of which were extraordinarily
realistic. Finally, the glory of a great victory came upon him, to fill
his waking moments with delight and haunt his recollection. So minute, so
circumstantial had been the particulars of the dream, that, profoundly
impressed at the time, he had related them in full detail to his wife. In
much imaginative, Collingwood was not without the vein of superstition
which seems inseparable from his profession, and he had the simple faith
of a child. He believed in the ultimate fulfilment of that vision and the
thought pursued him.

Meanwhile, his letter to Stanhope of September 23rd, reached its
destination at a moment of increased national suspense. Napoleon's
elaborately planned ruse to entice Nelson to the West Indies had succeeded
only too well. And while Nelson sought his decoy Villeneuve off Barbadoes,
the French Admiral, as pre-arranged, was hastening back to effect, in the
absence of his dupe, the release of the French Fleet blockaded by
Cornwallis. But luck and wit saved England. Nelson chanced upon a ship
which had seen the returning enemy; he succeeded in warning the Admiralty
in time; Villeneuve, intercepted by Calder, suffered an ignominious
defeat, and Napoleon consummated his own disaster by the tactlessness of
his wrath against his unfortunate admiral who had thus succumbed to a
force inferior in numbers. Villeneuve, stung by the bitter taunt of
cowardice, rashly left Cadiz to fight Nelson--a manoeuvre which, at best,
could little advance the cause of the Emperor, which, as the event proved,
courted a catastrophe out of all proportion to any possible gain, and
which was undertaken by the luckless Frenchman for no other end save that
of disproving the imputation of cowardice under which he smarted.

Whether in the placing of the ships at the Battle of Trafalgar that vision
of Collingwood played any part, history will never know--whether it must
be regarded by the curious as in itself prophetic, or merely as a chance
occurrence, the suggestion of which was by chance adopted. Yet it is
obvious that the relation between this remarkable dream and its fulfilment
can scarcely be viewed merely as an interesting coincidence. The inference
is too strong that in any consultation between Collingwood and Nelson with
regard to the order of battle the recollection of the scheme of attack
which had so impressed the former must--even if unconsciously--have
coloured the advice given by him to Nelson. Moreover such reflections give
rise to a further curious speculation. To Nelson posterity is wont to
ascribe the entire merit of the order of battle on that memorable day; he,
it is held, was the active genius who conceived the plan of action,
Collingwood was the acquiescer, a passive though able coadjutor. Yet
Collingwood himself, the most modest of men and the least likely to make
an erroneous statement with regard to such a question of fact, expressly
asserts the contrary. "In this affair," he says, "Nelson did nothing
without my counsel, _we made our line of battle together_ and concerted
the attack." [4] On this point he also insists, in writing to Stanhope, to
whom, as to his wife, he incidentally recalled the circumstances of his
having foreseen the battle in a dream at Morpeth the week before the war
broke out.

Throughout this period, in England, news was awaited with increasing
anxiety. On October 31st, Mrs Stanhope wrote to her son John:--

    The Papers are now quite alarming. I fear it is up with the Austrians
    for the Russians cannot now join them. This horrid Bonaparte is a
    scourge to the whole world. It is wonderful with what enthusiasm he
    seems to inspire his men. They go where he likes and accomplish all
    his plans.

    Your father has written again to Admiral Collingwood to inform him
    that if he does not return home, which, as he has changed his flag
    from the Dreadnought, is not very probable, that he will send William
    to him in the spring. Admiral Roddam, tho' he prefers a frigate,
    approves of his going with Admiral C. as he is both a good man & an
    excellent sailor, & will scrupulously perform that which he promises
    to undertake.

    _Nov. 2nd, 1805._

    Not only Glyn, but all of us must shake with the horrid German
    intelligence. I have little faith in the hope the papers hold out that
    we may yet hear of a victory gained by the united Armies of Russia and
    Austria--a few days must relieve us from our present state of
    uncertainty--though I fear not of anxiety. How thankful I am that I
    have no near connection going on the cruel expedition at this time.

A few days, and the great news came, with its conflicting elements of
glory and of grief.

    _Walter Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._

    My Dear John,

    It is impossible to begin on this day any letter to any person without
    most joyfully and most thankfully celebrating the glorious victory of
    Lord Nelson. I cannot say that my triumph is so much alloyed as that
    of many others seems to be and yet I trust I have as grateful a mind
    and as high an admiration for Military renown as another man. No, it
    is that I think that Nelson's glorious death is more to be envied than
    lamented, and that to die wept by the land we perished for is what he
    himself would have wished.

    Would to God my little William had been on board Collingwood's ship on
    that glorious day, whatever might have been the risque!

    _The Same to the Vicar of Newcastle._

    Although the death of Nelson is in my judgment more to be envied than
    lamented, yet England secured by the loss of his life ought to feel,
    bewail & reward it as far as posthumous honours and benefits to his
    family and general Regret can do it. The late Victory affords peculiar
    satisfaction to me from the brilliant Part that Admiral Collingwood
    has had in it & the exquisitely good account he has given of it in his

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    CANNON HALL, _November 9th, 1805._

    Your father said he should write you a long letter this morning.... No
    longer have we cause to talk and grieve about the Austrians, we may
    now talk and rejoice at our glorious, and at the moment, unexpected
    victory. What a day it was! but in the midst of our rejoicings we must
    pause to shed a tear over the Hero who fell, though as every Hero must
    wish to fall. Admiral Collingwood's dispatches do him honour, he at
    all times writes well and this was a subject to draw out all his
    powers and show the Feeling and Goodness of his Heart. Your father
    wishes William had been with him. I am satisfied as it is!

    _The Same._
    _November 14th, 1805._

    Your letter my dear John, arrived on Sunday, after mine was sealed,
    and as the carriage was at the door to take us to church, I had not
    time to open it, to add my thanks for your letter of Congratulations
    on our great and glorious Victory. What has followed since, at any
    other time would have been considered great, at all times must be
    thought gallant.

    Yesterday letters from Barnsley, reporting the capture of the
    Rochefort Squadron, were so firmly believed that the Bells were

    The tears of the Nation must be shed over the brave Nelson, but his
    death was that of a Hero, and such he truly was. The Dispatches do
    Admiral Collingwood great honor, and his bravery is already rewarded
    with a peerage. I had a letter from his wife to-day, who says he wrote
    in the greatest grief for his friend. She had not heard since the
    Dispatches were sent, when the Fleet was in a miserable state, she, of
    course, under great anxiety. The Euryalus has, I hope, brought further
    accounts. Probably the funeral of Lord Nelson will be Publick--what a
    thrilling sight it will be. Surely some mark of honour will be
    bestowed upon his Widow. At present his Brother's wife has place of
    her, and she has not been mentioned.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._

    I have made a vow not to name Lord Nelson or the Victory or Victories
    in any of my letters, but postscripts are excluded. Every letter Mamma
    has had has been full of nothing else; if care is not taken, it will
    be like the invasion, a constant topick when you have nothing to say.
    --I think it is a great proof of genius to have written a letter
    without naming the event. What say you to Lord Collingwood? I would
    rather have his patent of nobility than the longest pedigree in the
    kingdom. I should glory more in his title than in the Duke of

    Mamma had a letter from Lady Collingwood to-day, still very anxious
    for his safety, as she had heard nothing since the Victory, and his
    ship was then much disabled. He had written to her Lord Nelson's death
    was a most severe blow to him, for he was his greatest friend. I
    almost wish dear William had been with him.

    _November 20th., 1805._

    We begin to be impatient for more news. Think of poor Lady
    Collingwood--she was in a shop in Newcastle when the Mail arrived
    covered with ribbands, but the coachman with a black hat-band. He
    immediately declared the great victory, but that Lord Nelson and all
    the Admirals were killed. She immediately fainted. When she heard from
    Lord Collingwood first he wrote in the greatest grief for his friend,
    and said the fleet was in a miserable state. Perhaps that may bring
    him home.

    Are you not pleased with his being created a Peer in so handsome a
    manner. Why has not Lady Nelson some honour conferred upon her? Surely
    the Widow of our Hero ought not to be so neglected.

    Yesterday we drank to the immortal memory of our Hero. Mr Fawkes has
    got a very fine print of him.

    The clock strikes ten which announces breakfast, therefore adieu, my
    dear John.

The wish expressed in the last letter that more tidings would arrive
respecting the great event which had taken place, was speedily gratified.
A letter written by Collingwood to Sir Peter Parker on November 1st, was
sent _via_ Stanhope for his perusal, and he preserved a copy of it.

    _Lord Collingwood to Sir Peter Parker._
    _November 1st., 1805._

    You will have seen from the public accounts that we have fought a
    great battle, and had it not been for the fall of our noble friend who
    was indeed the glory of England and the admiration of all who saw him
    in battle, your pleasure would have been perfect.... It was a severe
    action, no dodging or manoeuvres. They formed their line with nicety
    and waited our attack with composure. They did not give a gun until we
    were close to them & we began first. Our ships were fought with a
    degree of gallantry which would have warmed your heart. Everybody
    exerted themselves and a glorious day they made of it, people who
    cannot comprehend how complicated an affair a battle is at sea and
    judge of an officer's conduct by the number of sufferers in his ship,
    often do him a wrong, and though there will appear great difference in
    the loss of men, all did admirably well; and the conclusion was good
    beyond description, eighteen hulks of the enemy lying amongst the
    British fleet without a stick standing, and the French Achilles
    burning.--But we were close to the rocks of Trafalgar [5] & when I
    made the signal for anchoring, many ships had their cable shot & not
    an anchor ready.

    Providence did for us what no human effort could have done, the wind
    shifted a few points and we drifted off the land. The next day bad
    weather began and with great difficulty we got our captured ships
    towed off the land. The second, Gravina, who is wounded, made an
    effort to cut off some of the ships with a squadron of 9 ships with
    which he retired. In the night the gale increased and two of his
    ships, the "_Mayo_" of 100 guns and "_Indomitable_" of 80 were
    dismasted. The "_Mayo_" anchored amongst our hulks and surrendered;
    the "_Indomitable_" lost on the shore and I am told that every soul
    perished. Among such numbers it is difficult to ascertain what we have
    done, but I believe the truth is 23 sail of the line fell into our
    hands of which three got in again in the gale of wind....

    The storm being violent and many of our own ships in most perilous
    situations, I found it necessary to order the captures,--all without
    masts, some without rudders & many half full of water--to be
    destroyed, except such as were in better plight, for my object was
    their ruin & not what might be made of them. As this filled our ships
    with prisoners and the wounded in a miserable condition, I sent a flag
    to the Marquis of Solana [6] to offer him his wounded men, which was
    received with every demonstration of joy and gratitude, & two French
    Frigates & a Brigg were sent out for them. In return, he offered me
    his Hospitals & the security of Spanish honour that our wounded should
    have every care & every comfort that Spain could afford, so you see,
    my dear Sir, though we fight them, we are upon very good terms.

    But what most astonished them was our keeping the sea after such an
    action, with our injured masts and crippled ships, which I did the
    longer to let them see that no efforts of theirs could drive a British
    Squadron from its station.

This letter is of exceptional interest since it throws fresh light on a
matter which has now afforded food for controversy for over a century.
Nelson's dying injunctions had been that the fleet was to anchor. Owing,
it was contended, to Collingwood having failed promptly to carry out these
instructions of the master mind, many prizes were lost. James, who in his
_Naval History_ is severe in his criticism of Collingwood's error of
judgment in this particular, has further pointed out that four ships which
did anchor on the evening of the engagement weathered the gale
successfully. This letter of Collingwood gives his reasons for his course
of action. It proves that although when he did give the order to anchor
its execution was impracticable, yet that he had strong reason for
destroying a number of the captured ships, which were all but worthless as
prizes. His assertion, "My object was their ruin and not what might be
made of them," bears out the verdict of Lord St Vincent, quoted by Lord
Eldon, that "Collingwood's conduct after the Battle of Trafalgar in
destroying under difficult circumstances the defeated fleet was above all
praise"; while the conclusion of Collingwood's letter contains a sentiment
at which few will cavil.

From Mrs Stanhope's Uncle, Edward Collingwood, in Northumberland, there
was subsequently forwarded to her a letter written by Collingwood in the
first glory of victory and the first bitterness of his grief for Nelson's

    My dear friend received his mortal wound about the middle of the
    fight, and sent an officer to tell me that he should see me no more.

    His loss was the greatest grief to me. There is nothing like him for
    gallantry and conduct in battle. It was not a foolish passion for
    fighting, for he was the most gentle of human creatures, and often
    lamented the cruel necessity of it; but it was a principle of duty,
    which all men owed their country in defence of their laws and liberty.
    He valued his life only as it enabled him to do good, and would not
    preserve it by any act he thought unworthy. He wore four stars upon
    his breast and could not be prevailed to put on a plain coat, scorning
    what he thought a shabby precaution: but that perhaps cost him his
    life, for his dress made him the general mark.

    He is gone, and I shall lament him as long as I live.

To Walter Stanhope he wrote:--

    _Queen, March 6th., 1806._

    I thank you and Mrs Stanhope most sincerely for your kind
    congratulations on the success of the Fleet, and the high honour his
    Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer on me in testimony of
    his approbation, which I am sure will be very gratifying to all my
    friends, and that you will enjoy it as much as any of them.

    I have indeed had a severe loss in the death of my excellent friend
    Lord Nelson. Since the year 73 we have been on terms of the greatest
    intimacy--chance has thrown us very much together in service and on
    many occasions we have acted in concert--there is scarce a Naval
    subject that has not been the subject of our discussion, so that all
    his opinions were familiar to me; and so firmly founded in principles
    of honour, of justice, of attachment to his country, at the same time
    so entirely divested of everything interesting to himself, that it was
    impossible to consider him but with admiration. He liked fame and was
    open to flattery so that people sometimes got about him who were
    unworthy of him. He is a loss to his country that cannot easily be

Thus in a few words, the very reticence of which enhances their
significance, did Collingwood sum up the greatness and the weakness of
Nelson. Gifted, brilliant, faulty by reason of his emotional temperament,
strong by reason of his enthusiasm--his all-enthralling sense of duty,
Nelson flashed like a meteor across the ken of his generation to vanish
in a haze of glory. He died at the psychological moment--his life,
according to this account, the sacrifice to a dazzling folly. And the
man whom he loved--the man whose sterling worth is swamped by Nelson's
more vivid personality, was left to battle on alone through the weary
years. The intoxication of victory did not blind Collingwood to the
colossal task which yet lay before him. To Stanhope he wrote with
undiminished anxiety:--

    The idea that the Victory we gained has so entirely reduced the
    enemy's fleet that no danger is now to be apprehended from them, ought
    not to be encouraged. On the contrary, I believe they will make up for
    their loss by extraordinary exertion. You see they have immediately
    sent all their fleet to sea, and clean as they are from Port, they can
    avoid an encounter when they are not very superior. The ships that I
    have here are many of them the dullest in the British fleet, so that I
    have little chance of getting near them until they come with double
    our number, and when they do, I shall do the best with them I can.
    Whatever their project is, it must be interrupted--defeated if
    possible. Bonaparte seems determined to have the whole of the
    Mediterranean, islands and all. Whenever he is prepared to take
    possession he knows how to make a quarrel with the Court of Madrid.

A few months later he wrote:--

    I have a laborious and anxious life and little time to write even to
    my wife. The only comfort I have here is good health and the
    consciousness that I am doing the best I can for my country--and a
    good deal I believe we shall have to do before we can establish a
    happy and secure peace--for I believe in the heart of the Tyrant
    enmity is so deeply rooted towards England, that it will only be
    extinguished with his natural life. I consider the contest with him
    but in its infancy--our independence as a people is at stake. Wisdom
    in our councils and fortitude in the field was never so necessary to
    us, and I trust neither will be found wanting.

    In every quarter the power of France is increasing,--here the
    Spaniards are but his Puppets, his mandates come to Cadiz as they go
    to Brest. His birthday is kept as that of their Sovereign, the French
    flag is worn upon the Governor's house, upon rejoicing days, with that
    of the Spanish. In Italy they hoist it upon the same staff as that of
    the Pope--it will not be long before the Pope's is worn out with the
    contentions of its bad neighbourhood. Sir Sidney Smith is doing what
    he can to rouse the Calabrians to resistance--he gives them money and
    the mob follow his officers--but the people of property have
    universally attached themselves to the French-not from liking them--
    but in the hope that in the end they may be left with the rag of their

    At Cadiz they are making great progress in their equipment of a fleet,
    they have 12 sail of the line ready for sea, two more well advanced in
    their fitting,--I have 9, which I consider to be equal to beating
    them, but whenever we meet I would do more-_not a shadow of one
    should be left upon the face of the waters_. They will be cautious
    whenever they come--and my ships sail but ill in general.

    I heard from Lady Collingwood that she had the pleasure of visiting
    you when in town.

And then comes a more personal note:--

    I am totally at a loss about the obtaining my patent--from what
    office does it issue and about what sum is the amount of the fees? I
    suppose I shall be ruined by them. I will be much obliged to you for
    any information you can give me on these subjects--that I may not, by
    delaying to do what is proper, seem negligent of this high honour of
    which I am (I hope) justly proud. Sir Isaac Heard sent me the form of
    a letter which it was necessary to write to the Duke of Norfolk or
    Hereditary Earl Marshal, for his Grace's patent to Garter, to grant me
    supporters of armorial bearings appropriate. I suppose he will let me
    know when that is done.

    I hope you will forgive me, my dear Sir, for mentioning this subject
    to you, but from my total ignorance of everything relating to it, I am
    afraid of neglecting something which I ought to do.

Stanhope furnished his friend with all necessary information, and on the
following December 4th, Mrs Stanhope wrote to her son--

    Lord Collingwood proves himself worthy of the great charge reposed in
    him. Mr Stanhope says he thinks next to Pitt's his is the greatest
    trust. His property must be small. He married a Miss Blackett whose
    father was brother to the late Sir Edward and is Uncle to the present
    Sir William Blackett, a man of large fortune in Northumberland. He has
    two daughters, the eldest must be nearly fourteen. I had this morning
    a long account from my uncle of a ball given by Lady Collingwood at
    Newcastle, where 450 people sat down to supper. Unfortunately the
    Mayor instead of giving Lord Collingwood's health, gave _The Memory
    of Lord Nelson_, with a solemn dirge, which so affected Lady
    Collingwood that she fainted, and was obliged to leave the room. She
    had not heard from Lord Collingwood for some time which made it the
    more affecting.

It was on December 23rd, that Nelson's body preserved in spirits arrived
at Greenwich, and forthwith the favourite toast in Yorkshire was one
perhaps peculiarly characteristic of the county, "Here's to the Hero who
died for his country and came home in spirits!" On January 9th, his
funeral took place at St Paul's Cathedral, and Stanhope, who attended it,
must have felt a tightening of the throat as he realised how soon his
small son was to face dangers such as had occasioned the death of the
gallant man whom all England mourned. Moreover, Lord Collingwood had
encouraged few delusions with regard to his own capability of aiding the
career of the future midshipman. "If Parents were to see how many of their
chicks go to ruin from being sent too early abroad they would not be so
anxious about it," he wrote on one occasion, while on another he pointed
out--"I need not say how glad I shall be to take all the care of William I
can, and do him all the service in my power, but it is rather late in my
day to be very useful to him as I shall be seeking to retire about the
time he is launching into the world." Still more did he emphasise his
inability to obtain promotion for those for whom he might have most
desired it. On one occasion when Stanhope enclosed a letter from his
friend Sir James Graham begging for the advancement of a young lieutenant,
Collingwood replied, "I would gladly show every attention in my power to
any friend of yours, but I have _no opportunity of advancing any officer
beyond a midshipman sometimes_"; and four years after the Battle of
Trafalgar he explained that he had still "some of the Lieutenants who were
with me in action a few years since and no prospect of providing for them
--I have little here but constant labour."

But what he could do in the way of protecting and befriending his little
kinsman he was eager to accomplish, and his letters show how much anxious
thought he devoted to the subject.

    _Admiral Lord Collingwood to Walter Spencer-Stanhope._
    _January 20th, 1806._

    I shall be very glad to see your son William, and will take good care
    of him, and give him the best introduction to this service that I can.
    I hope he has got on a little in mathematicks, because I have not a
    school master now in my ship--I had, but he got hurt in the
    _Sovereign_ and went home. Lord Barham tells me a ship is to be
    sent out to me soon--William might come out conveniently in her....

    With respect to his equipment, do not burden him with baggage--if he
    takes care of it, it is but a miserable occupation, and if he does not
    it will be lost. Therefore, to keep him clean and above want is
    enough; a comfortable bed, that his health requires; two or three Blue
    jackets and waistcoats; his Navigation books that he has been taught
    from--whether it is Robinson's Elements, or Hamilton's Moore; a
    quadrant and a case of instruments. For his reading, you will give him
    such books as you think proper and are least voluminous--a history of
    England--of Rome--and Greece, with voyages or abridgment of them--but
    his baggage must be _light_--for the moment he enters a ship he
    must have no personal cares--all that relates to himself must be
    secondary--or nothing.

    With respect to his supply of money or anything else, when he comes to
    me, he shall want for nothing. I will take care he is sufficiently
    provided and whatever expenses he has, I will tell you that you may
    repay me.

    You would be delighted at the glorious fight we have had. Had but my
    friends Lord Nelson & Duff lived through it, I should have been happy
    indeed. Lord Nelson was well known and universally lamented; Duff had
    all the qualities that adorn a great and good man but was less known.
    He commanded the Mess, and stuck to me in the day's battle as I hope
    my son would have done--it was however a great day, yet I feel we have
    much more to do--the French are venturing out with their squadrons and
    they must be crushed. The powerful armies that are opposed to them on
    the continent will, I hope, do their part well, but I cannot say I
    have a very high opinion of Austrian armies & Austrian generals; their
    military education is good, but they yet seem to want that good &
    independent spirit that should animate a soldier--they are all money-
    making and _will_ trade--and a soldier that makes wealth his
    object will sell an army whenever he can get a good price for it.

    I have received letters from Mr Collingwood and Admiral Roddam and am
    exceedingly happy to hear they were then in good health. The Admiral
    by this time has taken up his quarters at Skillingworth.

    I am rather upon the rack just now. Duckworth went after the French
    Squadron that I had intelligence of near Teneriffe. I am afraid the
    Frenchman has duped him, and by throwing false intelligence in his way
    has sent him to the West Indies--or I ought to have seen him again
    before this; but Sir John Duckworth who is a well-judging man ought
    not to have been so deceived as to suppose that a squadron which had
    been three or four months at sea were on their way to the West Indies
    --but I do not despair of catching them yet, even without him.

Napoleon then believed that he had successfully duped Collingwood in this
manner; "Mon opinion est que Collingwood est parti et est allé aux Grandes
Indes," he wrote at this date, only to discover later that his enemy had
never been deceived.

Meanwhile Stanhope was devoting all his attention to a matter which he had
much at heart. So far Collingwood's great services to his country had been
rewarded with the barren honour of a peerage which had made an unwelcome
claim upon his slender means, and with regard to which his one petition
had been refused--that since he had no son to succeed him the title should
descend to one of his daughters. Stanhope was therefore anxious to procure
for Lord Collingwood a more substantial award in the form of an annuity
which might benefit his family. On February 11th 1806, Mrs Stanhope wrote
to her son--

    News I have none for you to-day, further than that your Father is
    delighted with having had it in his power to be of use to Lord
    Collingwood. His Pension was granted for three generations in the Male
    line; now, as he has no son nor ever likely to have any, it was really
    only rewarding him for his own life. At the Duchess of Gordon's, where
    your Father was last night, he saw Sheridan and Lord Castlereagh [7]
    and he mentioned that if half was settled upon his widow and the other
    half on his daughters after his death, it would be a real advantage to
    him, which both said should be done, if he would attend the House to-
    day. Most probably he will propose it in the House [8] and the
    intelligence will be conveyed by William. I think I sent you word we
    had heard from Lord Collingwood--the date the 20th., of January,
    therefore I imagine he must have been off Cadiz.

Yet even this suggestion to reward the man to whom England owed so much
met with considerable opposition. "Lord Collingwood's Annuity Bill came on
again on Monday," wrote Mrs Stanhope on February 28th. "Your Father still
hopes it will be settled on Lady Collingwood and her daughters, tho' Lord
H. Petty does not approve of the change, Lord Castlereagh and Mr Sheridan
are both of your Father's opinion."

Stanhope, however, carried his point and earned the gratitude of the
family of the absent Admiral. It is true that when the news first reached
Collingwood of the discussion relating to his pension which had taken
place in the House, he was deeply wounded. Some of the speeches seemed to
him to imply that the representation of the slender state of his finances
had been made with his concurrence, and he felt, as he told his wife, that
he had been held up in the House as an object of compassion. "If I had a
favour to ask," he wrote emphatically, "money would be the last thing I
should require from an impoverished country. I have motives for my conduct
which I would not give in exchange for a thousand pensions." But when he
heard of Stanhope's amendment of the original proposition, and that Lady
Collingwood and his daughters would now profit by the thoughtfulness of
his kinsman, he wrote an acknowledgment of such efforts on his behalf with
a sincere gratitude in which pride still mingled.

    I am much obliged to you Sir for your kindness in taking so much
    trouble about my pension--it is a subject I had not thought of myself
    --as my family are amply provided for I left the bounty of the King to
    take its course, but this is so much in addition and I am very much
    obliged for your consideration of what perhaps I should not have
    thought of.

By a strange coincidence, at the very moment when the question of this
annuity was before the House, Collingwood and Stanhope may be said to have
benefited jointly by a legacy from a common kinsman. Edward Collingwood,
Mrs Stanhope's uncle before referred to, expired in February 1806, leaving
his estate of Chirton to Lord Collingwood and his estate of Dissington to
his niece Mrs Stanhope in trust for her third son. The Admiral, however,
expressed little satisfaction in the acquisition of his new property. "I
am sorry the possessor of it is gone," he wrote with his usual warmth of
heart, "for I have lost a friend who I believe sincerely loved me, and
have got an estate which I could have done very well without. I am told
poor Admiral Roddam laments him very much and I love him the more for it."
Much correspondence forthwith ensued between Collingwood and Stanhope with
respect to the distribution of the portion of the furniture and
personalties which had been bequeathed to Stanhope and which he was
anxious to place at the disposal of Lady Collingwood, who, nevertheless,
declined the offer. "Lady Collingwood informed me of your kind attention
to her," wrote Collingwood, gratefully, on hearing of it, "but I think she
judged right, considering the uncertainty at what time I should come to
live there, ... besides, if I should have a son to succeed me, I should
probably rebuild the house, and the present furniture would not be
suitable to the new one. But," he adds again, feelingly, "the subject of
it must become more indifferent to me than it now is before I can
determine anything about it: it never engages my attention but in sorrow.
I lost more real happiness in the death of my friend, whom I esteemed and
reverenced, than his estate can make me amends for--its greatest value to
me is that it is _his_ bequest."

Likewise with regard to Stanhope's proposition of leaving "the moiety of
the books at Chirton which by the will of Mr Collingwood were devised to
the possessor of Dissington," Collingwood decided--"I think in this, as in
every other respect, his will should be literally complied with and
nothing left to future arrangement." He therefore requested his brother-
in-law, Mr Blackett, to choose "some learned and competent gentleman" who
was to act for him in conjunction with any person Stanhope saw fit to
appoint, to make a just division between them "in all the branches of
learning and science and with respect to value." Referring to the fine
classical volumes in the library, he pointed out that this would be a
simple matter, as most of these had duplicates or triplicates, but "God
knows," he exclaimed, "whether any of my family may want any of them! To
me the English authors are valuable and whether I shall ever see any of
them is doubtful."

The amicable discussion with regard to this matter was still in progress
while little William journeyed out to join his kinsman. A month after
Nelson's funeral, Stanhope was taking the preliminary steps for his son's
departure. "I brought William home to be measured," he wrote on February
9th, "and sent him back yesterday in very good spirits. His mind certainly
appears to open very much and he is a good little fellow. At times he is
low and said the other day how odd he should feel to be entirely with

On February 26th, the embryo sailor set forth on his perilous adventures,
followed by the thoughts of his family, whose tender solicitude brings
very near that parting of a century ago. "I long to hear how the dear
little midshipman bears his departure," writes one of his brothers, "How
very pretty he will look in his uniform!" and the first details of the
little lad's arrival on board ship, of his quaint sayings and doings, and
how manfully he bore his separation from the last member of his family
circle have been faithfully preserved. But he soon pronounced a favourable
verdict on his new profession--"I like being on bord a ship very much, but
today it has bean a very ruf see," he wrote on March 10th, with a fine
discrimination of the advantages and disadvantages of a nautical career;
while, anxious to prove that he was now become a man of the world, who
could appreciate the exigencies of a situation which had been occupying
the attention of the public, he observes with sudden irrelevance--"What a
sad afair this seems, this deth of Mr Pit!"

Early in April, Collingwood wrote to announce the arrival of his new
midshipman, whom he describes as "a fine sensible boy with great powers of
observation," and William wrote, as he continued to write, gratefully and
enthusiastically of his treatment by Collingwood, whom he explains is "the
kindest and best man who ever lived." Thenceforward every item of
information respecting his son was sent by Collingwood to Stanhope, who in
return retailed to Collingwood everything which he could glean respecting
Lady Collingwood and her daughters. The latter came to London in May, with
a view to completing their education, and both they and their mother seem
to have turned to Stanhope and his family in every perplexity in life. "I
am greatly obliged to you for your account of my daughters," wrote
Collingwood, in a letter which shows how minutely he was kept informed of
every detail relating to them, even to their little tricks of speech and
manner. "I am not impatient for their going in to the North. I hope they
have lost much of their provincial dialect."

And still, at any mention of his home or of those dearest to him, there
breaks involuntarily into his correspondence that longing, which would not
be repressed, for a sorely needed respite from labour and for the balm of
reunion with those he loved. There were, perhaps, few people to whom he
ventured to unburden himself as simply and spontaneously as he did to
Stanhope, a man linked to him by the tie of kinship, yet not so closely as
to make any such self-revelation on his part a possible selfishness. Thus
it is that this hitherto unpublished batch of his correspondence betrays
ever more and more, with a pathos of which the writer was obviously
unconscious, how the strain of watching and of loneliness was undermining
an indomitable brain and soul.

Collingwood's existence, indeed, alternated between an eternal racking
anxiety and a monotony before which the imagination sinks appalled.
"Between days and nights I am almost wore out," he wrote briefly to
Stanhope on April 29th, 1806, "but I do not mean to quit my station while
I have health"; and on September 26th of that same year, after writing an
account of the situation in which he finds himself, he exclaims abruptly,
"It is the dullest life that can be conceived and nothing but the utmost
patience can endure it!" During long months of blockading, dawn after dawn
arose to reveal to his weary gaze the same boundless expanse of rocking
ocean, which he had well-nigh learnt to hate; the same restricted space of
deck to traverse; the same routine of action to contemplate; the same type
of food further to nauseate a reluctant appetite; the same complete lack
of mental and physical relaxation, which is, in itself, almost an
essential to sanity. Thus, soon, to the tension of that perpetual
guardianship was added the haunting dread that an existence which was
undermining his health might also impair his mental faculties, and this at
a time when he was aware that one false step, one error in strategy, and
ignominy might be his portion or the liberties of England herself be the

In a diary [9] in which, during the last years of his life, he entered
memoranda, ostensibly from which to compile his dispatches, there is
conveyed more eloquently than by any laboured insistence the ceaseless
fret of his guardianship and the impracticability which he experienced of
sifting the truth or falsehood of the information on which his line of
conduct was dependent. Incessantly do its pages recall, with elaborate
care, the details of reported engagements and of reported manoeuvres of
the enemy, supplied from some apparently unimpeachable source, and
incessantly are such memoranda revoked emphatically by a later entry.
Once, after retailing minutely the details of an assault undertaken by the
Portuguese and Spaniards against the French--which he was informed had
continued for six days and during which about 8000 of the former and 6000
of the latter had been killed--and subsequent to which all the inhabitants
of Elvas had been put to the sword by the French--he appends with
pardonable irritation--"_Not a word of this true--the whole a fabrication
for the amusement of country gentlemen and ladies._" Meanwhile he was
confronted by the knowledge that those who were most ready to criticise
his decisions, had least comprehension of the difficulties with which he
had to contend.

On May 15th, 1807, Mrs Stanhope writes:--

    I have had letters from Lord Collingwood and William of so late a date
    as the 29th of April. Lord C. writes out of Spirits, the recent great
    losses have hurt him and the failure at Constantinople, tho' no blame
    attached to him. He sent out one third more force than the Government
    considered necessary and they were at the Dardanelles when they were
    supposed to be with him; but the defences of Constantinople, both
    natural and of art, were little known, the Castles as strong as Cannon
    can make them and of that particular kind the Turks use and from which
    they fire balls of granite or marble;--those would not go far, but
    they do very well for a passage which is so narrow their object cannot
    be far of. One which passed through the _Windsor Castle_ weighed
    800 pounds. He thinks there will be an active campaign in Italy--
    Sicily their object.

On December 19th, Marianne Stanhope retailed--

    Papa has this instant received a most delightful account from Lord
    Collingwood of William, everything that is satisfactory. He says
    everything that we could wish both of his health, disposition and
    capacity, the letter is dated October 13th, off Sicily. He mentions
    his hopes of being able to catch the French if they come to Sicily,
    but the difficulty will be, from the extent of the coast they will
    come from all quarters. He said that the Sicilians finding that we
    take the part of the Court who are most completely detested will make
    for relief from any quarter. The Turks, he says, detest the Russians,
    and lament much the misunderstanding with us, but are completely in
    the power of the French past all relief. The Buenos Ayres expedition,
    he says, he always blamed, and that it turned out exactly as he
    predicted, and that we are most completely detested by the people who
    formerly respected us.

On August 13th, 1808, off Cadiz, Collingwood learnt that the French
General, Dupont, and some officers who had capitulated, had been brought
to Port St Mary, for their better security to be embarked on board a
Spanish Man-o'-war. The mob, however, attacked and wounded Dupont before
he could be got on board, and on August 26th Collingwood relates to Mrs

    The Mob of Port Santa Maria seized on Dupont's baggage, for the
    Generals and Juntas may make Conventions as they please, but the
    People is the only _real Power_ at the present moment, and they
    will observe as much of them as they like. On breaking open the Trunks
    they were found to be filled with plunder--Church Plate mostly--but
    everything that was gold or silver was acceptable. I went to see it
    yesterday at the Custom House, and an immense quantity of it there
    was--from a silver Toy to the Crown of Thorns which they had torn from
    the head of Jesus Christ. I heard at first that the mob had been
    raised against the French by the black servant of a Frenchman having
    part of the robe of a Bishop for his dress, but this was not the case.
    The black man had the Bishop's Cross hung with a chain of gold round
    his neck--it was of large amethysts and diamonds worth about 2000

    Dupont was so very silly as to write to the Governor complaining of
    the people who had _robbed_ him, saying that he felt sensibly for
    the honour of Spain and desired that his "property" might be returned
    to him. He had nothing but those trunks of plundered silver!

Collingwood's own reception by the Spanish people afforded a remarkable
instance of the estimation in which he was held and the extraordinary
recognition of his integrity even by a lawless, unreasoning mob. John
Stanhope, some years afterwards, recorded:--

"When, at an earlier period of the war, our expedition under the command
of General Spencer appeared off Cadiz, there prevailed so great a jealousy
against the English Army that the authorities refused to allow them to

"Such, however, was not the case with Lord Collingwood when he appeared
with his fleet.

"He was received by high and low with the greatest enthusiasm. A publick
fête was given to him, and my brother William who accompanied him on shore
described the scene as one of the most striking sights he ever witnessed.
One only feeling seemed to pervade the immense crowd of all ranks
assembled to receive the Admiral, the desire of showing their respect and
admiration for his character. What a triumph for one who, in the hour of
victory, had succeeded to the command of a fleet that had annihilated the
Spanish Navy, and since that time had been constantly blockading their
coasts! But what must have been Lord Collingwood's feelings _when the only
pledge required before they permitted an English force to land in a place
of so much importance, was his word of honour!_ They felt in him a
confidence which they denied to our Government."

But in the midst of a situation so unique, Collingwood ignored the
unparalleled homage paid to him, to revert persistently to each item of
news respecting his distant home. The splendid fetes of which he formed
the central figure, the adulation of an entire nation, find no mention in
his letters to Stanhope, and are of less account to him than the most
trivial circumstance regarding his family or his native county, on which
his thoughts dwell tenderly, lingeringly. From Cadiz, in August, he
laments the tidings conveyed to him by Stanhope of the death, at the age
of eighty-nine, of his former Commander and neighbour, in Northumberland,
Admiral Roddam.

    Poor Admiral Roddam! I have indeed mourned his death, because I lost
    in him a kind friend who had always taken a sincere interest in my
    welfare; but he was become too infirm to enjoy comfort, and then to
    die is a blessing. I am glad he left your son his estate, but it was
    want of knowing the world if he thought of improving the Property by
    keeping him out of it so long.

For little William, on attaining the age of twenty-five, was to succeed to
the estate of Collingwood's former Commander, and this must, if possible,
have strengthened the link between the Admiral and the midshipman in whose
progress he took a profound interest. Collingwood's own character is
perhaps never more clearly portrayed than in his criticism of the little
lad who had been committed to his care. "Of William," he wrote to
Stanhope, in 1808, "everything I have to say is good--and such as must
give you and Mrs Stanhope much satisfaction. He is the best-tempered boy
that can be--has a superior understanding, which makes everything easy to
him. He is very inquisitive in what relates to his duty, and comprehends
it with a facility which few boys do, at this time I believe he has more
knowledge than many twice his standing. He is never engaged in disputes,
and this not from a milkiness and yielding to others, but he seems
superior to contention, and leaves a blockhead to enjoy his own nonsense."
In December of the same year he reiterates, "Your son always gives me
satisfaction. He behaves well and always like a gentleman and I endeavour
to instil in him a contempt for what is trifling and unworthy. When I come
home I will leave him in a frigate and I hope I may soon, for I grow very
weak and languid."

It was to be regretted that while evincing to the utmost his own contempt
for what was "trifling and unworthy," it was impracticable for Collingwood
to follow the example of his small midshipman and contentedly "leave a
blockhead to his own nonsense." The realisation was torment to him that
the very conditions of his service were dictated by those who had only a
partial conception of his requirements, that his representations--his
advice--were alike incessantly ignored, yet, none the less, that his
tactics would subsequently be criticised pitilessly by men incapable of
appreciating the difficulties with which he had been beset at the time of
action. "I have lately had a most anxious and vexatious life," he wrote on
May 16th, 1808, "since the Rochefort ships came into the Mediteranean and
joined the Toulon, I have been in constant pursuit of them, but with bad
intelligence and never knowing whether I was going right or not." Yet
though compelled to act thus blindly, in that torturing uncertainty, the
eyes of the world were upon him, and men, wise in the cognisance of after-
events, would unhesitatingly judge him in the light of that knowledge.

More than once in his letters to Mrs Stanhope did the pent up bitterness
of this recognition find vent. On May 16th, 1807, he wrote:--

    I am sorry to see Mr Pole's speech about the Rochefort Squadron and
    Sir R. Strachan, insinuating that he was well provided with
    everything--and that had he been in the station that it was expected
    he should have held, they could not have escaped. The fact is they
    came here destitute of everything, one of his ships had not 20 tons of
    water, and none of them were in a condition to follow the enemy to a
    distant point. Those insinuations, though they advance nothing
    positive, are disgusting--the season of the year and the situation of
    the fleet on such an errand were sufficient reasons. Let your
    Politicians beware how they sour the minds of such men--men whose
    lives are devoted to their country. If ever they accomplish that, your
    State would not be worth half-a-crown.

And again, in December of that same year, on discovering that he,
personally, had been the subject of brutal slander, his indignation burst

    _December 29th, 1808._

    I have just seen in the newspapers what I conceive to be exceedingly
    mischievous, and to officers who are bearing the brunt and severities
    of war, is exceedingly disgusting, when the whole nation is clamorous
    against the convention of Lisbon and the treaty which Sir Chas. Cotton
    made with the Russian Admiral about the ships, it is stated that _I_
    had made a proposition of the same kind to the Russian Commander at
    Trieste which had been rejected. There is not a syllable of truth in
    it. _I_ have had no correspondence with Russia, nor anything happened
    that could have given rise to such a conjecture. It must therefore be
    sheer mischief. There are such diabolical spirits, who, incapable of
    good, cannot rest inactive but fester the world with their malignant

And meanwhile the ardent patriotism of Collingwood was deeply wounded by
the attitude of the politicians of his native land.

    OCEAN, OFF TOULON, _May 16th, 1808._

    The contentions in Parliament are disgraceful to our country and have
    more to do with its reduction than Bonaparte has. They grieve my
    heart; when all the energy and wisdom of the Nation is required to
    defend us against such a Power as never appeared in Europe before--the
    contest seems to be who shall hold the most lucrative office. I abhor
    that kind of determined opposition; if the Ministers have not that
    experience it were to be wished they had, they the more need support
    and assistance. We have resources to stand our ground firmly, until
    this storm is over--but it depends on the use we make of our means,
    whether we shall or not.

    It would appear to me good policy to make and preserve peace with all
    the nations who have the smallest pretention to independence--we
    should shut our eyes to many things which during the regular
    Governments in Europe would deserve to be scrutinised--the laws and
    rules of former times are not suited to the present--a man cannot
    build a Palace during the convulsions of an earthquake, and I
    sincerely hope our differences with America will be accommodated--if
    favourable terms we can grant them. Are not _we_ constantly in
    storms obliged to take in our topsail?--and even sometimes limit
    ourselves to no sail at all? But our ship is saved by it and when the
    storm is over we out with them again, and so should the State do.

The truth was that, in much, Collingwood was a more able diplomatist than
the men by whose authority he was circumscribed. His letters to Stanhope
prove that he was a more apt tactician and had a profounder grasp of the
political situation of his day than he has been credited with by
posterity. Again and again, does he foretell that a particular line of
action will be fraught with a particular result, or show how his
representations had been ignored until, too late, events had proved their
accuracy. Again and again, in some apparently trivial situation which he
had the insight to recognise was big with import, did his tactfulness
avert catastrophe which a lesser man would have hastened. "I have always
found that kind language and strong ships have a very powerful effect in
conciliating the people," he says in one letter to Stanhope, with dry
humour. And meanwhile the incompetency of many of those with whom he had
to work in alliance was a further source of trial to him. Only too
shrewdly did he recognise wherein lay the efficiency of Napoleon and the
incapacity of his opponents.

    _October 7th, 1809._

    Should the Austrians make their peace, which I am convinced they must,
    the next object of Bonaparte will be Turkey, and probably the
    Austrians be engaged to assist him in the reduction of it. All the
    south part of Europe seems as if within his grasp the moment peace is
    signed with Austria; he has long been intriguing with those countries,
    sometimes with the Government, in other places with the people against
    their Government; the arts, the dissimulations with which those
    intrigues are conducted, avail him more than even the rapidity of his
    armies--all the people he employs are equal to the task assigned them;
    while in Austria and Spain, the operations are often directed by men
    who, from Court favour, have got situations they are totally unfit
    for. Catalonia has suffered much from this cause and everything has
    gone wrong in Istria and Dalmatia, because there there was wanted a
    man capable of conducting the war. It is true they have been removed,
    but not until everything was lost by their want of skill.

And yet pitted against "such a Power as never appeared in Europe before,"
with the need of every faculty upon the alert, Collingwood was haunted
ever more and more by the dread that his increasing bodily weakness must
engender mental incapacity. A sinister note crept into his correspondence
and so early as August 26th, 1808, he wrote:--

    _August 26th, 1808._

    I have been lately unwell. I grow weak, and the fatigue and anxiety of
    mind I suffer has worn me down to a shadow. I do not think I can go on
    much longer, and intend, whenever I feel my strength less, to request
    that I may be allowed to come to England. I have mentioned this to
    Lord Mulgrave, but have not to the Admiralty Board.

Yet, determined not to abandon his duty, over a year later he was still at
his post.

    "_Ville de Paris,_" PORT MAHON, _December 18th, 1809._

    The truth is that I am so unremittingly occupied, that my life is
    rather a drudgery than a service. I have an anxious mind from nature
    and cannot leave to any what is possible for me to do myself. Now my
    health is suffering very much, which is attributed to the sedentary
    life I lead, and it may well be to the vexation my mind suffers when
    anything goes counter. But when I _do_ come home, I hope I shall
    not be thought to flinch, for I have worn out all the officers and all
    the ships, two or three times over, since I left England.

Within a fortnight he wrote again:--

    _December 29th._

    I have no desire to shrink from a duty which I owe to my country, but
    my declining health--the constant anxiety of my mind and fatigue of my
    body--made me desire to have a little respite, and I asked to be
    relieved from my command--a request which the Ministers seem to have
    no disposition to grant to me, but if his lordship knew me personally
    and was sufficiently acquainted with my sentiments he would know that
    my request was not made without good reason. The service here requires
    the most energetic mind and robust body--they cannot be hoped for in
    an invalid, whose infirmities proceed from too long and unremitted
    exertion of powers, but feeble at first.

Meanwhile, in Grosvenor Square, every item of news respecting the
intentions of Lord Collingwood was eagerly looked for, since on these were
dependent the movements of little William Stanhope. In the autumn of 1809
Mrs Stanhope wrote:--

    William writes word that his height is 5 ft. 4 in., very fair for a
    Stanhope of his age. What an affectionate creature he is, and how I
    should delight in seeing him. I do not like the account he gives of
    Lord Collingwood's health. If the French fleet would but come out and
    he beat them, I doubt not he would then return immediately.

And on the 6th December she mentions an event which served to accentuate
the sadness of that protracted absence:--

    Lord Collingwood has actually a daughter grown up. She has made her
    appearance in Newcastle, very shy and distressed.

     _February 27th, 1810._

    We came to Town, Sunday Se'nnight. Since then Captain Waldegrave, who
    was eleven months in the ship with William, and Dr Gray who was his
    shipmate two years and like a Father to him, have both dined with us
    and agree in their favourable accounts. He is quite well and
    breakfasts every day with Lord Collingwood, with whom he also dines
    three times a week, and he teaches William himself. Your father said--
    "I fear he is a Pet!" To which Waldegrave answered--"It can never do
    anyone harm to be Pet to Lord Collingwood!" As soon as the weather is
    warm I suppose Lord C. will come back, in his last letter he said he
    should leave William in a Frigate, but Dr Gray is inclined to think he
    would bring him home. All the reports respecting the Toulon Fleet
    being out, will, I hear, prove false.

On March 20th Mrs Stanhope wrote--"It is said that Sir C. Cotton is going
out immediately to take Lord Collingwood's command, for that he wrote word
if they did not supersede him quickly he should supersede himself. I fear
his health is very bad." Not till April, however, did this intelligence
receive confirmation--"At last Sir C. Cotton has sailed, so that, by the
end of June, Lord Collingwood may be back, having given up the command to
Sir C. Cotton. He was better the last account. Captain Waldegrave dines
here to-day, you would be exceedingly pleased with him, for his manners
are agreeable and his intelligence great."

Little did Mrs Stanhope, as she penned the reference to her dinner-party,
foresee the conditions under which this was destined to take place. Still
less did the authorities who were sending out that belated relief to the
wearied Admiral, or the family who now so joyously pictured his return,
dream how that service had been already superseded or in what guise that
return would take place. Weeks before, at Cadiz, the last act of a
prolonged tragedy had been performed. Still firmly refusing to forsake his
post till a competent successor had been appointed, Collingwood did not
surrender his command to Rear Admiral Martin till March 3rd, when a
complete collapse of strength made this imperative. Two days subsequently
were lost in the vain endeavour to leave port in the teeth of a contrary
wind, but on March 6th, the _Ville de Paris_ succeeded in setting sail for

The day of days in Collingwood's life had at last arrived--that day to
which he had looked forward throughout the weary years, when, his task
honourably concluded, he could know that every beat of the waves was
bearing him towards home and his loved ones. Yet as, prostrated with
weakness, he lay in his cabin, listening to the familiar fret of the
waters, he understood that the burden had been borne too long, the
promised relief had come too late.

With the same dauntless courage with which he had faced existence he now
accepted the knowledge that this day--the thought of which had sustained
him through loneliness and battle and tempest--was to prove the day of his
death. History indeed presents few events of an irony more profound. At
sunset on March 6th, Collingwood set sail for England; at sunset on the
7th, he lay dead, and that fortitude with which he met a fate, the
harshness of which must have cruelly enhanced his bodily anguish, presents
to all time a sublime ending to a sublime career.

Meanwhile in England those whom he had loved continued to count the
lessening days to his return and to plan with tender solicitude every
means for cherishing and restoring the enfeebled frame which they fondly
believed needed but care and happiness to endow it with renewed health.
Little as they recked of the burden which the waves were, in truth,
bringing them, the knowledge, when it arrived, came with a blow which
stunned. In the first announcement of the news, the very terseness of the
communication seems to recreate more vividly the intense feeling which the
writer knew required no insistence.

On April 17th, 1810, Stanhope wrote briefly to the Vicar of Newcastle:--



    You are the fittest person I know at Newcastle to execute with
    propriety a most painful & most melancholy office. I have only this
    moment been apprised of the loss both the public and the Collingwood
    family have sustained, and am so shocked with the intelligence that I
    can hardly write legibly. I enclose the letter. I am sure you will
    communicate it with all delicacy & due Preparation to Lady Collingwood
    & Mr and the Miss Collingwoods. Mrs Stanhope will endeavour to see
    Miss Collingwood to-morrow. Pray assure them of my readiness to be of
    every assistance to them in my power.

Of the manner in which the news arrived, Mrs Stanhope furnishes more

    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _April 23rd, 1810._


    "I little thought when I wrote to you on Tuesday last that I should,
    before that post went out, hear the afflicting intelligence of the
    death of our great and valuable Friend, Lord Collingwood, whose loss
    is a publick calamity. But I will enter into particulars.

    "Just after I went out at three, a second post arrived from Captain
    Thomas, desiring your father to communicate the dreadful tidings to
    poor Lady Collingwood. It was five when we received the letter; your
    father immediately enclosed the letter to the Vicar, to desire he
    would break it to the family, and I wrote to the Mistress of the
    School to acquaint the second girl. She wished to see no one or I
    should have called the next day. Mr Reay heard of the event before we
    did and recollecting that the Papers at Newcastle were delivered an
    hour before the letters, wisely sent off an Express; therefore I trust
    there was time for her to be somewhat prepared for the worst.

    "With respect to ourselves, I need not tell you how shocked we were,
    and unfortunately, we had not only a large party to dinner that night,
    but some people in the evening. Amongst those who dined with us was
    Captain Waldegrave, who had not heard of it till he came here, and I
    never saw anyone so distressed, for Lord Collingwood had been a Father
    to him as well as to William; and he is one of the most pleasing young
    men I ever met with. Two days afterwards he brought here Mr Brown, the
    flag-lieutenant of the _Ville de Paris_, who gave me many interesting
    particulars, and spoke highly of William.

    Your father has seen Lord Mulgrave twice, and it is settled that a
    monument at the Publick expence shall be executed for Lord
    Collingwood. He cannot have a publick funeral, but they wish the
    family to bury him at St Paul's near Lord Nelson, which your father is
    this day to write to propose, and I think it impossible Lady
    Collingwood can have any objection, in which case it will be attended
    by the Lords of the Admiralty & his own private friends. The Body is
    now at Greenwich, for it arrived at Portsmouth as soon as the letters
    announcing his death. He died like a hero, and when that character is
    added, as it was in him, to the Christian, it is great indeed.

On the same date Mr Stanhope wrote to his son--"I saw Lord Mulgrave the
night before last, who desired I would inform Lady Collingwood and the
family that it was meant to move in the House for a monument for Lord
Collingwood in St Paul's, next to Nelson's. Of course the Body, which has
arrived in the Thames, will be deposited in that Church, and the funeral
must be splendid without ostentation--at the expense of the executors, or
rather of the family." It was not, however, till May 8th that Mrs Stanhope
was enabled to furnish her son with full details of the manner in which
the intended ceremony was to be performed.

    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _May 8th., 1810._

    I can tell you what Lord C.'s funeral is to be. It is to take place on
    Friday at St Paul's. Mr C. and one of his sisters are in town. He is
    anxious that it should be proper & your father has been his adviser,
    but he was determined that it should be as private as possible, as
    Lord Collingwood's wish on that subject was strongly expressed in his

    The Body is now at Greenwich where the Hearse & ten mourning Coaches
    will go. The company are to assemble at a room on the other side of
    Blackfriars Bridge, where betwixt 20 & 30 are to get into the mourning
    coaches, & their own are to follow, but no others. The company are, as
    far as I can recollect, besides the ten relations & connections, the
    first Lords of the Admiralty who have been in power since he had the
    Command--Gray, Mulgrave, T. Grenville; Ld St Vincent declined on
    account of health; the Chancellor & Sir Walter Scott; Admirals Ld
    Radstock & Harvey, Capt Waldegrave, Purvis, Irvyn Brown, Haywood--
    perhaps others; Doctors Gray & Fullerton, Sir M. Ridley & Mr Reay.

    Government mean to vote him a national monument to be placed near Lord
    Nelson & the Body will be placed as near his as it can be. You will be
    glad to hear that there is a picture painted about a year & a half ago
    which Waldegrave will get for Mr C. I therefore hope there will be a
    print of him. His loss will be felt every day more & more. They say he
    saved to the country more than any Admiral did before, in repairs of
    the fleet; and to that country his life has been sacrificed.

A reference to Lord Collingwood written by the recipient of this letter,
John Stanhope, although it presents no new reflection upon his career, is
not without a peculiar interest in that it was a contemporary comment and
one of unstudied pathos.

    Lord Collingwood, [he wrote in 1810] has sacrificed his life to his
    country and to the full as much as has done his friend and commander
    Lord Nelson. But Nelson's death was glorious; he fell in the hour of
    victory amidst a nation's tears. Poor Collingwood resigned his life to
    his country, because she required his services; he yielded himself as
    a victim to a painful disease, solely occasioned by his incessant and
    anxious attention to his duties, when he knew from his physician that
    his existence might be spared if he were allowed to return to the
    quiet of domestic life. Must not his mind have sometimes recurred to
    his home; to his two daughters, now grown to the age of womanhood, but
    whom he remembered only as little children; so long had he been
    estranged from his country! Must he not have felt how delightfully he
    could spend his old age in the society of his family, at his own house
    at Chirton, the ancient possession of his ancestors, which had been
    left to him by my uncle, and in the enjoyment of a large fortune,
    which he had gained during his professional career! What a contrast
    did the reverse of the picture show! A lingering disease, a certain
    death. He repeatedly represented the state of his health to the
    Admiralty, but in vain; his country demanded his services; he gave her
    his life; and without even the consolation of thinking that the
    sacrifice he was making would be appreciated. "If Lord Mulgrave knew
    me," said he in one of his letters to my father, "he would know that I
    did not complain without sufficient cause."

It was thus that Collingwood came home--that the long exile ended and the
tired frame attained to rest. On May 11th, he was laid by the side of
Nelson in St Paul's, and the comrades of Trafalgar were re-united in a
last repose. The ceremony on this occasion exhibited none of the pomp and
circumstance which attended the obsequies of the hero of Trafalgar. In
harmony with the wishes and the character of the dead man, so simple was
it that the papers emphasise in surprise that "not even the choir service
is to be sung on the occasion." And this, possibly, constitutes the sole
particular in which England endeavoured to fulfil any desire of the man
who had laid down his life in her service. His earnest request that the
peerage which had been bestowed upon him might descend to his daughter,
his pathetic representation that but for the unremitting nature of that
service he would presumably have had a son to succeed him, were callously
ignored. There were obvious reasons why Nelson's dying bequest to the
nation of the woman he had loved remained unregarded, there was none that
that of Collingwood should not have been granted and his barren honours
thus made sweet to him. But his generation mourned him with idle tears,
and succeeding generations have, possibly, done him scanty justice. Yet
one, a master-mind in English Literature, has raised an eternal testimony
to his worth--"Another true knight errant of those days," proclaims
Thackeray, "was Cuthbert Collingwood, and I think, since Heaven made
gentlemen, there is no record of a better one than that. Of brighter
deeds, I grant you, we may read performed by others; but where of a
nobler, kinder, more beautiful life of duty, of a gentler, truer heart?
Beyond dazzle of success and blaze of genius, I fancy shining a hundred
and a hundred times higher the sublime purity of Collingwood's gentle
glory. His heroism stirs British hearts when we recall it. His love and
goodness and piety make one thrill with happy emotion.... There are no
words to tell what the heart feels in reading the simple phrases of such a
hero. Here is victory and courage, but love sublimer and superior."

Nevertheless there is, in truth, little which appeals to the imagination
of posterity in the story of that drab martyrdom. Moreover Collingwood is
judged, not individually but by comparison. For ever he is obscured by the
more dazzling vision of Nelson. It weighs little in his favour that,
devoid of the vanity and the weakness which made of the latter a lesser
man even though a greater genius, Collingwood, throughout his life,
exhibited a nobility of soul which was never marred by one self-seeking
thought, one mean word, one base action. That very fact militates against
him. Collingwood had no dramatic instinct, and in the great issues of life
he never played to the gallery; he has not even attached to his memory, as
has Nelson, the glamour of a baffling and arresting intrigue. And there
remains eternally to his disfavour that he did not die at the
psychological moment. Whether he was, as some recent researches might lead
us to believe, a greater strategist than Nelson, as he was undoubtedly a
man of stronger principles and more disinterested motives, of wider
education and of profounder political insight, it is not our province here
to inquire. On his column in Trafalgar Square, to all time, Nelson stands
aloft surveying the generations who do him homage; far away, on the shores
of Tynemouth, a solitary figure of Collingwood, not erected till 1845,
gazes out across the ocean of his exile. It is as though the loneliness
which tortured that great soul in life haunts him beyond the grave, as the
adulation which was balm to Nelson's soul remains his portion to all
eternity. There might even be imagined an unconscious irony in the last
reference to Collingwood which occurs in the Stanhope correspondence,
wherein Mrs Stanhope, after the first horror which the news of her
kinsman's death had evoked, sums up thus the immediate effect of that
event upon her family life:--

    _May 10th._

    London is very gay now.... To give you some idea how we go on, I will
    mention some of our engagements. To-night Opera; tomorrow, concerts at
    Mrs Boehms and Lady Castlereagh's; Thursday, Dow. Lady Glyn, Lady de
    Crespygny musick, and Lady Westmorland's; Saturday, Opera; 23rd., 24th
    and 26th Balls. On Friday, of course, there are cards, but I shall not
    go out on account of its being the funeral of our justly-lamented




Three years before his death, in the midst of the stress and labour which
was undermining his bodily strength, Collingwood had written with regard
to this same wearing anxiety--"My astonishment is to find that in England
this does not seem to enter into the minds of the people, or at least not
to interrupt their gaieties. England on the verge of ruin requires the
care of all; but when that _all_ is divided and contending for power, then
it is that the foundation shakes."

To the lonely Admiral tossing on the ocean of his exile, absorbed in that
mighty problem of England's defence, the attitude of his countrymen at
home--their callousness and absorption in trivialities--had seemed well-
nigh incredible. But propinquity affects proportion, and as a small object
close at hand looms larger to the eye than a vast object upon a distant
horizon, so the anomaly continued to be witnessed in England which has
often formed part of the history of nations. Possibly one of the strangest
phases of the French Revolution was that in which--while heads fell daily
and the land ran blood--the round of theatres continued without
interruption and the existence of a certain section of the public remained
undisturbed. Thus it is not surprising to find, after the storm of feeling
which was roused by the Battle of Trafalgar, how quickly personal
interests superseded national, and the social life of the country reverted
placidly to its normal groove.

True that Nelson's great victory, even while it had dealt a final and
shattering blow to Napoleon's maritime power, had not been fraught with
the vast consequences which in the moment of exultation it was fondly
believed had been achieved. Bonaparte's supremacy in Europe remained
unshaken, and his victory of Austerlitz, following hard upon Trafalgar,
minimised the latter, while it crushed with despair the dying heart of
Pitt. As we have seen, that year dawned darkly which was to witness the
death of two of England's foremost statesmen, the great Tory in January,
the great Whig in September; but while, big with import, history traced
the tale of such giant upheavals in the national life, in strange contrast
comes the quiet ripple of contemporary gossip.

"The Prince," wrote Mrs Stanhope from Yorkshire in the middle of
September, "returns to attend Fox's funeral & then has said he will
immediately come back to make his promised visits to Wentworth, Raby and
Castle Howard." On the 20th of September Marianne wrote to her brother an
account of H.R.H. attending Doncaster Races.

    Doncaster Races were not near so splendid as they were expected to
    have been, few south country people, none of distinction.

    The Prince of Wales looked wretchedly; he is thought to be in a bad
    state of health and was to be cupped last Monday. He arrived at
    Doncaster about _two_ in the morning, and the yeomanry commanded by Mr
    Wortley met by order to escort him into the town at _nine the next
    morning_, so that was _manqué_. The ball was very ill-managed, the
    Prince arrived at the rooms before they were lighted, neither of the
    stewards there to receive him--quite scandalous, I think.

    _The Same._
    _Nov. 16th._

    The Royal visitors at Wentworth were magnificently received. Lord
    Milton [1] exerts himself much in politicks, his only _forte_ perhaps,
    however, that is better than if it were his only _foible_. Lady Milton
    charms everybody, I have never met with one exception.

    The Prince, of course you know, inspected the Cavalry at Doncaster and
    complimented them much. They were out five days on permanent duty, on
    one of which Mr Foljambe gave the whole regiment a dinner in the
    Mansion House, a whole pipe of wine was consumed.

    Lord Morpeth, [2] I am rejoiced to hear got his election. Mr Howard,
    his brother, is a very gentlemanlike, very handsome young man, worthy
    of his sister Lady Cawdor. [3] Would you believe it he has never been
    at Stackpole.

    We were much disappointed on Friday by the non-arrival of Mr
    Wilberforce, [4] as I had promised myself much pleasure, even from so
    short a visit from such an excellent man. I have been reading some of
    his _Views of Christianity_, and tho' I believe it is in some
    parts rather methodistical, I think it quite an angelic book. If he
    talks as he writes he must be charming.

    CANNON HALL _November 28th, 1806._

    A most dreadful and fatal accident happened on Tuesday at Woolley [5]
    about seven in the Evening. Mrs Fawkes, [6] Mother to Mrs Wentworth,
    went to an unfinished window, fell out & was killed on the spot. She
    fell eleven yards perpendicular height.

    Mr Wentworth, and his brother Mr Armytage, were here. Mrs Wentworth
    was not well, & had not accompanied them, therefore she was at home at
    the Moment, & poor Mrs Farrer, sister to Mrs Fawkes was actually in
    the room. They immediately sent for Mr Wentworth, & you may imagine
    the distress in which he left us. Poor Mrs Wentworth had only just
    recovered from the shock of her Governess dying after an illness of a
    few days.

    To turn to a more cheerful subject--as the occupations of this house
    interest you, I must describe the present drawing-room trio. Hour
    eight; tea ordered; at the top of the table, in a great chair, Anne,
    reading the Roman history. At the bottom, Marianne with two folios,
    making extracts from Palladio on Architecture. My occupation speaks
    for itself. I greatly doubt whether a busier scene could be found at
    Oxford at the same hour.

    Miss Baker [7] mentions that Yarborough has been ill at Cambridge &
    wishes to know whether it arises from their intense studying that the
    young men at the Universities are so frequently indisposed.

    _Mrs Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROVE, _January 26th, 1807._

    We are now returning to town, your father arrived there last Thursday.
    The waggon with our goods was overturned twice in going from Cannon
    Hall to Wakefield....

    This day se'nnight we left home, & called at Woolley, but Mrs
    Wentworth was not well enough to see us. Thence we waded through the
    worst possible road to Hensworth where we found Sir Francis (Wood)
    with the gout and Lady Wood like a Ghoul....

    More bad roads to Fryston where we found, including ourselves, a party
    of seventeen, three less than was expected, among others Lord and Lady
    Galway [8] and two Miss Moncktons.

    The noise, riot and confusion of the house I shall not attempt to

On the following day they drove from Fryston to a ball in the
neighbourhood, of which Mrs Stanhope relates:--

    We arrived about nine. The ball-room was beautiful. It was hung with
    white Calico, with a wreath of evergreens round the top of the room
    and festoons from it of the same all round; the only fault was _the
    pure white of the Calico made all the ladies look dirty_. There
    were 160 or 170 people, many I did not know, many Men, but where the
    majority came from I cannot pretend to say; Darlingtons, Ramsdens,
    Cookes, Taylors, etc, and our large party the chief from the

    The dances were too long and too crowded, which made it not pleasant
    for the dancers, but it was a fine ball, upon the whole, but much
    inferior in every respect to Kippax.

    Your sisters danced a good deal, and both of them with a Bond Street
    lounger whose name was Carey. I believed he was rouged. He desired his
    hostess to introduce him to a partner, stipulating--"_But let her be
    charming!_" and as she had promised Anne, _she_ had the good fortune,
    and I suppose he found her what he wished, for he afterwards honoured
    Marianne, and they were both vastly amused at his conceit and folly.

    Michael Angelo [9] was _superb_. Since the honour the Prince did
    him, he has been obliged to part with many of his servants as they
    would no longer work.

    We arrived at Fryston from the Ball at 1/2 past six, the rest of the
    party at 1/2 past seven, when they breakfasted before they went to

    The next day was breakfast all the morning long, & very jolly they
    were. Miles is as eccentric as ever. So odd a man I never saw.

Of their Yorkshire neighbours who did not live in the immediate vicinity,
the family at Cannon Hall saw but little during the winter months;
therefore, during their journeys to and from town, they invariably took
the opportunity of staying a few nights with those friends whose houses
happened to lie conveniently near the line of route. One of the places
thus constantly visited by them was Fryston, where at this date there
dwelt, with a numerous family, the widow of Richard Slater Milnes,
formerly M.P. for York.

The position of the Milnes in Yorkshire was almost unique. In Wakefield,
during the flight of years, there sprang into prominence certain merchant
princes whose names became household words throughout the county. The
Milnes, Heywoods and Naylors, in turn, rose to affluence; but foremost and
distinct among these remained the Milnes, who from 1670 owned the great
cloth trade of the North, and who, towards the close of the eighteenth
century, were represented by four brothers whose firm had secured a
monopoly of that trade between England and Russia.

These brothers, by reason of their wealth and influence, were received on
terms of intimacy by the older county families. They built themselves each
a substantial house in Wakefield, fashioned out of bricks which they
manufactured and timber which they had imported from Russia, with which
country they were naturally in constant communication in the course of
their business. These houses, which stood close together, facing the main
road through Wakefield, were handsome in construction and luxuriously
furnished; but, by and by, two branches of the family migrated from the
town of their birth; James Milnes built Thornes House, and Richard Slater
Milnes purchased the estate of Fryston, where he took up his residence
about 1790. His new possession was a larger and more comfortable home than
the dwelling he had quitted, and although standing in the centre of the
great West Riding industries, it was beautifully situated on the banks of
the river Aire. Besides extensive gardens and shrubberies, it was
surrounded by a fine park, while adjoining it were miles of beautiful
larch and beech woods. On the death of Richard Slater Milnes it passed
into the possession of his son, Robert Pemberton, who with his brother,
Richard Rodes, were the only two sons in a family of nine children.

The brothers, in some particulars, presented a marked contrast to each
other, though both were fascinating and clever.

Robert Pemberton was extremely eccentric, but brilliant. He was recognised
to be full of promise, and it was anticipated that he would one day make a
considerable stir in the political world. Writing of him many years later,
John Stanhope mentioned the following anecdotes:--

"Mr Milnes of Fryston was one of my earliest friends. After a sharp
contest with Mr Smyth of Heath he was returned for the Borough of
Pontefract. His Maiden speech in Parliament produced a very great
sensation; but a second speech which he made shortly after was considered
as a failure, though Mr Plummer Ward, himself no bad judge, declared it
was superior to the former and spoke highly of it. I rather think that
Milnes terminated it abruptly and was considered to have broken down. He
seems himself to have thought so for he made no further effort, and, soon
after, abandoning all political views, turned his mind entirely to

"At that date Milnes was a wild, unstable creature, at one time devoting
his days and nights to reading; at another giving them up to play; at
another engrossed entirely with shooting; always agreeable, clever and
sarcastick, he was everything by fits but nothing long, yet always dearly
loved by his friends and companions, always a straightforward man, full of
high feeling and honour.

"Perhaps nothing will give a better idea of the wild spirit of his
character than an occurrence that took place in his youthful days. At a
time when Battues and a system of the preservation of game as it is now
carried on in Norfolk were little known in this part of the country, he
undertook the entire management of the game at Fryston, and succeeded in
stocking the Plantations there with abundance of Pheasants. Not content
with giving his orders to the keepers, he used frequently to accompany
them in their nightly watches.

"On one of these occasions they fell in with a party of poachers, who took
to their heels.

"Milnes, who was the foremost in the chace, succeeded in grappling one of
the fugitives. The man struggled on to the brink of a deep quarry and
finding that Milnes did not slacken his grasp, determined to dare the
jump, calculating, as he afterwards confessed, that as his limbs were
strong and well knit, that he should suffer no damage, but that Milnes,
being slight, would break his leg. Milnes, nothing daunted, kept his hold,
and went down with the poacher, whose calculations were reversed, for _he_
broke his legs, and Milnes escaped, comparatively speaking, unscathed."

Rodes Milnes, the younger brother of Pemberton, though gifted with less
natural genius, at first bid fair to be of a more dependable character;
and while his mother retained an interest in the firm of Milnes, Heywood &
Co., he continued to go into Wakefield regularly two or three times a week
to look after the business, driving himself in a phaeton drawn by a pair
of beautiful black ponies. But later he became closely connected with the
turf, and many lively stories are attached to his name. He and Mr Peter of
Stapleton were racing associates, and their stable won the St Leger no
fewer than five times in eight years; he was also a turf comrade of Lord
Glasgow, and after a successful day at York Races, it is said that these
two friends would station themselves at the window of the inn where they
were staying and stop every passenger to insist that he or she should
drink a glass of wine with them.

Rodes Milnes was exceedingly handsome, but later in life became very
stout, after which he used to enjoy the pleasures of sport in a somewhat
original fashion. In the middle of the plantations at Fryston was a mound
on which he used to seat himself in a revolving chair; the keeper would
then beat the neighbouring woods in order to drive the birds in the
direction of the mound, and as they appeared, Rodes Milnes used to spin
round in his chair and take rapid shots at the flying game.

As the Milnes withdrew themselves more and more from their former
business, the Naylors came to the fore. For long this later firm was
represented by two brothers, John and Jeremiah. The former was the
ornamental partner, the latter the useful. John, clad in faultlessly cut
clothes and a carefully powdered wig, was an impressive figure, and was
well supported in his picturesque rôle by his wife, a handsome and stately
dame. Jeremiah, the working bee, was less polished in manner and more
careless in dress. As Rodes Milnes drove into Wakefield twice a week, so
did Jeremiah Naylor drive into Leeds Market regularly every Tuesday and
Saturday morning, in order to buy white and coloured cloth in its
unfinished state. Thence he would return followed by one or two large
waggons full of the cloth so purchased, which was subsequently finished,
partly at the works of his firm and partly by cloth dressers in the town.
Indeed, Jeremiah, who was noted for his shrewd business capacity and
frugal tendencies, was said to have bought one-third of all the cloth
manufactured in the West Riding.

Only on one occasion is it reported that the shrewd Yorkshireman was
outwitted in a bargain. The story is thus amusingly told by the late Mr
Clarkson of Alverthorpe Hall:--

"Mr Jeremiah Naylor had a favourite mare which used to take him to Leeds
twice a week; but at last, from age, she got past her work, and he
unwillingly consented to sell her. He drove her himself to Doncaster fair,
and early in the day met with a customer; but at a very low price. After
this shabby way of disposing of an old favourite he had to look out for a
successor, and after dinner went again into the fair where, after a
critical search, he saw for sale an animal likely to suit him, which took
his fancy from its resemblance to his old favourite of twenty years
before. The price was a stiff one, but the bargain was concluded at last,
and the new purchase put into the harness, which seemed exactly to fit.

"Mr Naylor was delighted with the pace at which his fresh steed took him
home to Wakefield; but on arriving at his house, was met by his old groom,
who, after scanning the new acquisition, said dryly: 'Well, Sir, you've
brought the old mare back again!' Mr Naylor rather rebuked the man, who
replied by loosening the mare from the harness, when she walked straight
to her own stand in the stable, and doubtless felt there was no place like
home. The poor thing had been cropped and docked and groomed so as
completely to deceive her old master."

As the Naylors waxed in wealth they considered themselves to be the
successful rivals of the former great merchants of Wakefield, the Milnes
and Heywoods, so that it is said a favourite toast of theirs was--"The
Milnes _were_, the Heywoods _are_; and the Naylors _will be_"; a toast
destined never to be realised, for in 1825 the mercantile house of the
Naylors collapsed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Yorkshire neighbour whom the Stanhopes visited at this date was Mr
Beaumont of Whitley Beaumont, [10] and although on this occasion the entry
regarding their visit is scanty, a fuller description of their eccentric
host, written by Marianne the following autumn, may be here inserted:--

    _Nov. 14th, 1808._

    Last Monday we met the Mills' at Grange, she, delightful as usual. We
    returned the next day, and in our road called on Mr Beaumont of

    The master of Whitley is a strange creature, half mad. He leads the
    life of a hermit, and has not had a brush, painter or carpenter in his
    house since he came into possession many, many years ago.

    It is more like a haunted house in a romance than anything I ever saw.
    He is now an old man, and has never bought a morsel of furniture; half
    the house never was finished; one of the staircases has got no
    banisters. The stables were burnt down some time ago and have never
    yet been rebuilt. The rooms he lives in have not been put to rights
    for many years--a description of the things they contain would not be
    easy,--hats, wigs, coats, piles of newspapers, magazines and letters,
    draughts, bottles, wash-hand basins, pictures without frames, apples,
    tallow candles and broken tea-cups.

    The whole house looks like a place for lumber. There are some fine
    rooms, but so damp and mouldy it is quite shocking. There is a chapel
    completely filled with old rubbish and a plaid bed which was put up
    for the Pretender.

    In the room Mr Beaumont sleeps in I saw his coffin made of cedar wood.
    He scarcely ever sees a living creature and quite dislikes the sight
    of a woman. He does everything in the room, which no housemaid ever
    enters, nor indeed any part of the house.

    We saw there Jack Mills, the Democrat, and his little boy who is
    christened Alfred Ankerstrom Mirabeau. Ankestrome was the man who
    killed the King of Sweden; Mirabeau the chief author of the French
    Revolution. He was godfather to this boy. Before you re-instate the
    Bourbons, should you not extirpate such a man?

Shortly after the return of the Stanhopes to town in 1807 they entertained
a guest of a very opposite character, but nearly as remarkable for
eccentricity as was the hermit of Whitley. In Walter Stanhope's journal
for January 30th of that year is recorded a dinner party of strangely
incongruous elements. "This night there dined with us Wilberforce,
Wharton, Smedley, Skeffington, Sir Robert Peel and Ward."

John William Ward, afterwards Lord Dudley, was the son of a former
Yorkshire neighbour of the Stanhopes, Julia, second daughter of Godfrey
Bosville of Gunthwaite. As such he was an _habitué_ of their
entertainments both in London and the country, and was much liked by them
in spite of his peculiarities, which occasionally led to most awkward

An exceptionally brilliant man, agreeable, a profound scholar, a witty
_raconteur_ and noted for a remarkable memory, of which several surprising
instances are still recorded, Mr Ward, in common with so many of his
contemporaries, was also a celebrated _gourmet_, and experienced the
popularity of the host who provides dinners of unusual excellence for his
friends. In view of these recommendations, his eccentricities were treated
with leniency by those who suffered from them; none the less, they were
apt to occasion most of his acquaintances, including the Stanhopes,
considerable alarm. For, a singularly absent-minded man, Mr Ward was not
only in the habit of unconsciously uttering aloud his most secret
reflections in a voice which could not fail to reach the ears of those
most concerned, but his often uncomplimentary criticisms were sometimes,
in complete mental aberration, actually addressed to the subject of his
thoughts. At a dinner party this was extremely embarrassing, and when he
was seen, according to his usual habit, to be engaged in stroking his chin
contemplatively, preparatory to giving vent unwittingly to severe
strictures upon his host or his fellow guests, universal uneasiness might
be observed to prevail amongst all present.

Still more, such remarks on his part were apt to be uttered in a fashion
calculated further to upset the gravity of those who overheard them. Even
in ordinary conversation Mr Ward had a curious trick of employing two
voices of a totally different type--one, Marianne Stanhope described as
being drawn from the cellar, the other, as having its origin in more
celestial regions. At one moment he spoke in the deepest bass, and the
next in the highest tenor, these different tones sometimes succeeding each
other with a rapidity which was singularly disconcerting, and which
strangers found so perplexing that it was with difficulty they could
believe two different persons were not addressing them in such varied
notes. Yet, with all this eccentricity, his conversation was so well worth
listening to that the matter and not the manner of it remained in the
minds of his guests. Therefore, it was with universal regret that, during
his later years, and after he had been Foreign Secretary under Lord
Goderich, his friends learnt how his peculiarities had developed into
mania, and how he had been placed under restraint.

Nor was he the only guest destined afterwards to be the victim of a tragic
fate, amongst those present at the dinner party with which Mrs Stanhope
began the season of 1807. Another man, then in the heyday of popularity
and fame, was doomed to a yet sadder close to his meteoric career.

Sir Lumley Skeffington, of Skeffington Hall, Leicestershire, was a
celebrated votary of fashion. Descended from "Awly O'Farrell, King of
Conereene," and from innumerable Kings and Princes of Ireland, his ancient
lineage, as well as his pronounced dandyism, gave him a claim upon the
attentions of society, which was further augmented by his literary
pretensions. Nevertheless, he subsequently experienced a reverse of
fortune, typical of the days in which he lived; and of his rise and fall
John Stanhope gives a brief account.

"Poor Skeffington," he relates, "was the Dandy of the day, _par
excellence_. Remarkable for his ugliness, his dress was so exaggerated as
to render his lack of beauty the more marked. He was a very good-natured
man, and had nothing of the impertinence of manner of the fops who
succeeded him. Moreover, he was a _bel-esprit_, writing epilogues and
prologues, and was at one time the observed of all observers. I have seen
him at an assembly literally surrounded by a group of admiring ladies."

Skeffington, in short, in 1805, wrote a play entitled "The Sleeping
Beauty," which, produced at great expense at Drury Lane, gained for him
much fame among his contemporaries and caused him for a time to be looked
upon as a lion in the fashionable world. Enjoying to the full his
reputation as a literary celebrity, he elected to ape certain mannerisms
and eccentricities which he considered in keeping with this character.
"He," Gronow mentions, "used to paint his face like a French toy. He
dressed _à la Robespierre_ and practised other follies, although the
consummate old fop was a man of literary attainments, remarkable for his
politeness and courtly manners, in fact, he was invited everywhere. You
always knew of his approach by an _avant courier_ (sic) of sweet smells,
and as he advanced a little nearer, you might suppose yourself in the
atmosphere of a barber's shop."

Skeffington, after the publication of his play, was known by the nickname
of "The Sleeping Beauty," and a representation of him in that role John
Stanhope describes as "the best caricature I ever saw." Tall, thin, and a
complete slave to his toilet, Sir Lumley not only indulged in an abnormal
use of perfumes and cosmetics, but was incessantly to be seen combing his
scented tresses by the aid of a hand mirror, till it was suggested that
one of his Royal ancestors must have formed a _mésalliance_ with the
mermaid who most appropriately figured in his armorial bearings, similarly
employed. The extreme slimness of his figure was accentuated by a coat
which he made as famous as Lord Petersham did the garment called after his
name; and Byron added to the fame of the beau by mentioning him in the
satire "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers":--

  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.


Unfortunately, however, the harmless foibles of Sir Lumley were combined
with an unbounded extravagance which finally involved the luckless dandy
in a ruin as complete as it was pathetic. He disappeared from fashionable
life to undergo a dreary imprisonment, and when he at last issued thence,
the world which had showered blandishments upon him in his prosperity,
would have no more of him. In vain did he dress exquisitely, enunciate
witticisms and assume a gaiety of manner which he was far from feeling.
The friends who had courted his society before his downfall now shunned
his acquaintance, and a _bon-mot_ uttered at his expense elicited the
applause which his most happily-conceived jests failed to evoke. On some
stranger pointing out Skeffington to Lord Alvanley, and inquiring who was
that smart-looking individual, Alvanley responded with a wit more keen
than kind--"It is a second edition of 'The Sleeping Beauty,' bound in
calf, richly gilt and illustrated by _many cuts_."

For long did the luckless beau continue, with a pathetic persistence, to
haunt the scenes of his former triumph. At theatres, at picture auctions,
in the Park, and in all fashionable thoroughfares, he was a familiar
sight, still with the passing of years the butt of the contemporaries who
had once fawned upon him, and, as they gradually diminished, the standard
jest of a younger generation. With the flight of Time, the blackness of
his false ringlets never varied, the brilliant rouge of his cheeks, or the
strange costume which he had worn during the heyday of his existence, and
to which he clung after it had been obsolete for half a century. And with
each year his slim figure became yet thinner, his back more bent, and his
spindle legs more bowed, till at length the man who had been born early in
the reign of George III. witnessed the dawning of the year 1850; after
which the quaint figure of the once-famous Sir Lumley Skeffington was seen
no more.

[Illustration: MADAME CATALANI
_From an engraving by Carten in the collection of Mr A. M. Broadley._]

But of the fate which the future held for their guest, the Stanhopes can
little have dreamed when Sir Lumley dined with them a few months after the
production of his play and at the moment when his society was courted by
all his acquaintances. The little dinner party composed of so many
brilliant conversationalists was enjoyed by all present; the reaction
which it represented to the host and hostess after the comparatively quiet
week in Yorkshire was much appreciated by them; and two nights after the
entry respecting it, Mrs Stanhope records further gaieties:--

    Marianne went to the Opera last night with the charming Miss Glyn. It
    was thin & they were in their old box for the first time this season,
    & that is so high up, no one found them out, but she saw Frank
    Primrose [11] at a distance. The Opera is new done up and beautiful.
    Catalani [12] is very good in the Comic Opera, & there is a new dancer
    who is a scholar of Parisides, and dances delightfully. Kelly's room
    [13] is no longer open, therefore, the only ways out are the great and
    chair doors. However, one good has arisen--the large room has become
    the fashion.

     London is thin, & the only party I have heard of is one at Mrs Knox's
    on the birthnight.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 8th, 1807._

    Yesterday, we dined at Sir Richard Glyn's.... Poor Dickey! he was more
    forlorn than ever. I never did see such a little wooden puppet. He
    speechified just in the way you used to say he did at Christ Church to
    all the ladies in rotation. His chief business is getting chairs for
    the company. I think the old description of a husband would very well
    apply to him.... "_It is a thing that sits at the bottom of the
    table & likes legs better than wings of Chicken._"

    The Duke of Norfolk, Papa has heard, just after accepting the Lord
    Lieutenancy of Surrey, at the Whig Club gave his old toasts--"The
    Sovereignty of the People." We have seen the youngest Prince of
    Holstein [14] & the tutor, as agreeable as usual. They heard of you at
    Inverary, the bad news arrived while they were in Ireland, they
    immediately set off for London, expecting to be ordered back to
    Holstein; on the contrary, they found a letter recommending them to
    stay quietly here. Papa means to give them a dinner. He dined the
    other day at his College Club himself & Lord Moira who has promised to
    meet the Princes here.

    Papa is highly delighted with Mr Wilberforce's letter on the Slave
    Trade; Ld. Grenville's speech on that subject, he says, was the finest
    thing he ever heard.

    Your love, Mrs Cator, [15] came to town for Court last Thursday. Miss
    Glyn saw her, and informed her how you were smitten. She laughed very
    hard and was much amused. She gives a curious account of the Cators &
    of the people she lives with at Beckenham, she says, she never was
    used to such people, at her uncle Sligo's; [16] but that Mr Cator [17]
    has known them all his life & likes them. He proposed in a curious
    manner. One day Miss Mahon said she must go & pack up her jewels. He
    asked her how many she had. She said, "About twenty pounds' worth." He
    said, "Well, I have about as many, suppose we club & put them
    together." Which they forthwith decided to do!

    Our Sunday dish, Frank Primrose, is here.... I suppose we shall have
    him every Sunday till the family come to town. The Duchess of Gordon
    has taken a house in this Square, opposite the Law's in Duke St. I saw
    Kinnoull in the Pitt at the Opera last night. Our visitors were, the
    Prince Auguste for about two hours, & Jack Smyth. [18] Young Prince
    Estahazy [19] is one of the greatest beaux in town--he is of the first
    family in Hungary. The Princess of Wales not going to the Drawing-room
    was a sad disappointment. Some attribute it to the Prince, others
    _hope_ it is her health. _Dieu Sait_.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 12th, 1807._

    All the world is going to Court to-day, except  us--& many hope to see
    the Princess there. I  believe they will be disappointed, as there is
    some difficulty about her dressing in Carlton House & I suppose it
    is thought proper she should not go from  any other.

    Lady Chesterfield is to be the new Lady of the  Bedchamber in the room
    of Lady Cardigan who  declines on account of the age of her Lord, that
    she  may dedicate more time to him.

The story of the unhappy marriage of Caroline of Brunswick with the Prince
of Wales, afterwards George IV., is too well known to need repetition.
Since 1796 she had lived apart from the Prince at Shooter's Hill or
Blackheath, and was the object of much sympathy among a large section of
the public. In 1806 reports respecting her conduct had led to there being
instituted against her what was subsequently known as the _delicate
investigation_, proceedings in which the prosecution relied principally on
evidence supplied by Sir J. Douglas. The verdict was that her conduct had
been imprudent but not criminal, and the populace, ever ready to take up
the cause of one whom they considered unjustly treated, sang about the
streets and under the windows of Carlton House, a refrain far from
complimentary to H.R.H:--

  "I married you 'tis true
  Not knowing what to do,
  My affairs at the time were
    So bad, bad, bad;
  But now my debts are paid
  And my fortune it is made,
  You may go home again to
    Your dad, dad, dad!" */

Great excitement naturally prevailed as to whether the Princess would or
would not make her re-appearance at Court, but it was not till May 22nd,
1807, that she succeeded in asserting her right to do so, and on this
occasion she seems to have enjoyed one of the few triumphs achieved in her
unfortunate career.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _May 22nd, 1807._

    The appearance of the Princess of Wales, both at Court and at the
    Opera you would read with pleasure. At the former place Sir J. Douglas
    was in   the outer room, and a lady near who knew him by sight said
    something handsome of the Princess and that she hoped her Calumniators
    would be brought to justice. All around joined in cordially, and he
    slunk away.

The following year Mrs Stanhope wrote:--

    Lady Hertford [20] is very busy trying to bring about a reconciliation
    between the Prince and Princess, and I hear she has made some

Lady Hertford, who was long known by her nickname of the "Sultana," had
become celebrated for her liaison with the Prince of Wales, which was
destined to continue for some years till she was superseded in favour by
Lady Conyngham. She was described as shy and insipid, her manners were
stately and formal, and the impression which she conveyed was that of a
person rigidly correct in comportment and morals. But if, indeed, she ever
attempted to reunite the husband and wife whom her conduct had assisted to
alienate, it was scarcely to be expected that such a mediator would meet
with success in such a task. Of the luckless Princess, however, Mrs
Stanhope was for long a distinct partisan; and on March 19th of that same
year she wrote a description of the tactless Caroline which shows that, on
occasions, the Princess could assume a dignity foreign to the usual tenor
of her conduct.

    Thursday, we attended the Drawingroom; most brilliant. The Princess of
    Wales looked extremely well & _her manners are the most graceful and
    Royal of any I ever saw_.

Ere that date, however, London had been plunged into confusion by the
sudden fall of Lord Grenville's Ministry.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _April 27th, 1807_, GROSVENOR SQUARE.

    As Parliament is to be dissolved to-morrow or Tuesday, conceive the
    bustle which prevails thro'out this great town. The gentlemen are in
    agonies for their purses, and the ladies for their parties, which must
    either be postponed or destitute of beaux.... This last week we have
    been very gay--that is, we have been almost squeezed to death at
    sundry grand crowds, and knocked up with balls. Mrs Robinson's was
    good in everything but dancing, and Lady Scott's [21] was good in
    everything but company. The latter was nothing but a little dance, a
    rehearsal to a magnificent ball she means to give in May, in which she
    has asked us to dance in the French country dances--but hélas! all
    that will now be at an end.... You would have been charmed with Lady
    Scott. I know how much you admire her, and to increase your delight, I
    will tell you what she eats for supper. After having already been at
    one table, she came to ours when everybody had done eating. _She had
    first half a breast of mutton, then half a chicken, then a whole
    lobster, a blanc-manger & a mixed salad._

The Election of 1807 was one long celebrated in the history of Yorkshire,
being unprecedented in the fierceness of the struggle it provoked. As is
well known, there were in those days but two representatives for the
entire county, and there was but one polling booth, which was in the
castle yard at York. The retiring members on this occasion were Mr Walter
Fawkes and William Wilberforce. The former did not seek re-election, for
he took the dissolution so much to heart that he declared he should
withdraw for ever from public life, but the latter speedily made good his
right to represent the county once more. There remained, therefore, but
one seat to be contested, and great was the excitement when it was found
that the candidates were to be chosen from the two great Yorkshire houses
of rival politics--Lord Milton, the son of Earl Fitzwilliam, in the Whig
interest, and the Hon. Henry Lascelles, son of the Earl of Harewood, for
the Tory party. Mr Stanhope, having secured his own election for his old
seat of Carlisle, hastened back to Yorkshire to take part in the contest
in favour of the Tory member there, whose chances of success he hoped
would be enhanced by the youthfulness of Lord Milton, which gave his
opponents a valuable handle for satire. As already pointed out, precocious
in every rôle of life, Lord Milton had married at the age of nineteen, and
having just attained his majority, was now anxious to represent the

    _Walter Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    CANNON HALL, _May 18th, 1807._

    I had no time to write to you this Day Se'nnight from Carlisle after
    my Election. I got to York on Tuesday night, attended the Nomination
    at York the next day, which was carried almost unanimously in Favour
    of Wilberforce, and by a great Majority in favour of Lascelles over
    Lord Milton, but nevertheless, this young Lordling, who was only of
    age the third of this month, told us he would demand a Poll on
    Wednesday next. My Canvass against him has been very successful and I
    mean, having concluded all my arrangements, both here and at
    Horsforth, to give my Vote on Thursday or Friday.

    There has been a flood at Silkstone more tremendous than ever was
    known by the bursting of a cloud on the Hill to the West of the
    Village. An old woman and two children were drowned in one of the
    cottages near the Vicarage, and much damage was done all along the
    Course of the Brook. Strange Events seem becoming frequent in this
    Neighbourhood, for last year, you may have heard, during a violent
    storm a cottage was struck, an old woman and her two sons knocked out
    of the chairs in which they were seated at the table, and the soles of
    one of the Boys' shoes ripped from off his feet, although the entire
    party suffered no other damage.

To York, consequently, Stanhope repaired, where he found Lord Milton
prepared to hold his own with spirit. On being taunted with his youth, he
replied in the well-known words of Lord Chatham that it was a fault he
would remedy every day, while a still more brilliant rejoinder to the
attacks of his opponent gained him many votes. Mr Lascelles, determined to
make a _coup_, on the Nomination day stepped across the hustings, and
referring contemptuously to the age and short stature of his rival,
offered him a whip and a top. Lord Milton took both with unruffled
composure, and throwing the top into the crowd, he handed the whip back to
his adversary with the remark that he thought Mr Lascelles' father might
find greater use for it to flog his slaves in Jamaica. As the most vexed
question at the election was the emancipation of the slaves, this sally
provoked great enthusiasm. None the less, on the first day Mr Lascelles
headed the poll.

    _Walter Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    YORK, _May 22nd, 1807._


    I have but a moment to tell you I am engaged in the severest contest
    that ever was known. On Wednesday the Poll began, and closed leaving
    Milton in a Minority, but yesterday we got near three hundred ahead,
    by getting early possession of the advances to the Polling Booths. To-
    day, Wilberforce, who was last yesterday, is regaining his lost ground
    fast, and I fully expect Lascelles will beat the young Lord, but the
    contest will be dreadful and the cost enormous. I like your eagerness,
    but you are full as well where you are. Were you here, you would have
    a fair chance of a Fever. I am a good deal heated, but not ill. We
    poll 2 or 3,000 a day.

    What a charming account we have of William. We are all in high spirits
    this day. Wilberforce is the head of the Poll and Lascelles has gained
    upwards of fifty upon Milton.

    _May 27th._--Hoping that Lascelles is above 300 ahead, I left
    York this morning. I send you an Electioneering song I wrote, but you
    must not let anyone have a copy of it.


      Wave the flag, hoist the pennant,
      Hear our great Lord Lieutenant
      Who would save us the trouble of choice.
      "Let not Lascelles content you,
      Milton _shall_ represent you,
      And I'll in the House guide his voice!"

      Wise in speech, look, and act
      (I appeal to the fact),
      At nineteen he determined to marry,
      And all I could say,
      Till his twentieth birthday,
      Would hardly persuade him to tarry.

      Ere at years of discretion,
      He sat a whole Session,
      E'en Grantham made way for the boy.
      Who's the fittest law-maker?
      He that's first a law-breaker;
      To catch thieves you a thief should employ.

      What a lordling it is,
      With his carrotty phiz,
      So cried up, so flattered, so built on.
      You may oft take a rule
      From a nickname at School,
      And the boys named him _old Lady Milton_.

      Oh patriot revered
      Go shave for a beard!
      Hie to Wentworth and finish this strife,
      York, Malton, the county,
      Disdained to be bound t'ye,
      Go and cherish your nice little wife,

      Oh! soon may she bear
      You a fine son and heir;
      Then ten oxen whole you may roast;
      May Fitzwilliam carouse
      With _two boys_ in the house
      Nor bewail _Milton's Paradise Lost_!

The contest lasted three weeks, while the actual polling occupied fifteen
days, during which 25,120 votes were tendered. It is thus described in the
_Annals of Yorkshire_:--

    The county was in a state of the most violent agitation, party spirit
    being wound up to the highest pitch by the friends of the two noble
    families, and everything being done that money or personal exertion
    could accomplish; the roads in all directions were covered night and
    day with coaches, barouches, curricles, gigs, fly-waggons, and
    military cars with eight horses, conveying voters from the most remote
    parts of the county.... On the fifth day Lascelles passed his opponent
    and kept the lead till the 13th day, at the close of which the numbers
    stood,--_Milton_, 10,313; _Lascelles_, 10,255. Now the efforts were
    prodigious and the excitement maddening.

"All parties," wrote Mrs Stanhope, "consider themselves secure. Lord
Milton met with more success than Mr Lascelles at Sheffield, Rotherham,
Doncaster, and, I am sorry to add, Leeds. At Halifax, he had a very cold
reception.... Mr Osbaldiston and another man were almost killed going in
to vote, owing to the enormous crowd."

During all this time the state of York was indescribable, and since the
public-houses were ordered by the candidates to supply gratis whatever
refreshment the voters called for, the roads in every direction were lined
with tipsy men who molested travellers, indulged in rioting, or slumbered
in heaps by the roadside; so that, partly on account of the fatigue of
travelling, but still more owing to the dangerous condition of the roads
and of the city of York, the county gentlemen agreed together that the
ladies who were entitled to vote should not exercise this privilege unless
it should be found essential. [22]

At length the Poll closed, and amid unparalleled excitement it was found
that the numbers stood thus:--

    MR WILBERFORCE   11,806.
    LORD MILTON      11,177.
    Mr Lascelles     10,990.

When the news of Lord Milton's success became known in London on Sunday,
all the Whig families caused their horses to be adorned with large orange
favours, while the ladies at the fashionable promenade in Kensington
Gardens made a lavish display of his colours. In Yorkshire, the event was
celebrated by the victorious party with mad rejoicings, not the least
remarkable being the behaviour of the people of Wakefield who, unable to
do honour in person to the successful candidate, seized upon an old woman
who lived on Clayton Hill and "chaired" her all round the town with wild
enthusiasm. She was ever afterwards known by the nickname of "Lady
Milton," and the street where she lived bore the name of Milton Street.
But even the successful candidate must have found his triumph tempered by
the fabulous cost of the election. The unusual size of the county, and the
fact that voters had to be brought from and returned to such distant
localities, while the cost of their transit and their keep was meanwhile
defrayed by the candidates without stint, brought out the electioneering
expenses at the enormous sum of £100,000 for each candidate. Lord
Harewood, to whose outlay was added the mortification of its uselessness,
is said to have kept a card in his pocket from that day forward with the
ominous figures £100,000 inscribed on it, and whenever he was asked again
to contest the county, he would produce this as an unanswerable argument
against his doing so.

Meanwhile, at Ramsgate, Mrs Stanhope and her party were contenting
themselves with whatever gaieties the place afforded, and on May 31st,
1807, Marianne Stanhope sent her brother an interesting account of the
conditions prevailing there at that date.


    Just now I think you would be very miserable here, for the wind is
    very high and whistles at every corner, the sea is rough and
    everything looks blowing. The night before last was dreadfully
    tempestuous, & all yesterday morning was very stormy, but it cleared
    out, happily for us, in the evening, so that we were able to take a
    turn on the pier.

    That famous pier! The only thing worth seeing, I think, either in or
    out of Ramsgate, for you must know I have now seen almost all the
    lions:--that miserable forlorn Mansion, East Cliff, _ci-devant_
    Lord Keith's; the elegant little cake house of Mr Warne, who is going
    to Russia; the soi-disant cottage of Mr Yarrow, in the romantic
    vicinity of Pegwell Bay, celebrated, I am told for its fisheries; and
    last, though certainly not least, the splendid and deserted King's
    Gate. The building is very classic and elegant, but surely Tully's
    Villa must be a very different thing in the sweet Campagna of Italy,
    than placed on such a barren cliff. Poor fellow! Could he look out of
    the Elysian fields (for there, I suppose, we must place him) I think
    he would not admire the change of situation!

    There is a regiment of Irish Dragoons here. The Colonel has just left
    them to take possession of a large fortune, & another officer has gone
    to Ireland to give a vote. Both the Irish and Germans have very good
    bands which often play before our windows & this is the only gaiety
    there is.

    I am sure all the pleasure of this place must depend upon the company
    & when you have society that you like, what spot will not appear

    We are not too well off in that respect as you will think when I have
    described our acquaintance.

    Our greatest intimate is Lady Jane Pery, [23] Lord Limerick's
    daughter, who has had so many complaints she is unable to move from
    her chair, though full of life and spirits. Lady Conyngham [24] is the
    great lady of the place, a nice, civil old woman. We were at a party
    at her house where we met all the natives. Her daughter, Miss Burton,
    is 6 ft. 4 in. in height & ugly in proportion, but very agreeable. To-
    morrow we are going to a party there where we are to meet _everybody_,
    for you must know that even in this small society there is an improper
    set. Lady Dunmore [25] & her daughters, Lady Virginia Murray, & the
    married one, Lady Susan Drew, [26] sisters to the Duchess of Sussex,
    [27] and Lord and Lady Edward Bentinck [28] & their two daughters are
    visited by very few _proper_ people, but both these houses are the
    _rendez-vous_ of the officers. Lady Sarah Drew had a ball the other

    At Lady Conyngham's, we are to meet all these.

    Miss Bentinck [29] is a great beauty; there has been a long affair
    between her and Hay Drummond, which is at last broke off by the lady.
    She had been sent to the Duke of Rutland's to be out of his way.
    Drummond contrived to introduce himself to the servants as her maid's
    beau, by which means he slept in the house and was able to walk with
    her before breakfast & late at night. At last her brother, who was
    shooting one morning early, & knew Drummond by sight well, found them
    out and gave the alarm. The Duke sent Miss Bentinck home directly, &
    they were to be married in September, but lo! she has changed her

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._

    There are parties here, but the majority of women is quite ridiculous.
    Lord Cranley [30] the other night at Lady Conyngham's for a short time
    found himself the only man amongst twenty women. He said he looked as
    if he had broken into a Convent. I do not like his wit, he is too like
    a thing to be laughed at.

    _June 2_.--We were last night at another party at Lady Conyngham's,
    where there were four card tables, and it was then settled that there
    should be a ball on the Birthday, to the no small pleasure of your
    sisters, who expect to have officers in plenty to dance with.

    I do not believe there is any truth in Lady Glyn's report respecting
    Milnes, though I am convinced he thinks Miss H. Monckton very
    agreeable. [31] I am certain she asked Lady Galway, for she wrote me
    word she did not take Joy, [accept congratulations].

    I have been here long enough to admire the sea, but the country will
    not do for a Yorkshirewoman.

    _June 5th._

    Yesterday was the dullest Birthday I ever remember. The Guns were
    fired and something attempted by the Military on the sands, but it was
    high water, and they, moreover, fired ill. A Ball Miss Burton
    determined to have, and though neither Lady Edward Bentinck's party
    nor the Dunmores chose to attend, they danced nine couple very
    pleasantly. Some of the Gentlemen of the 13th had too loyally
    celebrated the King's Birthday, however, they _did_ dance, and
    thanks to the Germans, we have some new figures, and two of them
    amused us very much with a Waltz, which we were very curious to see.
    [32] Your sisters and two men finished with a Reel, but as we were the
    only ladies remaining at one o'clock, we were obliged to come away,
    tho' the Dragoons all indignantly exclaimed that it was not keeping
    the Birthday. As there were more men than women, the dancing went on
    with spirit.

    Some of the 13th went away early as they ride a race on Barham Downs
    this morning.

From Ramsgate, Mrs Stanhope and her Party appear to have gone a brief
Tour, with which they were much pleased.

    _July 25th, 1807._

    Our tour answered in every respect--the weather continued fine & the
    country through which we passed very pretty. When we arrived at
    Woodstock, we found we could not see the House at Blenheim before
    three, we therefore took fresh horses and drove all round the Park,
    and visited the House where Lord Rochester died. We then ate cold meat
    at the Inn, and at three went thro' the House & over the Pleasure
    Ground--large enough for a tolerable sized place. From thence, drove
    through the Parks of Ditchley & Hey Thorpe to Warwick.

    The next morning we saw the Castle and grounds, and afterwards went to
    Mr Greathead's, Guy's Cliff, a pretty, small place, but noted for some
    beautiful paintings by his only Son who died at the age of 23 abroad.
    There are two pictures of Bonaparte, one with his Court face, the
    other when reviewing; both taken from recollection immediately after
    seeing him & said to be extremely like. He took a third which he
    presented to Louis Bonaparte.

This expedition appears to have terminated in a visit to the Lowthers at
Swillington, where Mrs Stanhope records an instance of the drastic medical
treatment in favour with our ancestors.

    _November 5th, 1807_, SWILLINGTON.

    Lady Lonsdale [33] is living at Leeds with Lady Elizabeth, who I fear
    is little, if any, better. And though Lady Lonsdale is willing to
    flatter herself, I fear she is too ill to be relieved by Grosvenor's
    plan of friction which is what they are now trying. _She has five
    people to rub her at once_.

    Do send me some particulars of Miss Drummond's wedding. I hear such
    various stories--one that she was married in an old riding habit with
    a red scarf round her neck.

The recipient of Mrs Stanhope's correspondence, her son John, was at this
date completing his education at Edinburgh, under the auspices of the
famous Dugald Stewart, Professor of Moral Philosophy, who the year
previously had received from the Whig Government a sinecure worth £600.
Judging, however, by Mrs Stanhope's reference in the following letter to
the kindly ministrations of a certain "Miss Anne," Moral Philosophy was
not the only study which was engrossing the attention of John Stanhope.

    CANNON HALL, _November 23rd, 1807._

    After the long quiz you will this morning receive from Marianne,
    perhaps a matter-of-fact letter from your mother may not be
    unacceptable, and if your weather in any degree resembles ours, the
    post will be a person held by you in great estimation, as you sit
    freezing over your fire.

    I sincerely hope that Miss Anne's pills and grey Dinnark had the
    desired effect and that you are now quite in Ball trim. I like your
    account of Dugald Stewart and hope you retain a great deal of the
    knowledge which flows from his mouth. How I should like to hear him!
    For Moral Philosophy is my favourite study.

    Your account of your dinners amused us. Sir John Sinclair [34] always
    collects from all quarters of the Globe; sometimes he mixes them
    oddly, but I think his dinners are not disagreeable. Knox, with whom
    you dined, lives in Grosvenor Street, his mother gives balls, and Mrs
    Beaumont expects she will be with her at Christmas on her road from

    It now snows as fast as possible. Thursday was a very bad day, and we
    have had severe frost ever since. I do not ever remember so determined
    a snow before Xmas, and all the old people foretell a hard winter.

    Sir John Smith [35] is dead. Mrs Marriott [36] tried to be sorry, but
    when she recollected it would enable the Smiths to live in town and a
    hundred other _et ceteras_, for the life of her she could not
    grieve; and in truth he was not a man to be much regretted, he was of
    too selfish a character to be either much loved or esteemed.

    We are much amused at the extract which you have sent us from Drummond

The extract in question, which was enclosed in this letter, runs as

    Queen of Edward IV.) previous to her first marriage with Sir John
    Grey. Extracted from an ancient MS. preserved in Drummond Castle.

    _Monday morning._ Rose at four o'clock & helped Catherine to milk
    the cows, Rachael, the other Dairy Maid having scalded her hands the
    night before. Made a Poultice for Rachael & gave Robin a penny to get
    something comfortable from the Apothecary's.

    _6 o'clock._ The Bullock of Beef rather too much boiled & the
    beer rather stale. Mem: to talk to the Cook about the first fault & to
    mend the second myself by tapping a fresh barrell.

    _7 o'clock._ Went to walk with the Lady Duchess, my Mother, [37]
    in the Courtyard. Fed 25 Men & Women. Chid Roger severely for
    expressing some ill words at attending us with the broken Meat.

    _8 o'clock._ Went into the Paddock behind the house with my maid
    Dorothy, & caught Thump the black Poney & rode a matter of six miles
    without either Saddle or Bridle.

    _10 o'clock._ Went to dinner. John Grey [38] a most comely
    Youth,--but what is that to me? a Virtuous Maiden should be entirely
    under the guidance of her Parents--John ate but little and stole a
    great many looks at me; said "Women could never be handsome in his
    opinion that were not good temper'd." I think my temper is not bad. No
    one finds fault with it but Roger, & he is the most disorderly serving
    man in our Family. John Grey likes white Teeth. My Teeth are of a
    pretty good colour, I think, & my hair is as black as Jet. John Grey,
    if I mistake not, is of the same opinion.

    _11 o'clock._ Rose from table, the Company all desiring a walk in
    the Fields. John Grey would help me over every stile & twice he
    squeezed my hand. I can't say I have any great objections to John
    Grey. He plays at Prison Bars as well as any Country Gentleman; is
    remarkably dutiful to his Parents, my Lord and Lady; & never misses
    Church on a Sunday.

    _3 o'clock._ Poor Robinson's house burnt down by accident. John
    Grey proposed a subscription among the Company for the relief of the
    Farmer & gave no less than 4£ himself. Mem: Never saw him look so
    comely as at that Moment.

    _4 o'clock._ Went to Prayers.

    _6 o'clock._ Fed the Pigs and Poultry.

    _7 o'clock._ Supper on Table, delayed to that hour on account of
    Robinson's misfortune. Mem: the Goose Pie too much baked & the Pork
    roasted to rags.

    _9 o'clock._ The Company fast asleep. These late hours very
    disagreeable. Said my Prayers a second time, John Grey distracting my
    thoughts too much the first. Fell asleep at ten. Dreamed that John
    Grey had demanded me of my Father. [39]




    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _Jan 27th, 1808._

    Poor Philip went to school to-day, to the great regret of all the
    party, for he is a general favourite. Such a lively little monkey I
    never saw.

    On Sunday Roast Beef and Plum Pudding [1] dined with us, and were
    entertaining as usual, also Orator Milnes, who was quite fascinating,
    the first time I ever saw him so! He is perfectly different with his
    town face to what he appears in Yorkshire. Yesterday we had a pleasant
    _dinnette_. In the evening Lady Glyn arrived _bien triste_, and Mrs
    Beaumont all magnificence for Lady Castlereagh's. We were much
    surprised to find Count Holmar [2] in town, but we have had the
    mystery explained. He took the Princes back to their own country, and
    then came back here on account of his love for Miss Gifford, Lady
    Lansdowne's daughter by her first husband. [3] She is pretty and
    clever, without much fortune, but Lord Lansdowne has taken a fancy to
    her, has settled Southampton Castle upon her, and having no child of
    his own, intends making her an heiress. The young lady does not like
    the Count much, but her friends wish it, so there are delicacies and
    difficulties enough for a novel of the first order. He spent three
    months there this autumn, and certainly as far as a pale cheek, sunk
    eyes, and slender form can prove anything, he is either hopelessly
    consumptive or in love. So much for him!

    Mrs Beaumont is quite on her high horse. 'Tis said _he_ has asked
    for a peerage on account of his _overwhelming_ influence in the
    county of York, all of which he employed in favour of Lord Milton!
    Bravo, say I!

    Another story is that he has had the offer of a Swedish order, fees
    £150, a sky-blue ribbon, which gives no place, and the honour of being
    a Sir, not hereditary. I never heard of its being conferred on any but
    dancing masters and medical geniuses.

    My father has become acquainted with Mrs Knox, and is much charmed
    with her. He says they seem to live in prodigious style, have a
    magnificent house, as finely furnished as Bretton. She said her son
    mentioned you in the highest terms.

    We were at the Opera on Saturday. Fuller of men I never saw it; the
    boxes thin. The Duchess of A. was there looking _fade_. Kelly's
    room is at an end; so we had the pleasure of waiting, or rather
    starving in the great room for near an hour.

Marianne Stanhope, later, thus describes this room at the Opera where the
audience assembled on leaving, and where each lady who was unattended by a
cavalier of her own family, strove anxiously to escape the crowning
ignominy of not having a beau to "hand her to her carriage."

    Then came the pleasures of the crush-room, that most singular of all
    places of amusement, where a mob of good company assemble twice a
    week, in a thorough draft of air, to enjoy the pleasure of inhaling
    the odours of expiring lamps, amid the ceaseless din of "Lady
    Townley's carriage stops the way"--"Lord D----'s servants'--"--"the
    Duchess of N---'s carriage"--"Lord P----'s coming down"--"The Duke of
    S---- must drive off," and sounds such as these constantly reiterated.

    Young ladies by the dozens were to be seen freezing, with shawls off
    one shoulder, trying to inveigle some man, by means of sweet words or
    sweeter looks, to hand them to their carriages; the unfortunate mammas
    behind them, looking worn out in the service, ready to expire with the
    cold and bustle, sinking on the sofa opposite to the fireplace to
    await their turn with what patience they might. [4]

And after enlarging upon the various methods by which the representatives
of the _haut ton_ strove likewise to secure the satisfaction of "hearing
their names proclaimed by each passer-by," she exclaims--"Say! ye
frequenters of the Opera round-room, if these are not its chiefest

Meanwhile the flirtations which were wont to beguile this tedious hour
invariably attracted much attention.

    _January 29th, 1808._

    I have heard some news respecting the little Viscount which surprises
    me--that he is to marry the second Miss Bouverie as soon as she is
    presented. [5] That the eldest was cruel & moreover that he always
    preferred the second, though he has never given the slightest hint &
    did not go near her at the Opera, not even in the crush-room. He is
    gone to Bath, probably to avoid the talk & gossip of London till it is
    publickly declared.

     _February 22nd, 1808._

    On Monday we were charmed at Drury Lane with Mrs Jordan in "_Three
    weeks after Marriage_." I admire her so much I could forgive the
    Duke of Clarence anything. On Friday, we had a dinner party at Mrs
    Glyn's--_hum-drum enough_. The next night we had a dinner here,
    at which we had George Hampson, who is now one of our great flirts; he
    has been much in Edinburgh and likes nothing better than Scotch

    The dear Prims [Primroses] dine here _à l'ordinaire_. I met the
    Viscount in the Park with his love, and he went again in the evening,
    but I wonder they don't dine together of a Sunday. She is a nice
    little girl, very genteel and pleasing, but no beauty like her sister,
    who is all-conquering this year. At Court the other day she had a
    trimming and headdress of her own composition, all pheasant's
    feathers, the plumage of two-and-thirty. As for poor little Frankey
    [Frank Primrose] as Mary Lowther says, all the Roast Beef and Plum
    Pudding will produce nothing.

    Miss de Visme [6] has not yet arrived. She has made great havoc among
    the Staffordshire beaux. Your old Square Flame, Miss Calcraft [7] is
    in a few months to come out a raging belle. She is amazingly admired
    by the few who have seen her. London is pronounced dullissimo, so pray
    continue to amuse yourself in Edinburgh, which by your account must be
    the gayest and pleasantest place in the world.

    We are much obliged to the Duchess of Gordon for giving you so happy
    an opportunity of announcing the beautiful, or extraordinary presents
    we may expect to receive--perhaps Scotch husbands--who knows! Pray
    don't be dilatory. Miss Glyn is smarter, gayer, and a greater flirt
    than ever. A last attempt--may it succeed!

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 26th, 1808._

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of your gay, wild epistle. You remind me
    of the French prisoner who was asked how he spent his time. He
    answered--"We breakfast, then dance; dine, dance again; sup--_encore
    la danse!_" This I begin to suspect is a Scotch life, and very good
    for bile, provided the dinners are such as the prisoner partook of.
    You seem to be the happiest of the happy and the gayest of the gay.

    Peter was quite shocked you had not mentioned Walter Scott. Have you
    ever met with him? Great expectations are formed of his poem. Campbell
    and Rogers are both going to publish poems.

    _March 11th, 1808._

    I believe I have not written to you since your sisters were at the
    Argyle Rooms, [8] which they liked extremely, but where they had small
    opportunity of exhibiting their new steps. There was first an
    Operetta, then a supper, and afterwards an attempt at a dance; but the
    stupid English voted it not _ton_, and there were only about fifteen
    couples who ventured to defy this opinion--Marianne and Mr Macdonald
    one of them. Anne remained a spectator. As the dancing did not seem to
    be approved, Mr Greville said, for the future there should be none
    except upon ball nights.

    _March 16th, 1808._

    We were at the Opera on Saturday and at the Argyle Rooms on Monday. At
    the latter place we had only a concert and supper--thin and I thought
    dull. The men are always in the house and have little time for
    anything but politicks.

    The King is, I understand, quite provoked with the Opposition, and
    says that their present method of proceeding is different to any that
    has ever been in his reign. They depend upon wearing out the
    Constitutions of the Ministers. Your father told Lord Castlereagh he
    was certain it was all owing to his pale face and therefore he ought
    to put on a little rouge. The Lords sending back the Bill on the
    orders of Council had given great spirits to the Opposition.

    The dullness of London is beyond anything I have ever known. The only
    new belle is Miss Hood, daughter to Lord Hood, who is quite beautiful.

    Your friend Mr Macdonald did us the honour to remember us at the
    Argyle Rooms, but he has made so little impression on your sisters,
    they both asked who he was.

Mr Macdonald, who was unfortunate in having made so little impression upon
Mrs Stanhope's daughters, was Archibald, third son of Alexander, Baron
Macdonald of Sleat, called "Lord of the Isles." He was a great friend of
John Stanhope, who, in 1806, had accompanied him on a canvassing tour
through the Hebrides when such an expedition was fraught with discomfort
and even danger, so little had civilization penetrated to that wild region
since the days of Dr Johnson's famous tour seventy years previously.
Failing in his canvass, Archibald Macdonald subsequently made another
attempt to obtain a seat in Parliament, of which he sent the following
account to the former companion of his efforts:--

    _Archibald Macdonald to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    METHVEN CASTLE, _May 26th, 1808._

    My Dear Stanhope,

    You will have heard by this time that I have been half way to the
    North Pole (Kirkwall in the Orkneys) in quest of a seat in Par., and
    perhaps you will also have heard that I did not find it. However, I
    left no stone unturned in my researches--Philosopher's stone
    excepted--and only came back from my transportation four days ago, not
    a little happy to find myself at Methven again, for such a country I
    never beheld. Starvation reigns there with _pinching sway_, as
    both my nose and my stomach very soon informed me, for the one was
    nipped into a sort of beetroot colour by the North Winds, and the
    other was forced thro' a course of Salt Fish and Whiskey, for the hard
    season had laid an embargo on animal food, etc., and this you will say
    was pinching fare for a candidate from the land of plenty! Posts, only
    once a week, were irregular.

    I must not forget to mention that I went to Orkney in the King's
    Cutter (The Royal George), and scarcely had we landed at Kirkwall than
    accounts were brought of a French privateer being within sight. Away
    went the Royal George, and, in 10 hours after, returned to her
    moorings with the _Passepartout_ of 16 guns and 63 men from Dunkirk.
    The French Captain, Vanglieme, was my guest to Leith, and a most
    extraordinary genius he was, full of life and spirits, not in the
    least downcast at his misfortunes. He had a most excellent little band
    of music on board, which amused us all the way home; he is now on his
    Parole at Peebles. His behaviour to some English Captains that he had
    taken was so generous that they came forward to sign a certificate in
    his behalf to be presented by me to the Commander-in-Chief, everything
    that can be done for him I hope will be done--generosity for

    I perceive a very beautiful place to be sold in ye papers, Park
    Place--Lord Malmesbury's. I wonder what they expect for it--it would
    suit me--but rather too high land.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _June 11th, 1808._

    The Princess of Wales danced all night at Burlington House with Lord
    Ebrington.... Mrs Bankes's rout was as full and as good as even she
    could wish, so many men scarcely ever seen at any Assembly, & in every
    respect it was good. The only disappointment was that the night would
    not permit of the world going into the Garden, tho' it was lighted &
    the Pandear Band played. Before we came away they were beginning to
    dance, but to that music I do not think it could be kept up with

    We left dancing also at Lady Neave's, & had thoughts of returning
    there, but Mrs Bankes's was too pleasant to allow of our attempting to
    get away,--no easy thing if we had wished it, for I really believe
    there must have been near 2,000 people there.

    A most desperate flirtation between Miss Glyn & Mr Archibald Grey. How
    fine "my Uncle Portland" would sound! Little Sir D----y would be
    killed with delight.

    To-day and to-morrow we dine fourteen. Your father was at the House
    till past five yesterday morning. However, he stole an hour for Mrs

Mrs Bankes, the wife of the M.P. for Corfe Castle, [9] presumably gave
this successful party for her two daughters, one of whom Lord Broughton,
writing a few years later, describes as "lively and entertaining, very
lovely and very clever, but a little odd." This latter characteristic
appears to have been shared by her father, for various stories of his
absent-mindedness have survived, and one mentioned by the same
correspondent was often subsequently quoted with peculiar zest by his
large circle of acquaintance. When Chantrey was thinking of a design for
Satan, Mr Bankes, in the presence of a grave and learned assembly,
volunteered the following unexpected recommendation: "My dear Chantrey,
you had better choose some part of Satan's history and so make your task
more easy--take, for instance, his conflict with _sin and death_!" The
shout of laughter with which this unsolicited advice was received
completely mystified Mr Bankes, who, for some time could not be persuaded
that he had made any inappropriate suggestion. Nevertheless both he and
his wife enjoyed exceptional popularity, and their parties were
appreciated far more than the next entertainment referred to by Mrs

    _June 20th._

    Lady Dartmouth gives a breakfast at Blackheath this morning, the heat
    and dust will be dreadful. To-night we expect to be amused at the
    Argyle Rooms, as those who choose may go in masks. Lady Harrington
    goes nowhere, and the Marquis almost lives here.

Meanwhile the news from the continent was again calculated to arrest the
attention of the most frivolous amongst the gay world of London. Events
were assuming a more threatening aspect. The long-protracted Peninsular
war had begun; but Sir Arthur Wellesley, dispatched to the relief of
Portugal, three weeks after landing defeated Junot in a decisive victory
at Roliga, on August 17th, 1808. Had he then pushed on, as it was said he
wished to do, the whole French army must have surrendered; but his
superior officers, Sir Harry Burrard and Sir Hugh Dalrymple, who landed on
the two succeeding days, forbade all pursuit, and, it was asserted,
obliged Wellesley to sign with them the pitiful Convention of Cintra,
which allowed the French army to evacuate Portugal unharmed, and to be
carried on British ships back to France. Junot admitted frankly that his
men would have capitulated had they been pursued but two miles by the
English, and so great was the indignation roused in England by the news of
this fiasco, that the three generals demanded and obtained a court-
martial. All were acquitted; but Wellesley, who had denounced the
Convention vehemently before the Court, was instantly employed again, an
honour which was denied to his superior officers. Hence the refrain, which
became a favourite at the time.

  Sir Arthur and Sir Harry, Sir Harry and Sir Hew,
    Doodle, doodle, doodle, cock a doodle doo!
  Sir Arthur was a gallant knight, but for the other two
    Doodle, doodle, doodle, cock a doodle doo!

Some years afterwards, with regard to this famous occurrence, John
Stanhope wrote in his journal--

    I regret that I did not at the time dwell at a greater length upon the
    Convention of Cintra.... That Convention and even the battle of
    Vimiera, at one time the theme of every tongue, are effaced from the
    memory of even us their contemporaries by the more brilliant
    achievements of the British army--by successes which have blotted out
    all recollections of former errors. I can scarcely recall to my mind
    the arguments that were used for and against that Convention by those
    who were present at the battle; but the feeling against it in England
    was so strong, that, strange as it may appear in these days, at a Race
    Ball at Carlisle where I accompanied my father, then Member for that
    City, when the Steward, Sir James Graham, gave the health of Sir
    Arthur Wellesley, an officer rose and declared that he would not drink
    the health of a General _who had disgraced England_.

    That Sir Arthur Wellesley was fortunate in throwing the blame from his
    own shoulders on to his superiors in command, there can be little
    doubt, as notwithstanding the assertion of his friends, it is not
    possible to consider the signature of such a man in the situation that
    he then held, as a mere matter of official duty.

    If a General is superseded in his command in the hour of victory he
    does not become a mere aide-de-camp or secretary to the officer by
    whom he has been superseded. In conducting a negociation, he stands
    rather in the position of an ambassador, who, though he may not have
    full power himself, is still held to be mainly responsible for the
    treaty that he signs. If Sir Arthur only signed the Convention
    _officially_, he ought, for the sake of his own character, at
    once to have remonstrated openly against all the terms of which he
    disapproved and which tarnished the splendour of his victory.

    The obvious conclusion to be drawn from his signature of the
    Convention was that, the opportunity of following up the victory
    having been lost, the surrender of Lisbon and the evacuation of the
    whole of Portugal by the French troops were advantages too great to be
    rejected and left to the uncertain decision of arms.

    But whatever may have been his private opinion, he was fortunate to
    rise superior to the disgrace which fell upon his commanding officers,
    probably because the victory of Vimiera must have served  to open the
    eyes of our Government to the folly of  submitting a man of his
    abilities to the command of  Generals higher in rank but far inferior
    in military  experience. It can but appear singular that a  General
    should be superseded in his command in the  very moment of battle, and
    that, before his successor  had time to grasp the reins of power, the
    latter  should in turn be himself succeeded, by yet another
    commander! It affords an extraordinary instance  either of indecision
    or of intrigue in the Cabinet!... Suffice it to say that this
    Triumvirate produced  as a monument to their glory the Convention
    of Cintra!

Following upon this event, Sir John Moore took command of the British
troops in Portugal, and advanced into Spain to relieve the Spaniards.
"There was," relates John Stanhope, "at this period no man in the army
whose character stood higher than that of Sir John Moore. He was a man of
the finest principles and of the most undaunted courage; by those under
his command he was adored. In the hour of battle he had the most perfect
self-possession and confidence both in his troops and in himself, which
alone was sufficient to ensure success. Though not a fortunate general, he
was esteemed one of the most able in the British service, and it gives me
pleasure to add, that I have since heard French officers who served
against him give the highest testimony in favour of his military conduct.
But his political opinions, which were hostile to Government, added to the
difficulty of his situation, and that circumstance undoubtedly weighed
upon his mind.... It is to this very susceptibility, this want of moral
courage and readiness to sacrifice his own reputation to the cause in
which he was engaged, that his misfortunes are principally to be

The story of Moore's advance into Spain, as John Stanhope points out,
"undoubtedly betrays, both on his part and on that of the Government, a
most lamentable ignorance of the real state of that country. Because they
heard of Spanish armies in the field, they idly supposed that these were
armies in the accepted sense of the word and not a mere collection of
peasants, undisciplined and chiefly unarmed, officered by men as ignorant
of their profession as themselves and commanded by a General yet more
incompetent.--And with armies so composed they actually sent a British
force to co-operate! ... Sir John Moore had not been long in Spain before
he discovered the mistake that had been committed and the danger of his
situation; he saw at once that the course he ought to adopt was to retreat
upon Portugal, fall back upon his resources and rely entirely upon his own

The story of his dilemma, and of how he was forced to act against his
convictions, is well known to posterity. After dwelling at length upon the
aspects of the situation, John Stanhope concludes:

    He made a rapid march on Madrid and was on the point of attacking
    Soult when he learnt, by an  intercepted dispatch, that Bonaparte was
    marching against him in person and that he was in immediate danger
    of being surrounded. The consequence  was his famous retreat. As to
    the manner in which that was conducted, I have heard a French
    General, who was employed in the actual army by which Moore was
    pursued, speak of his enemy's tactics with boundless admiration. But
    perhaps the highest praise which can be accorded to it is that the
    pursuit, in the first instance, was conducted by Bonaparte in person,
    and subsequently by Soult and Ney under his express directions, and
    yet that  Sir John Moore succeeded in effecting his escape without
    once being _entraîné_, and crowned his efforts by the victory of
    Corunna--a victory which, sealed as it was with his own blood, ought
    to wash out the memory of any errors which he may have committed. [10]

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    RAMSGATE, _January 27th, 1809._

    You will have experienced the greatest grief for the loss of our
    gallant defender, Sir John Moore--a great blow to this country. But
    while deploring his death, we must not forget to glory in what our
    brave troops performed, tho' 'tis grievous to think how many lives
    have been lost, and what the remaining army have gone through, without
    lamenting that this almost unexampled victory will be of so little

    Last night this place was thrown into surprise and confusion by the
    arrival of one or two Transports with part of the 52nd, and of two or
    three other Regiments. The poor men were obliged to pass the night in
    the Transports as they could not come on shore till the orders came
    from Canterbury. Your father went last night to see some of them. He
    found a Serjeant who said they had no assistance from the Spaniards,
    but the accounts are so various I do not like to give too ready credit
    to what I hear, tho' I hear there is not the patriotism amongst them
    one should suppose.

    Lady Lilford, [11] that beauty _en masse_ (who is here with two
    daughters ill out of the four she has with her) was made very happy
    last night by the arrival of her Son who was in the 52nd, & of whom
    she had not been able to hear anything.

    We have put on a black ribbon for Major Stanhope, son to Lord
    Stanhope. [12]

    The Knoxs will have been in great anxiety, for they have a son in the
    52nd. Knox would be just in time to receive him.

The excitement occasioned by news of the victory of Corunna and the
lamentable death of Sir John Moore had scarcely abated when the attention
of the public was arrested by a _cause célèbre_ which occasioned an
unprecedented commotion.

The Duke of York, Commander-in-Chief, had for three years had a _liaison_
with Mrs Mary Anne Clarke, a woman of humble origin, but great powers of
fascination. It was at length discovered that she had been selling
commissions in the army for extortionate sums and sinecures in almost
every department of State, so that men of all classes, by her
intervention, had procured places and privileges as a matter of
favouritism or of merchandise. So much was this the case, that a footman
whom she liked was given a commission in the Army, and a clergyman, for
substantial payment, had secured the honour of preaching before the King.
On January 27th, 1809, Colonel Wardle, M.P. for Okehampton, brought
forward a motion of inquiry in the House, charging the Commander-in-Chief,
not only with having been a party to such practices, but of actually
participating in the proceeds. Instead of this inquiry taking place, as he
had intended, before a secret Committee, so great was the belief in the
Duke's innocence, that it was decided to give the investigation all the
publicity possible, and that the witnesses should be examined before the
whole House. This was singularly unfortunate, as the consequent scandal
was great.

On February 14th, 1809, Mrs Stanhope wrote:--

    The House sat till three this morning examining Mrs Clarke, who your
    father says is a lively, clever woman. End as it will, it must be
    disgraceful to the Duke of York. The King is much hurt at it. Except
    the floods, that is the only subject of conversation.

During the progress of the inquiry, Mrs Clarke appeared daily at the bar
of the House exquisitely dressed, witty, impudent, and answering the
attacks of the cross-examiners with a cleverness and fund of smart
repartee which completely foiled them. On March 8th, Mrs Stanhope wrote

    It is very extraordinary that the day should arrive and Colonel Wardle
    never have signified what his Motion is to be. Tierney wrote to him
    the day before yesterday, to which the answer was that he should not
    be at the House, and referred him to Lord Folkstone who did not appear
    till the Debate was begun; therefore all is conjecture. This conduct
    on the part of Mr Wardle will be in favour of the Duke, who I doubt
    not will be honourably acquitted.

    Mr Burrell says, what a fuss they make about the Duke's having what
    every man in Office must have--_a clerk_.

    Mr Stephens, brother-in-law to Wilberforce, made a speech of four
    hours on the Commission business. For three he commanded attention. It
    will be published.

Although the verdict eventually given declared charitably that the Duke
was exonerated from the charge of personal corruption, it was evident that
he had been guilty of culpable neglect of his duty, that he had signed
papers presented to him without troubling to read them, and had agreed to
every arrangement made by Mrs Clarke, although knowing that she was making
a traffic of such commissions.

The Duke, in consequence, was forced to resign his Commandership, although
in 1811, he was, to the indignation of many people, reinstated in it by
his brother, the Prince Regent.

Ere that date, however, another topic of conversation had been provided
for the social world.

    _February 25th, 1809._

    We are very quiet. To-night, we go to the  Opera, and on Wednesday,
    another dance at Mrs  Knox's and _voilà tout_. Your father was at
    the House till four, but I cannot give you any account of the
    Debate, as our thoughts have been engaged by the fire at Drury Lane.
    The whole fabrick  burned down in a very short time. Fortunately, as
    it is Lent, the Theatre was not open. It took fire during the
    rehearsal, and even some of the stalls are down. Charles has been
    there this morning and says there was only one life lost. It is the
    fifth theatre I remember being burnt. Canning was speaking when the
    account reached the House. The Debate was immediately interrupted,
    and it was proposed to adjourn, but Sheridan requested they would
    not postpone it for him, and it went on. Knox, with his good-humour,
    asked Anne if he was  not to have a ticket in my box, but she told
    him, as he could not want one at present, he should have one from
    the beginning of April.

    Your father and Lord James [13] go to the Speaker's to-night. We are
    grown very good and walk in Hyde Park every day. From Ramsgate, I hear
    that the place is full of poor Irish soldiers who are dying fast. I
    fear the mortality has been so great since the return of the Army that
    it will increase the loss of men largely.

The destruction of Drury Lane was rendered yet more tragic by the
conditions under which the news of such a startling disaster reached those
who were most affected by it. "On the 24th of February," Michael Kelly
relates, "Mr Richard Wilson gave a dinner to the principal actors and
officers of Drury Lane Theatre, at his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields. All
was mirth and glee; it was about 11 o'clock when Mr Wilson rose and drank
'Prosperity and Success to Drury Lane Theatre.' We filled a bumper to the
toast; and at the very moment when we were raising the glasses to our
lips, repeating '_Success to Drury Lane Theatre_' in rushed the younger
Miss Wilson and screamed out, '_Drury Lane Theatre is in flames!_' We ran
into the Square and saw the dreadful sight. The fire raged with such fury
that it perfectly illuminated Lincoln's Inn Fields with the brightness of
day. We proceeded to the scene of destruction. Messrs Peake and Dunn, the
Treasurers, dashed up the stairs, at the hazard of their lives, to the
iron Chest in which papers of the greatest consequence were deposited.
With the aid of two intrepid firemen they succeeded in getting the Chest
into the street--little else was saved.

"I had not only the poignant grief of beholding the magnificent structure
burning with merciless fury, but of knowing that all the scores of operas
which I had composed for the Theatre, the labour of years, were then
consuming. It was an appalling sight! And, with a heavy heart I walked
home to Pall Mall. At the door I found my servant waiting for me, who told
me that two gentlemen had just called, and, finding I was not at home had
said, 'Tell your master when he comes home, that Drury Lane is now in
flames, and that the Opera House shall go next.' I made every effort to
trace these obliging personages, but never heard anything more of them.

"Mr Sheridan was in the House of Commons when the dreadful event was made
known, and the Debate was one in which he was taking a prominent part. In
compliment to his feelings, it was moved that the House should adjourn.

"Mr Sheridan said that he gratefully appreciated such a mark of attention,
but he would not allow an adjournment, for 'Public duty ought to precede
all private interest,' and with Roman fortitude he remained at his post
while his Play House was burning." [14]

Sheridan, indeed, in the midst of such a misfortune, showed a nobility and
disinterestedness which did him infinite credit. Forgetful of self, he
begged the whole Theatrical Company to stand by each other, even at
personal loss, till the Theatre could be rebuilt, pointing out that while
the superior actors would have little difficulty in getting other
engagements, the inferior ones were in far other case. "Let us," he urged,
"make the general good our sole consideration. Elect yourselves into a
Committee and keep in remembrance even the poor sweepers of the stage,
who, with their children, must starve if not protected by your fostering

Although the cause of the disaster was never ascertained, a general
impression prevailed that the Theatre had not been set on fire by
accident, and the mysterious message left at the house of the unhappy
manager seemed to confirm this suspicion. A report was also current that
the Prince of Wales had some time previously received an anonymous letter
telling him that all the principal public buildings should be burnt down
one after the other. Innumerable fires, indeed, occurred, and many people
were afraid of attending the Opera, since it was rumoured that a train of
gunpowder had been found under it. Hence, doubtless, the "good-humoured"
request of Mr Knox for a seat at the post of danger; and shortly
afterwards another mention of him occurs. He had attended a Drawing-room
held by the Queen, which had proved unusually crowded, owing to the
sympathy that all were anxious to show for the Royal family on the
acquittal of the Duke of York.

    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _March, 1809._

    Knox was presented yesterday, and his Mamma takes him to introduce to
    all her acquaintances, which he does not like. Her last ball was much
    too full, she might have opened her whole house, therefore, there was
    no good dancing till just before supper, when the Musick was sent
    away, to the sore annoyance of Anne, who was just beginning the dance
    with Mr Fraser. The Knoxs say that Charlotte Bouverie is a painted
    thing, but Archy was charmed with her, and her dancing. He has given
    up talking of home, both he and Lord James dine here again, the 11th,
    with the Primroses and Mr Knox, Lady Milton, Lord Euston, and some
    others. The Drawingroom was very full yesterday, and I believe the
    Queen spoke to everybody; she thinks there are times to be civil.

    I was surprised at Court to hear Knox say he thought it was
    everybody's duty to go to Court yesterday, as he supposed Queens would
    feel like other Mothers. I was delighted to hear so loyal a speech
    from one of that house, for though his father and his uncle are in
    possession of a place of £10,000 a year, I do not believe they are
    disposed that way.

    Miss Shuckburgh [15] was presented yesterday, and as she has a
    borough, Knox thought she might be worth looking at, but the Borough
    and Twelve Thousand a year must be thought of, by any one disposed to
    think of her.

    The Beaumonts are to be at Cheltenham on Monday, the Colonel is much
    better, a _very_ large Blister has roused his senses. [16]

    _March 22nd._

    You must put on a black coat for the Duchess of Bolton who died
    yesterday. [17]

    _March 30th, 1809._

    Your brother Philip is by the kindness of the Duke of Montrose, the
    Master of the Horse, appointed Page to His Majesty. We are ordering
    him his smart uniform, sword, etc., for him to go to Court in, to kiss
    the King and Queen's hand, the week after next.

    Marianne is busy learning to make shoes. Archy was so pleased that he
    has begun. The Shoemaker says he does very well, but he thinks Lord
    James [Murray] understands better. The Master is a Scotchman. What
    think you of Princess Charlotte learning the trade? It rather
    discomposes me, as it is not an amusement for a Queen of England.

A novel occupation was absorbing the attention of the fashionable world.
The craze for making shoes suddenly obsessed Society. Shoemakers
unexpectedly found themselves the most favoured of mortals. Lessons in
their art were demanded on all sides and at all costs. They were so busy
teaching it, they had little time to practise it. Men and women alike
would forego engagements while they strove to perfect themselves in the
new hobby; and the lady who, at balls, could boast that her feet had been
shod by her own fair hands was an object of envy to all the less talented.

The Stanhopes threw themselves with avidity into the new pastime, and
still in existence are the little cards which they had printed in jest
announcing that this new profession was "Carried on at Cannon Hall and
Grosvenor Square." Mrs Stanhope apparently viewed the occupation with
equanimity, save when it became the recreation of Royalty. Nevertheless it
seems occasionally to have interfered seriously with her arrangements.
That same month she writes:--

    I have not seen Archy of some days, but I think I shall this morning
    as I have sent an Opera ticket for either him or Lord James yesterday,
    and they neither of them appeared. They are so busy learning to make
    shoes that they can think of nothing else, and all engagements are

    The new opera last night was excellent. The _Chasse of Henri Quatre_
    when we had _Viva, Viva, Nostro Re_, there was universal applause, and
    it was with spirit encored. The dancing excellent. Miss Gaylon does
    not dance after Saturday, as she is to marry a Mr Murray, a clergyman.

    Knox is gone to Ireland; I believe heartily glad to get from his
    Mamma's introductions. When he was introduced to the Duke of
    Gloucester, H.R.H. inquired what profession he was brought up to--and
    at the reply exclaimed--"What, _no_ profession!" Mrs Knox, who
    had presented him as an eldest son, coloured.

    I must conclude with an extract from the papers:--

    "A few days ago was married by special license, at St George's Church,
    Hanover Square, Mr Tho. Kay of Hickleton, near Doncaster, farrier and
    blacksmith, to Miss Sarah Walker, of Upper Grosvenor Street, London."

    The enclosed paragraph I send you, because the lady is my _laundry-
    maid_, and is at this moment at the wash-tub. She chose to marry a
    day or two before I came to Town, to the rare annoyance of my footman,
    Robert, as there had long been an attachment between them, though she
    is old enough for his mother. She has now announced her decision to
    the fashionable world.

Meanwhile the visit to Ireland does not seem to have been altogether happy
for Mr Knox. Various letters speak of his serious illness, and the
multiplicity of the remedies resorted to in his aid rivalled those
employed on behalf of Lady Elizabeth Lowther. On June 11th a certain Mr
Maconochie, a Scotch friend of John Stanhope, wrote from Edinburgh:--

    We had fine fun at Pitt's dinner. Lord Melville made a very good
    speech; we had good singing too. I went to the evening Collation on
    the King's Birthday where there was about 1,000 people, and the
    immortal memory of Mr Pitt drunk with three times three. The Whigs, I
    can assure you, are quite down in Scotland.

    By the way when I speak of Whigs, you have alarmed me very much about
    poor Knox. What is his complaint? You have never told me, you only say
    he is in great danger--no wonder, poor fellow, _with six physicians
    attending him_.

Later, Mr Maconochie furnished John Stanhope with news of another common

    I was in Edinburgh on Wednesday last. Mrs Playfair has got three or
    four youths from the South, among whom is the _aimable_ Lord John
    Russell [19] I suppose he intends to honour the speculative with his
    presence as Mrs Playfair told me she hoped I would not vote against
    him. I certainly shall not, as I think any _thing_ of the appearance
    of a gentleman will be of invaluable service.

    You must observe in the newspapers that old Sir William Douglas [20]
    is dead, and I am very sorry to say that owing to the negligence and
    delay of Frank Walker's papa, our friend William does not succeed
    nearly to what his Uncle intended, nor does he indeed get anything
    till after his father's death.

    The state of the Case is this:--Sir William met his agent, Mr Walker,
    at Harrogate, this summer, and he then desired him to make out a
    settlement for him by which he left _everything_ he should die
    possessed of to William. Mr Walker recommended him to delay it till he
    should get to Scotland that he might execute it formally. To this Sir
    William agreed. On his getting to London, however, he found himself so
    very unwell that he wrote to Mr Walker to say that he had no time to
    lose. Mr Walker, none the less, still delayed, and did not send the
    Deeds for above a fortnight, and Sir William had died two days before
    they reached Town. By the Will which is valid, and which was executed
    so long ago as the year 1790, his whole fortune is to be divided
    between three brothers, William's Papa, Mr Douglas (Sir James Shaw's
    partner), and one in America. The American one is since dead, leaving
    an only daughter, and there is a great question whether or not she
    will be entitled to anything.

    But let the worst come to the worst, our friend will have the Castle
    Douglas estate entire, about £7,000 per annum, besides his father's
    estate of Orchardton, £5,000 a year more. This he will in a great
    measure owe to his uncle, Mr Douglas's, kindness, who says that as far
    as possible, the unexecuted Deed shall be complied with. In the
    meantime, you see, he would have nothing till his father's death.

    But I have since heard that the old Boy is going to reside at Castle
    Douglas, and going to give his present place immediately to William.

    Douglas is no doubt disappointed, as he has lost above £150,000
    exclusive of what he will get, for actually the old Curmudgeon died
    worth, £4,000,000!

From such an event as the disposal of a fortune of four hundred thousand,
the thoughts of Mrs Stanhope were again distracted by the news in the
political world. A letter from Archibald Macdonald, dated July 23rd, 1809,
echoes the current gossip respecting Lord Wellesley, afterwards Viceroy of
Ireland, of whose movements with regard to the Continental campaign no one
could speak with certainty. "Is he gone to Spain or not?" questioned Mr
Macdonald. "I have heard it very confidently asserted that he is not
going, and that all his _gout_, etc., is merely affected to prevent his
being sent. In short, that he has changed all his plans and did not
venture to stir one step. On the other hand, it is said, that he is become
nearly quite imbecile." Meanwhile, although Sir Arthur Wellesley had
obtained victories at Oporto and at Talavera, having been unsupported by
the Spaniards he was obliged to retreat; and following on this, an
expedition sent out by the British Government to Walcheren under Lord
Chatham proved a terrible failure. The mutual recriminations of Canning
and Castlereagh led to their resignation and resulted in a duel which took
place between them on September 9th, and of which Archibald Macdonald

    When we were at Glasgow Circuit the Lord Advocate shewed me Lord
    Castlereagh's _own_ account of the duel, and really from it I
    think there is no doubt he behaved most infamously. Canning was
    certainly not in the least to blame. I hope the King will still take
    Lord Wellesley and him into the Cabinet.

    Lord Melville intended to have gone to England in the beginning of the
    month; he has now, however, determined not to stir till everything is
    fixed, lest it should be said that he has gone a-place hunting.

In October Perceval succeeded the Duke of Portland as Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, while Lord
Wellesley became Minister for Foreign Affairs. A rumour meanwhile reached
the Stanhopes with regard to their young friend Mr Pemberton Milnes which
roused their curiosity.

    What say you in the South to the Administration? Will it be possible
    for them to go on? 'Tis strongly reported here that Milnes refused
    being Chancellor of the Exchequer. True it is that a King's Messenger
    was sent to him, and I believe that something which he declined was
    offered to him, but surely not that great office. I live in dread of
    the United _Talents_ being called in! Lord Wellesley and Lord
    Melville might enable them to go on, but without them they will never
    do. I am still willing to hope that Peace is not signed and that
    Bonaparte may be ill.

The true story of the offer which was made to Pemberton Milnes was
afterwards thus recorded by John Stanhope:--

    Soon after he left Cambridge, Milnes made a bet of £300 to £500 with
    Kit Wilson, then a great character on the Turf--indeed for a long time
    Father of the Turf--that before seven years were over he should be
    Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not mention this from mere rumour,
    for I heard Mr Wilson himself tell the story at dinner at Wentworth
    House, adding that the bet was drawn before the seven years were over.
    As will be seen by his letter to me, he was actually offered the
    Chancellorship of the Exchequer at five-and-twenty,--not perhaps
    exactly in the view in which he originally intended, as that place has
    now for years been considered as attached to the position of the Prime
    Minister, but still with a place in the Cabinet.

    _Robert Pemberton Milnes to Walter Spencer-Stanhope._
    _October 23rd, 1809._

    My Dear Sir,

    As I feel as strongly as I can the kind expressions of friendship that
    we have interchanged, and as I flatter myself on this occasion you may
    find an interest in what perhaps may be thought a leading event in my
    life, I sit down to send you a line informing you of my having reached
    London, having received a letter from Perceval which would have made
    it personally disrespectful to him had I declined coming. On my
    arrival here, and after he had submitted in great detail the history
    of the Cabinet discussions, he closed by no less an offer than saying
    he had the King's orders to propose to me the situation either of
    Chancellor of the Exchequer or Secretary of War,--the latter without a
    seat in the Cabinet, if I wished to lessen the responsibility.

    This was on Saturday, and I have employed the interval, not in
    reviewing the grounds upon which he stands as Prime Minister, which
    really on the first statement satisfied me there was no alternative,
    but in duly weighing my own situation and taking my measure (as it
    were) for my fitness for the Office. The result of my reflections has
    been to decline both offers. In so doing, you may imagine I had no
    ordinary feelings of personal vanity to contend with, nor a common
    self-satisfaction in thinking that the proposal had been made me. At
    the same time, dazzling as the place of a high Cabinet situation might
    have been, I do conscientiously assure you that I looked to my country
    more than to myself, and differing from Perceval in thinking that its
    interests would well be entrusted in my hands, I have answered
    decisively that I thought there were others who would conduct them

    I believe that he proposes offering the Chancellorship of the
    Exchequer to Rose, and the Secretaryship of War to Palmerston.

    In all this business, however well or ill determined on my part, you
    will be glad to hear that I think Perceval's case quite a triumphant
    one, and such as, when well stated to Parliament, will meet with sure

    I write in the greatest hurry.

    I am, dear Sir,
    Yours most faithfully,


The tradition of this famous bet has long been related and disputed. The
incident was one of national importance, for it was the refusal of Mr
Milnes to accept this brilliant offer pressed upon him by Perceval which
gave Lord Palmerston admission into the Ministry, and started him on a
career which finally led him to the Premiership. Lord Palmerston's Maiden
Speech in the House was made in reply to one by Mr Milnes.

In Mrs Milnes's Diary, there is given the following account of the
reception of the offer by her husband:--

    One morning when we were at breakfast a King's Messenger drove up in a
    post-chaise-and-four with a despatch from Mr Perceval, offering Mr
    Milnes the choice of a seat in the Cabinet, either as Chancellor of
    the Exchequer or Secretary of War. Mr Milnes immediately said "Oh no!
    I will not accept either. With my temperament I should be dead in a
    year." I knelt and entreated that he should, and represented that it
    might be an advantage to our little boy, please God he lived, but all
    was to no purpose, and he went up to London to decline the most
    flattering and distinguished compliment ever known to have been paid
    to so young a man. [21]

Immediately after Christmas, as was their custom, the Stanhopes returned
to London, and 1810 found them once more resuming their life in Grosvenor

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 27th, 1810._

    London is not yet gay. Of Politicks, whether the present Ministers can
    stand seems doubtful. Lord Chatham in his examination throws blame on
    the Navy; his having presented a paper to the King without any
    communication with the other Ministers, has made sad work. The
    business in the House is every day, and all day, and all night.

    I have not seen any of your friends yet. Miss Acklom is not yet come.
    The body of Mr Eden [22] is found, & though he had been so long in the
    water, some Bank Notes were found perfect in his pocket.

    Sir T. Gascoigne [23] and Sir C. Turner [24] both dead, the former has
    left his fortune to the Olivers, and failing them and their issue to
    Lord Fitzwilliam--very distant, if any relation.

    Sir C. Turner, his house, stud, and plate at Newmarket to his groom
    there; everything else, for ever, to Lady Turner.

    Honoria Blake has married Captain Cadogan--amiable and poor. Lord and
    Lady Barnard to live at the Duchess of Bolton's old house--the two
    Lords of that name so near will make a confusion.

    _March 20th, 1810._

    There are more girls of high fashion just come out than has been known
    for many years.

    London, I never knew so dull.... I hear of no matches, the flirtations
    have not yet begun.

    _March 27th, 1810._

    Ministers have much to do this week. The Walcheren Debate came on
    yesterday and is to last Tuesday; Wednesday they repose from their
    labours, and Thursday and some say Friday the Debate is to last.

    We have sent to Mr Knox for the numbers, he came home at one, and he
    thought there would be no division. I suppose this question will
    decide the fate of the Ministers.

    There was a very interesting debate the other day on a statute,
    precluding all men who have written on hire for newspapers from
    becoming Members of Lincoln's Inn. A lawyer present described a case
    in which a young man of the highest expectations, most distinguished
    education, might be driven by necessity to accept of such an offer for
    existence. After enlarging with great feeling on such a case, he
    concluded by saying he had not described an imaginary situation, but
    his own, thirty years before. The applause of the House was excessive.
    I wish you may meet with the speech for it was very interesting.

    Sir F. Burdett has published a letter to say that the House of Commons
    have no right to imprison Gale Jones. [25] There is to be a debate
    upon it. I fear his conduct will do much mischief. His letter is
    addressed to his Constituents.

    Pole Carew got drunk at Oxford and made such a riot he was sent to the
    Castle. Think of Wentworth (Beaumont) coming from Cambridge to have a
    tooth out without leave!

[Illustration: SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, BT., M P.
_From an engraving by Wm. Sharp, after a picture by J. Northcote, R.A.
Painted while Sir Francis was a prisoner in the Tower._]

    _April, 1810._

    Yesterday early I went into the Park to see between 4,000 & 5,000
    Cavalry pass in Review before the Commander-in-Chief. The sight was
    highly gratifying, the morning beautiful, & as they entered from the
    Kensington Barracks & went down the Ride, all the carriages went up
    the drive, several open carriages and a large concourse of people both
    on foot & horseback. It was well-timed, as this morning there is to be
    a Meeting of the Electors of Westminster in Westminster Hall to
    address, I believe, the Commons for having deprived them of one of
    their Members, but the sight of the army yesterday will, I doubt not,
    keep all quiet.

    Sir F. Burdett is going to Law with the Speaker on the illegality of
    his Warrant. Thursday, the Foot Troops are all to be reviewed in the
    Park, the number about 17,000. Major Gibbs and his Regiment are on
    guard in the Square.... Since Sir F. Burdett was safe in the Tower the
    town has been perfectly quiet & all parties in the House join to
    condemn his conduct.

    _May 10th._

    This year there is quite a new Ball set. Mrs Beaumont's was the best
    of the year--a child's Ball from 8 to 10, and then a grown-up one, two
    suppers, magnificently done, never too full, nor too hot. I had a few
    people before, only 14 or 15 women and plenty of men. They danced to
    the Pianoforte.

    I invited Lady Eleanora Dundas. [26] Our visiting arose from an odd
    mistake. She called here and believed herself at Lady Dalkeith's. I,
    somewhat surprised at her invasion, of course, as in politeness bound,
    returned her visit--at which _she_ must have been much astonished,
    being still unaware she had called on _me_. When she came to return my
    return-visit, she was not a little shocked and surprised to discover
    where she had actually been when she supposed herself to be calling
    upon Lady Dalkeith! Archy says La Belle [27] is to marry the son of
    Picture Davis, at whose house they are, and who has bought Lord
    Leicester's house.

    London is very gay now. Mrs Knox has contributed more to its gaiety
    than anybody yet. Last night she had another excellent dance
    downstairs in two rooms. I was there till five, Esther (Acklom) with
    me, the little Lord still perseveres, but I am told it will not do.

    Archy has got a capital house, elegantly furnished, in Connaught
    Place, close to Tyburn, with a fine view of the Park.

    _May 22nd, 1810._

    To-day all the world are wishing it may continue fair, as Lady
    Buckinghamshire gives a Venetian Breakfast. I scarcely expect she will
    find the world fools enough to mask by daylight.

    The last week has not been gay, we have had nothing but dinners and

    Lord James Murray was married on Saturday, [28] and this day at twelve
    Miss Dashwood gives her hand to Lord Ely, [29] all her first cousins
    to attend to the amount of forty. I hope he will behave well to her
    for she is truly amiable.

    To-day Esther goes to the Breakfast, to the Opera to-night with us,
    and then to sup at Devonshire House with Lady Caroline Wortley. I see
    no beau likely to succeed at present.

Towards the close of 1810 the mental affliction under which George III.
had so long suffered became more pronounced, and was declared by his
physicians to be incurable. In the February following, the Bill was passed
by which the Prince of Wales became King in all but name; and forthwith,
in the worst possible taste, he determined to celebrate the inauguration
of his regency by a fête at Carlton House, which should surpass all
previous entertainments given by him in its unrivalled magnificence. The
selfishness which prompted such callous indifference to the condition of
his father was accentuated by the fact that he fixed upon the date of the
old King's birthday as an appropriate anniversary on which to hold this
public rejoicing at the incapacity of the unfortunate monarch; while the
occasion was rendered still more memorable by the fact that from this
great festivity, not only was the Princess of Wales perforce excluded and
Mrs Fitzherbert, by a studied slight on his part, prevented from
attending, but even the unoffending Princess Charlotte, now verging on
womanhood and panting to taste that gladness of youth of which she had
known so little, was denied participation in the gaiety for which she
ardently longed.

None the less, all other members of the world of fashion went to the
entertainment, which proved one of surpassing brilliancy. The night was
fine, and the company, which began arriving soon after nine o'clock,
stayed till the small hours of the following morning. The walks adjacent
to the Palace were enclosed and converted into temporary rooms, glittering
with lights and festooned with flowers. The supper took place at two
o'clock in the morning in an exquisite grotto of rare exotics, and along
the centre of the table, which was 200 feet long, a river of pure water
flowed from a beautiful fountain at its head. Gold and silver fish
disported themselves in its limpid waters, while along its banks were
ranged cool green moss and aquatic flowers. In contrast with this scene of
simulated sylvan beauty, the daily papers relate with awe, if with some
lack of humour, that "the gold and silver plate used at the fête amounted
to seven tons. _Nearly a wagon load of it belonged to the late Sir W.
Pulteney and was borrowed for the occasion._" In the midst of this
astonishing display, surrounded by his most favoured friends and waited on
by sixty servitors, sat the Regent, resplendent in his finest clothes and
swelling in the plenitude of his new importance. To him it mattered
nothing that his daughter was breaking her heart in the dullness of
Windsor, that his wife was chafing in her seclusion at Blackheath, or that
the woman who loved him knew herself publicly humiliated by his attitude
towards her; yet the condemnation meted out freely to his conduct, even by
those who accepted his hospitality, finds no echo in the correspondence of
Mrs Stanhope, who with tireless energy attended the royal fête previous to
starting on the long journey to Cannon Hall.

    CANNON HALL, _July 1st, 1811._

    The day before I left Town I attended the most magnificent fête I ever
    saw, given by the Prince Regent. It was to have been on the King's
    Birthday, but the preparations could not be ready in time. Three
    Thousand people were invited and there was room at supper for all, the
    tables were in the temporary rooms in the garden, and it was more like
    Vauxhall than anything I know to compare it to. All our princes, the
    Duke of York & Princess Sophia & the Duke of Gloucester were there.

    We did not get home till 1/2 past 5 & started on our journey to
    Yorkshire at 3. I hear the public are to be admitted to see the
    _Hébris_ of our feast.

Unfortunately, this well-intentioned decision on the part of the Prince
Regent was attended with a dire result. "The condescension of the Prince,"
relate the papers, "in extending the permission to view, for three days
longer, the arrangements for the late fête at Carlton House, has nearly
been attended with fatal consequences. Wednesday being the last day of the
public being admitted, many persons took their station at the gates so
early as seven o'clock. By twelve the line of carriages reached down St
James's Street, as far as Piccadilly, and the crowd of pedestrians halfway
up the Haymarket. At three o'clock the crowd had so much increased, that
the Guards were forced to give way; several ladies were unfortunately
thrown down and trampled upon; and we regret to learn that some were
seriously hurt, among whom were Miss Shum of Bedford Square, and a young
lady, daughter of a gentleman at the British Museum. Another young lady
presented a shocking spectacle; she had been trodden on till her face was
quite black from strangulation, and every part of her body bruised to such
a degree as to leave little hopes of her recovery."

"I hear," wrote Mrs Stanhope from her safe retreat in Yorkshire, "that no
one knew what to do nor how to disperse the people. At last, the Dukes of
Kent and Cumberland ordered ladders to be brought, and, climbing up on to
the wall of the court-yard, they personally announced loudly that the
Prince Regent had given orders that the house should be shut up and no
more people admitted. There were numbers wounded, however, before the
immense crowd could get away. What a mercy Esther Acklom did not go, as I
know that she intended doing!"

Esther Acklom, to whom constant reference is made in the correspondence of
Mrs Stanhope, was the only daughter and heiress of Richard Acklom, Esq.,
of Wiseton Hall, Nottinghamshire. She was much sought after in society on
account of her reputed wealth; and although stout and somewhat plain in
appearance, she was a decided flirt, and extremely fond of amusement.

Partly owing to the fact that her mother was in delicate health, partly to
the proximity of her father's house in Lower Grosvenor Street to that of
Mr Stanhope, she was the constant associate of the young Stanhopes, and
attended many balls and routs chaperoned by their mother. There was,
indeed, much to recommend her companionship. Clever, well-read, lively in
manner and witty in conversation, she was invariably agreeable, despite
the fact that her speech was apt to be too frank and her determination too
unswerving to render her universally popular. Of her extraordinary
decision of character, indeed, her life furnishes more than one striking
instance, and an illustration of this may be given, which occurred when
she was but fifteen years of age.

She was then journeying abroad with her parents, when, in common with some
other English travellers, they were detained at Vienna on its capture by
Napoleon. The danger was imminent. Once plunged into a foreign prison, it
was impossible to say when or by what means they might escape thence. In
such a dilemma none knew what to do or to advise; but Esther Acklom was
equal to the occasion. Hearing that the military commandant was Marshal
Mortier, who had been known to her family in England, she took her maid,
and went off to interview him. She found the great man seated in the Hotel
de Ville, surrounded by a large staff, listening to the complaints of the
burghers and administering justice. She presented her petition, but he
scarcely glanced at it, and roughly bade her to stand aside till others
had been attended to who were of more importance. Her maid, terrified at
his manner, implored her young mistress to come away, but Esther, nothing
daunted, stood her ground. She had shrewdly observed that an aide-de-camp
of the Emperor was by the side of the marshal, and concluding that this
fact might account for his manner, she patiently awaited the turn of
events. Nor was she wrong. In course of time the aide-de-camp departed,
and the commandant then politely inquired in what he could serve her. She
explained, and, evidently struck by her courage, he further asked in the
kindest manner how many passes she required. Again she had presence of
mind to perceive the drift of his question, and to see that he was
anxious, if she so desired, to aid her friends as well as herself. She
boldly answered, three, in the hope of serving two English families of her
father's acquaintance. To her delight, the passes were at once handed to
her, and within a few hours the three carriages were hastening from

Even then her adventures were not at an end. An English family, who had
failed in securing a pass, decided, as a forlorn hope, to follow in the
wake of the other carriages on the chance that, in the confusion of so
many vehicles leaving the city, they might effect their departure under
cover of the passports of their friends. As was to be expected the attempt
failed. The Official on guard allowed the three carriages with passes to
drive through the gates, but the fourth was at once arrested and ordered
to return. Vainly did its frightened occupants entreat and expostulate,
the man was obdurate, and they had given up all for lost, when the clever
girl who had secured the safety of the rest of the party came to their

Thrusting her head out of the carriage in which she was seated, Esther
looked back at them with well assumed anger. "Why on earth don't you go
back to your hotel and fetch your pass," she cried impatiently, "instead
of giving all this trouble? It is absurd! We will, of course, wait here
till your return!" So convincing was her indignation, and so complete her
assurance, that the Official was deceived. The fourth carriage received
permission to pass the barrier, and the fugitives hastened to make good
their escape, showering blessings on the young girl whose coolness and
presence of mind had saved them.

A character of so much individuality and resource doubtless appealed
strongly to the young Stanhopes, and Esther, besides being their constant
companion in London, was often their guest at Cannon Hall. Between the
years 1810-1811, mention is made of an incident which occurred during one
of these visits, and which in a striking manner serves to emphasise the
gulf between a past and a present century.

An advertisement had been issued in Wakefield announcing that, on a given
day, a man would fly from the Tower of the Parish Church to the Bowling-
green in Southgate. Much local interest had been roused by this statement
and wagers had been made upon the practicability or impracticability of
the attempt. The Stanhopes had no thought of attending this performance,
but they happened to be driving in the neighbourhood with Esther Acklom on
the day appointed, and their lively guest, with her usual wilfulness,
insisted that they should make their coach pause near the Church in order
that she might witness the occurrence.

At the appointed time, accompanied by some other men, the adventurer
appeared. He stood for a moment in view of the crowd, outlined darkly
against the Tower of the Church, then, stepping cautiously off the roof,
he apparently committed himself to space, and was pushed off on his voyage
by his companions. With his arms waving to and fro like wings he slid
slowly towards a tall pole upon the bowling-green, while the vast mob
below watched his flight with breathless anxiety. The fact was that a fine
rope was attached from the Tower of the Church to the stake, and a piece
of board with a deep grove underneath having been securely strapped to the
"aviator," the groove was then balanced upon the rope, and the action of
the man's arms sufficed to set it in motion. The venture, however, was
sufficiently perilous to sustain the interest of a crowd who must
presumably have been cognisant of the existence of the rope, and when the
successful adventurer reached the ground in safety, he was greeted with
heart-whole acclamations from an enchanted crowd, in which lively Esther
Acklom joined.

A more important incident in the life of Miss Acklom was likewise due to
her acquaintance with the Stanhopes. But we must first glance at the train
of events which indirectly gave rise to it.




John Stanhope had early evinced a desire to travel. His most youthful
venture had been a tour in Wales, whilst his next excursion, the tour to
the Hebrides already referred to, had been of a more daring nature;
indeed, a man, in those days, who had made such a journey, was looked upon
as a traveller of some experience. Not content, however, with having
acquired this reputation, young Stanhope, when not yet twenty-three years
of age, determined to extend his researches further afield.

He was anxious to investigate the antiquities of Greece, about which
little was then known, and having imbued his friend Tom Knox with his own
enthusiasm the latter decided to accompany him. On the 29th of January
1810 the two young men therefore embarked on board the ship _Vestal_,
which was carrying Mr, afterwards Sir Charles Stuart [1] as Minister, out
to Lisbon.

It was a singularly exciting time to venture upon the continent. The very
atmosphere seemed permeated with terror of Napoleon. Each country was on
the defensive, struggling openly or surreptitiously to preserve its
threatened liberty; while the one topic of conversation was the defeat or
the success of armies. Thus the correspondence of the young travellers, so
eagerly awaited and devoured by the family in Grosvenor Square, serves to
throw many interesting sidelights upon continental existence during a
period of history with regard to which interest can never wax cold. [2]

John Stanhope and his friend for some time wrote from Lisbon, where, under
the auspices of the new Minister, they mixed in the best society, and met
the most prominent civil and military residents of the day. Among others,
they saw a great deal of General, afterwards Lord, Beresford [3] and were
much struck by the discipline of the Portuguese troops under his command.

A field-marshal in the British Army, William Carr Beresford, had, in 1807,
been appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the island of Madeira.
Subsequent to the Battle of Corunna, at which he was present, he was sent
back to Portugal to take command of the troops there, and at the head of
12,000 men he drove back the French. Of the difficulties, however, with
which he had to contend in his stupendous task, John Stanhope gives a
graphic description.

"At the time," he relates, "when Beresford was appointed to the command of
the Portuguese army, it was conspicuous for a lack of discipline which in
these days would hardly be credited. To say that it was the worst in
Europe would hardly give any idea of its degradation. The Portuguese
soldiers were a weak, worthless rabble, without pluck or organisation, and
practically useless for the campaign. Nor was the Government of the
country in a much better state; a long series of misgovernment had
introduced every species of corruption and deteriorated the character of
the people."

But the English general at once took a characteristic method of dealing
with a complex situation, and produced order out of chaos in the following
drastic manner.

"Lord John Russell," relates John Stanhope, "once told me an anecdote of
Beresford's first advent in Portugal, which serves so well to illustrate
his character that I cannot do better than retail it.

"Upon one of the first occasions of his taking the field with the
Portuguese troops, an officer, after having been despatched to a
particular post, came galloping back to him.

"'Why are you come here?' asked the marshal, surprised.

"'The fire was so hot,' the man exclaimed, 'that if I had remained there a
moment longer, I should certainly have been shot.'

"'_Shot_! but, to be sure, it was to be shot that I sent you there! Now, I
will give you fresh directions. I advise you to give in your resignation,
otherwise you must go back whence you came and be shot, or else be tried
by court-martial, which will come to the same thing!'

"The officer, who was of high rank, took the hint; he gave in his
resignation, and the other Portuguese officers learnt that under the
English commander it was necessary to make up their minds to be shot."

"Further," John Stanhope adds, "Beresford cashiered the field officers of
every regiment in the service. The fury that prevailed in the country at
such a measure may be better imagined than described. It was believed that
thousands of stilettoes would be raised against the tyrant Beresford. He
heard both threats and murmurs with perfect apathy, and immediately put at
the head of each regiment young officers belonging to our service,
distinguished for their spirit and decision. Raised to a rank above their
highest expectations, these young men were anxious to justify his choice
by their conduct, as well as to distinguish themselves; and gloriously did
they succeed. To content myself with mentioning one instance, I will
relate the case of Colonel Campbell, an officer whom I know well here in

"Campbell was appointed to the command of one of the regiments of cavalry,
and the first breach of discipline which came under his notice was that of
a private striking an officer. Campbell determined to make a signal
example of the culprit. He was promptly warned, however, that when, upon
some previous occasion, a similar event had taken place, on the officer
then in command attempting to inflict punishment upon the delinquent, the
entire Regiment mutinied. Campbell, on hearing this, came to a quick
decision. He advanced and faced his battalion with a pistol in each hand.
He made them a brief speech in which he pointed out how glaring a breach
of discipline it was for a private to strike his superior; and he ended by
saying that he understood in a similar case the regiment had mutinied.
'I,' he concluded quietly, 'am determined that this man _shall_ be
punished; if you intend to mutiny, you must begin with me. I am perfectly
ready to receive you.' He then cocked his pistols and waited imperturbably
in expectation of the result. No one moved. Awed by his manner and his
threat, not a murmur escaped from the soldiers who confronted him, and
Campbell's influence over his men was permanently established, so that he
soon had the satisfaction of seeing them one of the best disciplined
regiments in the service.

"Marshal Beresford, who was capable of selecting his subordinates with
such perspicuity, did not fail to set them an example which roused their
emulation, so that the soldiers soon became proud of their own discipline,
and consequently attached to their officers and devoted to their marshal,
till the latter, adored by the army, is become completely dictator of
Portugal, his word is law, and the regency is little better than the
shadow of Government. Moreover, the marshal acts his part to perfection,
riding about the town in semi-regal state, surrounded by a brilliant
staff. The man who has accomplished all this may not be a genius, but he
has a right to be considered an extraordinary man, a man of the highest
courage and energy.

"To show the extent of his power and the coolness with which he exercises
it, I have only to instance the case of the embargo laid upon horses which
are private property. At the instigation of Beresford, an order was issued
for all the horses in the kingdom above a certain height to be taken for
the use of the army, the Government allowing a fixed price for each. One
of the first persons against whom the order was enforced was the Prince
Regent; his carriage, under the charge of some officers of his household,
was actually stopped in the town and the horses taken out of the vehicle,
which was left standing in the middle of the street. The Portugese at once
recognized that if the order was executed so strictly against the Regent
himself, his subjects were not likely to be treated with more
consideration, and the entire nation submitted with a good grace to the
inevitable. Portugal, in short, in the manner in which all deferred to the
dictation of Beresford, affords an extraordinary proof of how much may be
done towards regenerating a people by the hand of a vigorous ruler."

The Regent, however, if ignominiously bereft of horses, appears to have
remained the owner of innumerable unique, if useless carriages, which, on
one occasion, John Stanhope was taken to see.

"I was extremely amused," he writes, "with these curious specimens of
ancient magnificence. Some of the coaches were literally rooms on wheels.
They were extraordinarily cumbrous, covered with gilding and lined with
velvet, embroidered in gold. Many of them were decorated with pictures on
the panels and large gilt figures in front of the boxes. There were,
however, some of a more modern construction which had been built in Paris,
and one of these was pointed out to me as celebrated for having conveyed
the English generals on their entry into Lisbon after the famous
Convention of Cintra. Upon this occasion, I understand, it broke down and
became the cause of much wit among the generals as to whether it was their
personal weight or the weight of their dignity that caused their fall. Had
they been superstitious, they might have feared that it was ominous of a
yet greater fall!"

At length the two young travellers determined to journey on into Spain;
but in order to accomplish this, it was necessary first to buy horses--no
easy matter, since all that were available had been seized for the army.
After considerable delay Stanhope heard of a pretty little black
Andalusian, which belonged to a Spanish gentleman willing to sell it, and
lost no time in going to see the animal. He found that it furnished one of
the most quaint instances which he had yet come across of the intense
hatred to the French then universally cherished. "I took a great fancy to
it," he says, "from a curious trick which it had been taught; one,
however, which would have proved very inconvenient to me. _The moment it
heard anyone speak French, it put back its ears and flew at him!_ As I
wished to try this intelligent animal before I made my bargain, I returned
to give orders that my saddle should be sent to its stables; but in the
meantime, to my great disappointment, the servant in charge sold it to
another man, unknown to his master, and for a less price than I should
have been willing to give for such a remarkable animal."

At last, having procured the necessary steeds, the travellers started on
their journey, encountering many adventures and seeing many interesting
sights by the way. On one occasion they were quartered for some days upon
a poor Captain Major, whose habitation was a humble hut in a singularly
lonely district. Yet they found that he was a learned man, who had his
small but treasured library; and in the latter John Stanhope was further
astonished to find that one of the volumes which its owner considered most
priceless was a Latin translation of Young's _Night Thoughts_.

"It is a curious thing," he remarks, "that this work, held in general in
but little estimation in England, is invariably one of those most admired
throughout the entire Continent, not only by the Portugese, but
particularly by the lively Spanish."

It was men of the rank of their host, he adds, who had given occasion to
an amusing mistake on his part upon his first arrival in the country:
"According to the Portugese pronunciation," he writes, "_Major_ sounds
like _Moor_ or _More_. The first time I met a Captain Moor, I was much
surprised at finding a man of that name in Portugal; but when at every
turn I found another Captain Moor, I could no longer refrain from
expressing my astonishment at meeting with so many of that family, _and
all Captains!_ The laugh that was raised at my expense may be imagined!"

The two young travellers at length reached Cadiz, which was then besieged
by the French army. Almost one of the first things which struck John
Stanhope with regard to the city, he records as a feat both novel and

    Situated as Cadiz is, almost in the midst of the sea, the constant
    breaking of the waves was sufficient to endanger, not only the walls
    of the city, but even the neighbouring houses. A Spanish engineer, Don
    Thomas Minoz, undertook to provide a curious security against so
    alarming a danger. He effected his purpose by placing, at certain
    intervals, large planks extending some distance into the sea; these
    intervals he filled up with stones and cemented with a peculiar
    species of mortar which had the advantage of becoming hardened by the
    effects of time and exposure to weather; the wall above he built in
    the shape of a bow; by these means the force of the waves was
    effectually broken. But he met with those difficulties that so
    frequently are opposed to the efforts of men of distinguished genius.
    His labours were, in the first instance, counteracted by the misguided
    parsimony of his employers, and subsequently, when completed, the work
    was neglected and not kept in repair, in opposition to his express
    injunctions, so that a great part of the cliff has since fallen.

The morning following his arrival, young Stanhope was taken to be
introduced to Admiral Purvis, then in command of the fleet off that coast;
and, having received from him an invitation to dinner, he returned on
shore to pay his respects, in the interval, to the Minister, Mr Wellesley.
On again boarding the ship he found the Admiral occupied in studying
through a telescope a vessel then in sight, which to Stanhope's great
excitement he explained was the _Ville de Paris_ returning to England with
Lord Collingwood. Overjoyed at the unexpected prospect of seeing, not only
his kinsman, but also his brother William, young Stanhope begged to be
allowed to accompany Admiral Purvis in paying a visit to the approaching
ship. Accordingly they snatched a hurried meal and set off in a small
boat. Scarcely, however, had they embarked than they were greeted by the
tidings that the vessel which they proposed to visit bore, not the brave
Admiral returning to his native land, but his lifeless corpse, worn out
with an arduous service sustained too long.

They immediately tacked about and returned to the ship they had just
quitted, and thence young Stanhope watched the stately _Ville de Paris_ as
she approached over the shining water, while he thought sadly of the
gallant life which had thus ended, and of the grief which the news that
had thus strangely become known to him would be learnt, many weeks later,
by his family in Grosvenor Square. The following day he saw his brother
William, now a sturdy youth grown out of all recognition; then the
brothers parted once more, William eventually to return to England, his
naval career ended, and John to experience a fate which he then little

He, with his companion Knox, remained some time in Cadiz, taking great
interest in the operations of attack and defence, into which they were
initiated by their friend, the celebrated Lord Macduff, [4] an
exceptionally keen and gallant soldier, who, however, apparently owed his
predilection for war to a singularly horrible event in his life.

"A tragic episode," writes John Stanhope, "has rendered the excitement of
active service an absolute necessity to him. His delight in battle arises
solely from the loss of a beloved wife, and sadly calculated was the end
of the beautiful Mrs Macduff to make the most serious impression on a
husband's mind, all the more so, perhaps, in that so fully did she merit
that epithet _beautiful_ which was always attached to her name. She had a
Newfoundland dog, which one day leapt up in apparent affection, and
catching her nose, gave it a bite, which not only seemed little more than
a scratch, but as the dog had just sprung out of the water no suspicion
attached to him. After some lapse of time, however, Mrs Duff was seized
with symptoms of hydrophobia, and soon fell a victim to that dreadful
disorder. Such a death for anyone cannot be contemplated without a
shudder, but in the case of one in the full pride of youth and exceptional
beauty, it appears, if possible, more inexpressibly horrible; and her
unhappy husband has subsequently striven to find even a temporary oblivion
of it in the greatest of earthly excitements--the din of arms."

Mixing with the most interesting society of Spain, enjoying many novel
experiences and encountering many famous people, the days of the young
travellers passed pleasantly. The Spaniards at this date cherished the
most profound admiration for the English. "They," explains John Stanhope,
"consider an Englishman as something superhuman, and, indeed, are anxious
that 'George terceo' should come to reign over them." He was also much
struck by the "devotion of the entire nation to the forms of their
religion"; and he adds: "There is, perhaps, nothing more striking amongst
the numerous ceremonies of this superstitious people than the effect
produced by what is usually known as the Angelus. On a fine evening in
summer, when the Alameda is crowded with Spaniards of all classes,
enjoying the delights of a Southern sky and the pure breezes of the sea,
at one moment all is noise and animation, the eyes, the tongues, the faces
of the fair Andalusians are all in motion and the Spanish _caballeros_ all
devoted to the terrestrial object of their adoration: on a sudden, the
Angelus sounds, the whole babel stops, a profound stillness falls like a
cloud over the gay scene, and everyone remains totally absorbed in prayer
so long as the sound of the bell is heard. It is scarcely possible to
convey any adequate idea of the effect produced by the instantaneous
silence of so vast a crowd. The moment the bell ceases, each addresses a
salutation to the person whom chance has thrown near him, and the
stillness--so striking, so solemn--is as suddenly broken by the
recommencement of all the former pandemonium and a deafening noise of
eager tongues.

"Yet in Spain a religion of forms and ceremonies seems to have been
substituted for a religion of Christian purity and morality. Although the
large majority of the population are devoted to their Church, they yet
imagine that if they strictly observe her ceremonies, fast rigidly, and go
regularly to confession, they have done all that is requisite. The
consequence of this state of things is the prevalence of the greatest
profligacy, which is fostered by the innumerable herd of monks who infest
the country. Common prostitutes sell indulgences which exempt from fasting
in Lent; and by what means they have obtained possession of these it is
not difficult to conjecture."

Another great drawback which John Stanhope found to life at Cadiz at that
date was the prevalence of a condition of society which entailed that each
Spanish lady should have her cortejo, or devoted attendant. "Behind each
lady who smiles at you," he explains, "there stands--not a duenna, such a
one as is represented on our stage--but a grim, black, ugly grandee, ready
to avenge with the stiletto every glance you may chance to give to the
lady of his love."

Nevertheless, Stanhope was enveigled into a silent flirtation which he
describes thus amusingly:

"Immediately opposite to my habitation are two houses belonging to two
merchants, who are either brothers or brothers-in-law. The one has an only
daughter, who cannot boast of much beauty, the other has two daughters,
the one a very pretty girl of a style rather unusual in Spain, for she has
auburn hair, while her sister is a thorough Spaniard, a lively little
thing with Andalusian eyes.

"A general flirtation was soon established between us; the heiress made me
a sign every morning, upon which I descended into the street; she then
threw out a most beautiful rose, which I picked up, and, pressing to my
lips, returned to my balcony. This was certainly something like swearing
allegiance, but I must confess that the fair cousin with the auburn hair,
who lived next door to her, was the real object of my admiration; she was
very modest and shy, and would only favour me with an occasional smile,
but there was a sweetness in that timid, blushing smile which surpassed
that of all the roses of Andalusia. She used also to serenade me on the
piano by playing _God save the King_, to which I responded politely by
playing some of the national airs of Spain. This silent flirtation
continued for some time, when one day while I was on my balcony, I was not
a little surprised to find standing beside me the servant from the house
of the modest little lady with auburn hair. He at once accosted me in
French, and, _sans cérémonie_, asked me which of the two young ladies I
admired. "It is not _that_ one, I am sure!" said he, pointing to the lady
of the roses. "No," said I, somewhat ungratefully, and pointed to her fair
cousin. The servant instantly disappeared; a conscious smile from the
beauty rewarded me for my preference, but--no more roses!"

An episode of a very different nature is described in another letter from
Cadiz. "An extraordinary execution took place the other day," he writes;
"extraordinary both from the manner in which it was carried out and the
circumstances under which it took place. The unfortunate man was strangled
by means of a machine of a new construction. It was an iron case or collar
that was fitted round his neck and drawn closer by means of a screw till
it occasioned strangulation. I did not follow the general example and
attend the execution, as I did not feel sufficient curiosity about this
new instrument of death to tempt me to witness so distressing a sight.

The sufferer was one of the principal judges in Madrid, and had rendered
himself peculiarly odious by the severity which he had exercised towards
the patriots, many of whom he had condemned to death. The guerrillas had,
in consequence, signalled him out as their victim, and nothing can perhaps
better illustrate the extraordinary state of Spain at this moment and the
power of the guerrillas than the daring nature of their attempt and the
success with which it was attended.

Having received information that the judge was to be present at a ball
given on the occasion of the marriage of one of his servants at a village
a short distance from Madrid, a guerrilla chief determined to take
advantage of the opportunity which this offered. He accordingly made his
appearance at the ball, and accosting the judge, requested him to come at
once to the door of the house, as he had something important to
communicate to him. No sooner had the judge reached the door than he was
seized, placed upon horseback, and hurried off. From the actual vicinity
of the capital, in a part of the country thickly occupied by troops, he
was thus carried away, and finally brought to Cadiz, where he was
condemned to atone for his treachery by his death. Previous to his
execution, he acknowledged the justice of his sentence, but declared that
there are now in Cadiz many men far more deserving of punishment than
himself, some of whom are actually in the employ of the Government."

At length John Stanhope decided that, in June, he would embark for
Gibraltar, intending to proceed thence to Carthagena, Valencia and
Majorca. At this juncture, however, Tom Knox, reluctantly listened to the
persuasions of his family, who feared his inability to stand a hot
climate, and decided to return home. How fortunate it was for himself that
he decided to do so, events were subsequently to prove.

John Stanhope, in company with some other friends, next made an agreement
with an English merchant to take them to Gibraltar. The man, however,
played them false, and sailed without them; whereupon they took passage on
board a wretched boat called the _Liverpool Hero_, on which they endured
extreme discomfort. One of Stanhope's greatest wishes had been to set foot
on the coast of Africa, but owing to the unseaworthy nature of the vessel
on which they found themselves, combined with the extreme roughness of the
weather, they were driven from the coast, and only after a most dangerous
passage did they eventually arrive at Gibraltar. As they entered the bay,
the first object which met their eyes was the ship in which they had
originally intended taking their passage. She had only just dropped her
anchor, and as they passed she hailed them. "On going on board," relates
John Stanhope, "the captain gave us a detailed account of a most
melancholy occurrence which had marked their voyage. Their few hours'
advantage in starting had enabled them to effect what we had in vain
attempted--the weathering Cape Espartel. There were on board the actual
passengers who had cut us out of our berths. They had felt as anxious as I
had done to plant their feet upon the coast of Africa. They accordingly
got into a boat and landed. They were amusing themselves with walking a
little way into the interior when a party of Moors, who had apparently
been watching them, stole gently through the brushwood with which the
coast was covered, and, getting between them and the coast, cut off their
retreat. The Moors killed two of them, one being a boy, to whose head they
deliberately put a gun and blew his brains out. The third they carried
away captive.

"We could not help shuddering at the thoughts of our narrow escape. Had we
fulfilled our original intention and occupied the berths which we had
actually taken on board that vessel we should undoubtedly have been in the
place of these unfortunate men, and should have experienced the horrible
fate which befell them."

A strange illustration of the fluctuations of fortune peculiar to those
days next came under the notice of young Stanhope, on his way to
Carthagena. "We passed," he writes, "the house of a Spaniard whose history
is singular enough. He was originally a poor peasant, but during the last
war with England he happened to be upon an island near the coast, in
company with one of his friends, when they observed two sailors land from
an English vessel. They promptly concealed themselves so that they might
observe the proceedings of these men without themselves being seen. The
sailors whom they watched dug a hole, put something carefully into it, and
then covered it over; after which they re-embarked.

"No sooner were they out of sight, than the two Spaniards came out from
their place of hiding, and hastened to the spot, eager to ascertain what
it could be that had been so mysteriously buried. Great was their delight
when they dug up what proved to be a treasure of great value, a heavy bag
of gold. They divided the spoil, and returned home wealthy men.
Subsequently, however, one of them, either feeling scruples with regard to
the possession of the booty or else in the due order of confession,
unburdened himself to his priest, who at once impressed upon him the
sinfulness of retaining the stolen treasure and the obligation of
endeavouring to find the rightful owners and restoring it to them. The
penitent, therefore, went to explain these views to his fellow-thief, who
appearing fully convinced by such reasoning, at once promised to undertake
on behalf of both himself and his friend the researches necessary for the
restoration of the stolen property. Believing this assurance, the
repentant man at once gave up to his friend his own share of the treasure,
only to discover, when too late, that his less scrupulous comrade had not
an intention of carrying out any such obligation, but having thus got
possession of the whole of the gold, he kept it, and is now one of the
richest and most influential men in this part of the country, while his
more honest dupe is still a poverty-stricken peasant."

In short, as John Stanhope was soon to find to his cost, it was not an age
when a sense of honour dictated the actions of the majority of men. It
happened soon afterwards that, unable to procure a satisfactory passage to
Majorca, Stanhope was constrained to embark upon a small vessel, the
appearance of which was singularly unprepossessing. But untrustworthy as
was the boat, its captain proved to him a greater source of danger.
Ignoring the undertaking he had given to the young Englishman, he
traitorously sailed for Barcelona, where he delivered up his passenger to
the French authorities, and John Stanhope thus unexpectedly found himself
doomed to the fate which Esther Acklom had so ingeniously escaped, that of
being a prisoner of Napoleon.

After various vicissitudes, and having been for eight weeks confined in a
dungeon in hourly expectation of death, he was at length ordered with
other prisoners of war to the dépôt at Verdun. Part of the journey thither
was accomplished on foot, part driving in a diligence. The weather was
bitterly cold, and the windows of the vehicle, which on this account were
perforce closed, were chiefly of wood, so that not only was the view
excluded, but the greater part of the journey was passed in darkness.

During part of the time, his only _compagnon de voyage_ was a French
soldier, who had just obtained his _congé_ and was returning home after a
long period of foreign service. "Poor fellow," writes John Stanhope, "his
happiness was unbounded! He could think and talk of nothing but the moment
of his first arrival at home, amusing himself with discussing the various
modes in which he might surprise his family. At length that which he
seemed inclined to adopt was to apply for a billet upon his own people; to
enter the house with all the swagger of a soldier quartered on strangers--
in short, to enact the part which he had often played in Germany and so
many other countries, and after having well tormented and frightened the
whole household, to throw himself into his father's arms with--"Mon père,
embrassez votre fils!" I enjoyed the thought of the _dénouement_--so truly
French--but with envious feelings; not to draw a contrast between our
relative situations was impossible, and I kept thinking, When--if ever--
shall I be able to surprise my family with my unexpected return?"

At another period of his journey one of Stanhope's fellow-travellers was a
certain Captain Reid, who had been aide-de-camp to General Reding, [5] and
had been taken prisoner. He told Stanhope the following curious story,
"which," the latter suggests, "Walter Scott would probably hail as an
additional proof of the reality of the art of divination. Captain Reid's
mother, many years ago, having heard of the fame of some fortune-teller,
resolved, out of pure frolic, to have her fortune told. She therefore
disguised herself as her own maid and went to see the woman. She was at
that date a wife and the mother of five children. The fortune-teller
informed her that she would have, in all, fifteen children; that, out of
those, two only would survive their infancy, and of those two, she would
only have comfort from one. The predicted number of children were born.
Reid and his sister alone lived to grow up, and 'what the future may
produce, I know not,' Reid concluded, 'but as I am a prisoner in a foreign
land, she certainly has no comfort in me."

With many anecdotes of General Reding did Captain Reid likewise regale his
fellow-prisoner: "--that distinguished but unfortunate officer," says John
Stanhope, "who at length fell victim to anxiety of mind arising from the
difficulties with which he had to struggle and disappointment at finding
that he commanded men who were not brave like himself. One day when Reding
was about to engage the French (I rather think it was to make an attack on
Barcelona) he sent his aide-de-camp, Reid, to a Spanish general, with
imperative orders to be at a certain post, at a certain time, with his
division. Just as Reding was on the point of moving forward to commence
the projected attack he perceived the Spanish general riding leisurely
towards him. 'What, _you_ here!' he exclaimed, horror-stricken, 'Why are
you not at your post?' 'I have received no orders,' was the reply. 'Reid!'
shouted the Swiss general in an overpowering fury and raising his sabre
over the head of his aide-de-camp, 'why did you not give my orders to the
Spaniard?' Reid, knowing his General's irritable temper, thought that
instant death was before him. 'I did!' he asserted emphatically; 'there
stands his aide-de-camp who was present at the time--let him deny it if he
dare!' Fortunately the aide-de-camp was too much a man of honour to deny
the truth. Reid was acquitted in his General's eyes; but the old Swiss
turned away heart-broken at the recognition that all his schemes at this
important juncture had been defeated by this act of treachery or cowardice
on the part of the Spaniard, and, in unconcealed disgust, he gave the
order for a retreat.

"Reding while on active service usually drank three bottles of wine a day,
and never slept for more than three hours; he and his men were always in
motion, yet Reid, though pursuing the same _regimen_, declared that, in
common with his General, he was never in better health or happier at any
time of his life."

Of another famous general, Stanhope also records some interesting
observations. Arrived at Dijon, which was a dépôt for Spanish prisoners,
he went to call on an English fellow-prisoner, and found him having
breakfast in company with two Anglo-Spanish officers, both of whom had
served at Saragossa. "I therefore," he relates, "felt great interest in
talking over with them the events of that memorable siege, in which they
had acted an important part. Of course, to judge from their own account,
to them and to other Hibernian-Spanish officers was due the honour of
having conducted the defence of Saragossa; but what was indeed of interest
was to find that of Palafox [6] they spoke but slightingly, and seemed to
consider him merely as the nominal commander. All this was so new, so
incredible to me, that I could not help openly expressing my doubts on the
subject; these, however, were met by an argument to which it was
impossible not to attach considerable weight--that Palafox was at that
moment on parole in a town in France. 'Do you really think,' asked they,
'that if he were the powerful man he is represented to be he would be left
in comparative liberty? No; the Emperor is too wise for that! If Palafox
were what he has been supposed to be, _Napoleon would consider that no
prison in France is strong enough to hold him!_'"

At length young Stanhope arrived at Verdun and entered upon a period of
detention there to which he could foresee no prospective conclusion.
"There was no positive suffering of which to complain," he wrote
afterwards, "yet there is a weariness, an utter hopelessness in the life
of an exile which none can understand who have not experienced its
intensity." The patriotism which had gilded the voluntary exile of
Collingwood was perforce absent from the imprisonment of John Stanhope. No
glory of martyrdom dignified his forcible detention; he was merely the
victim of mischance. And the outlook was singularly hopeless. "The
negotiation for the exchange of prisoners has totally failed," he writes.
"The hope of the conclusion of the war appears to be more distant than
ever. Whilst the Emperor lives, peace seems to be impossible, and he may
live twenty years without the least diminution of his energy or his
ambition ... there is but one source from which we can any of us derive
the slightest consolation, and that is from the character of Napoleon
himself. His insatiable ambition, after having prompted him to the
execution of everything that is practicable, may finally urge him to
attempt impossibilities. Alexander wept because he could find no more
worlds to conquer; Napoleon may find there are too many worlds for him.
Universal dominion is not now so easy an acquisition. 'Give him rope
enough and he will hang himself!' is in all our mouths!"

With this slender consolation the luckless prisoners endeavoured to cheer
themselves; but meanwhile, as Stanhope points out, they existed "a
thousand people of different characters, ranks and habits collected
together in one town, without any occupation to divert the tedium of their
lives." Nor were there wanting additions to their society of an
undesirable character, men who had voluntarily fled across the Channel to
escape the consequence of nefarious dealings in horse-racing and gambling.
One of these, indeed, was described by the French Minister of War as "the
worst monster which England in her wrath has yet vomited across the
Channel"; and the enforced idleness to which the prisoners were subjected,
rendered them for the most part ready victims to the designs of such
unscrupulous villains, while it tended to make the life of the town
peculiarly demoralising. One source of satisfaction alone did Stanhope
find in his altered conditions. His family, who for many months had
believed him to be dead, were now overjoyed to hear of his safety, and to
find themselves once more able to communicate with him; none the less it
was impossible to ignore the constant danger to which his position still
exposed him. At any moment he or his fellow _détenus_ might be sacrificed
to the vindictiveness of Napoleon or to the exigencies of some political
situation, and he had not been long at Verdun before a recognition of this
fact was unpleasantly brought home to him.

Lord Blayney, [7] an Irish friend of his, was suddenly arrested one day in
the streets of Verdun and hurried off to the citadel. There he was
informed that by order of the French Government he was to answer with his
life for the safety of a French prisoner in England, who, having been
detected in some treasonable intrigue, was condemned to close confinement
and likely to be shot. Thus for a long time subsequently Lord Blayney
remained a prisoner in hourly peril of instant death.

There were also other evils to be reckoned with. The governors in whose
charge the prisoners were placed were too often unscrupulous men, who, so
long as they were secure from detection, did not hesitate to employ
tyranny or fraud in the endeavour to further their own advancement, either
by the pretended discovery of imaginary plots, thus giving a fictitious
impression of their own zeal to the ministers, or by extorting money
through terrorism from their defenceless victims.

A story in this latter connection is told by John Stanhope. It appears
that a certain General Wirion, who had at one time been attached to
Moreau's party, had succeeded in getting into favour with Napoleon, who
made him Governor of Verdun. Forthwith, the General's principal object was
to devise some means of extracting money from the prisoners resident
there, towards whom his conduct, on all occasions, was peculiarly

Among the _détenus_ he soon observed a young man of more fortune than wit,
whom he at once recognised as a victim ready to his hand. He accordingly
sent for this youth one morning, and informed him that he would give him
leave to reside in a village a little way beyond the limits, for so the
imaginary boundary was always designated within which the prisoners were
confined by their parole. Although surprised at a permission for which he
had not even applied, the young _détenu_ naturally was delighted, and,
utterly devoid of suspicion, he lost no time in availing himself of his
increased liberty.

Shortly afterwards, the Governor caused a bogus order to be posted in the
office in Verdun to which the prisoners went at fixed periods to sign
their names. It announced that the Minister of War had issued a decree
commanding that all prisoners found out of the limits should be shot.

This notice the young prisoner in question either did not see, or ignored,
thinking that in view of his having received special permission for his
departure from the Governor, it could not apply to his individual case.
From this false security, however, he was suddenly awakened one morning by
the appearance of a detachment of _gendarmerie_, who, without any
circumlocution, presented him with a copy of the order, and informed him
that, as he had been found out of the limits, he was included in the
number of those to whom the decrees applied, and that their orders were to
carry the sentence into immediate execution.

So sudden, so unexpected an announcement of instant death might well have
shaken a man of stronger nerve. As it was, the condition of the poor youth
was pitiable. In vain he protested his ignorance of the notice and his
innocence of any intentional disobedience to the Government; to all such
representations his captors turned a deaf ear. Still more, no means were
neglected by them, no note of preparation omitted, that could tend to
increase the agony of his terror.

At last, at the very moment when not a hope of life remained to him, a
Gallo-Irishman, the chosen confidant of the Governor, made his appearance,
as if by accident. At the sight of this man, one last chance of escape
presented itself to the miserable youth, and he entreated the fellow to
save him. The Irishman replied decisively that he could hold out no hope;
the orders of the Minister of War had been imperative, and any chance of
eluding them was impossible.

"But I have the General's permission to reside beyond the limits!" pleaded
the youth eagerly.

"True, but the General exceeded his powers in giving you that permission;
you cannot expect him to sacrifice himself for you. It is unfortunate, but
you must be the victim!"

"Is there no possibility of your doing anything? You are so intimate with
him, cannot you save me?"

"I fear not."

"But at least make _one_ effort!"

"It is a hopeless case!" the Irishman assured him. Then, after
consideration, he said: "Well, I will _try_, but upon one condition, and
one only."

"Name it!" was the eager reply.

"That you give me _carte-blanche_ to act as I see fit!"

The condemned man did not hesitate. He agreed readily to all the Irishman
suggested; and the villain having given orders to the _gendarmes_ to await
his return, departed triumphantly. After an interval which appeared
sufficiently long for him to have journeyed to Verdun and back, he
reappeared and informed the poor youth, who meanwhile had been awaiting
his verdict in a state of indescribable anxiety, that the mission had been
successful. This had not, however, he explained, been accomplished without
the greatest difficulty, as General Wirion trembled at the serious
responsibility which he was about to incur in disobeying the Minister's
express orders; nevertheless, the Governor would consent to spare the
Englishman's life on condition of his paying down immediately the sum of
£5000. The young man was startled by the largeness of the amount, but in
the position in which he was placed, it required few arguments to convince
him of the worthlessness of money when his existence was at stake. He
accordingly consented to the proposal, signed a draft for the specified
amount, and was set at liberty. When, however, in a calmer frame of mind
he came to consider the transaction and to discuss it with his friends, he
felt convinced that some trickery had been employed towards him. He
thereupon wrote to his banker, cancelling the order for the money. But
this only made matters worse for him; for the General, furious at such an
attempt to defeat his machinations, enforced payment, not merely of the
£5000 originally demanded, but of an additional £200, under pretext of
having incurred that latter expense in trying to substantiate his lawful
claim to the larger sum!

Needless to say, robberies of this description were perpetrated without
the knowledge of the Ministers; but a rumour of some disgraceful
transaction on the part of Wirion having at last reached them, he was
summoned to Paris to undergo examination before a court of inquiry. In
consequence of what then came to light, upon the next public occasion at
which he was present, the Emperor turned his back upon the General. The
latter understood the hint. He left the presence of Napoleon, got into a
hackney coach, drove to the Bois de Boulogne, and there shot himself.

Occasionally, however, Napoleon himself was outwitted by the cunning of
the villains in his employment. Wirion's successor at Verdun, Colonel
Courcelles, a less daring but more clever scoundrel, found favour with the
Emperor by a very simple expedient. He had lost one of his legs in _partie
de chasse_, a loss which gave him the valuable air of a gallant veteran,
and of which he knew how to take the best advantage. Passing through
Verdun to join his army, the Emperor spied the apparently maimed hero, and
at once honoured him with a special notice. "_Monsieur le Colonel_" he
inquired with a note of respect, "_où avez-vous perdu la jambe?_"
Courcelles, sufficiently quick-witted to convey the impression he desired
without risking the utterance of any lie, replied truthfully: "_Sire,
j'étais à la bataille de Marengo!_"

Courcelles succeeded in robbing the prisoners who were in his charge in a
more cautious manner than his predecessor; he, in short, contrived to
subtract something for himself from any remittances which reached them,
and paid them francs for livres. But if in many instances the prisoners
suffered at the hands of the French authorities, on one occasion the
position was reversed, and a French commandant became the victim of a
prisoner's cunning.

The hero of this incident was Lord Blayney, the Irishman before referred
to. A certain General Cox, formerly Governor of Almeida, owned a very nice
little Andalusian horse, Sancho, which had distinguished itself as one of
the first racers in Verdun. Lord Blayney offered a challenge for Sancho to
run against a horse which he promised to produce for the event, and his
bet was accepted with alacrity. He thereupon sent to an Englishman who was
in young Talleyrand's service, and who was a recognised connoisseur in
horseflesh, instructing this man to send him a particular English race-
horse which had formerly figured at Verdun, and in the capabilities of
which Lord Blayney still apparently had confidence, although it was now
pretty well advanced in years.

Nevertheless, when the animal reached Lord Blayney's stables, sundry
alterations were made in its appearance which would prevent its being
recognised as an old acquaintance by those who had seen it formerly; and
thus when the date for the race arrived, an unknown beast entered the
lists against Sancho.

It was soon patent to all that the age of this competitor made its chance
of success but small; and, in fact, General Cox's fleet little horse won
in a canter. Everyone laughed loudly at Lord Blayney's folly in imagining
that so obviously incompetent an animal could run against the beautiful
little racer Sancho; only Lord Blayney himself seemed stupidly surprised
at his own failure. None the less, he bore his loss with amiability, and
as he had previously invited his antagonists to dine with him that night
he did not omit to make them welcome.

General Cox and the backers of Sancho were, not unnaturally, in the
highest spirits that evening; and when wine had loosened their tongues,
they expressed their triumph rather incautiously in loud praises of their
favourite horse. Lord Blayney likewise appeared to drink heavily, and at
last, seemingly elated by this fact, or stung past endurance by the
taunting remarks of his adversaries, he swore that he would again match
his horse against Sancho and for a yet larger sum of money. Cox,
delighted, instantly closed with the offer, and Lord Blayney shortly
afterwards, as though overcome by the wine he had drunk, fell asleep.

His guests sat on drinking till at length their host awoke, when it became
evident to them that, sobered by his nap, he was ready to view matters in
a more cautious light. "Cox" he observed anxiously, "I will give you a
good sum down to be off the bet I made just now." "Oh, no! no!" cried
General Cox. "It is too late to withdraw it--you cannot show the white
feather." "Well, then," shouted Lord Blayney, with apparent angry
recklessness, "I'll double the first bet!" "Done!" cried the General,
enchanted at the certainty of extracting a still larger sum from the
pockets of the foolish peer. So delighted was he, in fact, that he
generously arranged for several of his most intimate friends to share his
prospective good fortune, and seeing an unparalleled opportunity for
currying favour with the Commandant, he invited the latter to participate
in such exceptional luck.

One man alone saw through the whole transaction. This was a certain friend
of Lord Blayney's who is mentioned in John Stanhope's letters by his
nickname of "Paddy Boyle," [8] which had apparently been conferred upon
him on account of his exhibiting certain characteristics which are more
usually illustrative of an Irish than a Scottish nationality. Lord Boyle
went to Lord Blayney with the unwelcome announcement: "By Jove, my Lord,
I'll tell of you!"

"You'll do nothing of the sort!" rejoined Lord Blayney; "I'll give you a
hundred pounds to hold your tongue!" The bargain was struck and the secret
was kept.

The eventful day arrived. So large a bet had attracted universal
attention. "I will not attempt to describe," writes John Stanhope, "the
intense interest felt by all present at the commencement of the race, nor
the confusion and dismay of the Cox party when they saw the previously
incompetent animal now cantering away from Sancho with all the ease and
style of a true English racehorse; nor will I attempt to give the
crimination and recrimination that followed. I will content myself with
transcribing the observation with which the poor Commandant consoled
himself for his loss. '_Les Anglais prétendent que Lord Blayney est fou;
je reconnais à mes dépens qu'il est plus fin que les autres!_'"

With regard to Lord Boyle, who so intelligently fathomed the intended ruse
in this instance, Stanhope subsequently relates some amusing anecdotes.
"During the time of our races," he writes, "Lord Blayney had invited a
large party to dine with him on the race ground. Instead of putting myself
in the path of the prospective host, as did most of my friends, I
studiously avoided him, and thus escaped an invitation, as I was anxious
to do, for I had little doubt that there would be a profusion of wine
which would lead to its inevitable consequences at Verdun--a good deal of
quarrelling. I rode to the course with Lord Boyle, who congratulated me on
my prudence. I never heard a man talk more reasonably or eloquently than
he did upon the state of the society at Verdun, and particularly upon the
reprehensible consequences which invariably arose from successive
drinking. The first thing I heard next morning was that Paddy Boyle had,
after dinner, _insulted every man at the table but one_, uttering sarcasms
founded doubtless upon truth, but as biting as they were clever. _From
every individual except the one who had escaped his attacks he had just
received a challenge_, which he had been forced to meet by sending round a
circular apology. He had thus given a pretty practical illustration of the
truth of the remarks with which he had favoured me on the previous

Subsequently Lord Boyle afforded another illustration of his "strange
admixture of shrewdness and muddle-headedness." On an occasion when, it
must be emphasized, he was entirely sober, he was discovered going out
into the garden at twelve o'clock at night with a hand-candle in order to
ascertain what was the correct time by the sun-dial!

But in a society which comprised men of so many different types and
varying calibre, there were not wanting some of the survivals of a France
which was rapidly becoming extinct An inhabitant of Verdun frequently
referred to by Stanhope was the Chevalier de la Lance, an aristocrat of
the _ancien régime_, who piqued himself upon possessing the peculiar grace
of manner belonging to a bygone day, and which he carried to such a point
of exaggeration as often to render himself ridiculous. "He is nevertheless
a kind-hearted, gentlemanlike and amiable old man. Like most others of his
rank who are still alive, he emigrated at the beginning of the Revolution.
He retired to Germany, where he lived for some time under the assumed
character of a humble music-master. He tells me that one of his most
pleasant experiences was the surprise of his various pupils when, upon
leaving the place of exile, he sent them back all the tickets for lessons
which they had given him, and for which he no longer required payment He
did not, however, return to France alone; in the country-house of some of
his pupils he had met a lady whose heart was touched by the misfortunes of
the exile. She was related to one of the leading families of the Austrian
Empire, but had learnt to feel compassion for the unfortunate emigrant,
and as compassion is akin to love, it soon grew into a warmer sentiment,
and she at length agreed to unite her destiny to his."

On an occasion, destined to be momentous in the life of another friend of
Stanhope, did the Chevalier have an opportunity of displaying his
exquisite manners to the full. One day young Stanhope was walking through
the streets of Verdun with a friend of his, Captain Strachey, [9] when
they met a young Frenchman of their acquaintance, "one, indeed," he
remarks, "of the few _ancienne noblesse_ of Verdun."

'Ah, Monsieur Stanhope,' said the Frenchman, 'you must go to the
Cathedral, my cousin is the Quêteuse [10] to-day; you must give her a
Napoleon at least!' Strachey announced that he would like to go with me,
and together accordingly we went.

"At the appointed time the Quêteuse made her appearance. She proved to be
a most lovely girl, dressed in black silk, with a garland of snow-white
marguerites on her head. As a mark of particular attention from the
ecclesiastical authorities, she was permitted the escort of the Chevalier
de la Lance, who, thoroughly enjoying the situation, held the tips of her
fingers and conducted her with all the airs and graces of the olden time
through the crowd assembled in the church. At length, preceded by the
beadle in full costume, she approached the place where we were standing.
The graceful simplicity of her manners formed an admirable contrast to the
affectation of the old chevalier. With a low courtsey, and with a smile
which united the sweetest expression to the most perfect modesty, she
presented her purse to each of us in our turn. I was no longer at the
happy age when the heart is carried away by every sweet glance; but I own
that, for the moment, I was bewildered by the beautiful sight which the
young girl presented, as, engaged in so holy a cause, and with her
extraordinary loveliness framed by the picturesque surrounding of Gothic
arches, she might well have been mistaken for the vision of an angel. All
the money in my pocket was at once transferred to the little silk purse of
the fair petitioner; but to Captain Strachey's peace that smile was far
more fatal. It was decisive of the destiny of his life. A copy of French
verses which he penned to the beautiful Quêteuse was the first proof of
the impression produced upon his heart. Many were the obstacles with which
he had to contend; but at length the lovely Mlle, de la Roche became the
bride of the English prisoner."

There was, however, but little intercourse between the English and the
French families at Verdun. "There is one set," Stanhope writes, "who keep
themselves very select and consider themselves _par excellence_ the
society of the town. Almost the only English admitted into their circle
are the Marine officers. It is said that they obtained this preference by
persuading the French that they are distinguished by the title of _Royal_
Marines entirely because they rank highest in the British service!"

Only a certain Mr and Mrs S. who belonged to the class of _détenus_ were
allowed, on sufferance, occasionally to mingle with the French families;
and in this connection Stanhope relates one more story.

"My fair countrywoman, who is sharing the captivity of her husband,
formerly an officer in the army, is singularly attractive. If her features
were not too pronounced and her form much too thin, she would be a very
pretty woman. As it is, there is something remarkably airy and graceful in
her figure, and very lively in her countenance. Still more lively is she
in her manners. She is, indeed, one of the cleverest and most sarcastic
women I ever knew, very agreeable when you are not yourself the object of
her satire. In order to preserve her character for wit, she is not very
scrupulous in her language; and in consequence of this an Englishman once
ventured to make her an insulting proposal, upon which she very quietly
caught up the poker and knocked him down, thus establishing her reputation
in such a forcible manner that, whatever she has subsequently been bold
enough to say, she is quite certain of being considered a perfect Diana.

"An adventure occurred to her which would be amusing if I could tell it in
her own language. On one of the coldest nights of a severe winter she left
her apartments to go to one of our Verdun balls. Her husband pleaded a
severe headache as an excuse for not accompanying her; and, that her
amusement might not be disturbed by any disagreeable suspicions, he
actually retired to bed and enacted the part of a sick man so well that he
eluded even her penetrating glance. No sooner, however, had the carriage
driven off which conveyed her to the ball, than up jumped the sick man,
dressed himself and set off to the club in order to indulge his darling
passion for play. At an hour rather earlier than he had calculated upon,
his wife left the ball, doubtless anxious to look after her invalid
husband. She was driven home by a friend, and in order to inconvenience
the latter as little as possible, she got out of the carriage without
waiting for the house-door to be opened, and allowed her friend to drive
away. It was a piercingly cold night, the ground was covered with snow,
and she picked her way carefully up the steps and then felt in her pocket
for her _passe-partout_. To her horror she discovered it was not there,
she had forgotten to take it out with her! She used all her efforts to
rouse her sleeping husband or some of the inmates, but in vain. No
resource remained but for her to walk, quarterdeck, in her satin shoes and
ball dress, the bodice of which, to make matters worse, was generally very

"While engaged in this truly miserable occupation, who should come up but
her husband, returning from his club! Had he had the key in his pocket
much might have been forgiven him, but he, too, had forgotten it. He was
obliged, therefore, to join his wife's promenade before the door of their
lodgings, and submit to a snowy curtain-lecture, till dawn broke, and the
miserable, shivering couple were at last able to make themselves heard by
the inmates of the house."

Many years afterwards John Stanhope related a yet more extraordinary
meeting which occurred to this same couple.

"When the allied troops entered France, the hope of that liberty of which
he had so long been deprived was again kindled in the breast of Captain
S., and at length rose to such a pitch as to overpower all other
considerations, till he made his escape _en garçon_ from the _dépôt_. The
unpleasant situation of his wife when she found herself thus abandoned in
the midst of a foreign land may be imagined; but she was not the type of
woman to give herself up to despair. After some time had elapsed she set
off with the intention of making her solitary way to England. During her
journey she encountered a detachment of the Russian army, and on finding
herself surrounded by troops, nothing daunted, she demanded to be taken to
the General commanding them. She was conducted to his presence and was
received by him and his aide-de-camp, who stood beside him. Something in
the appearance of the latter attracted her attention--she looked again and
again--did her eyes deceive her, or was that figure in a Russian uniform,
with an order at his button-hole and his face partly concealed by heavy
moustachios, indeed her husband? Another look converted her doubts into
certainty, and she was in her husband's arms. He had directed his course
towards the Russian army, been of great service to the General--probably
by giving him information on the state of the country--and had been
rewarded by the situation he now held.

"He subsequently re-entered the English army, having obtained a commission
in the Horse Guards. Later, I often saw the fair heroine of this story
riding in Hyde Park, in a costume which resembled the uniform of her
husband's regiment, and accompanied by a daughter whose grace as an
equestrian was set off by her personal beauty, whilst an orderly enacting
the part of a groom completed the singular appearance of the group."

Meanwhile, amongst the men of all nationalities who were to be found among
the prisoners, certain of these, like Captain S., from time to time
succeeded in effecting their escape. One brazenly went as a courier
carrying despatches to the _grande armeé_; another cleverly passed himself
off as a Custom House officer and actually accompanied a battalion of
French soldiers, during the whole time receiving the utmost civility from
the unsuspecting officers and men. But all studiously avoided Naval
disguises, for the French believed that there was some peculiar
predisposition in English blood to the Naval Service; indeed, on this
account, all English foundlings were sent to Marseilles or Toulon to be
brought up as sailors!

Once, during John Stanhope's residence at Verdun, did Napoleon pass
through the town. When this occurred, the young _détenu_ made his way so
close to the carriage and inspected its occupant with such determined
scrutiny that, he adds with satisfaction, "I can boast that I made
Napoleon himself draw back!" His description, entered in his journal, of
the Man of Destiny, then approaching the reverse of his fortunes, is of
peculiar interest.

"How shall I describe him? He was in a coloured nightcap, not a very
Imperial, nor, at any time, a becoming costume; he had travelled all
night, which, also, is neither calculated to improve a man's beauty, nor
to shed a ray of good-humour over his countenance. His face looked
swollen, his complexion sallow and livid; his eyes--but it is impossible
to describe the expression of those eyes; I need only say that they were
the true index of his character. There was in them a depth of reflection,
a power of intention (if I may so call it) of seeing into the souls of
men; there was a murkiness, a dark scowl, that made me exclaim-' Nothing
in the world would tempt me to go one hour in that carriage with that
man!' I could understand the power of that eye, under the glance of which
the proudest heart in France shrank abashed; but still the whole
countenance rather brought to my memory the early impressions I had formed
of a moody schoolmaster, than those of a Caesar or an Alexander." [11]

The days were then long past, however, when Napoleon's assumption of regal
magnificence had provoked merriment among those as yet unfamiliar with it.
In 1804 Lady Louisa Stuart had recorded how the unaccustomed deference
with which the first consul elected to be treated was viewed in the nature
of a farce by those surrounding him. Everyone of any rank who employed the
titles by which the parvenu monarch desired to be called, did so as a
recognised jest. "_Sa Majesté Impériale et puis du rire_!" But if that
phase had now gone by and the boldest in France had learnt to quail before
the piercing glance of the usurper, there remained apparently a few stout
English hearts in whom he still failed to inspire awe. John Stanhope

"An incident occurred during Napoleon's passage through Verdun, which,
however difficult to describe with full effect, is yet too good to be
omitted. An old British merchant captain went up to the window and
presented a petition. This the Emperor refused to receive, observing--'I
take no petitions from the English.' 'Then--d----n your eyes, you b----y
son of a ----!' exclaimed the old sailor with engaging frankness, as,
turning on his heels, he strode disgustedly away. Napoleon did not appear
to understand this comment, but probably he had some shrewd suspicion of
its nature."

So profound a sensation, however, did the countenance of the Emperor make
upon John Stanhope that he could never afterwards recall it without a
shudder. That sense of an all-dominant will, of a boundless egoism, of a
villainy which refused to be limited and could not be gauged by any of the
ordinary restrictions applicable to normal humanity, was never
subsequently erased from his recollections. It must be emphasised,
moreover, that John Stanhope was by temperament and training singularly
cosmopolitan in his outlook, and free from insular prejudice even with
regard to his country's foe, so much so that, when he again had an
opportunity of observing Napoleon, he readily acknowledged the strange
magnetism of the man whose personality yet filled him with such
instinctive repugnance.

On this latter occasion Bonaparte was already past the meridian of his
glory, and had met with reverses which enforced a more careful cultivation
of his popularity with the masses. "He was," relates John Stanhope, "most
gracious in his manner to the surrounding crowd, greeting them with a
smile; and that smile was strikingly beautiful; there was a fascination
about it, which, even in spite of my previous impressions, I could not

Still more, he records with obvious pleasure an instance of the Emperor's

"It would not be doing justice to Napoleon to omit the case of Captain
Fane. That gallant officer had been taken prisoner in an attack that he
had made upon some town on the coast of Spain. He had landed with the
greater part of his crew, and carried the place with great bravery; but
success was fatal to the discipline of his force. Unaccustomed as they
were to fighting on shore, not all the efforts of Captain Fane could keep
them together. They dispersed in all directions, plundering, and looking
for wine. The French who had watched the whole proceedings from the
heights, sent a force down, which, unobserved, got between them and the
sea, cut off their retreat and took the whole party prisoners.

"Captain Fane, who was a true English sailor, had some dispute with the
officer into whose hands he was committed on the French frontier. The
latter thereupon refused to accept his parole, so that Fane was conducted
to Verdun by the _gendarmes_, treated with considerable harshness, and
lodged in prison at the end of each day's march. This treatment was not
calculated to produce a favourable impression on his already prejudiced
mind, and not unnaturally there was not in the whole depôt a more violent
anti-Gallican than was Captain Fane.

"But his residence at Verdun was not long. A circumstance had occurred in
the earlier part of his career which his friends justly thought likely to
be of service to him in the unfortunate situation in which he now found
himself. At the time of the Egyptian campaign, he had been midshipman on
board a man-o'-war employed on the coast of Egypt. One day some French
prisoners had been in danger of being drowned, when Fane jumped overboard
and saved their lives at the risk of his own. The circumstance had at the
time come to the knowledge of General Bonaparte, and he had expressed his
high sense of the bravery of the young English officer.

"Now under the changed circumstances in which Captain Fane found himself,
his friends did but justice to the Emperor in believing that if the
occurrence were but recalled to the memory of Bonaparte, coupled with the
knowledge that that once gallant midshipman was now a prisoner in his
dominions, it would at least militate in favour of the captive. The
information, of which Captain Fane himself would have scorned to make use,
was therefore conveyed to Bonaparte, and not a moment did the Emperor
hesitate. He at once ordered Captain Fane's unconditional liberation.--It
is with great pleasure that I record this trait of magnanimity in
Napoleon; similar instances of which more than once came under my notice."

Of Jerome Bonaparte, on the contrary, John Stanhope gives a very different
description. He was one morning for a considerable time in the same room
with the King of Westphalia, in fact, for over an hour, while the latter
was occupied with the consumption of a lengthy breakfast, and his
impression of the man whom he thus watched closely is summed up briefly:-
"A more insignificant personage," he says, "I have never yet beheld!"
After which he dismisses Jerome as undeserving of further comment.

After a long and dreary residence at Verdun, John Stanhope heard by chance
that a French lady was desirous of having any English prisoners of
undoubted respectability _en pension_ at her Château de D., near Ligny. He
therefore applied to the commandant for permission to pass there what was
termed _la belle saison_; and this was granted on condition that he
reported himself at Verdun at the end of the month. Much delighted at the
prospect of such a change in his surroundings, he therefore set out for
Ligny, with his gig, two horses, and an old field captain, who attended
him in the capacity of servant. His experiences are not without interest
while thus resident in a French country family who were singularly typical
of the period in which they lived.

The family, of whom he purposely suppresses the names, consisted of
Monsieur V., a kind-hearted man, about fifty years of age. Madame V., whom
he describes as "one of the most singular specimens of a French woman that
it ever was my lot to meet with"; and her son-in-law and married daughter,
Monsieur and Madame M.

"Madame V.," he wrote long after, "was a thorough _intrigante_, never
quiet for a moment, but always with some project in her head, a constant
prey to all sorts of sharpers, who flattered her, fed upon her and
converted her schemes into an abundant source of profit to themselves. The
great object of her ambition at this moment was to obtain the post of
governess to the King of Rome. _Madame!_--I have only to represent to
myself that little round figure, nearly as large as it was long and much
the shape of a ball, with her Parisian graces grafted on to her pretension
to the manners of the _vieille Cour_, to enjoy, even now, a hearty laugh
at her vanity in supposing that it was in her power to supersede and
triumph over a Montesquieu. "As it may seem extraordinary that people in
the position of the V.s should have admitted English prisoners _en
pension_, I ought to mention that it was entirely a _galanterie_ on the
part of Monsieur. He stipulated it should be no expense to him, excepting
in the article of wine, which he would freely give; that whatever benefit
arose from the money paid by us, should belong entirely to Madame V.; and
a considerable profit she must undoubtedly have made, as little was the
addition on our account to their domestic expenditure.

"The daughter of this couple was married to a man of talent, who, however,
had a brusquerie of manner which rendered him rather forbidding. He seemed
to aim rather at the rough independence of Revolutionary France than at
the _politesse_ which marked the _vieille Cour_ of which Madame was an
exponent. He treated me, however, with the utmost kindness and attention.
Originally he had been but clerk to Monsieur V. and lived in the house. As
is not unusually the case under such circumstances, an attachment grew up
between him and Mlle. V.; but when did the course of true love run
smoothly? Madame V. had other designs for her daughter; she destined her
to the arms of one of Napoleon's generals, and had already opened
negotiations with a view of carrying these intentions into effect. The
father, unable to resist the daughter's tears, joined with her in
endeavouring to extort from Madame V. a reluctant consent; but the latter
remained inflexible. After all other arguments had been exhausted in vain,
Monsieur M., her daughter and even her husband threw themselves on their
knees before her in tears, and entreated her to yield to their wishes.
Such a scene was too much for a Frenchwoman. She yielded, and abandoning
her ambitious project, gave her daughter to Monsieur M.!

"Monsieur V. thereupon built a nice house for the young couple at the
extremity of the garden, so that his daughter had the advantage of being
perfectly independent, and yet of living as much as she chose with her
father and mother. In general they formed but one family, and great was
their contentment, though this was not, in reality, increased by the
circumstance of Monsieur M. having recently been raised to the dignity of
Mayor of D. and Secretary to the Prefect of the Department, a situation
which gave him considerable power, and made him a person of greater
consequence than his father-in-law.

"Our life was very uniform. At eight o'clock punctually we met at a little
building at the end of the garden which Madame had dignified by the title
of _La Ferme_, though it had not a pretension of any sort to such a
denomination. It was in fact a small cottage consisting of a kitchen
fitted up in cottage style, a small pantry, two bedrooms above, furnished
with all the luxury of modern refinement--so much for the cottage. From
what books Madame V. had drawn her ideas of rural felicity I know not, but
she deemed it more sentimental to breakfast in the cottage than to enjoy
that meal comfortably in her dining-room, so to the _ferme_ we were to go,
and, whether the weather was hot or cold, to sit near the blazing fire in
the little kitchen and enjoy the rural felicity of making our own toast.
At one we dined, took a ride or walk in the afternoon, and at eight sat
down to supper.

"The house was not an uncomfortable, though somewhat singular one.
Monsieur V. having been called away from home during the time that he was
building it, Madame took advantage of his absence to take care of herself,
and, in so doing, to spoil the house. She had a fancy that she could only
breathe freely in a large room; she therefore constructed out of the body
of the house an enormous bedroom for herself. It was square, with a
dressing-room at each angle. Her husband, upon his return home, found his
house completely spoilt, as this room occupied the main part of the first
floor. However, as the mischief was done, he bore it with the greatest
philosophy, venting his feelings with his usual exclamation on such
occasions--'_Oh, ma femme! ma femme!_'

"The drawing-room was a pleasant and well-furnished room, it opened by a
door, partly of glass, on to a flight of steps which served also as a
bridge over a rivulet which ran close to the walls of the house. These
steps led to the flower garden which was laid out in the old-fashioned
style. In the centre was a fountain, round which there were beds of
flowers. At the extremity of the garden there was a large orangery which
had no pretentions to architectural beauty, but contained a magnificent
collection of orange trees. During the warm weather, these ornamented the
garden, and at a more wintry period, being ranged in rows in the orangery,
afforded us an agreeable promenade.

"The gardens extended a considerable distance. They included on one side a
kitchen garden and a vineyard, and on the other, to give the effect of
what the French call an English garden, a wood had been considered a
necessary requisite. It was cut out in walks, one of which led to the
_ferme_ and another to the hermitage, so that the garden may be said to
have possessed every requisite for a perfect garden. But absurd as this
reunion of _bois_, hermitage and _ferme_, may sound, the gardens were
really pretty, and the connecting of the kitchen garden and the vineyard
with the pleasure ground not only added to its extent, but its variety. I
have often thought that our English kitchen gardens, by a little more
variety in their form and by an intermixture of shrubbery, might be
converted into an ornamental instead of a formal addition to our country

"Adjoining the drawing-room was a room, prettily furnished, in which I
slept, and which also formed a not uncomfortable sitting-room when I
wished to be alone. Behind the drawing-room was the dining-room, which,
like all French dining-rooms, had the appearance of an anteroom. It opened
into the library where there was a good collection of books and also of
minerals, indeed, there was hardly anything of which there was _not_ a

"On one occasion I incurred Madame V.'s serious displeasure. A hornet's
nest had been discovered, and, as it was voted a great curiosity, was
placed by Madame's orders among the other specimens of Natural history in
the library. Warmed into life by the heat of the room, some of the hornets
began to show signs of activity. The prospect was far from pleasant, and,
alarmed at the disagreeable interruption about to be offered to my
studies, I secretly commissioned a servant to throw the hornet's nest into
the water. Boundless was the indignation of Madame V, on finding that I
had deprived her museum of so great a treasure; and it was a considerable
time before an act of such temerity on my part was forgiven.

"We sometimes took advantage of a fine evening to form a party in the
woods. On an occasion when the Chevalier de la Lance was staying with us
accompanied by his fifteen-year-old daughter, one of the prettiest of our
Verdun belles, we had one of these excursions to the forest. After dinner
some of the most musical of our party were requested by the young belle to
enliven the evening by music. Madame M., my hostess's daughter, had a most
beautiful voice, and had, of course, enjoyed all the advantages to be
derived from Parisian masters. Whilst she was singing, we all observed
that a nightingale perched upon one of the neighbouring trees continued
silent; the moment she stopped, he began to warble forth his 'wood-notes
wild.' This occurred not once, but repeatedly. He was far, however, from
showing the same attention to the chevalier. Apparently not entertaining
an equally good opinion of the old man's musical talents, from the moment
that gentleman began to take up the song, the nightingale began also, and
evidently did all in his power to drown the chevalier's voice!"

Another diversion at Ligny was _la chasse_. Monsieur M. was a great
sportsman and very fond of shooting; he kept a small pack of hounds and
seldom went out with them without inviting young Stanhope to accompany
him. "One day," relates John Stanhope, "we were out fox-hunting on foot,
our business being to head the fox and--_horresco referens_--to shoot
him! The hounds were running, and all of a sudden came to a check and
ceased giving tongue. At that moment Lord Boyle, who was out with us, and
who was not far from me, levelled his gun and took, as it proved, a deadly
aim. I looked at him in some astonishment, at a loss to imagine what game
he could have seen when the hounds were not running. He fired, and then
throwing up his arms in horror, cried out, at the same time stamping and
raving, 'Oh! Monsieur M., I have killed your best dog!' Vexed as I was at
such a disaster, I could not help laughing at the gesticulations of my
friend, and at Paddy, with eyes quick enough for anything, having mistaken
a _dog for a fox_. It was quite a practical Bull. No one could have
behaved better than Monsieur M. He concealed his regret and said
everything in his power to reassure and recompose the distracted culprit."

There was, Stanhope remarks, not much game in the neighbourhood of Ligny,
though there could not be a country better adapted to it, as the house was
situated between two forests, both of which abounded in wolves. "However,"
writes Stanhope, "I was only out one day at _la chasse aux loups_. I had
been so long deprived of the amusements of a sportsman that an invitation
from Monsieur M., to accompany him on the following morning produced so
much excitement in my mind that I lay awake half the night ... and I was
not too late for the appointed hour of six o'clock. Monsieur M., another
sportsman and myself, proceeded to a distant part of the forest. We were
all stationed, in advance, at different posts where it was thought likely
that the wolf might cross the path. The hounds were soon in full cry. My
heart beat high as I heard them approach me, but, alas! instead of the
_grand gibier_ I expected, a poor little hare stole quietly by! It was a
terrible falling off, and no wolf crossed our path that morning.

"Yet at the time of which I am speaking, we had pretty good proof of their
being in our immediate vicinity, for one morning, when I was out walking,
I heard, close to the house, a piercing yell. I ran to ascertain what was
the matter and found that a favourite setter of Monsieur M., itself as big
as a wolf, had just been carried off by one of these ferocious animals.
Poor M. could hardly be consoled for the loss of another favourite dog,
and was some days before he recovered his usual spirits. After I left
Ligny, Lord Blayney and some other Verdunites killed six or seven wolves
in one day's sport."

The warfare against both wolves and foxes at Ligny was, however, very
essential, in view of the fact that Madame V., in order to further her
favourite project of becoming Governess to the King of Rome, had resorted
to a singular plan to ensure her popularity at Court.

Napoleon was exceedingly anxious to promote the progress of agriculture in
France, and as a first step in that direction to introduce the breed of
Merino sheep into the country. "Madame V. therefore determined to have her
flock of Merinos. But as the pure breed could only be procured at a
considerable cost, she resolved to arrive at the completion of her purpose
in a more economical manner. She succeeded in purchasing some rams of the
Merino breed, and she calculated that by crossing the sheep of the country
with them she would in eight years succeed in establishing a flock of
perfectly pure blood. She did not trouble herself about the evil results
attributed by agriculturists to breeding in and in. Her speculation was
the more extraordinary from the circumstance of her having no farm, nor
any land upon which to keep her sheep; but for this difficulty she found
an easy remedy. She sent out her flock under the guidance of a shepherd
boy, to feed wherever food they could find, but principally in the
Imperial forests.

"In order to give a greater _éclat_ to her favourite hobby, she built a
magnificent sheep-shed which was finished whilst I was there. But before
the sheep were introduced to their new abode, the priest was sent for to
give it his blessing. This he did in due form by sprinkling holy water in
all directions and consecrating it with as much solemnity as if he had
been dedicating a church to the service of God. Further, to celebrate the
event with yet greater pomp, she had likewise promised to give a ball;
but, to the disappointment of the prisoners resident with her, she finally
decided that the religious ceremony must suffice, and the Merinos were
allowed to enter upon their new career with no secular demonstration to
succeed the ecclesiastical."

Various indeed were the methods employed by the ambitious in order to
attract the attention and win the coveted favour of Napoleon. "A person of
great distinction," writes Stanhope, "the Maréchal Oudinot, who resides in
the town of Bar, has built a large manufactory for the purpose of making
sugar from beetroot. He does not appear to entertain any sanguine
expectations of profit, for upon General Cox asking him one day, when he
was dining at Bar, what had been the success of his manufactory, the
Maréchal replied with rather more honesty than discretion, 'Ce n'est que
pour plaire à l'Empereur!' Certainly in this point of view it was a
magnificent piece of flattery!

"That this Maréchal is a _nouveau riche_ the appearance of his house at
Bar sufficiently indicates. It stands in the middle of the town, and is
surrounded by a high wall, upon the top of which a range of shells and
bombs are represented in stone. At the entrance door stand two sentinels--
two wooden grenadiers painted in full uniform and as large as life, which
certainly cannot be considered as any _preuves de noblesse_, or marks of a
refined taste. One day Madame M. grievously offended this important
person. Gazing at his mansion and its surrounding tokens of magnificence,
she enthusiastically gave vent to a compliment which, however clever she
might think it, was not calculated to flatter the pride of a _parvenu_.
'Ah! Monsieur le Maréchal!' she exclaimed indiscreetly, 'vous montez, nous

"Indeed, what the Maréchal's origin may be, I know not; but I am told
that, till quite recently, he conducted himself with the best possible
feeling towards his old friends and relations, and was universally praised
for the kindness and condescension of his manners. A great change,
however, has lately been observed, perhaps because he has married a young
and pretty girl belonging to the _ancienne noblesse_. His old friends are
now treated with the greatest _hauteur_; he even requires the company at
his parties to remain standing in a circle round him, and he appears to
feel the regal coronet already budding upon his brows.

"Singular times, in truth, are these, when a man of the very lowest birth
may indulge in such _rêveries_ without the faintest absurdity!"




At length the prospects of the luckless prisoner brightened. John Stanhope
obtained leave to change his place of detention for Paris, where existence
promised to be far more agreeable than at Verdun or Ligny. Having
journeyed thither with a light heart, and some of the hopefulness of youth
restored, he was not disappointed. He found himself warmly welcomed by
many of his fellow-countrymen; while the French savants, having learnt the
original object of his journey and all the circumstances which had led to
his imprisonment, received him unhesitatingly as one of their body and
give him free access to the Institute.

Forthwith life became once more full of interest, and as agreeable as it
was practicable for that of an exile to be. He rapidly made friends
amongst both the French and English residents in Paris, while one of his
fellow-prisoners on parole in the capital at this date was the well-known
banker, Mr Boyd [1] with whom his family had long been acquainted, and in
whose vicinity he now took rooms.

"Mr Boyd," relates Stanhope, "was in a singular position. He had
originally been one of the first, if not _the_ first banker in Paris. He
stood, as I have heard, in a pre-eminent position, admitted, as an
Englishman, to those highest circles which were closed to the monied men
of France, and aspiring to that commanding influence in the commercial
world which although often maintained in England is seldom countenanced in
France, unless we may consider Lafitte as an exception. At the breaking
out of the Revolution, the temptation offered by Mr Boyd's wealth was too
great to be resisted. The French Government chose to consider him as an
_émigré_, and seized upon the funds of the bank, which are said to have
consisted of £600,000. At the Peace of Amiens he returned to Paris to
reclaim his property, but upon the renewal of the war he was detained as a
prisoner, being included in the class of _détenus_. In vain he
remonstrated with the Ministers, and said, 'If I am a Frenchman, give me
my liberty; if I am an Englishman, restore me my money; you cannot be
entitled to detain me prisoner as an Englishman and to keep my money as
that of a Frenchman!'

"All his remonstrances were in vain; but distressed as his circumstances
were at this date, his heart was warm and his board as hospitable as ever.
Many an evening have I passed with him talking over the events of former
times and of his financial schemes. I have never met with a spirit more
buoyant nor a disposition more sanguine. In that Paris where he had once
stood at the head of the mercantile interest, and enjoyed, with a zest of
which few men were capable, every luxury that the luxurious capital could
supply, he was now the double bankrupt, the prisoner of war. But to the
credit of the French financiers--then, indeed, the men of most
distinction in the world of fashion--he was not neglected. He still lived
in that society of which he had formerly been so distinguished a member,
nor was he treated with contempt because his wife and daughters now went
to parties in their fiacre. On one of these occasions he met Talleyrand,
who could not help exclaiming, 'Ah! _Monsieur Boyd, vous voir comme

"An application was at one time made to Boyd for his opinion on the
financial affairs of England. This, although not avowed, he was perfectly
aware was made by the Emperor's desire and for his Majesty's private
information. Mr Boyd was not a man, be the consequences what they might,
to bend before the Imperial footstool or to disguise the truth. He was
placed upon his hobby-horse--Pitt's financial system and the sinking fund.
His statement proved anything but satisfactory to the high quarter for
which it was desired; and never again was Mr Boyd applied to on the
subject of English finance."

With regard to his acquaintance amongst the French, John Stanhope speaks
with the greatest interest of a man who became his great friend, Monsieur
de Baure, a Member of the Institute and President of the Cour Impériale.

"I do not know," he writes, "that I ever remember to have seen a
countenance expressive of brighter intelligence than his. His was indeed
the eye of genius, and gave me a perfect conception of the meaning of an
_eagle eye_. Yet I have seen it alight with a much greater disposition to
fun than I expected to have found in one occupying so high a judicial
situation. Indeed, in one instance, I was more amused than I can express
by the extremely dry manner in which he completely took in an assembly of
the wisest men in France!"

On this occasion young Stanhope was seated amongst a number of
distinguished men at the Institute, when M. de Baure rose to his feet, and
a hush fell on the assembly of savants, who waited with profound attention
for the words of wisdom about to flow from the lips of their learned
colleague. As he rose, however, de Baure caught Stanhope's eye with a
glance which the latter says "spoke as plainly as a glance could speak,
'Now I am about to have some fun with these wiseacres!'"

Drawing himself up, the speaker announced with the most profound
solemnity, "Gentlemen, I must preface my remarks by stating how I consider
that a cook who discovers a new dish deserves a seat in the Institute more
than a man who discovers a new star...."

Loud were the interruptions of horror which burst from the Members of the
Institute, who, to the unutterable amusement of Stanhope and certain of
his friends, took the remark literally.

"_Que me fait une étoile?_" continued de Baure with impassioned eloquence.
"_Que me fait une étoile_ whilst a chef who discovers a new dish which
tempts me to begin again after I have satisfied my appetite confers upon
me the greatest obligation which it lies in the power of one human being
to confer upon another!" [2]

Urged by his grave and astounded colleagues to elaborate his reasons for
his extraordinary statement, de Baure declined on the following ground: "A
king of France," he said, "was passing through a provincial town when a
pompous mayor, addressing his Majesty, regretted that he had twenty very
urgent reasons for not having fired the guns in honour of the Royal visit,
the first of which was that he had not any powder. 'Stop there!' said the
King, 'I will excuse you the other nineteen.'"

Another Frenchman, of a very different type, who was a friend of John
Stanhope at this date, was the young Comte de St. Morys, of whose tragic
fate, so illustrative of the conditions then prevalent in France, Stanhope
subsequently gave the following account:--

"The Comte de St. Morys had been an _émigré_ at the period of the
Revolution. His mother, however, had not accompanied her husband during
that exile, and, in consequence, had succeeded eventually in preventing
the confiscation of some of his property. When, later, Napoleon adopted
the course of gathering round his throne as many of the old _noblesse_ as
he could, he conveyed the hint to Madame de St. Morys that, unless her son
returned, the remainder of her property should be confiscated. In
consequence of this notification the young Comte deemed it his duty to
return to his native land, and he established himself in the _basse-cour_
of his former home, which was all of the château which now remained.

"Unfortunately for him, the rest of the property had been sold to a man
whose character may be best described by stating that he had been a
branded fellow. A good understanding was not likely to exist between men
of such opposite principles, and St. Morys, although he possessed the
kindest and the warmest heart, was rather of a hasty disposition, and had
a little more brusquerie of manner than is generally found among Frenchmen
of his rank. What may have been the first, or the principal cause of the
dispute, I know not, but, from what I heard, it appeared to me most
probable that the object of Colonel Barbier de Fay was to compel Monsieur
de St. Morys to give him a high price for his land in order to get rid of
so disagreeable a neighbour.

"However that may be, Colonel Barbier's hatred to St. Morys at length
carried him so far as to lead him to form a plan of vengeance which I can
characterise by no other expression than diabolical.

"At the restoration of the Bourbons, Monsieur de St. Morys, like many
others, was raised to the rank he would have held according to the army
list. He therefore became a general in the army and a lieutenant in the
Garde de Corps, which, as the regiment was entirely composed of nobles,
was a very high situation. Colonel Barbier, with a double motive--first
that of tormenting Monsieur de St. Morys and next that of throwing
discredit on a corps which he detested--introduced into the Garde room,
and circulated wherever he could find access, printed papers blackening
the Count's character. That gentleman accordingly challenged him. Colonel
Barbier replied that he would only accept the challenge on one condition--
that two pistols should be put into a bag, one loaded and another not, and
that they should draw for the chance.

"This St. Morys rejected, stating that he was prepared to fight, but not
to commit murder. In order, however, that his character should be free
from stain he referred the matter to the Marshals of France. They approved
of his conduct, and there the matter ought to have ended. Unfortunately
the Garde de Corps, aware of the jealousy with which the old army viewed
their position, were very touchy on the point of honour. Wherefore the Duc
de Luxembourg, his Colonel, considered that St. Morys was under a cloud,
and refused to allow him to perform his military duties till his
reputation was cleared. This was, in point of fact, the object which his
adversary had in view. It placed St. Morys in a most awkward position, and
threw an apple of discord among the Garde de Corps.

"My poor friend unluckily consulted everybody, and followed everybody's
advice. That which our joint friend, the Comte G. de la Rochefoucauld,
gave him appeared to me the best; he advised him to make up his mind at
once to the sacrifice of his commission; that having challenged his
opponent he had done all that was incumbent upon him as a man of honour, a
fact which was unquestionable after the decision of the marshals, and that
he should express himself ready to meet any person who should arraign his
conduct. But this would probably have involved him with the Duc de
Luxembourg, and consequently compelled him to resign his commission in the
Guards, which would have been peculiarly unfortunate as he was daily in
expectation of being raised to the rank of captain, upon which he intended
to have retired upon half pay.

"Instead, therefore, of following this advice, he endeavoured by further
irritation to compel his opponent to meet him; he went into a café and
struck the Colonel on the face with his fist, believing that so public a
disgrace would induce Barbier to meet him on his own terms; but the other
was not to be diverted from his predetermined purpose; he continued to
persist in his declaration that he would fight only on the terms he had
originally proposed.

"In this state the matter continued for some time, till Barbier thought he
had sufficiently achieved his first object of bringing disgrace upon St.
Morys, and therefore, at last, consented to meet his antagonist. They
accordingly met, fired two brace of pistols, and then drew their swords.
The seconds had previously decreed that the duel should terminate as soon
as blood was drawn. Monsieur de St. Morys having, or thinking he had,
slightly wounded his enemy, called out, 'Monsieur, vous êtes blessé!' and
laid himself open in full confidence that the fight was over. 'Non,
monsieur,' replied Barbier, '_mais vous êtes mort!_' and not only plunged
his sword into his victim's body, but is said actually to have given a
turn with his wrist to secure the mortality of the wound.

"Thus terminated the life of poor St. Morys!"

The consummation of this tragedy, however, belonged to a date later than
that of the residence of John Stanhope in Paris, and during his sojourn
there St Morys was still, like many of his day, endeavouring to reconcile
his royalist proclivities to the changed conditions of his surroundings
and his own altered fortunes. Meanwhile, into the comparatively peaceful
routine of Parisian life came, ever and anon, news of a series of
victories achieved by the _grande armée_, which was received in France
with the customary complacency and elation that such events had long been
wont to evoke. By the bulk of Frenchmen the triumphant issue of the
Russian campaign was looked upon as a foregone conclusion, and, therefore,
when there suddenly broke upon Paris the knowledge of the supreme disaster
of Moscow the effect was overwhelming. The 10th Bulletin disclosed the
truth with a shattering finality: "_Dans quatre jours cette belle armée
n'existait plus._" The effect was as though a thunderbolt had fallen upon
the smiling, placid country. France was plunged into mourning for her
sons, Ministers trembled for their posts, and everywhere reigned
consternation, uncertainty and grief.

Suddenly, into the middle of this general _bouleversement_, a rumour
gained credence that the Emperor himself was at the Tuileries. Young
Stanhope hastened to the palace to learn the accuracy of this report, and
was soon convinced of its truth. Throughout the building were tokens of
unwonted activity; lights were visible in all the windows, and a small
crowd was stationed outside. From a French soldier standing near him he
learnt that the carriage in which Napoleon had travelled had broken down
at Meaux, "and the Emperor had then got into one of the little cabriolets
vulgarly called a _pot de chambre_; they are little cars which ply between
Paris and the neighbouring towns, and carry four inside, and one,
generally called a _lapin_, on the same seat as the driver." Upon his
arrival in Paris his Imperial Majesty got out of this vehicle and walked
to the Tuileries, where he was stopped by the guard at the door, who, in
the dusk, failed to recognise him. "_Je suis de la maison!_" explained
Napoleon briefly, and he was permitted to enter.

Thus Bonaparte returned to Paris, not as the triumphant victor, the
indomitable conqueror of Europe, but as a defeated general, bent on
retrieving some singularly grievous errors by tact and perseverance. Yet
something never to be regained was lost to the Man of Destiny. The spell
which had deified him was broken. Napoleon the Invincible, the Infallible,
had blundered. "This supernatural man, this god--or devil--had sunk below
the level of ordinary men. '_Le prestige est passé_' was in everybody's

Paris soon rang with stories of the disastrous campaign--tales, in the
most trivial of which the Parisians recognised the complex personality of
that god or devil of their mingled idolatry or detestation. A French
officer told John Stanhope two anecdotes, which, although in themselves
slight, are strikingly illustrative both of Napoleon's shrewdness and of
his brutality. On one occasion the Emperor heard some men murmuring and
declaring that rather than suffer the torments which they were then
enduring, they had better give up the struggle and make up their minds to
go to Siberia. Napoleon turned to them, and, fixing them with his glance,
merely observed, "En Sibérie ou _en France_!" Well did he understand the
emotional temperament of the men with whom he had to deal! The tone in
which he uttered _en France_ recalled vividly to their thoughts their own,
their beautiful France; and the men, who a moment before were abandoned to
despair, roused themselves and advanced on their march with all the
enthusiasm and the renewed vivacity of Frenchmen.

The other story, as indicated, is of a less creditable nature. After the
terrible crossing of the Beresina, when, through faulty generalship and
inexcusable want of forethought, thousands upon thousands of lives were
needlessly sacrificed, the Emperor, during the wretched bivouac west of
the river, was, like the rest of his regiment, suffering intensely from
the bitter weather. His officers, therefore, went round calling for dry
wood for his fire, and soldiers, perishing with cold, came forward to
offer precious sticks, with the words, uttered ungrudgingly, "Take this
for the Emperor." Shortly afterwards, Napoleon was seated in a miserable
_barraque_, with his _surtout_ over his shoulders, enjoying the poor fire
thus obtained. Folding his coat more closely about him, he remarked
casually, "Il y aura diablement des fous gelés cette nuit!"

Yet the man before whose colossal egoism imagination waxes impotent,
could, on other occasions, exhibit an irresponsible _bonhomie_, which
seemed totally at variance with the more sinister side of his character.
This John Stanhope illustrates by another anecdote.

"Amongst my fellow-prisoners at Verdun had been a gentleman who promoted
to the rank of his mistress a woman who was previously his maid-servant.
He obtained permission to reside in Paris, but was included in the general
order of the Duc de Rovigo upon his appointment to the Ministry of Police,
by which nearly all the English were returned to the dépôts.

"Madame Chambers, who found herself, under that fictitious title,
occupying a very different position at Paris to that which she could fill
at Verdun, where her real situation and origin were generally known, had
no inclination to go back to that dépôt, but determined to leave no stone
unturned to obtain leave for Chambers to remain in Paris. She was not a
person to be easily daunted or troubled with any unnecessary _mauvaise
honte_. Accordingly, the first time that the Emperor went to the _chasse_,
Madame Chambers made her appearance. It was after the shooting was over,
when a great circle was formed, in which the Emperor paced backwards and
forwards, generally with his hands behind his back and his eyes fixed upon
the ground, whilst the game which had been shot was laid out before him.
Madame Chambers advanced and presented a petition to him. He inquired
curtly who she was and what she wanted, and took no further notice of her.
The next time the Emperor went to the _chasse_ Madame Chambers again made
her appearance, the same scene was re-enacted, with the same result. He
went again a third time, and there also again appeared Madame Chambers
with her petition.

"'Comment!' exclaimed the Emperor furiously, 'toujours Madame Chambers!'

"'Oui, Empereur, toujours Madame Chambers,' she replied imperturbably.

"This was too much for Napoleon. The man who was accustomed to see the
greatest of his generation tremble before his slightest frown gazed in no
small astonishment at the plump, placid little soubrette who confronted
him without a tremor. He burst into a merry laugh, and exclaimed. '_Eh
bien, que votre mari reste à Paris. Berthier, je vous en charge!_' turning
to Marshal Berthier who was in his suite; and Mr Chambers was never sent
back to the dépôt."

Few, however, shared the temerity of Madame Chambers. John Stanhope
writes: "The awe that even the principal ministers felt in the presence of
Napoleon would not be credited in England. His courtiers literally
trembled before him. 'In what sort of a humour is the Emperor to-day?'
was a frequent question in Paris.... How I have blushed for the adulation,
the degrading, I may almost say the blasphemous flattery that has been
offered before the throne of Napoleon by men of the highest rank. But
perhaps I ought to make some allowance for those who had witnessed the
horrors of the Revolution. Can, however, such men be expected to recover
the high tone of feeling they once entertained? Can France ever be
restored to a sound state?"

Yet one man stood alone in heroic opposition to the Conqueror of
Christendom. Frail, old, and deserted even by those upon whose support he
had relied, the Pope, Pius VII., had courage to oppose the Conqueror of
the world. While John Stanhope was in Paris the celebrated interview took
place between the aged Pontiff and the autocrat to whom the Vicar of
Christ was but as a temporal Sovereign to be crushed beneath the might of
an all-but universal monarchy. Pius VII. had indeed had an ample warning
in the fate of his predecessor, who, bereft of all power, had been
consigned by Napoleon to an imprisonment in which he had expired. In 1801
Pius VII. had been forced to conclude a _concordat_ with Napoleon, which
the latter had afterwards subjected to arbitrary alterations; in 1804 the
Pontiff had found himself compelled to repair to Paris to assist at the
coronation of his enemy. Shortly after his return to Rome the French had
entered the Eternal city, and in May 1809 the Papal States were annexed by
France. Promptly the brave old Pontiff excommunicated the robbers of the
Holy See, and the vengeance of Bonaparte upon this act was swift and sure.
The Pope was removed as a prisoner to Grenoble, then to Fontainebleau; and
it is curious to learn, by Stanhope's contemporary account, the light in
which such a stupendous event in the history of the Roman Church was
regarded at the date of its happening.

"The Holy Father, the representative of St Peter, he who holds the Keys of
Heaven and Hell, is actually a prisoner in the hands of Napoleon! Poor,
excellent old man, gallantly and with the resignation of a martyr does he
bear up against his sufferings and maintain the dignity of the Papal See.
It is a singular thing that in a _soi-disant_ Catholic country the
imprisonment of the Father of their Church should make so little
sensation. I hear, indeed, that many women gathered round the different
places at which he stopped in the course of his journey through France,
but even the interest they felt for him soon appears to have subsided. _A
partie de chasse_ the other day was announced to take place in the Forest
of Fontainebleau. This afforded the Emperor an opportunity of having a
conversation with the Pope without any sacrifice of his own dignity,
without any troublesome arrangement of ceremony, and still more without
drawing upon himself the public eye, as to go hunting near the Palace of
Fontainebleau without even paying a visit to the Pope would have been a
positive breach of politeness.

"The interview took place. On the one side was the venerable churchman
bending beneath the weight of affliction as well as of years, on the other
Napoleon Bonaparte; yet if the reports circulated in Paris are to be
believed, the old Pontiff held his own with unabated courage and dignity,
and nobly maintained the cause of his religion, though the Emperor is said
_actually to have thrust his fist in his face and all but struck him_. How
the interview terminated I cannot learn, but I heard the fresh Concordat
cried about the streets of Paris that same evening.

"This dispute," he writes later, "has narrowly escaped producing the most
important results in ecclesiastical history--the separation of the French
Empire from the See of Rome. The Emperor had assumed the nomination to the
French Bishoprics, but the Pope refused to give the investiture to the
persons he appointed. The Church almost universally stood by their Chief;
the consequence was that there was a considerable difficulty in filling up
the vacant Sees. The Archbishopric of Paris was one of these. The Emperor
offered it to his Uncle, Cardinal Fesch, but he, either from sincere
attachment to his Church, or from the duty he owed to the Roman supremacy
as a Cardinal, or from a conviction that he was safer in possession of the
Archbishopric of Lyons, held under the Pope's authority, than he could be
in one held in defiance of it, resolved to brave the Emperor's anger and
refuse that offer. Napoleon, contenting himself with calling Fesch a fool,
offered it to Cardinal Maury, who became titular Archbishop of Paris.
There are few things in the history of the French Revolution that make one
blush more for human nature than the falling off of that man whose opening
career had been so brilliant....

"More and more the Emperor had felt that to be second to the Pope was
inconsistent with his own dignity, and that if he could not bend the
pontiff to his will, he must do without him. He had accordingly determined
to assume the sole presentation of the Bishoprics; but how to get the
Church to assent to such a proceeding was the question. He came at length
to the decision of summoning the Gallican and Italian Churches.... When
the Council met, I was allowed by a friend of mine to copy a letter from
one of the members. It was a curious document and I preserved it for some
time with great care, but I became at length alarmed at having such a
compromising paper in my possession and reluctantly committed it to the
flames. The tenor, however, of some parts of it I remember....

"The writer stated that the Emperor at first proposed to try the effects
of corruption and to tamper with the Bishops individually, and that he had
succeeded in that course, to some extent, more particularly with the
Italian Bishops; but that when he abandoned that plan and summoned a
Council, he committed a great error and entirely defeated his own
intentions. Those men, who could be gained by corruption or intimidated by
power, when they found themselves surrounded by their Brethren, were
withheld, by shame, from giving way to such considerations. Numbers give
power; individually each man might tremble at the thought of resisting
Napoleon, but united, the _esprit de corps_ which is, as it ought to be,
the most powerful incentive among all Churchmen, taught them to offer an
unyielding opposition to all demands inconsistent with the rights of their
Church. But there was another circumstance which rendered the assembling
of the Council fatal to the Emperor's project, and which, not to have
known, was on his part inexcusable ignorance. At the opening of all
Councils each member takes an oath that he will not alter anything that
has been fixed by former Councils, so that everyone in this case was
individually bound by an oath taken in the presence of his Colleagues to
reject such conditions as were required by the Emperor from the Council!
The consequence of this was that even those who had given their adhesion
to his plans were now found united with the brethren in the cause of their
Church. Napoleon found that he had overreached himself.

"The letter further stated that the Bishop or Archbishop of Tours had
conducted himself like an angel. _Du sang nous en avons tous dans nos
veines_, was the opening of his speech, _et que nous en devons répandre
puisque la dernière goutte_, etc., etc. It stated further that when the
Bishops took up the address to the throne they commenced in the following
words--_Sire, nous vous apportons nos têtes!_ Upon which the Emperor
actually started, surprised at hearing himself addressed in words which
were suited to a Nero or a Caligula."

Meanwhile Napoleon, having failed to bend the Church of Rome to his will,
was preparing for another campaign against terrestrial powers. He had
started a conscription and was raising an army of 400,000 men, with which
he hoped to regain something of his lost prestige in the eyes of the
world. Apart from troops, he had to acquire horses for his cavalry and for
this end some expedient had to be devised. The methods which he adopted
were in accordance with the rest of his policy.

"Bold, indeed, as well as singular, was his plan. A conscription of horses
would have been too violent, certainly too straightforward a proceeding,
but still it was only by some measure of that nature that his object could
be attained. That which was determined upon was the _voluntary
presentation_ of horses to the Emperor, a plan which obviated the
necessity of paying anything, whereas, in a case of conscription, some
sum, however inadequate, must have been fixed upon as a sort of regulation

"The example was set by the Senate, then followed by the city of Paris and
all the authorities. The papers teemed with fulsome statements of the
"presents" made to the Emperor. Monsieur A. had sent his son, fully
equipped; Monsieur B. had sent two horses, which the Emperor had
graciously accepted, etc., etc. If this fashion had been confined to those
whose situation rendered it incumbent upon them to prove their zeal for
the Emperor's service, there would have been no great harm; no one would
have felt much pity for this slight sacrifice on the part of those who
were basking in the sunshine of Court favour. Far, however, was the
measure from being limited to courtiers; its operation was universal. The
stables of every individual were visited, their horses examined and
practically seized....

"A friend of mine was so indignant at having his stables inspected that he
boldly refused to allow his horses to be taken out, declaring that if the
Emperor insisted upon having them, he would give them poison. I heard of
only one other case of resistance. A man whose horses were to be taken
away, inquired, with unprecedented temerity, 'Is this compulsory?'

"'No!--Ah, no!' was the emphatic reply.

"'Then if it is voluntary, it rests with me?'

"'_Mais certainement!_ But we _advise_ you to send them!'

"'May I then demand payment?' he next inquired.

"'Mais certainement!' was again the assurance which he received. He might
have payment at a subsequent date--they could not say exactly when, but
they _advised_ him not to demand it.

"It may be concluded that such indiscriminate spoliation, only rendered
the more disgusting by the humbug with which it was accompanied, could not
but tend to increase the unpopularity of the Emperor. So violent was the
discontent, that nothing but the dread of the police and the state of
apathy, into which the whole nation had sunk, prevented an open

In the midst of the general discontent, however, a ripple of merriment
passed over Paris. Madame mère, who, of course, could not avoid following
the new fashion, presented her horses as an offering to her son. They were
at once, to the delight of the Parisians, returned to her as _good for
nothing_! "Whether," says Stanhope, "she had selected her gift with a view
to this verdict, or whether it represented the general state of her stud,
I know not, but, from what I have seen, I conclude that the latter is not
an unlikely case." This little incident and the fact that many of the
untrained horses thus acquired, pirouetted in an undignified manner and
turned their backs as the Emperor passed, momentarily restored the good
humour of the Parisians.

But John Stanhope, whose own steed escaped confiscation on account of its
being blind of one eye, took far less interest in the Emperor's movements
than in a chance of freedom which at last presented itself to him. "There
was not a man in France at this date," he states, "certainly not a
Minister, who would have dared individually to plead the cause of a
prisoner. With the exception of Talleyrand, few among the French
dignitaries were superior to that singular influence by which Napoleon was
able to subdue the proudest spirits; and since the Ministers had positive
orders not to submit to the Emperor any proposal of that nature, there was
not one of them bold enough to defy such a mandate." But as with the
ecclesiastics, so with the Savants of France; what a man dared not attempt
singly, a body of men, in their collective strength, might venture. It was
patent to the Savants that the young Englishman had been unjustly
detained. The object of his journey had been so obviously not only a
peaceable but a laudable one, that the Institute determined at length, if
possible, in the interests of Science, to effect his liberation.

And at last they succeeded. At last, after a period of alternate
tormenting hope and despair, John Stanhope secured the longed-for passport
which accorded him permission to quit Paris. Even then, when liberty was
once more within his reach, it was all but snatched from him. Savary,
Minister of the Interior, taking advantage of the Emperor's absence,
harshly ordered all prisoners to return to their _dépôts_. But Stanhope,
with Napoleon's passport in his pocket, decided to disregard these orders,
and since his parole no longer prohibited an attempt at flight, he
determined to sell his newborn liberty dearly. After many hairbreadth
escapes he succeeded in reaching the German frontier, and to his unbounded
relief knew that he was at last free!

MARCH 14TH, 1813]

By the advice of his friends he decided to make his way back to England,
instead of going direct to Greece as he had at first intended. Passing
next through Vienna, therefore, he viewed with pardonable curiosity
Francis I., the father of Marie Louise; and his description of the
attitude of the Emperor of Austria towards his redoubtable son-in-law at
this date, when the latter still retained the Imperial power, is of
interest in the light of the complete change of front exhibited by Francis
directly the ascendancy of Napoleon appeared to be on the wane. Stanhope

    We English view with such horror all despotic Governments that we
    cannot conceive the possibility of happiness existing under the sway
    of an absolute Sovereign. Yet such I found to be the case at Vienna.
    The Government of the Emperor is mild and paternal, the people seem to
    have as much freedom of speech as they could enjoy even in England,
    and at this particular moment the measures of the administration are
    anything but popular. The Emperor is supposed to be devoted to the
    cause of Napoleon, whilst his subjects are almost universally
    enthusiastic for the liberty of Germany. Upon some occurrence, I think
    it was upon the occasion of an insult offered to the Conte de
    Narbonne, the Emperor was reported to have said--"Monsieur
    l'Ambassadeur, you and I are the only two _Frenchmen_ in the country!"

    The Empress was described to me as a woman of a proud and violent
    temper, whilst the Crown Prince was spoken of with great interest, but
    as a young man kept in the highest subjection. When the Emperor
    summoned him to accompany himself and the Empress on their way to meet
    Napoleon and Marie Louise, then on their road to Vilna previous to
    opening the Moscow Campaign, the Prince was said to have replied that
    he should have been most happy to have gone to meet his sister, _but
    not that Man_!--the consequence of this was that he was immediately
    put under arrest.

    I was much pleased with the simple and unaffected manner in which the
    Imperial family seemed to mix with the people. The Archduchesses
    frequently drove about the streets without Guards or more attendants
    than any lady of fashion would have had, though among the nobility
    there is occasionally a display of state that is not to be found in
    any other capital in Europe. I saw a man of rank going to Court who
    had with him at least twenty servants magnificently dressed; and
    although it was drawing towards the end of the season, Vienna still
    appeared to be extremely brilliant and luxurious.... The city,
    however, still bore marks of her recent misfortunes; the French
    cannon-balls were still visible, and ruined buildings still testified
    that she had been forced to yield to the proud will of a Conqueror.

At length, on what John Stanhope subsequently described as the happiest
day of his life, he reached Cannon Hall; and he used to relate that one of
the first discoveries which he made on entering his old home convinced him
how confident at one time his family must have been that he was numbered
with the dead, for a very valuable collection of prints, which he had
greatly prized, had, in view of his supposed decease, been employed by his
brothers in papering one of the bachelors' bedrooms!

Naturally, he was strongly urged by his relations not to risk leaving
England again, and many of his friends added their persuasions to those of
his family, pointing out the serious risk which he ran in again visiting
the continent. To all such representations he turned a deaf ear, since he
held that, as his liberty had been granted him with the ostensible object
of enabling him to prosecute his proposed researches in Greece, he was in
honour bound to fulfil that obligation. His brother Edward decided to
accompany him, and to his brother William he wrote:--

    CANNON HALL, _September 1813._

    Edward and I start for Greece next month, & my old friend Bonaparte is
    at such a low ebb that I think perhaps I may be able to return through
    France without the agreeable title of Prisoner.

    You seem to think that I am not obliged to go into Greece. The truth
    is that I do not consider myself as positively obliged, but I consider
    that the honour of a Stanhope must not only be maintained, it must not
    even be suspected, so go I will, be the consequences what they may.


Thus it befell that John Stanhope nearly became, for the second time, a
prisoner of Napoleon, and the tale of his adventures may be concluded

He had promised that he would _en route_ deliver some despatches to the
Queen of Wurtemburg; he therefore journeyed to Stuttgart, where he had a
lively interview with the former Princess Royal of England, who, although
now forty-seven years of age, and exceedingly massive in figure, still
retained her girlish sprightliness. On hearing that a young Englishman
desired to see her, she at once concluded that someone had been sent with
fresh news of her father, George III., the thought of whose mental
affliction was a constant source of grief to her. John Stanhope writes:--

    STUTTGART, _January 10th, 1814._

    As soon as I had breakfasted, I went to the Palace. I was shown into a
    sort of ante-room, the servant took in the letters, and returned for
    answer that the Queen would see me herself. In another moment she
    hastened into the room where I was, and without giving me time to make
    my proper salutations, she burst out with--"_How is the King_?" I
    was astounded at so disagreeable a question, and with difficulty
    answered--"Much the same?" "What, no better?" continued she in great
    disappointment. At first she supposed that I was a messenger, but upon
    hearing my name, she took me herself into another room and remained
    conversing with me for full half an hour.

    She inquired if I was Captain Stanhope's son, and upon hearing that I
    was a Spencer-Stanhope, she made a sort of start of surprise, she said
    she knew my father and well remembered my mother's marriage. She added
    that she remembered it particularly from one circumstance, the King
    was desirious of buying for Princess Sophia a diamond pin which my
    father had previously ordered. There was much _pour parler_ about
    the matter. My father refused to renounce his purchase to any other
    intending purchaser, and the King refused as obstinately to give up
    all hopes of persuading the unknown owner of the pin to relinquish his
    rightful claim. At last my father learnt who was his rival, and
    instantly gave up the pin to the King!

    I had for some time found it difficult to keep up the respectful
    manner necessary to be observed to Sovereigns, but here, at the
    thought of our respective parents obstinately haggling over the same
    bit of jewellery, with a jeweller who was in great terror of offending
    either, we both threw etiquette to the winds and laughed outright.

    She asked me after Lord Chesterfield, and inquired how he bore the
    death of his wife. She asked after the Arthur Stanhopes. I told her
    the story of my recent imprisonment. She inquired whether the Queen
    [Charlotte] appeared much older; and also asked the number of our
    family, when she laughed yet more heartily at my saying that I could
    not tell how many girls there were without counting. She said to me,
    "You see I know more about your family than you do!" She at length
    told me she was much obliged to me for the trouble of bringing her
    letters and curtsied me out.

After this interview Stanhope saw the Palace which, he says, "is a
splendid building, and on its summit appears a magnificent new crown that
does not fail to remind the spectator of the recent acquisition of the
Royal title."

He was shown the apartments of the King, which he found handsome and well-
furnished, "but amongst the decorations, parrots, plants and musical
clocks made a conspicuous figure, as well as no little clamour for the
attendant setting all the clocks in motion as he passed, a singular
concert was produced, which was increased by the screaming of parrots,
paroquets and macaws.

"I afterwards went through the gardens of the ménagerie, where there is,
amongst other creatures, a large collection of monkeys; then to the farms
where there are some cattle, but a most singular assemblage of monsters,
such as _sheep with five legs_, etc., etc.; rather an odd taste in
farming, to which pursuit the King professes to be much attached! In some
of the fields I saw Kangaroos, which were originally a present from our
King, and have bred and become numerous."

He then saw the King's carriages, "one built by Hatchard in England which
cost a thousand pounds"; also, in contrast, the humble little garden chair
in which her Majesty usually drove out, "And, I assure you," the attendant
added confidentially, "_she fills it well_!"

He finally visited Beau Sejour, where he says:--

    I was not a little surprised, on entering a salon in a building
    opposite to the Palace, to find myself in the midst of an assembly of
    Knights in robes of their respective orders. I involuntarily started
    back at being thus transported, as it were, into the days of chivalry,
    but as soon as my first surprise had passed away and allowed time for
    a little reflection, I observed that my Knights were made of wood and
    intended to show off the habiliments of the different orders.

    I afterwards went to a little island where there was a chapel built
    upon some rock-work. I was conducted by my guide into a cell which had
    been formed underneath it, and I saw the figure of a monk seated near
    a table on which was a skull and an hour-glass. Upon my entering, he
    turned his head round suddenly to look at me, but though the deception
    has been very well contrived. I was not long in discovering that this
    also was a fictitious monk.

Another anecdote relating to Continental Royalties of that day did John
Stanhope send to regale his family. During his travels he met Sir Francis
d'Ivernois, who, he explains, was a native of Geneva brought up to the
French bar. Having made himself of considerable use to the English
Government by exposing the arts and deception employed by the French
Government, he became a great authority on finance, and was rewarded by an
English pension and a knighthood. Stanhope recounts the following
adventure which once befell d'Ivernois:--

"He was at one time on the Continent as a travelling tutor with two young
Englishmen. He happened one day to be sauntering with his pupils near one
of the Royal Palaces of Prussia, when they observed some young and very
striking-looking girls walking at a little distance. This was enough to
excite the romance of the young Englishmen, who were in no great awe of
their tutor. They began to give chase, which excited an evident alarm
among the ladies. In her embarrassment, one of them dropped her
handkerchief, which was immediately picked up and presented to her by one
of the young gentlemen. This, of course, tended to increase the agitation
of the ladies, who retreated as fast as they could, and disappeared
through a door in the wall before them.

"Upon the return of the youths to Monsieur d'Ivernois, he addressed them
with--'Well, gentlemen, unless I am mistaken, you have got into a pretty
scrape. I suspect that those ladies were the Princesses of Prussia!'

"'Pooh, pooh, nonsense!' answered his pupils, highly amused.

"'Not so much nonsense as you suppose; by their dress and appearance they
were evidently persons _comme il faut_; they were frightened and
embarrassed by your conduct, and they retreated through a gate which
opened into the Palace gardens!'

"The young men laughed at their tutor's conjecture, but shortly after,
they were at some ball or reunion at Berlin, when the Duchess of Brunswick
went up to Monsieur d'Ivernois and addressed him with--'Monsieur
d'Ivernois, come with me, I want to speak to you.' Conducting him into a
more retired part of the room, she continued--'The other day the young
Princesses were guilty of an indiscretion. Tired of always walking in the
Palace Garden at Potsdam, they could not resist the inclination they felt
to steal out and enjoy a walk in the open country--a pleasure enhanced
perhaps by the feeling that it was forbidden. They were followed and
addressed by two young English gentlemen who were in company with a man
older than themselves, and of a grave and more sedate appearance, who was
supposed to be their tutor. I have taken it into my head that you were
this person of more sedate appearance, and that the two indiscreet young
men were your two pupils. Now if I am right in my conjecture, I suppose
that you have no _great wish_ to pay a visit to Spandau, and therefore I
need not impress upon you the absolute necessity of holding your tongue on
the subject. The Governess, who is fully aware of the indiscretion she
committed in permitting such an escapade, is in the greatest alarm and as
anxious as you can be that the strictest secrecy should be observed, so
that _she_, at all events, will not boast of the adventure.'

"M. d'Ivernois had nothing to say in reply. He took the hint, for the name
of Spandau effectually sealed both his lips and those of his pupils,
whilst the Princesses, when their alarm had subsided, were most probably
flattered to find that their beauty produced no less an effect when not
enhanced by the splendour of Royalty."

       *       *       *       *       *

Space forbids following in detail the adventures of John Stanhope _en
route_ to Greece or the outcome of his researches there; an account of
which latter, moreover, he published personally. He accomplished his
journey without misadventure and succeeded in closely investigating the
historical remains of Olympia, the description of which, brought out in
two separate volumes, he dedicated to the Institute of France. [3] A
severe attack of fever, however, unfortunately brought his operations to
an untimely ending; and on becoming convalescent, he was forced to start
upon his homeward journey.

       *       *       *       *       *

Retracing their steps through Italy, he and his brother found the land
terrorised by the gangs of robbers with which it was infested, but who,
far from being common banditti, he explains, were to be looked upon as a
body of men who were at variance with the Government of that day.

"At one part of our journey," he writes, "the driver flatly refused to go
the route we had chosen, declaring he must go a shorter way for safety;
thereupon a priest, with whom we had been conversing, exclaimed--'Come
with me, you will be quite safe; here is _my_ pistol.' He drew back his
coat and displayed the cross which was attached to his breast. He then
told me that one day, as he was travelling, a robber with black
moustachios and a very ferocious appearance came to attack him. He
instantly drew back his gown, and with an air of authority showed the
cross. The robber immediately sank upon his knees and implored a blessing.
What a strange state of society in which men can unite to the greatest
veneration for their religion, an open violation of its most sacred laws!"

Another day Stanhope had to go through a lonely Pass which was known to be
occupied by a very celebrated band of robbers. "We entered a dreary dismal
country and at length came to a wild but extensive plain. We suddenly
perceived, on our left, a small troop of nine men, well mounted and drawn
up in a regular line, and evidently exercising themselves in a military
manner. Our Gendarmes informed us that they belonged to the banditti. This
was by no means acceptable intelligence, and we were not a little thankful
to find that we passed quietly on without molestation. This was the spot
in which they had captured an immense Government treasure a few months
before. It was escorted by 250 men. These were so confident in their
strength that, concluding that there was no danger of their being
attacked, some were at least a mile in advance and others as much in the
rear. Those who had remained near the treasure were so confounded by the
unexpected attack that they were soon put to flight, and the contributions
of all the Province beyond the Pass fell into the hands of the robbers.

"Murat, indignant at so great a loss, disgraced the General, who commanded
the Province, and sent down another with a thousand men and orders to
exterminate the robbers.

"I heard an anecdote of the Captain of the band that savours so much of
the time of Robin Hood that I cannot help relating it. The Duchess of
Avellino, who was on the point of passing from her chateau to Naples,
happened in some public place to mention that she was much alarmed at the
thoughts of going through the celebrated Pass. A gentleman present assured
her that her fears were groundless, and that there was not the smallest
danger. Shortly after, the Duchess pursued her journey, and when she
arrived at the Pass she perceived a stranger riding at no great distance
from her carriage. She felt considerably alarmed. However, he followed the
carriage closely till it was out of the Pass. He then rode up to the
window, pulled off his hat, and told the Duchess that he was the Captain
of the Band; that he had escorted her out of the limits of his
territories, and that she was then perfectly safe. She offered him money,
but he refused it positively, though politely. He then took his leave, but
not before she had recognised in him the man whom she had met at the
dinner party, and who had assured her that there was no cause for alarm.

"Not long ago one of the haunts of the banditti was discovered, and an
enormous amount of booty was found in it."

At Naples Stanhope and his brother arrived in time to be invited to a
masquerade given by the Princess of Wales. Caroline, weary of her
anomalous position in England, had in 1814 obtained leave to go to
Brunswick, and subsequently to make a further tour. She lived for some
time on the Lake of Como, an Italian, Bergami, who was now her favourite,
being in her company. Fêted by Murat, King of Sicily, [4] she pursued
unchecked her career of eccentricity and indiscretion.

"Directly the Princess heard that we were at Naples she invited us to her
masquerade. My friend Maxwell was going in a Turkish dress which he had
brought with him from that country, therefore I thought I might as well
adopt a costume of the same land, and chose that of a black slave. The
ball began by fireworks which were let off in a little Island immediately
in front of the Palace in which we were assembled. I had been assured that
the Commandant had declared that as he had a considerable quantity of
gunpowder in the Fortress, he could not allow anything of the sort without
an express order from the King, as the danger would be considerable. None
the less, out of deference to the wishes of the Princess, the order
appears to have been given. The ball which followed was brilliant, the
dances were magnificent, and the King and Queen took part in almost every
dance. She is an extremely pretty woman. The King, to my amusement,
changed his dress frequently in the course of the evening. In the middle
of the proceedings a little cabinet was thrown open, in which was
disclosed a bust of Murat with the Inscription Joachim 1er Roi de Naples.
I met the Princess of Wales coming out of the cabinet, and was informed
that when the door was first opened she was stationed near the bust, and
in a theatrical manner placed a crown upon its head.

"To all this magnificent entertainment _there was no supper_!

"A few days afterwards, to my dismay, I received an intimation from the
Duc di Gallo that the King wished me to be presented.... On New Year's
Day, at the appointed time, I accordingly repaired to the Salon destined
for the Corps Diplomatique. I there found many people assembled, and a
table set out with a good breakfast, coffee, tea, all sorts of wine and
liqueurs. We were at length ushered into the Presence Chamber and formed a
circle round the King.

"I had been far from pleased with Murat's manners at the Princess of
Wales's ball, but he now certainly played the part of a Monarch like a
consummate actor. The former Inn-keeper's son was dressed magnificently in
a Spanish costume. He walked round the circle, and when he came to me he
exclaimed, as if aside, '_Ah, un beau nom!_' He asked me whence I came and
whether I intended to remain long in Naples; upon my answering the latter
question in the negative he said, 'J'en suis fâché!'

"As soon as our audience was terminated we were ushered into the Chapel
where all the nobility of the Court, both male and female, were assembled.
Each seemed to vie with the other in splendour of dress. The music was
immeasurably fine; but this theatrically magnificent assembly in a Chapel
seemed much like a mockery of Religion. Murat, however, who was in a very
conspicuous place, acted his part very well. His little boy stood near him
and he found out the different parts of the service in the child's prayer-
book. As soon as the mass was over the Duc di Gallo placed us in a room
which opened into that in which the King received the ladies of the Court,
so that, by standing near the door, we could see the whole of the
ceremony. The Queen was absent as she had caught cold at the Princess of
Wales's ball. The ladies, in consequence, only passed with a side step and
solemn demeanour, making _en passant_ a low, deferential bow to the King.
But I was extremely amused at their manner directly this was over. As soon
as they arrived within a short distance of our door, their solemn and
respectful countenances relaxed into a smile of mockery, their side
swimming steps into a run, and they all appeared as changed as if they had
been touched by a magician's wand. I could not refrain from laughing at
them as I read in their altered demeanour the distastefulness of the
ceremony through which they had just passed."

Later, Stanhope received, through the Princess of Wales, invitations to
various other balls; and finally he was the recipient of a letter from
Lord Sligo inviting him to become a subscriber to a ball which it was
proposed to give in honour, jointly, of the Princess and of the King and
Queen. Stanhope, in common with several of the English, refused to take
part in a measure which the latter considered their own Government would
not approve, as England had not recognised the Sovereignty of Murat. At a
dance, however, that same evening, the Princess, who had previously taken
no notice of Lord Granville who was present, came up to him as he stood
near Stanhope and informed him that she was exceedingly anxious there
should not appear to be any division among the English on this occasion,
and that therefore she wished him to subscribe. Lord Granville answered
that if it was _her_ wish he should certainly consent to do so. She
thereupon proceeded to attack Stanhope's other friend, Maxwell, but the
latter stood firm, flatly refusing to consent to a proceeding of which he
disapproved. On this the Princess, greatly indignant, turned her back on
him and walked off, exclaiming emphatically, "No more dinners at _my_
house, Mr Maxwell!"

Before the disputed ball took place, Stanhope and his brother had
journeyed on to Rome. On the road thither they again ran great danger from
robbers; indeed, at the first town in the Pope's dominions, where they
were obliged to submit their baggage to the examination of the custom
house officials, a soldier informed them that he had orders not to let an
Englishman pass without an efficient guard, and he begged them, to their
astonishment, to take an escort of fifty-two men.

"We, however," Stanhope relates, "passed the next stage safely without
seeing any robbers, but we were informed that our danger was not yet over,
as we had to pass near a wood which was one of their regular haunts. We
saw nothing to alarm us in this wood, but, shortly after, we were startled
by seeing two men lying in the middle of the road, swimming in blood. We
learnt that these were two robbers whom the gendarmes had been conveying
to Turin, when a rescue was attempted. The gendarmes immediately shot
these men and pursued the others. This had happened only a quarter of an
hour before we passed."

In Rome Stanhope wrote, "I frequently meet Lucien Bonaparte. We have also
some excellent English society--the Duke of Bedford, Lords Holland and
Cawdor, Sir H. Davy, Mrs Rawdon, etc., and most of them give parties, so
that I could sometimes fancy myself in London, I see so many London

At Milan he was shown how the French soldiers had playfully made the
fresco of "The Last Supper," by Leonardo da Vinci, the butt of their
bullets; and at Turin he was struck by the strange sight in the Museum of
a black man in _puris naturalibus_. He had been a favourite servant of the
King of Sardinia, who had left nothing undone to cure him of the disorder
from which he suffered; but having failed in this endeavour, he had the
deceased nigger stuffed and affectionately preserved thus!

The travellers next crossed the Mont Cenis by walking up the mountain and
sledging down the other side. And now, at length, they again approached
Paris. With strangely mingled feelings, not unmixed with a sense of
premonition, did John Stanhope once more draw near the scene of his former
captivity. A transformation had taken place in the surroundings which he
knew so well; Napoleon was now himself a prisoner in the hands of his
enemies, and Louis XVIII. was seated upon the throne of his ancestors. But
Stanhope was not long in discovering that the metamorphosis was far more
apparent than actual. The eleven months' Sovereignty of Louis had not
served to render the monarchy secure, and the spirit of Napoleon brooded
like an unseen presence over the land which it still dominated.

"During the period of my rapid journey," writes Stanhope, "I lost no time
in ascertaining the feelings of the people with respect to the Bourbons
and to all the extraordinary changes which had taken place since I left.
We had an officer in the coach who told us that if Bonaparte were to
appear, almost all the privates would join him, and I found that
disaffection prevailed universally through that part of France. Even boys,
who were running along the side of the coach begging, and who cried _Vive
le Roi!_ after having begged in vain for some time, ran off crying _Vive
l'Empereur!_ This was a degree of licence very different to what I had
been accustomed to see in France in the days of Napoleon's iron rule and
tyrannical system of espionage. The impression produced in my mind by what
I heard and saw was that, if I had formed a just estimate of Bonaparte's
character, _he would soon be in France and at Paris!_"

The latter was not a comforting conviction, and, ere long, Stanhope learnt
that plots were undoubtedly on foot to bring such an event to pass, "A
regiment of the old Guards marched into some town, and, addressing the
young Guards quartered there, said, 'Our cry is _Vive l'Empereur!_ What is
yours?' '_Vive le Roi!_' was the answer. 'Well, then, we must fight it
out; but as we are of the Vieille Guarde we will give you choice of
weapons.' 'No,' replied the others, 'we will neither cry _Vive l'Empereur_
nor accept your challenge.' Such a reception was not what the conspirators
expected; in consequence, the plot failed, the old Guards returned to
their quarters, and the Generals concerned in the business attempted to
escape. Some succeeded, but others were taken. Louis XVIII., however, did
not dare to put them to death.

"But that a conspiracy preceded and signalised Napoleon's return there can
be little doubt, and the violet was the emblem of the conspirators.
Frederick Douglas [5] told me that before Napoleon's return he was at the
Duchesse de Bassano's when the subject of flowers became the topic of
conversation. The Duchesse exclaimed, 'Pour moi, j'aime la violette!' A
general smile appeared on the countenances of all present, and Douglas saw
that there was some joke or secret that he did not understand. That secret
became sufficiently clear afterwards." [6]

Meanwhile, upon Stanhope's arrival in Paris, he called upon several of his
former friends; but the following morning, to his dismay, he was seized
with a return of the fever which had attacked him in Greece. His brother
had left him to return home by another route, and he thus found himself
alone, stricken with a severe illness which "was no longer ague, but a
violent fever, scarcely, if at all, intermittent." He at once sent for the
doctor, who provided him with a good nurse; but he explains, "My situation
may be better imagined than described when I say that the first
intelligence which greeted me in my helpless and suffering condition was
_that Bonaparte had landed in France_. At the very time that we were
passing through the south of France, he was but a short distance from us!

"I never for one moment doubted the result of his return. My old nurse,
who took the greatest care of me, amused me with her abject terror, while,
in order to reassure me, 'Il ne viendra pas!' was the burden of her song.

"Even from my bed of sickness I became aware that an extraordinary change
had taken place in the feelings of the Parisians. The impression produced
on my mind on my return to France had been that by far the greater
majority of the people were decided Bonapartists. But the moment that
Napoleon's return became a probable event, there was a complete
transformation in the opinions of the people. They became enthusiastic in
the cause of the Bourbons. Hitherto they had laughed at and despised them;
but Napoleon they hated and feared. Although at a distance they might pity
and almost love him, when near present he was only an object of terror.
The remembrance of the past came back vividly to their minds. They
recognised, too, that in his adversity they had betrayed and forsaken him;
now the day of his triumph or retribution was possibly approaching.

"Numerous battalions were formed in Paris, and the greatest zeal shown by
the great mass of the inhabitants in the Royal cause. The army, however,
which had marched to Lyons to oppose the Emperor, joined his standard, and
the only hope of the King lay in the new army which had been hastily
collected. Would the troops fight, or would they desert to the Emperor,
was now the question on everybody's lips. Upon this the issue rested.

"My impression was that though, of course, all the old troops were devoted
to Napoleon, the feeling of the army in his favour was very far from
universal. Many felt that they could not in honour, or indeed without the
guilt of perjury, forsake the White Standard which they were sworn to
defend, in order to join the ranks of their adversaries. They recognised
that, by whatever species of pretext it was glossed over, still desertion
remained the foulest blot upon a soldier's honour. But, on the other hand,
they felt no interest in the Royal cause, and a natural repugnance to shed
the blood of their fellow-countrymen. They were, in fact, entirely
indisposed to spill French blood for either of the rival Sovereigns, and
were prepared to remain quiet spectators of the scene. Could the King but
once have succeeded in making them fire on the Imperialists he might have
had a chance, and doubtless a skilful General might have succeeded _se
faire maître d'occasion_.

"But Bonaparte had hazarded his all upon this venture--he had counted upon
the feeling of the armies of France. And the dramatic instinct by which he
had made himself master of so many situations in the past was now again
called to his aid. He took care to have it circulated that his troops
would not fire upon Frenchmen. He even gave out that his soldiers had no
cartridges. This put the Royalists in an unexpected dilemma.... 'How can
we fire in cold blood upon men who will not fire upon us?' was the
universal problem in the Royal army. And while they debated this question,
Napoleon eventually passed through their lines as if he had been an
unconcerned spectator.

"Meanwhile, my situation was a singular one. Returning from my pilgrimage
where I had been to earn my liberty, here was I again in Paris, hopelessly
confined to my bed, with the prospect of being again taken prisoner as an
Englishman. My earnest entreaty to the doctor was to patch me up in any
way so as to enable me to effect my retreat from Paris, for I foresaw that
there would be such a stampede as Napoleon approached the city that it
would be impossible to procure post-horses.... After having been confined
to my bed for a week I was at last enabled to put on my clothes. Fortified
with some strong _bouillon_, which my nurse gave me instead of beef-tea,
and getting into a hackney coach, I went off to procure myself some
necessaries for the journey. The scene I saw was an extraordinary one;
everyone seemed in a hurry, hastening somewhere. Crowds of English were
leaving the city, some frightened out of their wits, others in perfect
unconcern. One dandy I even heard say, 'Well, I would rather be a prisoner
in Paris than at liberty in England,' and I longed to give him a letter of
recommendation to my old quarters at Verdun."

Nor was Stanhope a moment too soon. With the greatest difficulty and only
at an exorbitant price was he able to get horses and the promise of a
voiturier who eventually sent his wife as driver in his place, being
probably himself a suspected person who could not leave the city. At the
last moment a message arrived from Mr Boyd, the banker, begging that he
and his family might share Stanhope's flight. Such an offer to an
enfeebled invalid was most acceptable, and accordingly Stanhope eventually
left Paris in company with the banker, his wife and their two daughters.
The scene as they went defied description; troops were marching, drums
sounding, flags flying, crowds were collected in the streets with no
particular object, and fugitives were vainly endeavouring to make way over
the bridge where carriages were locked in a block which threatened
disaster to their occupants. Nevertheless, Madame la voiturière, who,
Stanhope explains, was not only dressed up to enact the part she had
undertaken, but was "not of the mildest or most peaceable temper," forced
a way through the mêlée with such success that, in due course, she
deposited her travellers in safety at Brussels whither they were bound;
when, to their extreme amusement, her task accomplished, she speedily
"transformed herself into a Parisian _élégante_!"

And even as they reached safety, into the city which they had left,
Napoleon entered. By then the stampede of fugitives was ended, "and,"
writes John Stanhope, "I was informed that upon Bonaparte's arrival, a
melancholy stillness seemed to pervade the streets. A few feeble cries of
_Vive l'Empereur_ were raised, but only by his immediate partisans; for
the most part the Parisians, as though uncertain of their feelings,
maintained a morose and depressed silence."

And in the midst of that brooding stillness, Napoleon entered upon the
last phase of his greatness, his brief Reign of a Hundred Days.




Throughout the period when John Stanhope was experiencing so many and
varied adventures abroad, life in the home which he had left flowed on
with less of note to mark the flight of time. But at the very date when he
had been enduring the miseries of a prolonged detention in France, the
former companion of his travels, Tom Knox, had been undergoing a
misadventure of a different type, in which the family in Grosvenor Square
took a peculiar interest. His first action on arriving in London had been
to hasten to see Mrs Stanhope in order to take her the latest news of her
son. Dining with her on this occasion he made the acquaintance of Miss
Acklom. The young lady exhibited a great interest in the traveller, of
whose adventures she had heard repeatedly from her friends, the Stanhopes,
and he finding her a sympathetic listener, the mutual attraction rapidly
increased, with the result that, at a concert at Lady Jersey's in June,
1811, he proposed to her, and was accepted. The engagement, however, was
not a happy one. Mr Acklom demanded far larger settlements than Mr Knox
was in a position to agree to; and in December of the same year all idea
of the marriage was abandoned. Tom Knox returned to Miss Acklom her
picture which she had bestowed upon him, and she sent back to him the
portrait and presents which he had given her; while neither of them appear
to have regretted regaining their freedom.

Full particulars of this episode in his friend's life were dispatched to
John Stanhope at Verdun; indeed, no sooner had Mrs Stanhope at last
ascertained the fate of her absent son than she and her family strove
diligently to lighten his exile by any available relays of news from his
native land. And in strange contrast to the adventures of the young
_détenu_ must have seemed those letters which reached him, descriptive of
that far-away family life in England, and conjuring up pictures of the
home and the faces which he might never see again.

    _Mrs Spencer Stanhope to John Spencer Stanhope._

    Your sisters are all well. They are, as usual, very busy acquiring
    knowledge. They are learning Spanish, Italian, French & German, also
    the harp and the flute. At this moment Marianne is studying Euclid,
    Anne & Frances are at the Pianoforte, Isabella is drawing & Maria is
    occupied with her French.

    Hugh grows very stout & bold; Isabella, I never saw better, Frances is
    a prodigiously tall girl & very clever. Maria is always the same good-
    natured little Fairy.

From Cannon Hall Marianne wrote later:--

    The Drawing-room and the Brown Room look beautiful in their new state,
    and you cannot think how elegant all our company appear at this
    important moment. Anne and the gay Cupid [Philip Stanhope] are
    enjoying all the agonies of a game of chess. The Glyns [1] are staying
    with us, and Tom [2] is fitting himself for Prime Minister by
    assiduously studying the papers. Lady Glyn and Mamma are enjoying a
    light supper; Sir Dicky puts in notes of interrogation and comments
    upon the passing scene with great effect. Papa is grunting, groaning
    and snoring in the library--the result of twenty brace of moor-grouse.
    The younger members of the family are, I suppose, enjoying delicious
    slumbers at Westminster, for the clock has just struck eleven, and I
    must to bed!

From Southampton, then a fashionable and gay resort, where he was staying
with a private tutor, Charles Stanhope likewise wrote to his distant

    SOUTHAMPTON, _November 5th, 1812._

    I dined the other day with the Fitzhughs who live near here, and was
    much disappointed at not meeting Mrs Siddons who is always with them.
    She is not liked by the people about here, she is so very
    _graciosissima pomposissima_. If she goes to any party she
    immediately usurps the sofa, monopolising it most infamously with her
    most corpulent latitude; and to those people who conceive themselves
    most her intimates, she bows like a Queen, with a slight inclination
    from her shoulders, never deigning to move from her seat, nor even in
    the slightest degree to bend her formal body. This, of course, cannot
    but disgust, tho' Mrs Fitzhugh doats on her. [3] When she acted here
    Mrs F. waited on her as a maid, and when she came off the stage, after
    having died most naturally, Mrs F. begged her to go to bed, and was
    worked up to hystericks wanting repeated assurances that she was not
    in _reality_ dead. Was there ever anything so absurd or foolish?

    I was at Gaunts, Sir Dicky Carr Glyn's. It is a pretty place and a
    well-arranged house in the inside, but the exterior is completely _à
    la Citoyen_. A square, formal house with an inclined, slated roof.

    I was amused at Sir D.'s upholding his prerogative. Lady Glyn was for
    folding doors from the drawing-room to the library. Sir D. was against
    them. The argument ran high. Sir D. then said, "Well, _my dear_,
    you may have your folding doors and your new fashions, but let me have
    the old. None of your new, flimsy introductions for me, I _will_
    still be the old, worthy Alderman & English Gentleman!" Thought I--
    _Bravo Sir Dicky!_

    Encouraged by his own eloquence, he further insisted on his point,
    _and now, lo! there are big folding doors with a single small door
    close to them!_

    It strikes a person unacquainted with the circumstances as though
    Dicky, with true Aldermanic foresight, intending to enlarge his paunch
    with Turtle, etc., etc., etc., and conceiving that he would soon be
    incapable of passing thro' the narrow door, had thus provided for his
    increase of latitude.

    It puts me in mind of an epigram by Jekyll. [4] A canal was cut here
    at great expense (at the time when everybody was embarking their
    fortunes in that kind of speculation); it ran parallel with the great
    river. Everybody contributed to it, and bought shares in it. They did
    not perceive the folly of the undertaking till the Canal was finished.
    In short, it was never used, and everybody was bitten. The epigram ran

      Southampton's wise sons thought their river so large
      Tho' 'twould carry a ship, 'twould not carry a barge;
      So they wisely determined to cut by its side
      A stinking canal where small vessels might glide;
      Like the man who contriving a hole in his wall,
      To admit his two cats, one great and one small,
      When a great hole was cut for the first to go through
      Would a little hole have for the little cat too! */

    I have learnt to take snuff among other fashionable acquirements, a
    custom which, of course, you have learnt and will be able to keep me
    in countenance....

    I must tell you an anecdote of Philip which I think will amuse you. At
    one of the Levées being left alone--(that is a bull tho')--with the
    Prince, the Duke of York and Lord Yarmouth, they wished to have some
    fun with him, and among other things asked him how he liked being at
    Court. But he, not being yet used to address Royalty, was at a loss in
    the selection of his words, till at last two very applicable terms
    presented themselves to him. But then he was again at a loss which was
    the most _genteelerest_. Finally he decided in favour of both--
    _Toll-Loll_ and _Pretty Bobbish_, and so replied to the Royal
    inquiry--of course it set them in a roar!

[Illustration: SIR RICHARD CARR GLYN, BT.]

Southampton, whence this letter was written, owed its fame, as Charles
Stanhope explains subsequently, to the fact of its being then a resort for
all persons who had been bitten by mad dogs. The salt water was supposed
to assist in warding off an attack of hydrophobia, and doubtless many
suffering from terror of this complaint were saved by such a belief. But
the very circumstances which rendered the town popular, contributed to
make it expensive, and Charles gives an illustration of this. Once, when
his sister Frances was staying there, she required some slight medical
attendance for a cold. "She sent," he mentions, "for Dr Middleton, who is
a very gentle, insinuating old gentleman. He has been here three times
since Tuesday, _three guineas a time_, so it is rather dear being ill in
this place."

Curiously enough, this extravagant medical attendance was not infrequently
called into requisition by the marvellous acting of Mrs Siddons, the wife
of a former theatrical wig-maker. Her superb impersonation of the
characters she represented stirred her audience to an extent which appears
incredible, and the hysterical condition of Mrs Fitzhugh, described by
Charles Stanhope, was a more common result of her genius than he seems to
have been aware of. It is on record that she constantly made men weep and
women faint by the realism of her performance; while in 1783, when the
Royal Family went in state to see her play Isabella in the _Fatal
Marriage_, so extraordinary was her genius that the actors who took part
with her were completely over-mastered by their emotion, and even the
stolid King, in his richly-decorated box, sobbed unrestrainedly in sight
of all present, till Queen Charlotte, annoyed at such weakness, turned her
back upon the stage and loudly declared that such a lifelike exhibition
was "too disagreeable to look at." Off the stage, however, the personality
of Mrs Siddons was transformed. A handsome woman, though of ponderous
build, her conversation was singularly dull, and she spoke in a slow,
sententious manner as though declaiming a set speech, which peculiarity
gave rise to many ludicrous stories respecting her.

    _Charles Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    CHRIST CHURCH, _November 1812._

    I have bought a beautiful little wax medallion of Lord Chesterfield in
    a frame which I wish I could show you.

    I went out sky-larking with Elcho yesterday who asked much after you.
    Mr Belli went up for his degree yesterday, and was excessively annoyed
    at the examining masters calling him Mr Belly of Christ Church, till
    Lloyd set them right. We had a terrible row on Monday. It was a
    general illumination here with a bonfire, etc. The Gownsmen gave the
    first provocation and we had a most desperate battle-royal. Several
    men were hurt and about to have been rusticated, among which is Lord
    Kintore, an ex-college nobleman.

    CANTLEY, _Undated._

    Col. Anson [5] was here on Saturday and I was surprised to see so
    unsmart a person turning out a-shooting from such a host of Dandies,
    so late in the day as two o'clock. He killed, however, more than had
    been killed by any individual hitherto, thirty-eight brace; but the
    keeper says he never saw a good shot shoot so abominably; he had two
    guns, and if he fired one off, he fired away one and a half lb. of
    powder. The keeper was knocked up in loading his gun and trotting
    after him.

    I presented Lord Chesterfield with the medallion of his father that I
    bought at Cosway's sale, which was most thankfully received.

    LONDON, _Thursday, February 4th, 1813._

    Marianne and my Mother went to attend the Drawing Room, being the
    Queen's nominal Birthday. I then took a long walk, first to Tottenham
    Court Road to see the preparations for the Regent's Park, then to Bond
    St. and St James's St. to see the Equipages, etc. It seemed a very
    full Drawing Room and some magnificent Equipages, among which the
    Duchess of Montrose's was the finest. It consisted of 12 servants in
    most superb liveries, and three sedans, in one of which was the
    Duchess, and, in the two others, two of her daughters, Lady Charlotte
    and Lady Lucy, both very pretty. I returned home at a quarter to six,
    and my mother was not then come home. At last she arrived, complaining
    much of the intolerable squeeze which had never been surpassed but by
    the first Drawing Room after the King's recovery. Mrs Beaumont came to
    us in the evening.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 20th, 1813._

    Mrs Beaumont has just presented Diana, who is, as you may believe,
    very happy. The sons have taken their Degrees.

    Lord Kinnaird has contrived to get into such difficulties that his
    House, Pictures, and everything are to be sold. I went over the House
    yesterday and felt every step as if the ghost of his father could not
    fail to appear. There never was a fortune tumbled down in such a
    moment. The Pictures and Bronzes very fine. There is one of the best
    of Titian's Pictures; but though fine, I do not think it is a pleasing

    I heard an amusing story the other day against Douglas Kinnaird. [6]
    As you know, he is a wonderful linguist, but Werry, who is now
    secretary to Lord Cathcart, is yet finer. The latter boasts that he
    met Douglas at a dinner-party in London once, and, for a wager,
    entered the lists against him, and beat him in every language in
    Europe. But Werry admits that, in order to accomplish this, he never
    ceased talking from the moment he sat down till eleven o'clock at
    night! He says he felt--"_Si je crache, je perds!_"

    I sent you a letter from Knox, he has dined here once, but he is now a
    very bad neighbour. The Ackloms are in Lower Grosvenor Street. Esther
    looks well, but is grown thin, the death of her father in a moment was
    a great shock to her. Everything was settled for her marriage, which
    is delayed till she is out of black gloves. I see a great deal of Mr
    Maddocks who has shown them great attention. It is said that she has
    £10,000 a year.

Esther Acklom had not been long in filling the place vacated by Mr Knox.
In 1813 she again became engaged, this time to Mr J. Maddocks, who was
said to possess an income of £4,000 per annum. The same year, however, her
father died suddenly, leaving her £10,000 a year and all his goods, while
to his wife he left an annual income of £16,000. Miss Acklom, therefore,
not only found herself a substantial heiress, but with the prospect of
inheriting a yet larger fortune from her mother. A friend, Mrs Calvert,
writing at this date, shrewdly remarks--"It is now supposed that Esther
will jilt Mr Maddocks," but Mrs Stanhope does not seem to have anticipated
this result, when, on March 3rd, she wrote various items of news to her

    Walter Scott has published a new book called "Rokeby," dedicated to Mr
    Morritt. It is not so much admired as his others, though more than it
    was at first. His works are always the more admired the more they are
    read. Your old acquaintance, Mr Inglis, has balls frequently, ending
    at Twelve. All Lord Kinnaird's pictures, wines, and house, are
    selling. His youngest brother has been at the point of death at
    Edinburgh, but is recovering.

    I went in Mr Maddocks Tilbury [7] yesterday; (you see my love for a
    gig still continues). Esther says she would not have trusted herself
    with him. They are not to be married till she is out of black gloves.

But alas! for Mr Maddocks; ere the "black gloves" were discarded, Esther
had fulfilled the prophecy of Mrs Calvert. She broke off her engagement;
scrupulously, however, refunding to Mr Maddocks every penny which he had
spent upon her. This second instance on her part of jilting a _fiancé_
confirmed many people in the belief of her heartlessness; but the reason
which probably determined her action on this latter occasion was that she
had already met the one man, who, she recognised, could enchain her fickle
affections for all time.

Meanwhile, on March 13th, Mrs Stanhope wrote to her son:--

    We are all now in sable for the Duchess of Brunswick who was sister to
    the King and Mother to the Princess of Wales.

    _April 19th._

    Bonaparte seems to be making a great effort & I should hope the last,
    for the spirit of the Germans seems at length to be roused. I trust in
    God they will not be too eager to show their teeth before they can
    bite--to use an old proverb.

    The Russians are a glorious people. Two Cossacks are now here, & they
    invite great curiosity. Yesterday being Sunday, thousands & thousands
    were in the Park to see one of them ride, and in Kensington Gardens
    they cheered him.

The winter of 1813 was one long to be remembered in England. Christmas day
was exceptionally beautiful, fine and clear, but the day following a frost
set in and continued without interruption till the month of April. All
inland navigation ceased, and nearly all the song-birds perished. The
Thames was frozen, and a great Fair was held upon it, when oxen were
roasted, while on the Tweed there was an ice-fête at which fifty gentlemen
sat down to dinner. When at last the frost broke, the country presented a
curious and a wonderful sight; enormous masses of ice accumulated and were
carried down the river, while vessels which had been moored to the banks
were lifted up bodily by the overwhelming force of the torrent and, later,
left stranded far away in the neighbouring fields.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to Charles Spencer-Stanhope._
    _February 28th, 1814._

    We have had the most severe winter I ever remember--the whole Kingdom
    was rendered impassible from the deepness of the snow & the streets in
    London were in a state I never heard of their being in before.

    I heard from your brothers from Ulm, etc. The country they had
    travelled through was beautiful, but the roads horrible; they were
    upset once. At Munich they saw the Crown Prince at a ball & at
    Stuttgart John waited upon the Queen of Wurtemburg who received him
    most graciously and inquired after us all. It is said that she is in a
    bad state of health & is coming to England.

    At the Hague they dined with the Prince of Orange, the report is that
    in June he is to be married to the Princess Charlotte of Wales.

    The Allies have met with some checks, notwithstanding it is said they
    are going on well.

The attention of the whole civilised world was centred on the events
happening in France. In March came intelligence of the victory of the
Allies which enabled them to occupy Paris. "I shall never forget," writes
Charles Stanhope, "the sensation it made in London. For a week past we
hardly understood the operations of the armies, when at last despatches
were received from the height of Montmartre. Everyone seemed drunk with
the news." This was followed by that of the abdication of Napoleon on
April 5th, 1814. All Europe went mad with joy, and, within a month, Louis
XVIII. had entered his capital as King. In the June following it was
arranged that the Allies should visit England, but while preparations for
the consequent rejoicings were in progress, Mrs Stanhope and her family
attended a festivity which they regarded with almost greater interest.

At the date at which Esther Acklom had jilted Mr Maddocks, she had been
introduced to Lord Althorp [8] the eldest son of Earl Spencer, who had at
once attracted her. Known for so long to his friends and fellow
politicians as "Honest Jack" he was possessed of as marked an
individuality as her own. Although unable to lay claim either to good
looks, depth of knowledge, or polish of manners, yet the charm of his
personality, his unalterable amiability, and the curious fascination of
the smile which readily suffused his countenance, exercised an
irresistible attraction upon all who came within his influence. In his
public life, indeed, what genius might have failed to accomplish in his
favour, the profound sincerity of his character amply achieved. Other men
might be noted for tricks of State-craft--for impassioned oratory, for
shrewd Diplomacy, for powers of organisation; to Jack Althorp alone was it
given to owe his fame primarily to unswerving uprightness and the moral
rectitude which was reverenced alike by friends and foes.

Not only accuracy to a penny in accounts committed to his charge, but
absolute sincerity in the small things of life, as in the great, amounted
to a mania with him. Occasionally, for instance, someone might remark
casually to him that the day was fine, and the result of this unconsidered
platitude was calculated to provoke a smile. For before risking a possibly
untruthful assent, Honest Jack would turn to the window and reflectively
scan the heavens, then, after consideration, would deliver himself of a
cautious verdict. "Well," he would pronounce guardedly, "I don't know that
you can actually say that it is a fine day, because you see that it is
early yet, and there are clouds about; but it is a pleasant morning and I
hope will prove a fine day." And the supreme simplicity of the rejoinder,
coupled with the complete unconsciousness of the speaker that there was
anything unusual in his attitude, at once erased any savour of

It was to such a man that fickle, wayward Esther gave her heart, only to
find that, slow of perception and indifferent to her charm, Honest Jack
did not return her love. But the girl who had remained undaunted by the
stern Marshal of Napoleon was not to be thwarted in this, the dearest wish
of her life. Her habitual determination came to her aid. Since Jack
Althorp would not propose to her, she proposed to him; and such an unusual
proceeding was fraught with happy consequences, for, on April 14th, 1814,
she became his wife, and entered upon a union of unmixed happiness for

"She was the one woman with whom I never felt shy," explained Lord
Althorp, with some reason; and it may be added, that his devotion after
marriage amply compensated for his lack of ardour before. For her sake he
settled down in the old home of her ancestors, Wiseton Hall, and expended;
£10,000 in making the unprepossessing house habitable; every wish and whim
of hers he lived but to gratify, and so complete was his confidence in
her, that during his absence she was deputed to read all his letters, at
her judgment destroying what was unimportant or reserving what required
attention. "It would not do for ladies to write him love letters!" she
used to remark laughingly.

Her former friends, the Stanhopes, often stayed with her at Wiseton
subsequent to her marriage, and rejoiced to see her happiness; but its
untimely ending, which greatly distressed them, may be related here.

On June 11th, 1818, Lady Althorp, after much suffering, gave birth to a
still-born son, and two days later, after a period of delirium, she
expired. It was supposed that the fate of Princess Charlotte, who had died
under similar circumstances in the previous November, had weighed upon her
mind, and claimed her as yet another of the many victims whose fate was
influenced by that of the unfortunate Princess. However that may be, her
husband, who had attended her devotedly to the last, was inconsolable at
her loss. "When he had deposited her remains in their last resting-place,"
relates his biographer, "he seemed as if left without an object on earth.
Shrinking even from the affectionate attentions of his family, he went at
once to Wiseton, where he passed several months in complete retirement ...
his grief was too deeply seated to be otherwise than lasting; and for many
years its poignancy remained unabated."

To one person only did he turn in his bitter grief--to the mother of his
dead wife; an unprepossessing woman, who had never shown him any kindness,
but who now became to him the first object of his care, out of the love
which he had borne her daughter. He wrote to Mrs Acklom every day, showed
her the utmost attention, and exhibited for her the most devoted
affection, which she, ere long, returned. Meanwhile, the rooms that had
been occupied by the wife he had so loved were never altered from the day
when she left him; upon his finger he always wore her ring, and wherever
he went he took with him the pillow upon which her head had last rested.

       *       *       *       *       *

Long, however, ere this sad ending to a happy romance, during the summer
which followed the marriage of Lady Althorp, the Allies visited London
amid frantic demonstrations of rejoicing from the people who, too
prematurely, concluded that the final downfall of Bonaparte was at last

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to Charles Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _May 25th, 1814._

    Next month is Philip's month of waiting, when he will probably have
    much gaiety, and from having to attend the Regent will see the Allied
    Sovereigns to advantage--they have been expected some time, but it is
    now said will not arrive till the middle of next month, when Fêtes and
    various gaieties are expected. The Prince of Orange and Prince Paul of
    Wurtemburg are here.

    Lady Collingwood has let her house in Town and stays at Newcastle with
    her father, who is very aged. I noticed that it was William's old ship
    which conveyed Bonaparte to his new Government, where I should think
    he must feel very odd. I cannot help wishing he had been removed to a
    greater distance, as I doubt not he will still try to do mischief, for
    he has an able, active, and wicked mind. What changes have taken place
    within the last three months! They appear to me like a dream.

    Tom Knox is come home. He says had not John been in such haste to get
    on he would have gone on with him.

So full was London that it was impossible to find accommodation for all
the distinguished visitors, and the Stanhopes' friend, Lord James Murray,
put his house in Great Cumberland Place at the disposal of Count Platoff,
and twelve attendant Cossacks. The latter now became a familiar sight and
ceased to create a sensation when they rode abroad; indeed, shortly, their
departure was eagerly looked forward to, so uncivilised was their

In Lord James's house they refused to use the sumptuous bedrooms prepared
for them, but preferred to sleep herded together in the hall or on the
staircase, while the damage which they did was incalculable.

    _June 8th, 1814._

    Philip is now at home, as this is his month of waiting, which is
    fortunate for him, as he will have an opportunity of seeing well all
    the great people now here. London was yesterday like a fair, for the
    Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia arrived and every house from
    Hyde Park Corner to Westminster Bridge was as full as possible, the
    windows crowded, the streets stopped with carriages, the Park and
    streets full of foot people, and all the Kent Road the same, who were
    every one disappointed--as the great people came incog., and no one
    knew when they arrived. The Emperor, however, showed himself at the
    Balcony and was much cheered.

    When Blucher went to Carlton House the Mob broke in, and the Prime
    Minister invested him with the Garter in the midst of them all, which
    pleased John Bull much, for I believe they think more of the General
    than of the Emperor.

    Philip rides every day in St James's Park; at nine, he goes to the
    stables at Carlton House and there he finds a riding-master--a very
    pleasant part of his duty riding is. Great Fêtes are talked of, but
    there seems a doubt whether the Emperor will stay for them, as he
    means to travel and see the country.

From Oxford, Charles Stanhope wrote:--

    The Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia and his sons, Blucher,
    Platoff, the Prince of Wurtemburg and an infinitude of great men who
    have flocked to this country, about the middle of the summer term
    accompanied the Prince Regent to Oxford where they were received and
    fêted in the most magnificent style.

    The scene in the theatre was particularly fine, the Prince Regent
    enthroned with the Emperor of Russia on his right and the King of
    Prussia on his left. The Heroes of the War receiving the encomiums of
    the peaceful Sons of Science! Blucher seemed particularly happy. A
    most magnificent entertainment was provided for them at the Radcliffe
    Library, where old Blucher got hopelessly tipsy, and was found
    afterwards strolling about the College by himself, totally incapable
    of finding his way back to his lodgings!

    I must explain that he was lodged at the Sub-Dean's in Ch. Ch., and
    tho' a Royal carriage was sent to convey him to the Radcliffe, he
    preferred walking, escorted by the Gown, for one of which bodyguard I
    volunteered myself.

    The third day the Emperor and King of Prussia quitted the University,
    but the Prince Regent and Blucher remained and dined in Ch. Ch. Hall.
    I must recount an anecdote of the Prince whose peculiar grace and
    elegance of manner shone in its best lustre during the whole visit.
    Blucher's health being drunk, he returned thanks in German, but
    addressed himself rather to the Prince than to the University or Ch.
    Ch. in particular. The Prince, perceiving the indecorum of this, at
    once rose and announced that so excellent a speech should not be lost
    upon the greater part of the company, who could not be expected to
    understand German, and that, therefore, in the absence of a better
    interpreter, he would volunteer for that office himself, however
    incompetent he might be. He then delivered an extremely neat and
    tactful address of thanks to the University and especially to that
    College where Blucher and himself had been so hospitably entertained.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope._
    GROSVENOR SQUARE, _June 20th, 1814._

     This is a day of bustle and confusion in London, as it is the last
    day the Emperor remains here.

    Philip, at eight, set off for Carlton House in his uniform, as he is
    to attend the Regent to a Review in Hyde Park at ten, at which hour we
    go to Mr Macdonald's to see it. Afterwards he will attend the Prince
    to the House of Lords, and at Night to a great Ball which the Members
    of White's Club give to the Royals. To-morrow they all go to
    Portsmouth where a Naval Review is expected, tho' it has been said
    that it cannot take place owing to many of the Ships having been sent
    for the Russian troops which are to pass thro' this country on their
    way home. From Portsmouth the Emperor and the Duchess of Oldenburg go
    away. The King of Prussia I understand remains some time longer.

    Ever since the Crowned Heads arrived, London has been mad, & as full
    again as ever I knew it. Where all the people are lodged I cannot
    imagine. The streets are full day and night watching the Royals, who
    see everything and therefore are always upon the move.

    The King of Prussia walked quietly into St George's Church yesterday
    and asked for the Duke of Devonshire's pew. They have all been at
    Oxford where the Prince was with them and was received with great

    Since I began my letter I have been some hours at Mrs Macdonald's to
    see a Review in the Park where the Regent and the Crowned Heads
    attended. The day is beautiful and the scene was very fine, for there
    were thousands of spectators on foot, as horses and carriages were not
    admitted into the Park. I was not near enough to distinguish Philip &
    he has not yet returned....

    I have been interrupted again. Philip is to go with the Prince to-
    morrow to Portsmouth which he likes the idea of extremely. He has been
    much entertained with the duty of to-day....

    After all, the Regent did not go to the House of Lords and the Emperor
    does not leave London to-day, therefore Philip will have a little rest
    after the fatigues of yesterday, for he did not get home from the ball
    till between five and six, and is now asleep.

To console London for the termination of such a round of dissipation, on
July 1st White's Club gave a magnificent masquerade at Burlington House in
honour of the Duke of Wellington, to which the Stanhopes went with their
friends, the Kinnairds. Nearly two thousand persons were accommodated in
the temporary room which was erected for supper, and the costumes were
remarkable for their magnificence, save possibly that of Byron, who was
clad, sombrely but effectively, in the dark flowing robes of a monk. A
guest of gayer, if less dignified appearance, was Sir Lumley Skeffington,
who, as usual, encountered the ill-fortune which seemed to dog his
footsteps, for his red Guard's coat was mischievously torn from his
shoulders by crazy Lady Caroline Lamb. [9] who hid it and left the
discomforted beau in his waistcoat in the centre of the ballroom.

Eight months after these festivities, news arrived in London that on March
1st, 1815, Napoleon had once more landed in France, followed by the
intelligence that on March 20th he had entered Paris. In June the Campaign
of Waterloo began by the defeat of Blucher at Ligny, where John Stanhope
had so long resided. But on the 18th of the same month, "The fops of
Piccadilly became the heroes of Waterloo," and that famous victory decided
for all time the fate of the Conqueror of Europe. Four days later he again
abdicated, and on July 15th he surrendered himself to the English.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _July 28th._

    What great and surprising events have happened in little more than a
    month. The Battle of Waterloo was one of the bravest & greatest ever
    fought, & has decided the fate of Europe, therefore though we must
    lament the many gallant men who fell on that dreadful day, yet not a
    life was lost in vain, & when we consider what the blood would have
    been had the Campaign continued, we must look upon the loss as small.

    The surrender of Bonaparte is such an unexpected event, that I can
    scarcely yet credit it, for I never supposed he would have lived to
    have become a Prisoner. What will be done with him? Thank Heaven we
    can now confidently look forward to Peace.

Private events, however, distracted the attention and gave employment to
the pen of Mrs Stanhope during the year which followed. The health of her
husband was gradually declining. He was under the necessity of renouncing
his seat in Parliament, where he had respectively represented Haslemere,
Carlisle and Hull during a space of nearly forty years. Deprived of the
work which for so long a period had completely absorbed his thoughts and
energies, his spirits flagged. The vivacity, the wit for which he had been
noted deserted him and he sank gradually into a mental lethargy which, as
his malady increased, at times almost amounted to torpor, but alternated
with a restlessness and irritation of the nerves very distressing to
witness. In order to divert his attention from the life with which he
could no longer mingle, it was decided that novelty of scene might have a
beneficial result. His family therefore proceeded to travel, but that the
liveliness of his daughters was undiminished and their taste for society
as keen, appears by a letter written by Marianne from Tunbridge Wells to
her brother John in Yorkshire.

    TUNBRIDGE WELLS, _October 2nd, 1816._

    We do not think that your Doncaster Belles sounded very captivating. I
    think I could have shown you at one glance a better show on the
    Pantiles yesterday--the beauties who turned out with a bright gleam
    after a horrid morning. To begin with the greatest, Miss Eden looked
    magnificent, and is pronounced very agreeable. With her was Lord
    Auckland's sister, extremely pretty and elegant, quite a _Lucile_,
    then Miss Bruce, smart, with well made boots, and Miss Anstruther who,
    perhaps, would be least thought of and attract the most. After leaving
    there I met the Douglases--Miss D. looking as if her blood did not
    circulate and Caroline as if she wished to be civil but found it

    Should you have to write to Murray, tell him to send to Grosvenor
    Square the second part of "Childe Harold," and also the new novel by
    the "Author of Waverley."

In the ensuing year Frances Stanhope was taken to Court by her mother.
Tall, graceful, and with a dazzling complexion, her beauty was singularly
striking, and she used to relate that when she was presented to the
Regent, H.R.H., who always distinguished between the pretty débutantes and
the plain, graciously honoured her by bestowing upon her two resounding
kisses on each cheek. Not long after this auspicious entry into society,
however, her mother decided that a couple of years spent on the Continent
might be equally advantageous to the health of Walter Stanhope and to the
education of his children. The family therefore migrated to Paris, where
everything at this date was in a curious state of transition. With
Napoleon far away at St Helena, Louis XVIII. was firmly established on the
Throne of his ancestors, and France was endeavouring to recover something
of her pristine gaiety. Sir Charles Stuart was now Ambassador at the
French Court; many English were in Paris, and like a fresh act of a Play
wherein the various _dramatis personae_, moved by a common impulse,
translate themselves _en masse_ to a fresh locality, so the Stanhopes
appear, in the midst of their new surroundings, to have found themselves
encircled by their former friends.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    35 RUE DE LA MADELEINE, _February 7th, 1818._

    I will not lose the opportunity of sending you a letter by Lady
    Crompton, who goes to England in two days.

    Mrs Beaumont, her two daughters and Wentworth are here, very grand and
    gay, talking of giving two grand balls; she is of course the _first_

    Mamma, Frances, Isabella and Edward were at Sir C. Stuart's Costume
    Ball, which was a most beautiful sight, and the whole thing went off
    with great éclat. Frances went as a _Paysanne de Mola_, near Naples;
    her dress was a short petticoat, trimmed with green and gold, a green
    apron, and black, green and gold bodice, and a roll of the same
    colours round her head. It was very becoming to her and she looked
    very grand. In Paris she is known everywhere as _la belle Anglaise_.
    Isabella was a most airy Coquette, in blue and silver, with a cap of
    little bells on one side, and long tresses of hair plaited with blue--
    she really looked beautiful. It is the dress of _Belle et Bonne_ in
    some Play. Mamma and Edward were both in blue dominoes.

    Last night we were at an enormous ball at M. Clarmont's, one of
    Lafitte's houses; the heat exceeded anything I ever felt. It was said
    1200 people were asked, of all kinds and degrees. It was very

    Mamma is thinking of giving a dance and is at the moment writing the
    invitations, but the day is not yet fixed.

    The Duke of Wellington gives a Concert to-night, and it is said two
    costume balls. Yesterday we had some of the fooleries of the Carnival
    which the weather prevented on Sunday and Monday. Masks paraded the
    streets, the windows were full of heads, and all the people from one
    end of Paris to the other drawn in procession along the Boulevards and
    the Rue St Honoré.

    PARIS, _March 31st, 1818._

    I hear nothing of the man taken up for shooting at the Duke, if it is
    true that one has been secured. Poor Bacon was taken up by 5 Gens
    d'Arms at nine in the morning and after a secret examination sent to
    the Conciergerie. It was conjectured he was concerned with a Banker
    who went off--but instead of that being true, the Banker absconded
    with all _his_ money! Sir C. Stuart means to make a fuss about
    it, for no one is safe if taken up and confined only on suspicion.

    The King on one of the most stormy days we have had took three people
    out to prevent their voting for the Recruiting Bill. However, they
    contrived to get back in time, by which means it was carried by four.
    He was angry--they said they did it as a point of duty to him.

    Lady Mansfield's Ball was fine--but too many women in proportion to
    the men, and many of the latter old. A great many French. I only saw
    one Lady out of each family. Many, many young ladies sat out. All the
    _ton_ French ladies danced the whole night. Lady M. hoped she should
    see you, tho' she forgot to invite you.

    Lord Alvanley came to Paris a few days ago with his mistress. They
    refused him admittance at the _Hôtel de Londres_, saying they had
    English families there, among others "the great Mrs Beaumont." He
    coolly replied that they need not mind _her_, for her fortune had
    been made by keeping a house of bad character; and so he got in! Did
    you ever hear of such _scandalous impudence_!

On behalf of Lord Alvanley, however, it may be added that about this date
another story got abroad respecting him which redounds more to his credit.
He and Lord Kinnaird were playing whist one evening, when, owing to some
mistaken move in the game on the part of Lord Alvanley, Lord Kinnaird
completely lost his self-control and abused his friend in the most violent
manner. Lord Alvanley listened in silence to the torrent of denunciation,
then, rising from the card table, observed very quietly, "Not being
blessed with your Lordship's angelic temper, I shall retire for fear of
losing mine!"

Moreover, Marianne Stanhope, about the same time, makes mention of an
instance of Lord Alvanley's good-nature which came under her notice. It
appears that one of his greatest friends was an Irish dandy who, for long,
went by the nickname of "King Allen" on account of his having achieved a
unique position in the world of fashion. This monarch of the _beau monde_
spent his days, as did others of his class, exhibiting his faultless
clothes in fashionable resorts; and so wedded was he to this existence
that he could seldom be persuaded to quit London even for the benefit of
his health.

Once, however, Lord Alvanley found his friend moping at the sea-side, a
prey to profound depression, and spending sleepless nights tossing on his
couch, unable to account to his own satisfaction either for his insomnia
or his melancholia. With the intuition of a kindred soul Lord Alvanley at
once probed the root of the dandy's complaint. He recognised that it was
impossible for such a man to exist apart from the bustle and noise of the
great city to which he was accustomed, and _faute de mieux_, Lord Alvanley
invented a remedy. At his own expense, he engaged a hackney coachman who
undertook to rattle his vehicle up and down past King Allen's lodgings
till the early dawn, and another man who agreed to shout the hours
throughout the night in the strident tones of a London watchman. The ruse
was successful. Whether other persons living in the neighbourhood were
equally pleased, history does not relate, but the melancholy dandy,
deluded into a belief that he was back once more in his favourite haunts,
slumbered peacefully, and was in time restored in perfect health to the
scenes of his former triumph.

Indeed, "Lord Alvanley," wrote Lady Granville at a later date, "was quite
charming. _Le meilleur enfant_, which does not mean _homme_, but I cannot
persuade myself that he is much altered and that he will end by being a
very good, as he is a most captivating, person. Such cleverness, _si fin,
si simple_, without one grain of effort. What a receipt for being, as he
is, quite charming!"

Moreover, if the tale be true of the affront which he is said to have
offered to Mrs Beaumont, the great lady had manifold compensations. Mrs
Stanhope relates:--

    The Prince de Bauffremont [10] proposed _à la française_ to Mrs
    Beaumont for one of her daughters, but she, not understanding the
    style, took it to herself, and answered with great dignity that she
    was extremely sorry she was not in a situation to be able to accept

While in Paris, the Stanhopes had a sad encounter with a former friend,
which was curiously typical of existence in the gay city at that date.
When Charles Stanhope was at Southampton he had there made the
acquaintance of a charming old bachelor, Mr Hibbert. The latter showed him
many kindnesses, and, in return, was invited to Cannon Hall for some
shooting. John Stanhope records his subsequent history thus:--

"Poor Mr Hibbert! his was indeed a melancholy history. He lived near
Southampton, an old bachelor, and then as happy a specimen of that race as
I ever saw. He had been a very handsome man, but had unfortunately been
bent almost double by a rheumatic fever; however, his face was still
striking. He was full of taste and accomplishments, and apparently very
well informed, clever and agreeable in society. He was not rich, but
evidently possessed fortune enough to supply him with all the luxuries
that in his single state he could require. When he visited Cannon Hall he
was travelling in a very agreeable manner in his curricle with his own
horses, the whole _bien monté_.

"Unfortunately he went to Paris when the Peace was signed, and he, who had
never touched a card when in England, was persuaded to go to the Salon. He
could not refrain from trying his luck, and from that moment he was never
absent from the Salon when its dangerous doors were open. He was driven
away from Paris by Napoleon's return; he went back there after the _cent
jours_ and lost every farthing that he possessed, ending his life as a
miserable pensioner in the establishment--I believe within its walls."

Mr Hibbert's fate was indeed all too common at that date amongst those who
once entered the dangerous doors of the _Salon des Étrangers_. This was an
institution established for confirmed gamblers, and was kept by the
celebrated Marquis de Livry, whose resemblance to the Regent was so
remarkable that the latter sent Lord Fife over to Paris to ascertain if it
could be so striking as report asserted. The Marquis did the honours of
his club with a grace and courtesy for which he became renowned in Europe.
He provided his clients with the most perfect cuisine and every possible
luxury, while, on Sunday, those who had been most regular in their
attendance, were rewarded by an invitation to his Villa near Paris, where
ladies from the opera were welcomed to meet them, and the society was of
the most doubtful description.

None, indeed, who found their way to the Salon issued thence unscathed,
and its existence coloured the whole of Parisian society of that day.
Fortunes were there staked and lost, many of the victims disappearing
mysteriously, some having committed suicide, others, like Mr Hibbert,
having become so deeply involved in debt that they could not leave the
premises. Lord Thanet, for one, lost there a fortune of £50,000 a year, of
which £120,000 was expended in a single night. When remonstrated with on
his folly, and the probability pointed out to him that he had been
cheated, he only exclaimed with the recklessness born of the fatal
atmosphere of the place, "Well, I consider myself fortunate in not having
lost twice that sum!"

Meanwhile Marianne and her sisters were observing the difference between
the dandies of Almack's, whom they had deserted, and the beaux of French
society with whom they were now to mingle. Later their conclusions were
given to the world:--

    Striking indeed is the difference between a true John Bull and a
    Continentalist in a ball-room. The first generally looks as if he
    could not help himself; he has adjourned to Almack's from the House of
    Lords, the House of Commons, or the Inns of Court; and business, with
    sad recollection, still pursues him at every step.... What excitation
    then will move his apathy? Why, that of vanity alone; a pretty woman
    must make love to him. And this is the best explanation that can be
    given why, in England, the women always make the first advances to the
    men; and if they did not, there would, I believe, be no love at all in
    the fashionable world.

    But mark the Continentalist! how is he armed for conquest when he
    enters the ball-room?....

    So accomplished a creature, so bewitching and bewitched must of course
    consider himself quite irresistible. Yet have all these
    Continentalists, and particularly the sons of France, the air of
    annihilating themselves before the fair; their obsequiousness and
    humility are unbounded: hence their rapid execution among the female
    sex. To be herself admired by an all-conquering Adonis, is so much
    more pleasing to a gay young woman than the having only to admire him.

    Such is the difference between a French and an English dandy: the
    first is an impertinent, affected coxcomb, who makes love to every
    woman as a matter of course--it is his vocation. The second is a cold,
    contemptuous, conceited creature, intrenched in a double armour of
    selfishness, blasé upon everything. [11]

Despite this scathing criticism, the Stanhopes do not appear to have
lacked amusement in their new surroundings.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope_.
    35 RUE DE LA MADELEINE., _Sunday, April 5th, 1818._

    Little has occurred since I wrote to you last week except the Duke of
    Wellington's delightful and superb ball. We may consider ourselves
    fortunate in being invited, as the list was his own and he would not
    allow the _aide-de-camps_ to interfere. Isabella, Frances, and
    myself arrived about eleven. The rooms were then full, and soon after
    arrived the Royal Family. The Duchess de Berri danced, but they all
    went away about twelve, as did numbers of the French. Everybody
    _sat_ at supper, several rooms were open--round tables in all. The
    Duke retired soon after supper, and left Col. Fremantle to do the
    honours, which he did, first by doubling the champagne, then by making
    the ball go with spirit. We stayed till the last and did not get home
    till five. He sent permission to as many of the Officers as liked to
    come from Cambrai, and they readily obeyed the Command. I believe
    there were 300 of the Guards, almost everybody in uniform. Markham
    looked very antique in a full dressed brown coat.

    We were at a ball at Lady Mansfield's on Tuesday, a very fine ball,
    all the _ton_ French, but that did not make it gay. She had a fine
    sitting supper. I am sorry the English suppers are coming into fashion

    Madame de Chabaunes had a French dance on Friday, plenty of dancing
    men, tho' we were at home before twelve.

    Last night we heard Catalani, finer than ever; she goes soon, never to
    sing at the Opera again. [12] She was more superb in diamonds at the
    Duke's than anybody.

    Mrs Beaumont goes on Saturday. She will astonish the weak minds of the
    English by an account of her triumphs in Paris. She desires we will
    contradict the report of her daughters' marriages; she takes them
    back, instead of leaving them Duchesses and Princesses!

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope._
    35 RUE DE LA MADELEINE, _Sunday, April 5th._

    I will not lose the opportunity, my dear John, of sending you a few
    lines by Mr Hunter, who called this morning to tell us of his

    For the last ten days we have had complete March weather, a hot sun
    and very cold wind. We are just returned from a dusting in the _Bois
    de Boulogne_, where all the _beau monde_ were assembled. Lord
    Burghersh escorting Lady Aldborough, who is going to England, Lady B.
    in _the Duke's_ carriage. Mrs Beaumont and family, marvellous to
    relate, in a very shabby carriage. The girls are heart-broken at
    leaving Paris; "Madame" informed us she had had various offers, both
    for them and Wentworth, but so far neither Prince T. de B., nor E. de
    Beauvais. The former was engaged "to a fine French young lady," but as
    he was coming to London, and would of course be much with them, "the
    report would probably gain ground." She therefore hoped we would
    contradict it. She is _greater_ than ever; I think London will not
    hold her; she has been laying out mints of money.

    Isabella and Frances enjoyed the Duke of Wellington's ball much. I
    finished their gowns with the red roses for the occasion, and they
    looked particularly well. They stayed till five in the morning. Many
    of the Guards came from Cambray, and they found many friends of

    Yesterday we went to take leave of Catalani in the _Nozze di Figaro_.
    She sang delightfully. I think we missed you all more and more, and
    shall feel most happy when we have again a beau without walls. I think
    you will like the house at Versailles, but you have no idea how
    difficult we found it to meet with anything that would hold us.

    My father's extreme anxiety to go to England has now a little abated;
    his general health and spirits are good, but he has a wonderful degree
    of irritation and restlessness about him. The alteration in his mind
    strikes me every day, his memory is so much altered, and his deafness
    is increased.

Towards the end of April Mrs Stanhope and her family moved to Versailles,
and their account is not without interest of the appearance presented by
that town after the strange transformations which it had witnessed.

    VERSAILLES, _April 30th, 1818._

    We are now beginning to feel settled, our House is comfortable and the
    situation pretty, and, though in the town, we see only trees from our
    windows. It is certainly the dullest looking large town I ever saw,
    for the grass grows in some of the streets; but a place which formerly
    was so splendid & contained 80,000 inhabitants, & has not now above
    20,000, must look neglected.

    We have delivered our letters and seen some of the People, but they
    are very shy of the English, or rather Irish, for there are nothing
    else here; friendly, good sort of People, but not very genteel. The
    Caldwells are here only for a week, and Lady Hoste is at a
    considerable distance. The other people you do not know.

    There is _Mrs Beauman_ here, who is the "Beaumont" of the Place.
    She gave a Ball, took off her doors, hung her rooms with red and gold,
    and had her supper from Paris, at which there was nothing so vulgar as
    a roast chicken. Her husband lives at Paris and is in the Navy. She
    was a Miss Webber & rich. I have not seen her, nor am I anxious to
    cultivate the English here.

     VERSAILLES, _June 31st, 1818._

    We have plenty of French society.... Philip wants Edward to take a
    _Grande Chasse_ near Dresden, which he may have for thirty pounds
    a year, full of Boars, Staggs, Does, Black Cock, Capercailzie,
    Pheasants and Partridges innumerable. He writes an anecdote which I
    must give you:--An English merchant was hunting one day with the King
    of Saxony and, observing that the hounds were inferior, asked the
    Intendant if he thought the King would accept any English Dogs. "To be
    sure," replied the Intendant, and thought no more of it. About eight
    months after, the King received notice from a Merchant at Frankfort
    that a pack of hounds waited his orders there from England. The King
    was delighted and wrote to the Regent to pass a Service of Dresden
    China, duty free, to his generous friend; therefore the English
    Merchant was well rewarded for his attention.

    We were last night at a ball at Lady Hales's [13] where we found them
    dancing at nine and left them dancing at two; such numbers of men I
    never saw anywhere, and yet one may walk about for hours and scarcely
    ever see one.

    There is a very pretty Mrs FitzGerald here, her husband is related to
    Lord Ilchester, but our acquaintance among the English is very small
    and we have no wish to enlarge it.

    VERSAILLES, _February 9th, 1819._

    The Evelyns who live in Lord Mansfield's house gave an excellent ball.
    Lady Allone invited, & the story is that Mrs Evelyn says this was on
    condition that she--Mrs Evelyn--left out all her own friends.

    Mrs Poplim is the gayest of the gay with Balls and Proverbs, but the
    English society does not improve.


    Robert Glyn writes word that Mrs Beaumont sent to him at Genoa to
    complain of the extortion of some of the foreign Bankers; they had
    amongst them cheated her of _thirty shillings_, and she seemed to
    think the Glyns were answerable for this, which made the Sieur Robert
    rather indignant, particularly as it turned out that she had left the
    set of Bankers recommended by the Glyns and gone to those of whom they
    knew nothing. She has laid out about £500 on curiosities at Genoa.

    Sophy [14] has certainly had a very good offer in Italy, some very
    rich Neopolitan Prince, _un grand parti_, but Madame refused him
    in grand style.

In the next letter Marianne describes an event which electrified all
France. The Duc D'Avaray was an intimate friend of Louis XVIII. His
granddaughter Rosalba, aged seventeen, was extraordinarily handsome and
much sought after by many aspirants for her hand. Among these latter was a
young Englishman, twenty-six years of age, Charles Shakerley, [15] who was
a great friend of the Stanhopes. Indeed, it appears extremely probable
that Mrs Stanhope was responsible for his introduction to the Due D'Avaray
as she was indirectly responsible for what followed, since it was owing to
her invitation that Madame Contibonne, whose presence might have averted
what happened, was absent from her home on the eventful evening when
Charles Shakerley took his fate into his hands.

    _February 25th, 1819._

    I have secured the pen out of my mother's hand to announce the great
    event which at this moment occupies all at Versailles and all Paris,
    and probably will shortly occupy all the _beau monde_ of France.

    This great event is Shakerley's elopement with Mlle. D'Avaray, on
    Sunday the 21st.

    William saw him either Saturday or Sunday at Paris, very disconsolate
    at having just been refused. He told him he was packing up, was just
    going to England for a week and then intended to depart for
    Petersburg, we supposed to take unto himself some Russian Belle.
    William came down in the Célérifère with Madame & Mlle. de Contibonne,
    who told him Mlle. D'Avaray was their particular friend, and they
    related all the history of the refusal. Mdlle. de Contibonne came here
    to dine with her mother, who was obliged to return, having company at
    Paris in the evening, one of her daughters remained at home, and with
    her Mdlle. D'Avaray dined. The latter was to walk home with her maid
    to dress for the party. Instead of going home she got into a
    _Cabriolet_ with her maid, and drove to the barrier where Shakerley,
    with two carriages, was waiting. They went off to Ostend, the lady and
    her maid in one carriage, the gentleman and his valet in the other. At
    Ostend they set the telegraph to send word to the Duchesse D'Avaray
    where they were, and in return the Duc sent a _permission de mariage_.

    On Sunday William gave them your's and Philip's direction, so perhaps
    you may see them.

    Had he murdered three women, there could not be such an outcry; old
    and young, male and female, married and single, all unite in abuse of
    the poor lady. The French Dandies are in a rage that the prettiest
    girl in Paris should have run off with _un Anglais_. The English
    all are delighted, even the Mammas, which astonishes all the French,
    _Mais cette nation d'Insulaires barbares a toujours insulté toutes
    les bien-connues._

    I have sent you the general details, very likely not all true, but
    that he has run off is most certain. To me, he has married her, or
    means to do so; the very height and front of his offending hath this
    extent, no more.

To this information Mrs Stanhope added:--

    What a scandal! In addition to what Anne has said, I must add what we
    have heard since. Before Mlle. D'Avaray went away, she went into Mile,
    de Contibonne's room, from which she made her way down the back
    stairs. They wondered she did not return, and when they looked for
    her, the bird was flown. I believe he was in the street waiting for
    her. It was certainly a bold step for a French girl, as the eloping,
    or as they call it being _enlevée_, is considered as everything
    that is shocking! I say you will give him away when they are married
    in England.

    VERSAILLES, _March 3rd, 1819._

    Shakerley returned Thursday, was married at the Ambassador's Friday.
    The Duke of Gloucester [16] gave the Lady away & has taken Shakerley
    with him to England, & she is gone to her friends, as she cannot be
    married by the rights of the Church till the dispensation arrives,
    which it cannot do for 21 days. Therefore he is lost and she is not--
    what would you say to that? Report says her friends had fixed on
    another person whose name I forget, and that the Hotel was ready. You
    will probably see him and hear the truth.

Two days before the date of this letter, John Stanhope had encountered the
delinquent in London. On March 1st, 1819, his diary records:--

    It rained very hard. Met Shakerley in Bond Street. He had just arrived
    from Paris. After having in vain attempted to get the Duc D'Avaray's
    consent to marrying his granddaughter, he eloped with her. He had
    previously got a passport under Lord B.'s name and sent his carriage
    off on the road to Brussels. He got another under his own name, and on
    the road to Calais he took up Mlle. D'Avaray.

    His cabriolet drove most furiously to the place where Lord B's
    carriage and four horses were waiting, thence going off at full speed.

    The whole of Paris went after them, but by taking the only road where
    there was no telegraph, they completely outwitted the police. At last
    one of his pursuers found him on the other side of the frontiers and
    conveyed to them the intelligence that the Due would forgive them and
    consent to their marriage at the Ambassador's chapel.

    Immediately after, Shakerley started for England in order to procure
    his father's consent, as that was necessary for their marriage
    according to the rites of the Catholic Church.

On March 30th, 1819, Mrs Stanhope adds the final word with regard to this

     When Shakerley was married, rooms were prepared for them at the Duke
    D'Avaray's, which had not been opened for three years, but no
    "_Faire parts_" or "_Visites de noces_," and her friends say she will
    have a difficult part to act, as her being received will depend upon
    her future conduct. They are gone to Arras, where the Duke has the
    command, and will I suppose be in London in May.

    Lady Hunloke and various other people are inquiring for houses here.

    Mrs Evelyn carried off her daughter in a hurry, as all the men were
    after her.

It appears, however, that later the delinquents were honoured by some
"_faire parts_" being sent out to their friends by their nearer relatives.
Folded up with these old letters are two announcements, each printed on a
large sheet of paper, one surmounted by a Cupid holding a blazing torch
and supporting a large M.:--

    Mr and Mme. SHAKERLEY out l'honneur de vous faire part du mariage de
    M. SHAKERLEY, leur fils, avec Mlle. D'AVARAY.

The other (on which a Cupid has just lit two hearts flaming on one altar)
runs thus:--

    Mr le Duc et Mme. la DUCHESSE D'AVARAY, M. le MARQUIS et Mme. la
    MARQUISE D'AVARAY ont l'honneur de vous faire part du Mariage de Mlle.
    D'AVARAY, leur petite fille et fille, avec M. SHAKERLEY.

Sad to relate, this romance had an untimely ending. Gronow states:--

"It was the only case I remember of a young French lady running away from
her father's house, and the sensation created by such an extraordinary
occurrence was very great. The marriage, as runaway marriages usually are,
was a very unhappy one; and the quarrels of the ill-matched couple were so
violent that the police had to interfere. Unfortunately, the fair lady
having once eloped, thought she might try the same experiment a second
time, and one cold winter's night she decamped from a ball at the Austrian
Ambassador's with a black-haired Spanish Don, the Marquis d'Errara."

       *       *       *       *       *

After this unprecedented Parisian excitement, the news from England which
filtered through the post to the family in exile must have appeared
lacking in interest. On March 25th, 1819, John Stanhope mentioned a little
incident which has since become history. "Yesterday, I went to Almack's,"
he relates, "a tolerably full ball. Many people were shut out, as at
twelve Lady Castlereagh ordered the doors to be closed. In the number were
her Lord and Master, and the Duke of Wellington." From Brighton came news
of another old friend, Mr Macdonald, who was under a course of treatment
from "Mr Mahomet, the Oriental Vaporist, "during which he sent them a
description of his surroundings, which might be written to-day.

    16 NEW STEINE, BRIGHTON, _August 7th, 1819._

    What a multitude of people we have here, Jews, Haberdashers, and
    money-lenders without number, a sort of Marine Cheapside, Mr Solomons,
    Mrs Levis, and all the Miss Abrahams; in short, Hook Noses, Mosaical
    Whiskers and the whole tribe of Benjamin occupy every shop, every
    donkey-cart, and every seat in Box, Pit, and Gallery. I am very tired
    of them, and shall probably take flight at the end of the week to

    The Beaumonts no doubt are still travelling _en suite_ in Scotland. I
    wonder how many darts and hearts have been fired and wounded amongst
    my too susceptible Countrymen! We shall see when they return. I
    suppose half the Country will follow them back into Yorkshire.

Later in the year, from the same town, another friend, Sir James Graham,
[17] wrote:--

    BRIGHTON, _December 28th, 1819._

    The Regent is in the best possible state of health and spirits, and
    moves to London and back frequently. He leaves to-day for a few days.
    The Pavilion Palace is not in a state to receive Company and therefore
    he sees very few. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have been here
    some time, and remain until the 5th or 6th of January, and this place
    is quite full of company-not a good house to be got. Lady Elizabeth
    Lowther has been here and is much better than usual.

Perhaps stirred by the letters received from their friends in England, the
thoughts of the exiled family turned more and more towards their home, and
Marianne wrote to her brother--

    I shall be delighted to nationalise in old England. I think as much as
    mind is superior to body, so much is English society better than
    French-I mean that in which we live.... This is a dancing generation,
    I think people's wits live in their heels and they cultivate nothing
    else, though Mrs Poplim, who is now at the bottom of the precipice,
    _tout à fait_, gives Proverbs and Concerts.

    Lady Morgan [18] is quite the light of Paris, people flock to her
    house as they would to a wild beast show. She has Talma, Mile.
    Georges, and all the other Lions, foreign and home-bred. She and the
    Rochefoucaulds are very thick--a great proof of their want of tact,
    for she is the most impudent pretender to literature I ever met with.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope to Charles Spencer-Stanhope._
    _December 12th, 1819._

    Although I have written this morning till my hand is tired and my head
    confused, I cannot allow the remainder of this sheet to depart merely
    blank paper.... The French dance as if they feared they might not live
    to begin again after Lent. Lady Hales's ball was so full and hot that
    the dancing was not agreeable. There is a very pretty French girl
    there, a Paris Belle, and the first _partie_ in France, Mlle. de
    Proneville; she is the only Peeress in her own right in France, and
    has a large fortune. I say, as our fortunes come here, she should
    marry into England. I see that Lord Mountmorris claims the title of
    Annesley; should he succeed, the little Belle here will lose her
    title, if not her fortune also, probably not all, as I believe her
    mother had a large one.

    I hope by this time you have John in London. I wish you could persuade
    him to marry, though not to sacrifice family to fortune.

    Almack's and the French Plays are to be the _ton_, and will it be
    advisable to apply soon? How is the Opera?

[Illustration: GEORGE III

_Engraved by S. W.  Reynolds, and Pubd. by His Majesty's Most Gracious
Permission, February 24th, 1820._

When the ear heard him, then it blessed him, and when the eye saw him it
gave witness of him.

He delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to
help him. Kindness, meekness, and comfort, were in his tongue; if there
was any  virtue, and if there was any praise, he thought of those things.
His body is buried in peace, but his name liveth evermore.

_To the British Nation this print of the FATHER OF HIS PEOPLE is most
respectfully dedicated by Samuel M Reynolds._


_A print taken of George III when mad. The possession of Rowland
Pickering, Esq._]

As shown by the last sentence, Mrs Stanhope was already thinking of
securing her Opera box betimes in view of her approaching return to her
native land. Ere she did so, however, an event occurred which terminated
all thoughts of gaiety. On Sunday, January 30th, the Journal of John
Stanhope records:--

    Went to Portland St. Chapel. Observed that the Clergyman prayed--not
    for the Prince and Princess of Wales--but for the Royal Family in
    general. Called on Mrs Arthur Stanhope and learned that the King had
    died at half past eight the night before. Singular that the very day
    we had put on mourning for the Duke of Kent should be that on which
    the death of his father was announced. The _Observer_ states that
    the King died without any appearance of pain and without a lucid
    interval. He had reigned fifty-nine years, three months and nine days.
    He was 81 years, 7 months, and 126 days old.


    After breakfast, went down to Carlton House to see the Proclamation of
    King George IV. The King-at-Arms cut a ridiculous figure. The guns
    fired, the Proclamation was read, the Bands saluted, and some say the
    new King appeared at the window and was greeted with cheers, but it is
    since said that he did not appear and the cheers were in consequence
    of the Proclamation only. Many of the Princes were present.

    _February 24th, 1820._

    Greeted with the intelligence of a fight that had taken place between
    the Radicals and the Bow St. Officers and a detachment of the Guards.
    It appeared that twenty-five of them, headed by Thistlewood, had
    formed a plot to attack the Ministers when dining at Lord Harrowby's.
    Two of them were to go there with red Boxes in lieu of dispatch Boxes.
    Whilst the porter was taking these pretended dispatches, one of them
    was to open the door to the remainder of the gang. They were to throw
    fire-balls into the Mall, and, in the midst of the confusion thus
    occasioned, to rush into the Dining-room and kill the Ministers.

    Lord Harrowby had been warned by a person he met in the Park, and the
    dinner was accordingly postponed. The Conspirators, however, met in a
    small street (Cato Street) near Edgware Road. Mr Birnie, the
    Magistrate, directed the police officers to enter the house & secure
    them. The Guards, who were to second, entered unfortunately by the
    wing end of the street. The Police Officers ascended into the Hay
    Loft, where the Conspirators were assembled, by a ladder. They found
    about 25 in a room with candles & arms of various descriptions upon
    the table, and called them to surrender. Thistlewood made a thrust at
    Smithers with a long sword & the Officer immediately fell, crying out
    "Oh God!" The Conspirators then put the candles out with their swords
    and in the confusion many of them escaped. Fitzclarence in the
    meantime advanced at the head of the detachment of Guards. One of the
    Conspirators presented a pistol at him, but fortunately the Serjeant
    knocked it aside and received part of the contents in his coat sleeve.
    Another made a thrust at him, and that was also knocked aside. He then
    advanced at the head of the Guards into the room. He secured a man who
    again presented a pistol at him, but it missed fire, so that he had
    three narrow escapes. Nine of the Conspirators were taken, and
    Thistlewood, for whom a reward of a Thousand Pounds was offered, was
    taken during the course of the day in his bed. Saunders, in company
    with another Bow St. Officer, entered the room and threw himself on
    the bed. He said, "I have made no resistance. You could not have taken
    me otherwise!"

Thistlewood and four of his companions were hanged and then beheaded, but
the horrid spectacle of their execution roused the public to demand the
abolition of the punishment of decapitation, and they were the last
persons who thus suffered in England.

But the country did not readily resume the more peaceful conditions which
had been thus rudely disturbed, and it was to a land distracted by rioting
as well as to a land of mourning that Mrs Stanhope and her family returned
early in 1820, in order to prepare for the wedding of her son, Edward
Collingwood. [19]

Manifold, indeed, were the changes which had occurred within the last few
years. Not only had the long and chequered reign of George III. ended and
the Regent at length grasped the power which he had so long coveted, but
the subject of the succession was creating universal interest. Since 1817,
the luckless Princess Charlotte had lain in her untimely grave with the
still form of the babe which had cost her existence-mother and child in
one dark tragedy bereft of the great destiny which was their heritage. And
now in the nursery of Kensington Palace was a little fatherless girl of a
year old on whom the hopes of England centred. But of the absent Queen of
George IV. disparaging rumours were circulated, and while in the
affections of her fickle husband it was said Lady Conyngham had supplanted
Mrs Fitzherbert, Lady Hertford and Lady Jersey, whispers of a Royal
divorce were in the air, and the threatened coming of Caroline was awaited
with increasing anxiety.

The spirit of unrest which pervaded the country had even penetrated to
Yorkshire. The weavers there were rioting, and so threatening was their
behaviour that about this date Mr Frederick Wentworth actually sent to
offer them a bribe of £20 not to burn down Wentworth Castle. The North was
deemed unsafe, and, abandoning all thoughts of visiting it, Mrs Stanhope,
whose former home in Grosvenor Square had been sold, decided to settle in
Langham Place. She therefore took a large house in that locality, which
was entered by great gates and stood in the midst of a fine garden, and
there her family swiftly resumed the old routine of their London life.
Despite the mourning for the late King, Mrs Stanhope wrote: "Mrs Malcolm
who called yesterday tells me there is a great deal of quiet society &
that if you get into a set, you may be engaged every night." While
Marianne regaled her brother with her usual "quiz."

    I am not in love with the dinnerings in the neighbourhood, we met 14
    people yesterday at Lord Ashtown's, none of whom I trust I shall ever
    see again.

    I must tell you the derivation of the word _dinnering_. The lady
    of a new-made baronet in Dorsetshire informed us that her husband was
    put under a regiment & ordered the _tippet_ bath to cure him of
    the effect of London "dinnerings."

    I am afraid you did not hear of our meeting with a lady who had once
    nearly taken a house in Yorkshire "_in a remote part, near West
    Riding_"--which she certainly took for a town.

_From a miniature by P. Singry (about 1825-30) in the Wallace

In June that year the arrival of the Queen brought public excitement to a
climax. On the day when she was to land, greatly to the relief of the
authorities who dreaded a riot, there was an unusually heavy storm. The
Heavens themselves seemed in league against the unhappy woman. It poured
on her first arrival in England, it poured on her return from her long
exile, it was destined to pour during her last sad exit from the scene of
so many humiliations. John Stanhope, who had last seen Caroline as she
wrathfully turned her back upon his friend, Mr Maxwell, at Naples, was
anxious to witness her reception in England as Queen. On June 6th his
diary records:--

    It rained heavily, and between the wet and the unexpected arrival of
    the Queen, London was in a state of indescribable confusion.

    Lord ---- had been sent down to negociate with her. He was
    commissioned to offer her £50,000 a year on condition of her remaining
    abroad and not bearing the title of Queen. These conditions she
    rejected, and abandoning herself entirely to the advice of Alderman
    Wood, did not attempt to keep the negociation open, but embarked on
    board the Leopold packet with Lady Anne Hamilton, Alderman Wood and
    her suite. Sir Neil Campbell drove me a little way on the Kent Road,
    the whole was lined with people, but we soon got tired of waiting--to
    receive the Queen in the midst of the violent storm and returned home.

    The Queen arrived between six and seven. A mob was immediately
    assembled round Alderman Wood's house, in which she has taken up her
    abode, and forced people to pull off their hats as they passed the
    house. The Queen made her appearance on the Balcony.

    The Ministers brought a green bag down to the House containing the
    charges against the Queen.

    _Mrs Spencer-Stanhope._
    _August 8th, 1820._

    The Review on Saturday went off most brilliantly--The Duke of
    Wellington told the King to show himself, which he did, and was
    received with the greatest applause.

    The first day the Troops wanted to have cheered him, but were not
    allowed. He and the Queen did not meet, tho' she hovered about. She
    has now a smart coach and Royal liveries.

The public trial of Caroline, which lasted from August 19th to November
10th, entirely absorbed the public attention. The early partisanship of
the Stanhopes for the unfortunate lady had waned since the conviction had
become unavoidable that her manners were less "royal" than they had at
first imagined. On October 13th Mrs Stanhope writes:--

    Philip is much engaged with the House of Stanhope. He has been two
    evenings at Harrington House, last night with Lady Stanhope to the
    Playgoers, again to-night with the Carringtons with whom he dines. He
    has just been here and says it is possible the Queen's business may be
    over to-day, as Brougham called for one of the Government witnesses,
    and was told he was gone, which may give him an opportunity of
    concluding the affair--rather stopping it entirely. I do not think
    that her own witnesses have proved much in her favour, tho' they
    admitted facts which made against her with great reluctance.

[Illustration: QUEEN CAROLINE
_From a picture in the possession of Mr. Sterling._]

John Stanhope attended the trial assiduously and thus describes its

    _October 26th._

    Went to Macdonald's and accompanied him to the House of Lords, heard
    the Attorney General's reply; thought the first part but feeble, but
    latterly he became very good. His delivery and his voice are bad and
    he is not pleasant.

    _October 27th._

    Went to the House of Lord's, heard the conclusion of the Attorney
    General's speech, and the commencement of that of the Solicitor
    General, which was very good.

    _November 10th._

    The Bill was read a third time, by a majority of 9. The Ministers
    declared that they could not think of proceeding with it with so small
    a majority. The joy of the people was tremendous. They forced an
    illumination at night.

    _November 11th._

    A second Illumination.

    _November 13th._

    It rained hard, towards night it cleared. I walked about the streets
    to see the illuminations. There were detachments of horse-guards at
    every street corner.

    _November 14th._

    Some partial Illuminations.

Meanwhile, throughout the Kingdom rejoicings were taking place, and
Yorkshire was not behind-hand. In Wakefield, indeed, the demonstrations
were unusually effective. An ox with gilded horns was led round the town,
all gaily bedecked with flowers, while on its back was conspicuously
painted a device surrounded by the words _Caroline Rex_ (sic), this being
the work of a loyal and enthusiastic Irishman who lived in the town. The
animal was finally roasted whole in the bull-ring, bonfires and public
illuminations concluding the feast. On the Bank was exhibited a
magnificent transparency, an original design, showing the Queen in a
crimson glory which rose from the smoke produced by the explosion of a
Green Bag, underneath which was represented Majocci in a fright, saying,
"_Non mi ricordo_" his invariable answer at trial. In the Corn Market was
displayed another huge Green Bag fixed upon a pole and bearing the
inscription: "Green Bags manufactured wholesale for witnesses on oath."
After hanging for some time, to the great delight of the assembled crowd,
this was set on fire and exploded with much noise and brilliance.

On the 20th of November the Queen went to St Paul's to return thanks for
her escape from the snares of her enemies, and the diary of John Stanhope

    Went to Hyde Park at nine to see Sir Robert Wilson [20] muster his
    ragged Regiment of Cavalry to escort the Queen to St Paul's. Whilst he
    was marshalling his forces, a troop of Horse Guards passed down the
    line on the way to the Barracks; the contrast was admirable! At ten he
    marched them to Piccadilly where he waited till the Queen arrived.

    She came preceded by some horsemen, driving in a barouche-and-six with
    a handsome equipage. She was followed by another carriage and by the
    great Alderman Wood.

    I followed them as far as Temple Bar where I took my stand within a
    fishmonger's shop and waited in patient expectation till she returned,
    which was not till near three. The Gates then opened, the City Marshal
    took his stand within and bowed out the procession. There was a large
    detachment of shop-keepers on horseback, then came the Queen in her
    open carriage. She was all in white and covered with a white veil.
    There were loud cheers. She continued bowing. The procession was
    brought up by the different trades with a great variety of flags. The
    whole was closed by a Green Bag!

    I returned home having had my pocket picked. I know not whether I was
    most struck at the extraordinary nature of this triumphant procession,
    partaking of a strong rebellious feeling and made in the teeth of the
    Government, or at the tranquillity with which it passed off.

Hard upon the rejoicings at the acquittal of the Queen came news of the
festivities in connection with the approaching coronation, and accounts of
the conduct of the new King which point to his having occupied himself
more assiduously with the graver duties of his new condition than has been
credited by posterity. Mrs Stanhope writes:--

    _January 27th, 1821._

    Marianne and Frances were much gratified by hearing the King's speech,
    which he read with great grace. He was well received. His servant who
    waited on Philip the day he was on duty told him that the King rises
    at eight. He has seldom above one or two people to dinner--when
    anybody. He dines at six or half-after, and _occupies himself almost
    the whole day in writing_. He looks remarkably well.

    _Marianne Spencer-Stanhope to John Spencer-Stanhope._
    _May 12th, 1821._

    The Carlton House ball was very superb; only one Quadrille danced at a
    time, & great attention paid to the dancers. His Majesty sat between
    Lady Conyngham and Countess Lieven, [21] great attention paid to the
    former, who was most superbly dressed, and violent attention paid to
    the Opposition. Much civility also to Lord Lauderdale and Lord Cowper,
    at which notice of the Opposition the Ministers were furious.

    One story is that Lord & Lady Grey went up followed by two sons &
    three daughters, and that the King said, laughing heartily, "Did you
    all come in the Slap-Bang?" The Duchess of Bedford was much scolded
    for not bringing Miss Russell, Frank Russell's [22] sister. She was
    sent for out of bed. When she arrived, the King met her at the door,
    and presented her with a partner, & stood by her while she danced.

    The King is going to the theatres to _feel_ the public mind with
    regard to a coronation. The Queen stays to annoy him. She had written
    in her own hand to say, "As I am not to partake in _our_ coronation, I
    expect to have a Gallery for myself and Ladies."

    Lady Worcester [23] was not expected to live thro' last night. She was
    at the Birthday & at the ball, danced a great deal, felt unwell, and
    was fool enough to take a shower bath before she went to bed. She was
    seized with inflammation in her bowels & in great danger immediately.

    Lord Conyngham is nicknamed the "Small toothcomb"--all back and teeth.

    I hear there is a new version of an old story of the Duke of
    Gloucester. He went to see Bedlam; a man called out--"Ha! Silly Billy!
    Are you come here?" The Duke exclaimed--"God bless me! How odd he
    should know my name!" Upon which the keeper remarked innocently--"He
    _has sometimes_ glimmerings of sense, please your Royal Highness."

    They are in a great fright lest Lord Worcester [24] should marry Miss
    Belle Calcraft. [25] It is supposed there has been an intrigue between
    them for some time.

    Lady Worcester's sufferings were most extreme, her complaint a
    twisting of the guts. She died sensible but screaming. On one side of
    the bed sat Lady E. Vernon, on the other, Lady Jersey, also screaming
    with grief. The Duke of Wellington had to drag them by force out of
    the room. There were eighty people standing round when she died.

    The Ministers are said to be very angry with the King. Lord Liverpool
    sent to announce Dr Dodsworth's [26] death, and the Canonry of Windsor
    vacant in consequence, to ask who his Majesty would choose it to be
    given to. He said very short--"Oh, I have given it away already."

    _May 25th, 1821._

    The French Play is going down fast, the Patronesses never attending,
    so poor Sequin wrote a memorial to the ladies to say he should be
    ruined, and, in consequence, last Tuesday was very well attended. I
    hear of no marriage excepting Miss Lockhart, who used to go about with
    Lady C. Durham, to an Italian Count who had followed her from Italy.

    A melancholy accident happened the other day to Sir J. Smith's second
    son, Marriott. He was riding through the town of Bridgwater with a
    young man of the name of Morris who is at the same Tutor's. The horse
    became unmanageable, the two young men were thrown, Morris pitched on
    his head and was killed on the spot, young Smith was very little hurt,
    but his state of distress is such that they hardly know what to do
    with him.

    Your sisters who are looking over the catalogue of books at the
    library have just met with _Countess Moreau's Works_--alias _Contes

    _July 21st, 1821._

    We have just finished reading the newspaper account of the Coronation
    which must have been a magnificent spectacle. We were horrified at the
    Queen debasing herself so much as to ask admission at the door--a
    request she was certain of being denied. We long to hear how you and
    Philip saw the ceremony, and whether the latter is not half killed by
    the fatigue of it.

But John Stanhope seems to have been more interested in the various events
attendant upon the Coronation than in the ceremony itself. His diary

    _July 19th, 1821._

    The morning was beautiful. I had not attempted to get a ticket for the
    Abbey or the Hall, so I determined after breakfast to sally forth and
    see the Balloon ascend, and then to walk down Palace Yard and try
    whether there was not a place to be got. Nothing could be more
    animating than the scene, the St James's Park and the Green Park were
    entirely covered with Spectators. The Balloon ascended to a
    considerable height before it was at all carried away by the wind, it
    rose, indeed, out of our sight.

    As soon as this spectacle was over, I went to see the guns fired, and
    from thence to George St., where for five shillings I got a place in a
    Booth for which the previous night they asked as many guineas, and
    after waiting for some time I saw the procession go from the Abbey to
    the Hall,--a superb sight. I afterwards returned home much fatigued,
    but issued forth again to see the illuminations.

    But a long time elapsed before I could get into the Park owing to the
    string of carriages through the large gates and the pressure of the
    mob through the smaller ones. At last I was obliged to go round by
    Grosvenor Gate.

    I first directed my steps to the fireworks, which were let off under
    the direction of the Military from the middle of the Park. I
    afterwards saw the Serpentine where there was a very brilliant
    display. There was a splendid illumination at the lower end on the
    water, a car drawn by elephants with lanterns, and boats with
    variegated lamps, water rockets, and, at intervals, lights on the
    terrace at Kensington Gardens which lighted up the whole park.

    From the Park I proceeded to Piccadilly, down St James's St., along
    Pall Mall, up the Haymarket and Bond St., and went as far as Portland
    Place where some of the houses were illuminated most splendidly. The
    French and Spanish Ambassadors' houses also produced a magnificent
    effect. I returned home about two o'clock, much exhausted.

    _July 20th._

    I went to the Opera, it was very full, and after the Opera and Ballet
    we had a grand _God Save The King_. Nothing could exceed the
    enthusiasm of the audience. Tumults of applause at the end of every
    stanza, and the whole encored. A solitary hiss was heard, but it was
    soon silenced by cries of "Turn him out! Throw him over!"

_From an ivory bust in the possession of Mrs Stirling._]

But save for the descriptions in the newspapers and the accounts sent to
her by her sons, Mrs Stanhope saw nothing of the splendid spectacle which
had been taking place. That year of general rejoicing had proved for her a
year of seclusion and of mourning. After her return home the health of her
husband had rapidly declined, and with the coming of April, 1821, while
all England was awakening to a summer of festivity and gladness, Walter
Stanhope, overborne with the burden of his seventy-one years, had
peacefully breathed his last.

He left behind him the record of a blameless and honourable life, and on
April 21st, while his funeral was in progress in Yorkshire, his wife wrote
to her son John:--

    Upon this mournful day my first wish is to converse with my children-
    the only remaining tie I now have in this world. I hope in God you
    will all bear up during the awful and heart-rending Ceremony. The
    prayers of the poor and the afflicted will follow your beloved parent
    to the Grave, and may they fall upon his children.



[1] She married, March 1828, Robert Hudson, Esq. of Tadworth Court, near
Reigate. Died September 1862, aged 76.

[2] He succeeded to the estates of Cannon Hall and Horsforth, etc.;
married, in 1822, Elizabeth Wilhelmina, youngest daughter of Thomas
William Coke, Esq., afterwards 1st Earl of Leicester. Died 1873, aged 86.

[3] She died, unmarried, 17th March, 1860, in her 72nd year.

[4] Assumed by Royal Licence, in 1816, the name and arms of Collingwood,
pursuant to the will of his great-uncle, Edward Collingwood, Esq., whose
estates he inherited. He married, September 9th, 1820, Arabella, daughter
of General John Calcraft, of Cholderton, Hants. Died August 4th, 1866, in
his 75th year.

[5] He assumed the name of Roddam on succeeding to the estates of his
kinsman and godfather, Admiral Roddam of Roddam, Northumberland. He
married, first, Charlotte, daughter of Henry Percy Pulleine, Esq. of
Crakehall; and secondly, Selina Henrietta, daughter of John Cotes, Esq. of
Woodcote. Died 1864, aged 71.

[6] He was subsequently Vicar of Weaverham in Cheshire, and for fifty-two
years non-resident Vicar of Cawthorne, Yorkshire. Married Frederica Mary,
daughter of the late Robert Philip Goodenough, Prebendary of Carlisle and
Southwell. Died October 29th, 1874, aged 79.

[7] Died, unmarried, 1857, aged 60.

[8] Captain in the Grenadier Guards and Page of Honour to George III. and
George IV. General in the Army and Colonel of the 13th Light Infantry.
Married, May 2nd, 1865, Mary Catherine, relict of Edward Strickland, Esq.
She died in July of the same year. General Stanhope died in 1880, aged 81.

[9] Died, unmarried, February 5th, 1885, in her 85th year.

[10] Died, unmarried, December 30th, 1884, aged 82.

[11] Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple; lived at Glen Alien in
Northumberland, near Alnwick. Married, 1848, Amy Anne, 5th daughter of
Henry Percy Pulleine, Esqre. of Crakehall. D.S.P. 1871, aged 67.

[12] It is now No. 32 Upper Grosvenor Street, the door being in the latter
street.  In the directories prior to 1800 it is described as being in
Upper Grosvenor Street, but subsequently it was No. 28 Grosvenor Square.

[13] The culminating achievement of his public life was his strenuous
promotion of the grand scheme of volunteer service at a time of great
national danger: yet in his old age he used to state that the most
interesting act of his existence on which he could look back was his
having persuaded the Prime Minister, Pitt, to colonize Australia.


[1] Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Carr Glyn, 2nd Bt. of Ewell,
eminent banker of London (of the firm of Glyn, Mills, Currie & Co.), and
his wife Mary, daughter of John Plumptre, Esq. Of Fredville, M.P. for
Nottingham. Miss Glyn married, 14th August 1811, Edward Greated, Esq. Of
Uddings, Co. Dorset, and died his widow, 17th January 1864.

[2] William Hanry West Betty, better known as "The young Roscius." See
page 27.

[3] Sydney Smith, 1771-1845; Canon of St Paul's. He started the _Edinburgh
Review_ in 1802; and was celebrated for his wit and keen sense of humour.

[4] Wife of Edward, Lord de Clifford; she was for many years governess to
Princess Charlotte.

[5] Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810); born at Ipswich, dau. of Joseph Kirby, and
a great favourite of Dr Johnson. She wrote many books for the young. In
1762 she married Mr Trimmer and had a family of twelve children.

[6] Mrs Fitzherbert, who had been secretly married to the Prince of Wales,
afterwards George IV., in 1785.

[7] Daughter of Henry Drummond, Esq., by his wife Anne, daughter of
Viscount Melville.

 [8] Thomas, eldest son of 1st Earl of Ranfurly and Viscount Northland.
Born 1786, married 1815 Mary Juliana, daughter of the Hon. and Most Rev.
William Stuart, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland; succeeded
his father as 2nd Earl of Ranfurly, 1840. Mrs Stanhope's house in
Grosvenor Square being at the corner of Upper Grosvenor Street, she refers
to Mr and Mrs Knox as living "in this Street."

[9] Mrs Beaumont was the natural daughter of Sir Thomas Blackett, Bt. of
Bretton, who made her his heiress. She married Col. Beaumont, M.P.

[10] _Memoirs of Sir William Jones_, the orientalist, appended to his
Works, by Lord Teignmouth, 9 vols., 1799-1804.

[11] Maria Juliana, daughter of Robert Edward, both Baron Petre. Married
30th April 1805, to Stephen Philips, Esq., and died 27th January 1824.

[12] Charles, second son of George, 7th Baron Kinnaird, afterwards
succeeded his father as 8th Baron owing to the death of his elder brother,
who was killed by a tiger on the coast of Coromandel.

[13] Afterwards Sir Humphry Davy, the celebrated chemist, 1778-1829.

[14] See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_ vol. i., page 320.

[15] Lady Anna Maria Stanhope, eldest daughter of Charles, 3rd Earl of
Harrington, married Francis, 7th Duke of Bedford.

[16] Lord Alvanley, 1789-1849, entered the Coldstream Guards at an early
age; but being possessed of a large fortune, he subsequently left the
army, and gave himself up entirely to the pursuit of pleasure. He
eventually dissipated his fortune, but throughout his life remained noted
for his wit, his good humour, and his prominence in the world of fashion.

[17] Katharine, daughter of Robert Lowther, Esq., and sister of Sir James
Lowther, married Henry Paulet, 6th Duke of Bolton, Admiral of the White;
M.P. for Winchester, 1762-1765; Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and Governor
of the Isle of Wight in 1782.

[18] George, 7th Baron Kinnaird, married Elizabeth, daughter of Griffin
Ransom, Esq., of New Palace Yard, Westminster, Banker. Died 11th October,

[19] Archibald John, eldest son of Neil, 3rd Earl of Rosebery.

[20] Clementina, Lady Perth, a daughter of the 10th Lord Elphinstone. Her
husband had died in 1800, and her daughter at this date was a child.

[21] _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii. page 328.

[22] See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii. pages 52, 122, 294.
Walter Ramsden Beaumont Hawkesworth, High Sheriff of Yorkshire whose
father, Walter Ramsden, had assumed the surname and arms of Hawkesworth,
pursuant to the will of his grandfather, Sir Walter Hawkesworth, and who
himself, in 1786, assumed the surname and arms of Fawkes, pursuant to the
will of his relation, Francis Fawkes of Farnley, who left him his estate.

[23] Edward, second son of the 1st Lord Vernon, Baron of Kinderton, and
his second wife, Martha, third daughter of the Hon. S. Harcourt, and
sister of Simon, 1st Earl Harcourt. Married, 1784, Anne, third daughter of
Granville, 1st Marquis of Stafford, and upon inheriting the Harcourt
estates assumed the surname of Harcourt.

[24] Sir James Graham, Bt. of Kirkstall, Co. York, born 1753, created a
Baronet, 1808, M.P. for Carlisle and Recorder of Appleby. Died, 1825.

[25] Frederick Edward Vernon, afterwards Vernon-Harcourt, fourth son of
the above; Admiral R.N.; married Marcis, daughter of Admiral J. R. Delap

[26] The Hon. Henrietta Maria Monckton, second daughter of Viscount

[27] George Granville Vernon, afterwards Vernon-Harcourt, eldest son of
the Bishop of Carlisle, afterwards Archbishop of York. Married first
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Richard, 2nd Earl of Lucan; secondly,
Frances Elizabeth, Countess-Dowager of Waldegrave.

[28] See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii. page 291.

[29] General Count Woronzow, Ambassador to England. A celebrated Russian
General who played a prominent part in the overthrow of Bonaparte in 1814.

[30] See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, Vol. II., pages 151-152.

[31] Mark Singleton, Esq., married in 1785 to Lady Mary Cornwallis, only
daughter of the 1st Marquess Cornwallis, Governor-General of India, who
had died in India, 5th October 1805.

[32] Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal of England (1766-1828). In
1797 she married the future Elector and King of Wurtemburg. She behaved
with exceptional tact under the trying ordeal of receiving her country's
foe, and Napoleon treated her with a courtesy and consideration which he
seldom exhibited.

[33] Sir Robert Calder, Bt., 1745-1818, son of Sir James Calder of Muirton
in Morayshire. He entered the Navy at the age of fourteen, and in 1796
officiated as Captain of the Fleet, when he contributed to gain the famous
victory off Cape St Vincent. In 1798 he was created a baronet, and in 1799
attained to the rank of rear-admiral. In 1805 he was sent to cruise off
Finisterre in order to intercept the combined French and Spanish Fleet
under Villeneuve, and an engagement took place on June 22nd, as a result
of which Admiral Calder was severely censured, both for his mode of attack
and his failure to complete the engagement on the following day. On his
return to England he was tried by Court-martial, and was found guilty of
not having done his utmost to take and destroy the enemy's ships, owing to
an error of judgment; and was severely reprimanded. Later, the opinion
gained ground that he had been harshly treated. In 1810 he was appointed
port-admiral at Plymouth.

[34] Lord Erskine.

[35] Lord Grenville.

[36] Lord Henry Petty.

[37] "And everyone that was in distress and everyone that was in debt and
everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him, and he
became a Captain over them."

[38] William Henry, afterwards 3rd Baron Lyttleton. Born 1782, married
1813, Lady Sarah Spencer, eldest daughter of 2nd Earl Spencer, succeeded
his half-brother in 1837.

[39] Osborne Markham, Esq., M.P., of Cufforth Hall, Co. York, born 1769,
married first, June 10th, 1806, the Lady Mary Thynne, daughter of Thomas,
1st Marquis of Bath.

[40] "The Pilot that weathered the Storm" was a song composed by Canning
to be sung on the birthday of William Pitt, May 28th, 1802.

[41] Edinburgh.


[1] Ralph Collingwood of East Ditchburn, _tempo_ Charles First, had two
sons: first, Cuthbert Collingwood, from whom the family of Lord
Collingwood is said to be descended; secondly, Edward Collingwood, from
whom the family of Winifred Collingwood was descended, and who were known
as the Collingwoods of Byker, Dissington, and Chirton.

[2] Robert Roddam, Senior Admiral of the Red, Commander-in-Chief at
Portsmouth, etc.; see _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii. pages 223,

[3] Edward Collingwood, usually known as the Younger, of Chirton, Byker,
and Dissington, uncle to Mrs Spencer-Stanhope. See _Annals of a Yorkshire
House_, vol. ii. page 164.

[4] A letter to J. E. Blackett, Esq., written November 2nd, 1805.

[5] The soundings gave but thirteen fathoms of water with the Trafalgar
rocks to leeward.

[6] Governor-General of Andalusia.

[7] Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822), who became, in 1821, 2nd Marquis of
Londonderry, was War Minister from July 1805 to January 1806, and again
from April 1807 to September 1809.

[8] _Hansard's Parliamentary Debates._

"_Feb. 11th. Lord Collingwood's Annuity Bill._

"Mr Spencer Stanhope, who stated that he had long had the honour of being
acquainted with Lord Collingwood and his family, recommended that instead
of the limitations at present in the Bill, it should be arranged that in
the case of the death of the meritorious officer, £1000 a year of the
proposed annuity should descend to his widow and £500 per year to each of
his daughters, to be held by them during their lives. This plan would be
infinitely more suitable than that which the Bill contained as Lord
Collingwood was not likely to have any more children and sure he was that
it would be much more agreeable to the family of that noble Lord and of
course to the feelings of that noble Lord himself. It would serve to
relieve much of that anxiety which must naturally arise in the breast of a
parent who is daily exposed to death in his country's cause, and who must
be sorely afflicted by the idea that his death would leave his family with
a very limited provision. Parliament, the Hon. Member had no doubt, would
be happy and prompt to release the feelings of that noble Lord from such
an afflicting prospect."

[9] Kindly lent to the author by Alfred Brewis, Esq., of Newcastle-on-


[1] Charles William, Viscount Milton, afterwards 5th Earl Fitzwilliam;
born May 4th, 1786, and at the age of twenty, in July 1806, married Mary,
fourth daughter of Thomas, 1st Lord Dundas.

[2] George, afterwards 6th Earl of Carlisle, K.G., Lord-Lieutenant of the
East Riding of Yorkshire; born, 1776; married, 1801, Georgiana, eldest
daughter and co-heir of William, 5th Duke of Devonshire, K.G.; died 1848.

[3] Caroline Isabella, eldest daughter of Frederick, 5th Earl of Carlisle;
married John, 1st Lord Cawdor, and died in 1848.

[4] William Wilberforce, 1759-1833. Returned as M.P. for Hull 1780, for
Yorkshire 1784. Although a great friend of Pitt, he was independent of
party. For nineteen years he fought for the abolition of the Slave Trade,
and was successful in 1807. He then fought for the total abolition of
slavery until compelled to retire from public life in 1825.

[5] Woolley Park, near Wakefield, then the seat of Godfrey Wentworth,
formerly Armytage, Esq., J.P. and D.L., who had assumed the surname and
arms of Wentworth on succeeding to the property of Woolley on the death of
his grandfather Godfrey Wentworth, Esq. of Woolley and Hickleton, M.P. for
York. The eldest daughter of the latter, Anna Maria, married Sir George
Armytage, Bart, of Kirkless, Co. York, and her third son thus succeeded
his grandfather in 1789.

[6] Godfrey Wentworth Armytage, Esq., afterwards Wentworth, married, in
1794, Amelia, daughter of Walter Ramsden Beaumont Hawksworth, Esq., who
afterwards took the name of Fawkes under the will of his cousin, Francis
Fawkes, Esq., of Farnley, Co. York.

[7] The governess.

[8] Robert Monckton Arundell, 4th Viscount Galway, K.B.; a Privy
Councillor and representative of York and Pontefract in different
Parliaments; married, in 1803, as his second wife, Mary Bridget, relict of
Peter Auriol Hay-Drummond, Esq., and only child of Pemberton Milnes, Esq.
of Bawtry Hall, Co. York.

[9] Michael Angelo Taylor, son of Sir R. Taylor, architect, whose fortune
endowed the Taylorian buildings at Oxford.

Michael Angelo was Recorder of Poole in 1784, and became member for that
borough the same year. He lived to be Father of the House. He was a
constant source of amusement to his fellow Parliamentarians on account of
his vanity and ostentation, and was a celebrated subject for Gilray's
caricatures. The summit of his ambition was reached when the Prince Regent
became his guest. See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii. pages 40-43.

[10] John Beaumont, Esquire of Whitley Beaumont, Yorkshire, born 1752,
died 1831; married Sarah, daughter of Humphrey Butler, Esquire of

[11] Francis Ward, second son of Neil, 3rd Earl of Rosebery.

[12] Angelica Catalani (1779-1849), who at this date was twenty-seven
years of age, was famous throughout Europe for her exquisite voice. She
had displayed extraordinary vocal powers from the age of six. In the
previous year, 1806, she had made £10,000 during an engagement of six
months in London.

[13] So called from the actor and manager, Michael Kelly.

[14] The two Princes of Holstein then visiting England were Auguste of
Schleswig-Holstein-Oldenburg (b. 1783) and his brother Peter Frederick
George (b. 1784). Denmark had secured Holstein in the previous September.

[15] Mrs Cator, Elizabeth Louisa, daughter of Sir Ross Mahon, Bart. of
Castlegar, Co. Galway, and Anne, daughter of the 1st Earl of Altamont.

[16] John Dennis, 3rd Earl of Altamont, created Marquis of Sligo in
Ireland 1800, and a Peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Monteagle of
Westport, Co. Mayo, 1806.

[17] John Cator, Esq. of Beckenham Place, Kent, and of Woodbastwick Hall,
Norfolk, mar., September 1806, Elizabeth Louisa, daughter of Sir Ross
Mahon, Bart. of Castlegar, Co. Galway.

[18] The Right Hon. John Smyth of Heath Hall, M.P. for Pontefract, and
successively a Lord of the Admiralty and Treasury, Master of the Mint and
Privy Councillor in 1772. Married Lady Georgiana Fitzroy, eldest daughter
of Augustus Henry, 3rd Duke of Grafton. See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_,
vol. ii., pages 108-113.

[19] Prince Paul Esterhazy, Austrian Minister at the Court of St James's.

[20] Isabella, eldest daughter and co-heir of Charles Ingram, 9th Viscount
Irvine, wife of the 2nd Marquis of Hertford, K.G., Lord Chamberlain.

[21] Wife of Sir William Scott, afterwards Baron Stowel.

[22] See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii., page 319.

[23] Cecil-Jane, sixth daughter of the 2nd Baron Glentworth, who was
created Viscount and Earl of Limerick in 1803. She married, in 1828, Count
John Leopold Ferdinand Casimir de la Feld, a Count of the Holy Roman

[24] Francis Pierrepont-Burton, 2nd Baron Conyngham, who, on inheriting
the titles and estates of his uncle, assumed the surname and arms of
Conyngham, married, in 1759, the eldest daughter of the Right Hon.
Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim. She died in

[25] Lady Charlotte Stewart, daughter of Alexander, 6th Earl of Galloway,
married, in 1759, John, 4th Earl of Dunmore.

[26] Susan, third daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunmore, married, first, in
1788, Joseph Tharpe, Esq. of Chippenham, Cambridge; secondly, John Drew,
Esq.; and thirdly, in 1809, the Rev. A. E. Douglas.

[27] Augusta, second daughter of 4th Earl of Dunmore, married, at Rome,
the 4th of April 1793, Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, and was
re-married to H.R.H. the following December at St George's Church, Hanover

[28] Edward Charles, second son of William, 2nd Duke of Portland, and Lady
Margaret Cavendish Harley, only daughter and heir of Edward, 2nd Earl of
Oxford. Lord Edward Bentinck married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Richard
Cumberland, Esq., and had one son and three daughters. He died in 1819.

[29] The three Miss Bentincks were: Harriet, married, 1809, Sir William
Mordaunt Sturt Milner, Bart.; Elizabeth, married, 1812, Captain Henry
Wyndham; and Charlotte married Major Robert Garrett.

[30] Thomas, Viscount Cranley, who succeeded his father in 1814 as 2nd
Earl of Onslow.

[31] Robert Pemberton Milnes, Esq. of Fryston Hall and Bawtry Hall, Co.
York., M.P. for Pontefract, married, in 1808, the Hon. Henrietta Maria
Monckton, daughter of Robert Monckton Arundell, 6th Viscount Galway.

[32] This was probably one of the first occasions on which a waltz was
danced in England. See vol. ii. pages 182-183.

[33] Augusta, daughter of John, 9th Earl of Westmoreland, married, July
1781, Sir William Lowther, Bart., afterwards Baron and Viscount Lowther,
and who on April 7th, 1807, became Earl of Lonsdale. Elizabeth was their
eldest daughter.

[34] Sir John Sinclair, Bart. (1754-1835), was admitted to both the Scotch
and English Bars, and sat in Parliament 1780-1811. He established the
Board of Agriculture in 1793. He was an extensive and valuable author.

[35] Sir John Smith of Sydling, St Nicholas, Co. Dorset, born 1744, died
November 13th, 1807. Created a Baronet, 1774.

[36] The mother-in-law of John Wyldbore, son of Sir John Smith, afterwards
2nd Baronet, who married, in 1897, Elizabeth Ann, second daughter and co-
heiress of the Rev. James Marriott, D.C.L., of Horsemonden, Co. Kent.

[37] Jacquetta of Luxemburg, widow of the Duke of Bedford, married,
secondly, the brave and handsome knight, Sir Richard Woodville, when she
came to England in 1435 to claim her dower. The birth of her eldest child
Elizabeth probably occurred in 1436. The marriage caused great scandal and
Sir Richard was imprisoned; but was subsequently released and they settled
at Grafton Castle. The Duchess kept the rank of aunt to the King; and on
occasions of ceremony was the first lady in the land till the marriage of
the King. Her daughter Elizabeth subsequently took high rank among the
maids of honour of Margaret of Anjou and was the belle of her Court.

[38] John Grey, heir of Lord Ferrars of Groby.

[39] In the above extract, the spelling, as transcribed by Mrs Stanhope,
has been adhered to.


[1] Archibald John, Viscount Primrose and his brother Francis, sons of
Neil, 3rd Earl of Rosebery. They were given the nicknames of "Roast Beef"
and "Plum Pudding" owing to their invariable habit of dining with Mr and
Mrs Spencer-Stanhope every Sunday.

[2] Count Charles Holmar, a subject of the King of Denmark, but Master of
the Horse to the Duke of Holstein Oldenburg, and Tutor to the Princes of
Holstein Oldenburg.

[3] John, second Marquis of Lansdowne, married, 27th May 1805, Maria
Arabella, daughter of the Rev. Hinton Maddock of "Darland," Wales, and
relict of Sir Duke Gifford, Bart, of Castle Jordan in Ireland, who died in
1801. In her Will, dated December 31st, 1821, Lady Lansdowne mentions five
daughters by her first husband.

[4] _Almach's_, vol. iii., pages 201-2.

[5] Archibald John, Viscount Primrose, afterwards 4th Earl of Rosebery,
married, first, on May 20th, 1808, Henrietta, second daughter of the Hon.
Bartholomew Bouverie, and grandson of William, 1st Earl of Radnor. He
divorced her in 1815.

[6] Emily, daughter and heiress of Gerard de Visme, Esq. Lady Shelley, her
schoolfellow, describes her as "the most beautiful being I have ever
beheld. Her classic-shaped head and Spanish air--her mother was a
Portuguese--added to a slight and not too tall figure, attracted much
attention, and she was universally admired. Her accomplishments were as
remarkable as her beauty. She played the harp exquisitely, and excelled
also on the piano and in singing. She spoke French and Italian fluently
and with a perfect accent." _Diary of Frances, Lady Shelley_, pub. John
Murray, 1812, page 15. Miss De Visme married, June 28th, 1810, Henry (Sir)
Murray, K.C.B., a distinguished officer, born 1784, died 1860, fourth son
of David, 7th Viscount Stormont and 2nd Earl of Mansfield, by his second
wife Louisa, third daughter of Charles, 9th Lord Catheart, of the 14th

[7] Probably Miss Calcraft, who married, in 1812, Sir John Burke of Marble
Hill, Bt., sister to Miss Belle Calcraft. _See_ p. 356.

[8] The Argyle Rooms in Regent's Street were looked upon as a rival to the
still more fashionable Almack's. Balls and masquerades were given there,
presided over by Colonel Greville, a man of the _haut ton_, who ruled,
however, with a less arbitrary sway than the famous Patronesses of
Almack's. The facade of the building to-day remains much as it was a
century ago.

[9] Henry Bankes, Esq. of Kingston Hall, M.P. for Corfe Castle from 1780
to 1826, and for Co. Dorset from that time to 1831, married Frances,
daughter of William Woodey, Esq., Governor of the Leeward Islands, and,
besides four sons, had two daughters, Anne Frances, married Edward 4th
Viscount and 1st Earl of Falmouth, died 1864, and Maria Wynne, married the
Hon. Thomas Stapleton.

[10] John Stanhope adds some years later: "I have associated with many
persons engaged in that memorable retreat, and I gather from their remarks
that as far as Astorga, it was admirably conducted, and that to the
rapidity of their march, the army was entirely indebted for its safety.
But from that period, at which there appeared to be no further occasion
for so rapid a movement, _its celerity was increased_. The Troops were
passing through a mountainous district, which at every step offered them
an admirable position for attack, and they were pursued by an army which
they might have defeated at any time with as much ease as they
subsequently defeated it at Corunna. It appears also that they suffered
more from the rapidity of the march than they could have done in any
general engagement; but it is not easy to form a correct opinion on the
subject without knowing the situation of the army with respect to
provisions and money; and also without being able to judge whether there
was danger of their retreat being cut off.

"I have been informed that Moore ought on no account to have evacuated
Corunna, that he had ample facilities for defending it against all the
efforts of the French....

"Undoubtedly, as a diversion, Sir John Moore's advance into Spain fully
succeeded and probably saved the Peninsula; but as that was not a result
upon which he calculated, I doubt whether it can be adduced as a
justification for a measure undertaken against his own judgment;
subsequent events have shewn how much higher his reputation would have
stood had he persevered in his original intentions. What the Duke of
Wellington now is, Sir John Moore would almost inevitably have been."

[11] Henrietta Maria, eldest daughter and co-heir of Robert Vernon
Atherton, Esq., of Atherton Hall, Co. Lancaster, married, 1797, Thomas,
Baron Lilford, and had six sons and six daughters.

[12] Charles Bankes, Major in the Army, second son of Philip, 2nd Earl
Stanhope, born 1785, killed at the Battle of Corunna, January 16th, 1809.

[13] Lord James Murray, son of the 4th Duke of Athol, a Major-General in
the Army, who in 1821 became Lord Glenlyon. He then resided in Cumberland
Place. He died in 1837, and his son succeeded as 6th Duke of Athol in

[14] _Reminiscences of Michael Kelly_, vol. ii., pages 281-284.

[15] Julia, only child and heiress of Sir George Augustus William
Shuckburgh, Bart., and Julia Annabella, d. and sole heiress of James
Evelyn of Felbridge, Co. Surrey. Married 1810, the Hon. Charles Cope
Jenkinson and died in 1814.

[16] The Colonel was addicted to drink.

[17] Katherine, Duchess of Bolton (see _ante_, page 18), died March 21st,
1809, at 32 Grosvenor Square.

[18] Not only shoes were often home-made, but at a later date Mrs Stanhope
had a maid who could make her gloves. The latter articles of attire,
moveover, were more elaborate than those of to-day. The long gloves of the
days of the Empire had a piece inserted at the elbow which made them sit
without creasing to the shape of the arm, so that they had none of the
untidy appearance which modern long gloves are apt to present, and the
term "to fit like a glove" was then singularly appropriate.

[19] John Russell, Earl Russell, K.G., 1792-1878, the third son of the 6th
Duke of Bedford, studied at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1813 was
returned for Tavistock. He became a prominent politician. In 1830 he was
Paymaster of the Forces; he was one of the four Members of the Government
entrusted with the task of framing the first Reform Bill, and on him
devolved the honour of proposing it. In 1846 he became Prime Minister till
1852, and again in 1865 on the death of Lord Palmerston, but was defeated
in the following June on his new Reform Bill, and resigned.

[20] Sir William Henry Douglas, Bart, Vice-Admiral of the Blue, died
unmarried, May 1809. The title devolved upon his brother, Sir Howard who
had married, in July 1799, Anne, eldest daughter of James Dundas, Esq.

[21] The story which Lord Houghton used to tell on the subject was that
after his father had refused the place in the Ministry pressed upon him by
Mr Perceval, he sent to the friend with whom he had made the bet (whose
name had never transpired) a copy of Mr Perceval's letter, and a cheque
for £100. See _The Life, Letters and Friendships of Monckton Milnes, Lord
Houghton_, by T. Wemyss Reid (1890), vol. i., page 2.

[22] The Hon. Mr Eden, eldest son of Lord Auckland, a fine sensible youth
of five-and-twenty. He left his parents' house about 9.30 in the evening,
saying he would be home in half an hour. A month later his body was found
in the Thames, and was identified by his watch and seals.

[23] On February 11th, 1910, Sir Thomas Gascoigne Bt. of Parlington Hall,
Co. York, died of grief for the loss of his son who had been killed by a
fall from his horse a short time previously.

[24] Of Kirkleatham, Yorkshire.

[25] Sir Francis Burdett, M.P., for Westminster supported Gale Jones, a
Radical Orator in the seditious speech. He was accused of breach of
privilege and a warrant issued for his arrest. The Westminster mob rose on
his behalf, and he barricaded his house in Piccadilly in order to defy the
warrant, but was ultimately arrested and confined in the Tower. Riots
ensued, and the town was guarded by thousands of soldiers.

[26] Thomas Dundas, Esq., of Fingask Hall, Co. Stirling, M.P., married,
1784, Lady Elizabeth Eleanora Home, daughter of Alexander, 9th Earl of

[27] Their daughter Charlotte, called by Mrs Stanhope La Belle, was
extremely handsome, and at one time considered the belle of Edinburgh.

[28] Lord James Murray, second son of the 4th Duke of Athol, married, May
19th, 1810, Emily Frances, second daughter of Hugh, 2nd Duke of

[29] Anne Maria, daughter of Sir H. W. Dashwood, Bt., married, 1810, John,
2nd Marquis of Ely, K.P.P.C., died 1857.


[1] Charles (Sir) Stuart, G.C.B., born 1779, afterwards Ambassador at the
Court of France; grandson of John, 3rd Earl of Bute. He was created Baron
Stuart de Rothesay in Jan. 1828. He married, 1816, Elizabeth Margaret, 3rd
daughter of Philip, third Earl of Hardwick, and died in 1845.

[2] A portion of the Journals of John Spencer-Stanhope, relating to this
period, has been edited (see Memoirs of A. M. W. Pickering, 1903), but all
the following anecdotes collected from his letters and notes at that date
are here published for the first time.

[3] William Carr Beresford (1768-1854). After a brilliant military service
he was, in 1814, elevated to the Peerage as Lord Beresford and advanced to
the Viscounty in 1823. In 1832 he married his cousin, the widow of Thomas
Hope, Esq., of Deepdene, Surrey. See ante, page 49.

[4] James, Viscount Macduff, afterwards 4th Earl of Fife, K.T., G.C.B.,
Knight of the Order of St Ferdinand of Spain and of the Sword of Sweden,
obtained a Barony of the United Kingdom as Baron Fife in 1827. Born 1776,
married, 1799, Mary Caroline, second daughter of the late John Manners,
Esq., and Louisa, Countess of Dysart; she died Dec. 20th, 1805, without
issue. The Earl greatly distinguished himself during the Peninsular War,
having volunteered his services, and obtained the rank of major-general in
the Spanish patriotic army. He was wounded at the battle of Talavera, and
again at the storming of Fort Matagorda, near Cadiz, of which he was one
of the most celebrated defenders. He died in 1857, and was succeeded by
his nephew.

[5] Aloys von Reding (1765-1818), as Captain General of his own canton,
repulsed the French at Morgarten in 1808.

[6] José de Palafox y Melzi, Duke of Saragossa, born in 1780, made the
heroic defence of Saragossa, from July 1808 to February 1809; was carried
prisoner to France and not released till 1813. He was made Duke of
Saragossa in 1836 and grandee of Spain 1837 and died in 1847.

[7] Andrew Thomas, Lord Blayney, born, 30th Nov. 1770, died, April 1838.
In 1794 he became major of the 89th foot, having raised part of that
regiment. He served in Holland, Malta, Minorca, and the Cape, and after
the expedition to Buenos Ayres was sent to Cadiz in July 1810, as major-
general. He was, however, taken prisoner on making an attack with a small
mixed force on Malaga, and was not released until 1814.

[8] John, Viscount Kelburne and Lord Boyle, eldest son of George, 4th Earl
of Glasgow, by his first wife Augusta, daughter of James, 14th Earl of
Erroll, born 12th August 1779, served in R.N.; taken prisoner by the
French and sent to Verdun, where he was detained till July 1814; died at
Tunbridge Wells, 1818.

[9] Christopher, eldest son of the Ven. John Strachey, Archdeacon of
Suffolk, and Chaplain in Ordinary to George III., by his wife Anne, only
daughter of George Wombwell, Esqre., consul at Alicant and head of the
eldest branch of the family of Wombwell, of Yorkshire. Born 1778,
Christopher became rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy, and Knight of the
Russian order of St Vladimir. He married Mlle. Marguerite, only daughter
of Col. de la Roche of Verdun-sur-Meuse, France, Knight of St Louis, etc.,
and died in 1855, having had a family of nine children, six of whom
survived him.

[10] A lady who collects for some charitable purpose.

[11] _Extracts from the Journals of John Spencer Stanhope_, 1810-1813.
Published, 1903. Page 452.


[1] Walter Boyd, born in 1745; of the firm of Boyd, Benfield, & Co; an
intimate friend of Pitt and Melville. He is supposed to have been saved
from bankruptcy by a loan which Lord Melville advanced to him out of the
public funds, and on account of which the latter was afterwards impeached.
See _Annals of a Yorkshire House_, vol. ii., pages 287-291.

[2] With reference to this episode at the Institute Stanhope adds: "I find
that the learned Editor of the _Quarterly Review_ has been as much taken
in as were the savants of whom he speaks. One of his articles states that
the late President of the Cour of Cassation--the Magistrate, according to
M. Roger Collard, of whom regenerated France has most reason to be proud--
expressed himself as follows to three of the most distinguished men of
science of the day: 'I regard the discovery of a dish as a more
interesting event than the discovery of a star, for we have always stars
enough, but we never have too many dishes; and I shall not regard the
Sciences as sufficiently honoured or adequately represented among us,
until I see a cook in the first class of the Institute.'

"It is quite evident from this that the Editor supposes that M. de Baure
was quite serious in making that observation, and no less so that the
distinguished literary men, from some of whom he must have derived his
information, must have been equally convinced of the fact. I was present,
however, on the occasion, and can assert that nothing could be more
contrary to the real state of the case."

[3] _Olympia or Topography illustrative of the actual state of the Plain
of Olympia and of the Ruins of the City of Elis_, published by John Murray
in 1817. It was re-published in 1824 and 1835, and again, with the
addition of many engravings, in 1865, under the title of _Plataea,
Olympia, Elis_.

[4] Joachim Murat, an inn-keeper's son, born in 1771, at the Revolution
entered the army and soon rose to be Colonel. He served under Bonaparte in
Italy and Egypt, became General of Division, and in command of the Cavalry
at Marengo he covered himself with glory. Bonaparte gave him his sister,
Caroline, in marriage. In 1806 the grandduchy of Berg was bestowed upon
him; in 1808 he was proclaimed King of the Two Sicilies, as Joachim 1st,
and took possession of Naples. After Napoleon's final overthrow he
proceeded with a few followers to the coast of Calabria, and proclaimed
himself King; but being taken, he was tried by Court-martial, and shot on
October 15th, 1815. His widow subsequently assumed the title of Countess
of Lipona and lived near Trieste. He left two sons, the elder of whom
married a niece of Washington.

[5] Frederick Douglas, 1791-1819, M.P. for Banbury, a son of Lord

[6] John Stanhope subsequently wrote: "I know the existence of the
conspiracy is denied, but how account for the conduct of Napoleon after
his return save from the supposition that he was fettered by the
engagements he had made in his exile?... He threw himself entirely into
the arms of that party to which he had hitherto evinced the greatest
hostility, and which, upon principle, were opposed to his system of
Government. He appointed Fouché, whom he had offended and disgraced, and
Carnot, the most unbending republican in France, to be Ministers instead
of resuming the Empire just as he had left it. He did not establish
himself in the Palace of the Tuileries, by which he showed his weakness
without gaining a single partisan.... He should either at once have
entered upon the Imperial Government, prorogued the Chamber till the fate
of France was decided by arms, or he should have adopted the Constitution
which he found actually existing, pledging himself to make, subsequently,
such modifications as the country might desire; but, in fact, _till he
found himself at the head of his army he was not his own master, he was
bound by the chains he himself had forged_, and which he, no doubt, would
have immediately broken had he been successful at Waterloo.... The
legislative body were undoubtedly prepared to adopt any expedient for
limiting the Imperial or Royal Prerogatives, and it was a great oversight
on his part to leave them sitting. He should not have remained in Paris at
all, but to have put himself immediately at the head of the army and to
have given the Government of Paris to a General in whom he could
implicitly confide. His only chance was to have been able to say,
'L'Empire--c'est moi!'"


[1] Alderman Richard Carr-Glyn, an eminent banker of London, born 1755,
eldest son of Sir Richard Glyn, 1st Bart, of Ewell, by his wife Elizabeth,
daughter and co-heir of Robert Carr, Esq., served as Lord Mayor in 1798
and was created a baronet in 1800. He married Mary, daughter of John
Plumtre, Esq., M.P. for Nottingham. Died in 1838.

[2] Thomas Christopher, 1789-1827, 3rd son of the above, afterwards a
barrister-at-law. Married Grace Julia, daughter of Thomas Charles Bigge,

[3] William Fitzhugh, Esq., lived at Bannister Lodge, near Southampton,
and represented Tiverton in five Parliaments. His wife was celebrated for
her infatuation for Mrs Siddons, whom she entertained constantly at
Bannister Lodge, and whom she followed to London, for years attending on
the celebrated actress all day and spending the evening in her dressing-
room at the theatre. In 1803 Mrs Siddons wrote, "My dear Mrs Fitzhugh
grudges every moment that I am not by her side."

[4] Joseph Jekyll, 1754-1837. Celebrated wit, raconteur, and diner-out.
Jerder speaks of him as having a somewhat Voltaire-like countenance, a
flexible person and agreeable voice.

[5] He was second son of George Adams, afterwards Anson, who inherited the
fortune of his uncle, Admiral Lord Anson; and he was brother to Thomas,
afterwards Viscount Anson of Shugborough, who married Anne Margaret,
second daughter of Thomas William Coke, Esq., afterwards 1st Earl of

[6] Douglas, fifth son of 7th Baron Kinnaird, a banker in Westminster;
born, 1788; died, unmarried, 1830.

[7] A Tilbury, so-called after the maker, was a very tall gig on two large
wheels, for driving in which ladies usually wore what was termed a

[8] John Charles, eldest son of 2nd Earl Spencer, (1782-1845). A
distinguished member of the House of Commons, and Chancellor of the
Exchequer from 1830 to 1834. Succeeded his father as 3rd Earl Spencer in

[9] Lady Caroline Lamb, 1785-1828, known by the nickname of the Bat,
daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough, by his wife, Lady Henrietta
Spencer, sister of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. She married, June
3rd, 1805, William Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne. Her infatuation for
Byron caused much scandal during 1812-13.

[10] Prince Theodore Demetrius de Bauffremont-Courtenay, born 22nd Dec.
1793, married, in 1819, Mlle. de Montmorency.

[11] _Almack's_, a novel, vol. iii., pp. 227-9.

[12] This rumour must have been false, as Madame Catalani did not retire
from the stage till 1827, when she settled near Florence. She had
accumulated a large fortune by her successful career, and had continued to
charge a price for her services which at that date was unprecedented. It
is said that on one occasion, when she had been invited to Stowe as a
guest, she was asked to sing, and in consequence charged the Duke £1700
for the pleasure she had afforded his guests. But doubt has been cast on
this story. Her Susannah, in _Le Nozze di Figaro_, was one of her most
famous impersonations. She died of Cholera in 1849.

[13] Sir Philip Hales, Bart. of Brymore, Somerset, died 12th February
1824, having married in 1795 Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Smith of
Keyworth, Notts. She died 1834.

[14] Sophia, third daughter of Colonel and Mrs Beaumont.

[15] Charles Peter Shakerley, Esq., of Somerford Park, born 27th December,
1792, created a baronet, 1838. Married first in 1819 Rosalba D'Avaray,
daughter of the Due D'Avaray, and secondly, in 1831, Jessy, daughter of
James Scott, Esq. He was the son of Charles Watkin John Buckworth, Esq.,
of Somerford Park, Cheshire, who had assumed by Act of Parliament in 1790
the Surname and Arms of Shakerley only, and was High Sheriff of the Co. of
Chester in the following year.

[16] William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester, 1776-1834, served as
Colonel of First Foot Guards in Flanders in 1794. Married, in 1816, his
cousin Mary, 4th daughter of George III.

[17] See _ante_.

[18] An Irish lady whose maiden name was Owenson. She married Sir Charles
Morgan, and wrote various novels, being often called by the name of one of
them--_The Wild Irish Girl_. Two of her works, _France_ and _Italy_, made
some stir at the time of their publication. Their sale was forbidden in
Sardinia, Rome and Austria, and their author prohibited from visiting the
latter kingdom.

[19] Edward, third son of Walter Spencer-Stanhope and Mary Winifred, his
wife, who, in 1820, married Arabella, daughter of General Calcraft. See
_ante_, _Dramatis Personae_. page ix.

[20] General Sir Robert Thomas Wilson, 1777-1849. He fought at Lützen and
Brantzen in 1813; he was M.P. for Southwark in 1818-1830. He was dismissed
from the Army for his conduct at Queen Caroline's funeral, but reinstated
in 1830. He published military and autobiographical works.

[21] The wife of a Russian Ambassador. She was an admirable musician.

[22] Probably Francis, eldest son of Lord William Russell; born 1793,
died, unmarried, 1832.

[23] Georgina Frederica, daughter of the Hon. Henry Fitzroy; married, July
25th, 1814, Henry, Marquis of Worcester, died May 11th, 1821, and left two
daughters. She died at the house of her uncle, the Duke of Wellington. She
was very pretty, and one of the leaders of fashion.

[24] He married again in June, 1822, Emily Frances, daughter of Charles
Culling Smith, Esq., and his wife, _née_ Lady Anne Wellesley.

[25] See _ante_, p. 157.

[26] Frederick Dodsworth, D.D., Senior Canon of Windsor, who died in his
eighty-third year, 31st March 1821.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope — Volume 1" ***

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