BEFORE AND AFTER WATERLOO
BEFORE AND AFTER WATERLOO
SOMETIME BISHOP OF NORWICH
(1802; 1814; 1816)
EDITED BY JANE H. ADEANE AND MAUD GRENFELL
T. FISHER UNWIN
ADELPHI TERRACE MCMVII
(All rights reserved.)
ECHOES OF PAST DAYS
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF EDWARD STANLEY 9
CHAPTER I NEW FRANCE AND OLD EUROPE 25
CHAPTER II AFTER NAPOLEON'S FALL 73
CHAPTER III UNDER THE BOURBON FLAG 97
CHAPTER IV ON THE TRACK OF NAPOLEON'S ARMY 144
CHAPTER V THE LOW COUNTRIES 199
CHAPTER VI THE WATERLOO YEAR 235
CHAPTER VII AFTER WATERLOO 247
The originals of most of the letters now published are, with the drawings that illustrate them, at Llanfawr, Holyhead.
Some extracts from these letters have already appeared in the "Early Married Life of Maria Josepha, Lady Stanley," but are here inserted again by kind permission of Messrs. Longman, and complete Bishop Stanley's correspondence.
Portions of letters quoted in Dean Stanley's volume, "Edward and Catherine Stanley," have also been used with Messrs. Murray's consent.
In addition to the MSS. at Llanfawr, Lord Stanley of Alderley has kindly contributed some original letters in his possession.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"LE COURIER DU RHIN" Frontispiece
Sketch brought to England 1814 by General Scott of Thorpe, one of the detenus in France for ten years after the rupture of the Peache of Amiens, mentioned page 73.
BISHOP STANLEY To face page 2
By John Linnell. From a drawing in the possession of Canon J. Hugh Way, Henbury.
MARGARET OWEN, LADY STANLEY " 10
From a miniature in the possession of Lady Reade-Carreglwyd, Anglesey.
"FLIGHT OF INTELLECT" " 17
Humorous sketch by E. Stanley.
EDWARD STANLEY, 1800 " 25
By P. Green. The original in the possession of Lord Stanley of Alderley, at Penrhos, Anglesey.
THE PRISON OF THE TEMPLE " 31
Sketch by E. Stanley, 1802.
THE GUILLOTINE AT CHALON-SUR-SAONE " 43
Sketch by E. Stanley,
LORD SHEFFIELD " 73
By Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. From an engraving in the possession of J.H. Adeane, Lanfavar, Holyhead.
KITTY LEYCESTER, MRS. EDWARD STANLEY " 82
From a drawing by H. Edridge, A.R.A., at Alderley Park, Cheshire.
PARIS, 1814. OLD BRIDGE AND CHATELET " 108
PARIS, LA POMPE, NOTRE DAME " 115
PARISIAN AMUSEMENTS " 141
THE CATACOMBS, PARIS " 143
LAON. HOUSES AND TOWER, 1814 " 161
BERRY AU BAC " 164
VERDUN. BRIDGE " 168
FRENCH DILIGENCE " 193
DUTCH SHIPS " 199
DUTCH DILIGENCE ON BOARD A BOAT " 219
GOAT CARRIAGE FOR THE LITTLE KING OF ROME " 223
DUTCH TABLE D'HOTE " 226
OLD HOUSES, SAARDAM " 228
PETER THE GREAT'S HOUSE, SAARDAM " 230
DUTCH FISHERMEN " 233
DUTCH CARRIAGE " 234
CORN MILLS AT VERNON " 247
FRENCH CABRIOLET " 260
HOUGOUMONT " 263
INTERIOR OF HOUGOUMONT " 265
LA BELLE ALLIANCE " 267
WATERLOO " 270
GHENT. ST. NICHOLAS " 274
PORTE DE HALLE, BRUSSELS, LEADING TO WATERLOO " 276
PARISIAN RAT-CATCHER AND ITINERANT VENDORS " 300
THE GREAT GREEN COACH " 306
ALDERLEY RECTORY page 308
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF EDWARD STANLEY
The letters which are collected in this volume were written from abroad during the opening years of the nineteenth century, at three different periods: after the Peace of Amiens in 1802 and 1803, after the Peace of Paris in 1814, and in the year following Waterloo, June, 1816.
The writer, Edward Stanley, was for thirty-three years an active country clergyman, and for twelve years more a no less active bishop, at a time when such activity was uncommon, though not so rare as is sometimes now supposed.
Although a member of one of the oldest Cheshire families, he did not share the opinions of his county neighbours on public questions, and his voice was fearlessly raised on behalf of causes which are now triumphant, and against abuses which are now forgotten, but which acutely needed champions and reformers a hundred years ago.
His foreign journeys, and more especially the first of them, had a large share in determining the opinions which he afterwards maintained against great opposition from many of his own class and profession. The sight of France still smarting under the effects of the Reign of Terror, and of other countries still sunk in Mediaevalism, helped to make him a Liberal with "a passion for reform and improvement, but without a passion for destruction."
He was born in 1779, the second son and youngest child of Sir John Stanley, the Squire of Alderley in Cheshire, and of his wife Margaret Owen (the Welsh heiress of Penrhos in Holyhead Island), who was one of the "seven lovely Peggies," well known in Anglesey society in the middle of the eighteenth century.
The pictures of Edward Stanley and his mother, which still hang on the walls of her Anglesey home, show that he inherited the brilliant Welsh colouring, marked eyebrows and flashing dark eyes that gave force as well as beauty to her face. From her, too, came the romantic Celtic imagination and fiery energy which enabled him to find interests everywhere, and to make his mark in a career which was not the one he would have chosen.
"In early years" (so his son the Dean of Westminster records) "he had acquired a passion for the sea, which he cherished down to the time of his entrance at college, and which never left him through life. It first originated, as he believed, in the delight which he experienced, when between three and four years of age, on a visit to the seaport of Weymouth; and long afterwards he retained a vivid recollection of the point where he caught the first sight of a ship, and shed tears because he was not allowed to go on board. So strongly was he possessed by the feeling thus acquired, that as a child he used to leave his bed and sleep on the shelf of a wardrobe, for the pleasure of imagining himself in a berth on board a man-of-war.... The passion was overruled by circumstances beyond his control, but it gave a colour to his whole after-life. He never ceased to retain a keen interest in everything relating to the navy.... He seemed instinctively to know the history, character, and state of every ship and every officer in the service. Old naval captains were often astonished at finding in him a more accurate knowledge than their own of when, where, how, and under whom, such and such vessels had been employed. The stories of begging impostors professing to be shipwrecked seamen were detected at once by his cross-examinations. The sight of a ship, the society of sailors, the embarkation on a voyage, were always sufficient to inspirit and delight him wherever he might be."
His life, when at his mother's home on the Welsh coast, only increased this liking, and till he went to Cambridge in 1798 his education had not been calculated to prepare him for a clerical life. He never received any instruction in classics; of Greek and Latin and mathematics he knew nothing, and owing to his schools and tutors being constantly changed, his general knowledge was of a desultory sort.
His force of character, great perseverance and ambition to excel are shown in the strenuous manner in which he overcame all these obstacles, and at the close of his college career at St. John's, Cambridge, became a wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos of 1802.
After a year passed in foreign travel Edward Stanley returned home at his brother's request, and took command of the Alderley Volunteers—a corps of defence raised by him on the family estate in expectation of a French invasion.
In 1803 he was ordained and became curate of Windlesham, in Surrey. There he remained until he was presented by his father in 1805 to the living of Alderley, where he threw himself enthusiastically into his work.
Alderley parish had long been neglected, and there was plenty of scope for the young Rector.
Before he came, the clerk used to go to the churchyard stile to see whether there were any more coming to church, for there were seldom enough to make a congregation, but before Edward Stanley left, his parish was one of the best organised of the day. He set on foot schemes of education throughout the county as well as at Alderley, and was foremost in all reforms.
The Chancellor of the diocese wrote of him: "He inherited from his family strong Whig principles, which he always retained, and he never shrank from advocating those maxims of toleration which at that time formed the chief watchwords of the Whig party."
He was the first who distinctly saw and boldly advocated the advantages of general education for the people, and set the example of the extent to which general knowledge might be communicated in a parochial school.
"To analyse the actual effects of his ministrations on the people would be difficult, ... but the general result was what might have been expected. Dissent was all but extinguished. The church was filled, the communicants many."
He helped to found a Clerical Society, which promoted friendly intercourse with clergy holding various views, and was never afraid of avowing his opinions on subjects he thought vital, lest he should in consequence become unpopular.
He grudged no trouble about anything he undertook, and the people rejoiced when they heard "the short, quick tramp of his horse's feet as he went galloping up their lanes." The sick were visited and cheered, and the children kindly cared for in and out of school.
It was said of him that "whenever there was a drunken fight in the village and he knew of it, he would always come out to stop it—there was such a spirit in him."
Tidings were once brought to him of a riotous crowd, which had assembled to witness a desperate prize fight, adjourned to the outskirts of his parish, and which the respectable inhabitants were unable to disperse. "The whole field" (so one of the humbler neighbours represented it) "was filled and all the trees round about, when in about a quarter of an hour I saw the Rector coming up the road on his little black horse as quick as lightning, and I trembled for fear they should harm him. He rode into the field and just looked round as if he thought the same, to see who there was that would be on his side. But it was not needed; he rode into the midst of the crowd and in one moment it was all over. There was a great calm; the blows stopped; it was as if they would all have wished to cover themselves up in the earth. All from the trees they dropped down directly. No one said a word and all went away humbled."
The next day the Rector sent for the two men, not to scold them, but to speak to them, and sent them each away with a Bible. The effect on the neighbourhood was very great, and put a stop to the practice which had been for some time prevalent in the adjacent districts.
His influence was increased by his early knowledge of the people, and by the long connection of his family with the place.
Two years after Edward had accepted the incumbency, his father died in London, but he had long before given up living in Cheshire, and Alderley Park had been occupied at his desire by his eldest son, afterwards Sir John, who had made his home there since his marriage in 1796.
Both the Stanley brothers married remarkable women. Lady Maria Josepha Holroyd, Sir John's wife, was the elder daughter of the first Lord Sheffield, the friend and biographer of Gibbon, and her strong personality impressed every one who met her.
Catherine, wife of the Rector, was the daughter of the Rev. Oswald Leycester, of Stoke Rectory, in Shropshire. Her father was one of the Leycesters of Toft House, only a few miles from Alderley, and at Toft most of Catherine's early years were spent. She was engaged to Edward Stanley before she was seventeen, but did not marry him till nearly two years later, in 1810.
During the interval she spent some time in London with Sir John and Lady Maria Stanley, and in the literary society of the opening years of the nineteenth century she was much sought after for her charm and appreciativeness, and for what Sydney Smith called her "porcelain understanding." The wits and lions of the Miss Berrys' parties vied with each other in making much of her; Rogers and Scott delighted in her conversation—in short, every one agreed, as her sister-in-law Maria wrote, that "in Kitty Leycester Edward will indeed have a treasure."
After her marriage she kept up with her friends by active correspondence and by annual visits to London. Still, "to the outside world she was comparatively unknown; but there was a quiet wisdom, a rare unselfishness, a calm discrimination, a firm decision which made her judgment and her influence felt through the whole circle in which she lived." Her power and charm, coupled with her husband's, made Alderley Rectory an inspiring home to their children, several of whom inherited talent to a remarkable degree.
Her sister Maria writes from Hodnet, the home of the poet Heber: "I want to know all you have been doing since the day that bore me away from happy Alderley. Oh! the charm of a rectory inhabited by a Reginald Heber or an Edward Stanley!"
That Rectory and its surroundings have been perfectly described in the words of the author of "Memorials of a Quiet Life": "A low house, with a verandah forming a wide balcony for the upper storey, where bird-cages hung among the roses; its rooms and passages filled with pictures, books, and old carved oak furniture. In a country where the flat pasture lands of Cheshire rise suddenly to the rocky ridge of Alderley Edge, with the Holy Well under an overhanging cliff; its gnarled pine-trees, its storm-beaten beacon tower ready to give notice of an invasion, and looking far over the green plain to the smoke which indicates in the horizon the presence of the great manufacturing towns."
There was constant intercourse between the Park and the Rectory, and the two families with a large circle of friends led most interesting and busy lives. The Rector took delight in helping his seven nieces with their Italian and Spanish studies, in fostering their love of poetry and natural history, and in developing the minds of his own young children. He wrote plays for them to act and birthday odes for them to recite.
Legends of the countryside, domestic tragedies and comedies were turned into verse, whether it were the Cheshire legend of the Iron Gates or the fall of Sir John Stanley and his spectacles into the Alderley mere, the discovery of a butterfly or the loss of "a superfine piece of Bala flannel."
His caricatures illustrated his droll ideas, as in his sketches of the six "Ologies from Entomology to Apology." His witty and graceful "Bustle's Banquet" or the "Dinner of the Dogs" made a trio with the popular poems then recently published of the "Butterfly's Ball" and "The Peacock at Home."
"And since Insects give Balls and Birds are so gay, 'Tis high time to prove that we Dogs have our day."
He wrote a "Familiar History of Birds," illustrated by many personal observations, for throughout his life he never lost a chance of watching wild bird life. In his early days he had had special opportunities of doing so among the rocks and caverns of Holyhead Island. He tells of the myriads of sea-birds who used to haunt the South Stack Rock there, in the days when it was almost inaccessible; and of their dispersal by the building of the first lighthouse there in 1808, when for a time they deserted it and never returned in such numbers.
His own family at Alderley Rectory consisted of three sons and two daughters.
The eldest son, Owen, had his father's passion for the sea, and was allowed to follow his bent. His scientific tastes led him to adopt the surveying branch of his profession, and in 1836, when appointed to the Terror on her expedition to the North Seas, he had charge of the astronomical and magnetic operations.
When in command of the Britomart, in 1840, he secured the North Island of New Zealand to the English by landing and hoisting the British flag, having heard that a party of French emigrants intended to land that day. They did so, but under the protection of the Union Jack.
In 1846 Owen Stanley commanded the Rattlesnake in an important and responsible expedition to survey the unknown coast of New Guinea; this lasted four years and was very successful, but the great strain and the shock of his brother Charles' death at Hobart Town, at this time, were too much for him. He died suddenly on board his ship at Sydney in 1850, "after thirty-three years' arduous service in every clime."
Professor Huxley, in whose arms he breathed his last, was surgeon to this expedition, and his first published composition was an article describing it. He speaks of Owen Stanley thus: "Of all those who were actively engaged upon the survey, the young commander alone was destined to be robbed of his just rewards; he has raised an enduring monument in his works, and his epitaph shall be the grateful thanks of many a mariner threading his way among the mazes of the Coral Seas."
The second and most distinguished of the three sons was Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, of whom it was said "that in the wideness of his sympathies, the broadness of his toleration, and the generosity of his temperament the brilliant Dean of Westminster was a true son of his father, the Bishop of Norwich."
The third son, Charles Edward, a young officer in the Royal Engineers, who had done good work in the Ordnance Survey of Wales, and was already high in his profession, was suddenly cut off by fever at his official post in Tasmania in 1849.
The eldest daughter, Mary, had great powers of organisation, was a keen philanthropist and her father's right hand at Norwich. In 1854 she took charge of a detachment of nurses who followed Miss Nightingale's pioneer band to the East, and worked devotedly for the Crimean sick and wounded at the hospital at Koulalee.
Katherine, the youngest daughter, a most original character, married Dr. Vaughan, headmaster of Harrow, Master of the Temple, and Dean of Llandaff. She survived her whole family and lived till 1899.
The home at Alderley lasted for thirty-three years, during which Edward Stanley had changed the whole face of the parish and successfully organised many schemes of improvement in the conditions of the working classes in his neighbourhood. He could now leave his work to other hands, and felt that his energies required a wider field, so that when in 1838 Lord Melbourne offered him the See of Norwich he was induced to accept the offer, though only "after much hesitation and after a severe struggle, which for a time almost broke down his usual health and sanguine spirit."
"It would be vain and useless," he said, "to speak to others of what it cost me to leave Alderley"; but to his new sphere he carried the same zeal and indomitable energy which had ever characterised him, and gained the affection of many who had shuddered at the appointment of a "Liberal Bishop."
At Norwich his work was very arduous and often discouraging. He came in the dawn of the Victorian age to attack a wall of customs and abuses which had arisen far back in the early Georgian era, with no hereditary connection or influence in the diocese to counteract the odium that he incurred as a new-comer by the institution of changes which he deemed necessary.
It was no wonder that for three or four years he had to stem a steady torrent of prejudice and more or less opposition; but though his broadminded views were often the subject of criticism, his bitterest opponents could not withstand the genial, kindly spirit in which he met their objections.
"At the time of his entrance upon his office party feeling was much more intense than it has been in later years, and of this the county of Norfolk presented, perhaps, as strong examples as could be found in any part of the kingdom."
The bishop was "a Whig in politics and a staunch supporter of a Whig ministry," but in all the various questions where politics and theology cross one another he took the free and comprehensive instead of the precise and exclusive views, and to impress them on others was one chief interest of his new position.
The indifference to party which he displayed, both in social matters and in his dealings with his clergy, tended to alienate extreme partisans of whatever section, and at one time caused him even to be unpopular with the lower classes of Norwich in spite of his sympathies.
The courage with which the Rector had quelled the prize fight at Alderley shone out again in the Bishop. "I remember," says an eye-witness, "seeing Bishop Stanley, on a memorable occasion, come out of the Great Hall of St. Andrew's, Norwich. The Chartist mob, who lined the street, saluted the active, spare little Bishop with hooting and groans. He came out alone and unattended till he was followed by me and my brother, determined, as the saying is, 'to see him safe home,' for the mob was highly excited and brutal. Bishop Stanley marched along ten yards, then turned sharp round and fixed his eagle eyes on the mob, and then marched ten yards more and turned round again rapidly and gave the same hawk-like look."
His words and actions must often have been startling to his contemporaries; when temperance was a new cause he publicly spoke in support of the Roman Catholic Father Mathew, who had promoted it in Ireland; when the idea of any education for the masses was not universally accepted he advocated admitting the children of Dissenters to the National Schools; and when the stage had not the position it now holds, he dared to offer hospitality to one of the most distinguished of its representatives, Jenny Lind, to mark his respect for her life and influence.
For all this he was bitterly censured, but his kindly spirit and friendly intercourse with his clergy smoothed the way through apparently insurmountable difficulties, and his powerful aid was ever at hand in any benevolent movement to advise and organise means of help.
In his home at Norwich the Bishop and Mrs. Stanley delighted to welcome guests of every shade of opinion, and one of them, a member of a well-known Quaker family, has recorded her impression of her host's conversation. "The Bishop talks, darting from one subject to another, like one impatient of delay, amusing and pleasant," and he is described on coming to Norwich as having "a step as quick, a voice as firm, a power of enduring fatigue almost as unbroken as when he traversed his parish in earlier days or climbed the precipices of the Alps."
In his public life the liveliness of his own interest in scientific pursuits, the ardour with which he would hail any new discovery, the vividness of his own observation of Nature would illustrate with an unexpected brilliancy the worn-out topics of a formal speech. Few who were present at the meeting when the Borneo Mission was first proposed to the London public in 1847 can forget the strain of naval ardour with which the Bishop offered his heartfelt tribute of moral respect and admiration to the heroic exertions of Sir James Brooke.
It was his highest pleasure to bear witness to the merits or to contribute to the welfare of British seamen. He seized every opportunity of addressing them on their moral and religious duties, and many were the rough sailors whose eyes were dimmed with tears among the congregations of the crews of the Queen and the Rattlesnake, when he preached on board those vessels at Plymouth, whither he had accompanied his eldest son, Captain Owen Stanley, to witness his embarkation on his last voyage.
"The sermon," so the Admiral told Dean Stanley twenty years afterwards, "was never forgotten. The men were so crowded that they almost sat on one another's shoulders, with such attention and admiration that they could scarcely restrain a cheer."
For twelve years his presence was felt as a power for good through the length and breadth of his diocese; and after his death, in September, 1849, his memory was long loved and revered.
"I felt as if a sunbeam had passed through my parish," wrote a clergyman from a remote corner of his diocese, after a visit from him, "and had left me to rejoice in its genial and cheerful warmth. From that day I would have died to serve him; and I believe that not a few of my humble flock were animated by the same kind of feeling."
His yearly visits to his former parish of Alderley were looked forward to by those he had known and loved during his long parochial ministrations as the greatest pleasure of their lives.
"I have been," he writes (in the last year of his life), "in various directions over the parish, visiting many welcome faces, laughing with the living, weeping over the dying. It is gratifying to see the cordial familiarity with which they receive me, and Norwich clergy would scarcely know me by cottage fires, talking over old times with their hands clasped in mine as an old and dear friend."
Under the light which streams through the stained glass of his own cathedral the remains of Bishop Stanley rest in the thoroughfare of the great congregation.
"When we were children," said a grey-haired Norfolk rector this very year, "our mother never allowed us to walk upon the stone covering Bishop Stanley's grave. I have never forgotten it, and would not walk upon it even now."
"We pass; the path that each man trod Is dim, or will be dim, with weeds: What fame is left for human deeds In endless age? It rests with God."
NEW FRANCE AND OLD EUROPE
Rouen and its theatres—Painted windows—Paris—Costumes a la Francaise—The guillotine—Geneva—Vetturino travelling—Italy—Spain—The Ship John of Leith—Gibraltar.
In June, 1802, Edward Stanley started on the first of those foreign journeys which, throughout his life, continued to be his favourite form of holiday.
He had just left Cambridge, having obtained a brilliant degree, and before taking Orders he set out with his college friend, Edward Hussey, on the Grand Tour which was then considered necessary to complete a liberal education.
They were fortunate in the moment of their journey, for the Treaty of Amiens, which had been concluded only a few months before, had enabled Englishmen to tour safely in France for the first time for many years; and every scene in France was full of thrilling interest. The marks of the Reign of Terror were still plainly to be seen, and the new order of things which the First Consul had inaugurated was only just beginning.
It was an epoch-making journey to a young man fresh from college, and Edward Stanley was deeply impressed by what he saw.
He could compare his own experiences with those of his brother and father, who had been in France before the Revolution, and of his sister-in-law, Maria Josepha, who had travelled there just before the Reign of Terror; and in view of the destruction which had taken place since then, he was evidently convinced that Napoleon's iron hand was the greatest boon to the country.
He and his companion had the good fortune to leave France before the short interval of peace ended abruptly, and they were therefore saved from the fate of hundreds of their friends and fellow-travellers who had thronged across the Channel in 1802, and who were detained by Napoleon for years against their will.
Edward Stanley and Edward Hussey left France at the end of June, and went on to Switzerland, Italy, and finally to Spain, where the difficulties and dangers which they met, reveal the extraordinary dearth of personal comfort and civilised habits among that nation at the time.
The dangers and discomforts did not, however, interfere with the interest and pleasure of the writer who describes them. Then and ever after, travelling was Edward Stanley's delight, and he took any adventure in the spirit of the French song—
"Je suis touriste Quel gai metier."
His letters to his father and brother show that he lost no opportunity of getting information and of recording what he saw; and he began on this journey the first of a long series of sketchbooks, by which he illustrated his later journeys so profusely.
Edward Stanley to his Father, Sir John T. Stanley, Bart.
ROUEN, June 11, 1802.
MY DEAR FATHER,—You have already heard that I arrived here, & have been fortunate in every thing since I left England. Our passage from Brighton to Dieppe was short and pleasant, and so was our stay at Dieppe, which we left the morning after we arrived in it. I never saw France before the Revolution, & therefore cannot judge of the Contrasted appearance of its towns, but this I can safely say, that I never before saw such strong marks of Poverty both in the houses & Inhabitants. I have as yet seen nothing like a Gentleman; probably many may affect the dress and manners of the lower Orders, in order to screen themselves & may consider that an outward show of Poverty is the only way of securing what Riches they have. I can conceive nothing so melancholy.
When I saw fine seats without Windows or with shattered Roofs, & everywhere falling to decay, I could not help thinking of their unfortunate Owners, who, even if they were lucky enough to be reinstated in their possessions, might fear to repair their Places, lest an Appearance of comfort might tempt the Government to seize their Effects. The only Buildings at all tolerable are the Barracks, which in general are large and well taken care of, & plenty of them there are in every town and village. Every Person is here a Soldier, ready to turn out at a moment's warning. This Town is in a flourishing State at present, tho' during the war not a single ship made its appearance in its Ports; now there are a great number of Vessels, chiefly Dutch. The Trade is Cotton, for the Manufactory of Stuffs and Handkerchiefs. It is said to be one of the dearest towns in France; certainly I have not found things very cheap. We were at the Play last night. An Opera called "La Dot," and an after piece called "Blaise & Bullet" were performed. The Actors were capital, at Drury Lane they could not have acted better. The House is very large for a Country Theatre and very pretty, but so shockingly filthy and offensive, that I wondered any Person could go often, but habit, I suppose, reconciles everything. There were a great many officers in the Boxes, a haughty set of beings, who treat their Compatriotes in a very scurvy way. They are the Kings of the place and do what they please. Indeed, we had a fine Specimen of Liberty during the Performances. An Actress had been sent to Rouen from Paris, a wretched Performer she was, but from Paris she came, and the Managers were obliged to accept her & make her act. The Consequence was, she soon got hissed, and a Note was thrown on the Stage; whatever it was they were not permitted to read or make it public till they had shewn it to the Officer of Police, who in the present Case would not let them read it. The hissing was, however, continued from Corners of the House, & one man who sate near us talked in a high style about the People being imposed on, when in the middle of his Speech I saw this Man of Liberty jump out of the Box and disappear in an Instant. I opened the Box door to see what was the cause, when lo! the Lobby was filled with Soldiers, with their Bayonets fix'd, and the officer was looking about for any Person who might dare to whistle or hiss, and silent and contented were the Audience the rest of the Performance. I cannot help mentioning a Speech I heard this very evening at the Play. A Man was sitting near a Lady & very angry he was, & attempted often to hiss, but was for some time kept quiet by the Lady. At last he lost all Patience and exclaimed, "Ma Foi, Madame, Je ferai ici comme si jetais en Angleterre ou on fait tout ce qu'on plait." And away he went to hiss; with what effect his determination a l'Angloise was attended, I have mentioned. I afterwards entered into conversation with the Lady, & when she told me about the Police Officer not giving permission to read the note, she added, looking at us, "to you, Gentlemen, this must be a second Comedy." Last night (Sunday) I went to a Fete about a mile from the Town; we paid 1s. 3d. each. It concluded with a grand Firework. It was a sort of Vauxhall. In one part of the Gardens they were dancing Cotillons, in another swinging. In another part bands of Music. I was never so much entertained as with the Dancers; most of them were Children. One little set in a Cotillon danced in a Style I could not have fancied possible; you will think I am telling a Traveller's Story when I tell you I thought they performed nearly as well as I could have seen at the Opera. Here, as at the Theatre, Soldiers kept every body in awe; a strong party of Dragoons were posted round the Gardens with their horses saddled close at hand ready to act. I din'd yesterday at a Table d'Hote, with five French Officers. In my life I never saw such ill bred Blackguards, dirty in their way of eating, overbearing in their Conversation, tho' they never condescended to address themselves to us, and more proud and aristocratical than any of the ci-devant Noblesse could ever have been. From this Moment I believe all the Accounts I have heard from our officers of the French officers who were prisoners during the War. They were always insolent, and excepting in some few cases, ungratefull in the extreme for any kindness shewn to them.
PARIS, June 17th.
The Day before yesterday I arrived in this Metropolis. We left Rouen in a Diligence & had a pleasant Journey; the Country we passed over was throughout extremely fertile; whatever Scarcity exists at present in France, it must be of short duration, as the Harvest promises to be abundant, and as every Field is corn land, the quantity of Grain will be immense. Government has indeed now taken every precaution. The Ports of Rouen & Dieppe were filled with Ships from Embden & Dantzig with Corn. Our Diligence was accompanied all the Night by a Guard of Dragoons, and we passed every now and then parties of Foot Soldiers on the Watch. The reason was, that the road had lately been infested with Robbers, who attacked the Public Carriages in great numbers, sometimes to the Amount of 40 together. They in general behaved well to the Passengers, requiring only any Money belonging to Government which might happen to be in the Carriage. At present as the Leader is taken and the Band dispersed, there is no Danger, but it is a good excuse to keep a Number of Troops in that part of the Country. We entered Paris by St. Denis, but the fine Church and Royal Palace are not now as they were in your time. The Former is in part unroofed and considerably damaged—the latter is a Barrack and from its outward appearance seems to have suffered much in the Revolution. The City of Paris on entering it by no means strikes a stranger. In your time it must have been but tolerable, now it is worse, as every other house seems to be falling down or to be deserted. We have taken our abode in the Rue de Vivienne at the Hotel de Boston, a central Situation and the house tolerably dear. The poor Hussey suffered so much from a Nest of Buggs the first night, that he after enduring them to forage on his body for an Hour, left his Bed & passed the night on a sofa. A propos, I must beg to inform Mr. Hugh Leycester that I paid Attention to the Conveyances on the road & think that he will have no reason to complain of them; the vehicles are not quite so good as in England nor are the Horses, but both are still very tolerable. The Inns I slept at were very good, and the roads by no means bad. I have been to a Play every Night since my arrival in Paris and shall continue so to do till I have seen all the theatres. The first evening I went to the "Theatre de la Republique"; I am told it is the best. At least the first Actors performed there. It is not to be compared with any of ours in style of fitting up. The want of light which first strikes a Stranger's eye on entering a foreign Play-house has its Advantage. It shews off the Performers and induces the Audience to pay more Attention to ye Stage, but the brilliant Effect we are used to find on entering our Theatres is wanting. This House is not fitted up with any taste. I thought the theatre at Rouen preferable. The famous Talma, the Kemble, acted in a Tragedy, & Mme. Petit, the Mrs. Siddons of Paris, performed. The former, I think, must have seen Kemble, as he resembles him both in person and style of acting, but I did not admire him so much. In his silent Acting, however, he was very great. Mme. Petit acted better than any tragic Actress I have ever seen, excepting Mrs. Siddons. After the Play last Night I went to the Frascati, a sort of Vauxhall where you pay nothing on entering, but are expected to take some refreshments. This, Mr. Palmer told me, was the Lounge of the Beau Monde, who were all to be found here after the Opera & Plays. We have nothing of the sort in England, therefore I shall not attempt to describe it. We staid here about an hour. The Company was numerous, & I suppose the best, at least it was better than any I had seen at the Theatres or in the Walks, but it appeared to me to be very bad. The Men I shall say nothing more of, they are all the same. They come to all Places in dirty Neckcloths or Pocket Handkerchiefs tied round their necks & most of them have filthy great Coats & Boots, in short, Dress amongst the Bucks (& I am told that within this Month or two they are very much improved) seems to be quite out of the Question. As for the Ladies, O mon Dieu! Madame Recamier's Dress at Boodles was by no means extraordinary. My sister can describe that and then you may form some idea of them. By what I can judge from outward appearance, the Morals of Paris must be at a very low ebb. I may perhaps see more of them, when I go to the Opera & Parties. I have a thousand things more to say, but have no room. This Letter has been written at such out of the way times & by little bits at a time, that I know not how you will connect it, but I have not a moment to spare in the regular Course of the Day. It is now between 6 & 7 o'Clock in the Morning, and as I cannot find my Cloaths am sitting in a Dress a la Mode d'une Dame Francaise till Charles comes up with them. Paris is full of English, amongst others I saw Montague Matthews at the Frascati. I shall stay here till 5th July, as my chance of seeing Buonaparte depends on my staying till 4th, when he reviews the Consular Guard. He is a fine fellow by all accounts; a Military Government when such a head as his manages everything cannot be called a Grievance. Indeed, it is productive of so much order and regularity, that I begin not to dislike it so much. At the Theatres you have no disturbance. In the streets Carriages are kept in order—in short, it is supreme and seems to suit this Country vastly well, but God forbid I should ever witness it in England. You may write to me and tell others so to do till the 25th of June. Adieu; I cannot tell when I shall write again. This you know is a Family Epistle, therefore Farewell to you all.
I have just paid a visit to Madame de D. She received me very graciously, & strongly pressed me to stay till 14th of July to be present at the Grand Day. She says Paris is not now worth seeing, but then every Person will be in Town. If there is no other way of seeing Buonaparte I believe I shall stay—but I do not wish it—I shall prefer Geneva.
Edward Stanley to his brother, J. T. Stanley.
HOTEL DE BOSTON, RUE VIVIENNE, June 21, 1802.
MY DEAR BROTHER,— ... I sailed from Brighton on the evening of 8th and was wafted by a fine Breeze towards this Coast, which we made early on the morning of 9th, but owing to the tide, which had drifted us too much to leeward of Dieppe, we were unable to land before noon. We were carried before the Officer of the municipality, who after taking down our names, ages, & destination, left us to ramble about at pleasure. Whatever Dieppe might have been before the Revolution, it is now a melancholy-looking place. Large houses falling to ruin. Inhabitants poor, Streets full of Soldiers, & Churches turned into Stables, Barracks, or Magazines. We staid there but one night & then proceeded in one of their Diligences to Rouen. These Conveyances you of course have often seen; they are not as Speedy in their motion as an English Mail Coach, or as easy as a Curricle, but we have found them very convenient, & shall not complain of our travelling accommodation if we are always fortunate enough to meet with these vehicles. At Rouen we staid four days, as the Town is large and well worth seeing; I then made an attempt to procure you some painted glass; as almost all the Churches and all the Convents are destroyed, their fine windows are neglected, & the panes broken or carried off by almost every person. The Stable from whence our Diligence started had some beautiful windows, and had I thought of it in time I think I might have sent you some. As it was I went to the owner of the Churches & asked him if he would sell any of the windows. Now tho' ever since he has had possession of them Everybody has been permitted to demolish at pleasure, he no sooner found that a Stranger was anxious to procure what to him was of no value, & what he had hitherto thought worth nothing, than he began to think he might take advantage & therefore told me that he would give me an answer in a few days if I would wait till he could see what they were worth. As I was going the next morning I could not hear the result, but I think you could for one guinea purchase nearly a whole Church window, at least it may be worth your while to send to Liverpool to know if any Ship is at any time going there. The Proprietor of these Churches is a Banker, by name Tezart; he lives in la Rue aux Ours.
I arrived in Paris on the 15th, and intend staying even till the 14th of July if I cannot before then see the chief Consul. Hitherto I have been unfortunate; I have in vain attended at the Thuilleries when the Consular guard is relieved, and seated myself opposite his box at the Opera. On the 4th of July, however, there is a Review of his Guard, when he always appears, then I shall do my utmost to get a view of him. I cannot be introduced as I have not been at our Court, and no King was ever more fond of Court Etiquette than Buonaparte. He resides in the Thuilleries; opposite to his windows is the place de Carousel, which he has Separated from the great Area by a long Iron railing with three Gates. On each side of the 2 side Gates are placed the famous brazen horses from Venice, the middle Gate has 2 Lodges, where are stationed Horse Guards. Above this Gate are four Gilt Spears on which are perched the Cock & a Civic wreath which I at first took for the Roman Eagle, borne before their Consuls, resembling it in every other respect. These Gates are shut every night and also on every Review day. Paris, like all the Country, swarms with Soldiers; in Every Street there is a Barrack. In Paris alone there are upwards of 15 thousand men. I must say nothing of the Government. It is highly necessary in France for every person, particularly Strangers, to be careful in delivering their opinions; I can only say that the Slavery of it is infinitely more to my taste than the Freedom of France. The public Exhibitions (and indeed almost Every thing is public) are on a scale of Liberality which should put England to the blush. Everything is open without money. The finest library I ever saw is open Daily to Every person. You have but to ask for any book, & you are furnished with it, and accommodated with table, pens, ink, & paper. The Louvre, the finest Collection of pictures and Statues in the world, is likewise open, & not merely open to view. It is filled, excepting on the public days, with artists who are at liberty to copy anything they please. Where in England can we boast of anything like this? Our British Museum is only to be seen by interest, & then shewn in a very cursory manner. Our Public Libraries at the Universities are equally difficult of access. It is the most politic thing the Government could have done. The Arts are here encouraged in a most liberal manner. Authors, Painters, Sculptors, and, in short, all persons in France, have opportunities of improving themselves which can not be found in any other Country in the World, not even in Britain. You may easily conceive that I who am fond of painting was most highly Entertained in viewing the Great Gallery of the Louvre, & yet you will, I am sure, think my taste very deficient when I tell you that I do not admire the finest pictures of Raphael, Titian, Guido, and Paul Veronese, so much as I do those of Rubens, Vandyck, & le Brun, nor the landscapes of Claude and Poussin so much as Vernet's. Rembrandt, Gerard Dow & his pupils Mieris and Metsu please me more than any other artists. In the whole Collection they have but one of Salvator's, but that one, I think, is preferable to all Raphael's. I have not yet seen statues enough to be judge of their beauties. The Apollo of Belvidere & the celebrated Laocoon lose, therefore, much of their Excellence when seen by me. There is still a fine Collection in the Palace of Versailles, but the view of that once Royal Palace excites the most melancholy ideas. The furniture was all sold by auction, & nothing is left but the walls and their pictures. The Gardens are much neglected, & will soon, unless the Consul again makes it a royal residence, be quite ruined. You have, I daresay, often heard that the Morals & Society of Paris were very bad; indeed, you have heard nothing but the truth. As for the men, they are the dirtiest set of fellows I ever saw, and most of them, especially the Officers, very unlike Gentlemen. The dress of the women, with few exceptions, is highly indecent; in London, even in Drury Lane, I have seen few near so bad. Before I left England, I had heard, but never believed, that some Ladies paraded the streets in men's Clothes. It is singular that in the first genteel-looking person I spoke to in Paris to ask my way, I was answered by what I then perceived a lady in Breeches & boots, since when I have seen several at the Theatres, at the Frascati & fashionable lounges of the evening, & in the Streets and public walks! I have not heard from you since I left England. Excepting the letter which was forwarded from Grosvenor Place. I hope to hear at Geneva, where I shall go as soon as the great Consul will permit me by shewing himself. The Country is in the finest state possible, and their weather most favourable. They have had a scarcity of corn lately, but the approaching Harvest will most assuredly remove that. Adieu; I hope Mrs. Stanley has already received a very trifling present from me; I only sent it because it was classic wood. I mean the necklace made of Milton's mulberry-tree. I brought the wood from Christ's College Garden, in Cambridge, where Milton himself planted it.
From Edward Stanley to his Father and Mother.
LYONS, July 20, 1802.
I shall not write you a very long letter as I intend to send you a more particular account of myself from Geneva, for which place we propose setting out to-morrow, not by the Diligence, but by the Vetturino, a mode of travelling which, of course, you are well acquainted with, being the usual and almost only method practised throughout Italy unless a person has his own carriage. I am to pay L3 10s. for ourselves and Suite, but not including bed and provisions. South of the Alps these are agreed for.
After every endeavour to see Buonaparte had proved vain, on the 6th of July we quitted Paris in a Cabriolet. All this night, and especially the next day, we thought we should be broiled to death; the thermometer was at 95 the noon of July 7th; as you relish that, you may have some idea of the Luxury you would have enjoyed with us.
We arrived at Troyes on the evening of the 7th, an old town in Champagne. People civil and excellent Living, as the Landlord was a ci-devant Head cook to a convent of Benedictines, but Hussey and Charles were almost devoured in the Night by our old enemies the Bugs. Hussey was obliged to change his room and sleep all next day. I escaped without the least visit, and I am persuaded that if a famine wasted the Bugs of the whole Earth, they would sooner perish than touch me.
We left Troyes early on the morning of the 9th, arrived at Chatillon at four, and stayed there all night, for the Diligences do not travel so fast as in England. We left it at four the next morning, Hussey, as usual smarting, and I very little refreshed by sleep, as owing to a Compound of Ducks and Chickens who kept up a constant chorus within five yards of my bed, a sad noise in the kitchen from which I was barely separated, Dogs barking, Waggon Bells ringing, &c., I could scarcely close my eyes.
At Dijon, beautiful Dijon, we arrived on the Evening of the 10th. Had I known it had been so sweet a Town I should have stayed longer, but we had taken our places to Chalons and were obliged to pass on. You, I believe, staid some time there, but, alas! how different now! The Army of rescue was encamped for some time in its neighbourhood, and the many respectable families who lived in or near it rendered it a sad prey to the hand of Robespierre. Its Churches and Convents are in a deplorable state, even as those of this still more unfortunate Town. The best Houses are shut up, and its finest Buildings are occupied by the Military. We left on the morning of the 11th, travelled safely (except a slight breakdown at our journey's end) to Chalons sur Saone, and on the 11th went by the water-diligence to Macon, where we stopped to sleep. We arrived at dusk, and as we were in a dark staircase exploring our way and speaking English, we heard a voice say, "This way, Sir; here is the supper." We were quite rejoiced to hear an English voice, particularly in such a place.
We soon met the speaker, and passed a most pleasant Hour with him. He proved to be a Passenger like ourselves in the Diligence from Lyons which met ours here at the Common resting-place. He was a Surgeon of the Staff, returning from Egypt, by name Shute. We all three talked together, and as loud as we could; the Company, I believe, thought us strange Beings. We told him what we could of England in a short time, he of the South, and we exchanged every Species of information, and were sorry when it was necessary to part.
We arrived at Lyons on the 14th, the Day of the Grand Fete. We saw the Town Hall illuminated, and a Review on the melancholy Plains of Buttereaux, the common Tomb of so many Lyonnese. Here we have remained since, but shall probably be at Geneva on the 23rd. I lodge at the Hotel de Parc looking into the Place de Ferreant.
The Landlady, to my great surprise, spoke to me in English very fluently. She is also a very excellent Spaniard. She has seen better days, her husband having been a Merchant, but the Revolution destroyed him. She was Prisoner for some time at Liverpool, taken by a Privateer belonging to Tarleton and Rigge, who, I am sorry to say, did not behave quite so handsomely as they should, the private property not having been restored.
Of all the Towns I have seen this has suffered most. All the Chateaux and Villas in its most beautiful Environs are shut up. The fine Square of St. Louis le Grand, then Belle Cour, now Place Buonaparte, is knocked to pieces; the fine Statue is broken and removed, and nothing left that could remind you of what it was.
I have been witness to a scene which, of course, my curiosity as a Traveller would not let me pass over, but which I hope not to see again—an Execution on the Guillotine. Charles saw a man suffer at Chalons; we did not know till it was over, but the Machine was still standing, and the marks of the Execution very recent. On looking out of my window the morning after our arrival here, I saw the dreadful Instrument in the Place de Ferreant, and on inquiry found that five men were to be beheaded in the morning and two in the evening. They deserved their fate; they had robbed some Farmhouses and committed some cruelties. In England, however, they would probably have escaped, as the evidence was chiefly presumptive. They were brought to the Scaffold from the Prison, tied each with his arms behind him and again to each other; they were attended by a Priest, not, however, in black, and a party of soldiers. The time of execution of the whole five did not exceed five minutes. Of all situations in the world, I can conceive of none half so terrible as that of the last Prisoner. He saw his companions ascend one after another, heard each fatal blow, and saw each Body thrown aside to make room for him. I shall never forget his countenance when he stretched out his neck on the fatal board. He shut his eyes on looking down where the heads of his companions had fallen, and instantly his face turned from ghastly paleness to a deep red, and the wire was touched and he was no more. Of all Deaths it is far the most easy; not a convulsive struggle could be perceived after the blow. The sight is horrid in the extreme, though not awful, as no ceremony is used to make it so. Those who have daily seen 200 suffer without the least ceremony or trial get hardened to the sight.
The mode of Execution in England is not so speedy certainly nor so horrid, but it is conducted with a degree of Solemnity that must impress the mind most forcibly. I did not see the two who suffered in the evening, the morning's business was quite enough to satisfy my curiosity.
The next Morning I saw a punishment a degree less shocking, though I think the Prisoner's fate was little better than those of the day before. He was seated on a Scaffold in the same place for Public View, there to remain for six hours and then to be imprisoned in irons for 18 years, a Term (as he is 41) I think he will not survive.
What with the immediate effects of the Siege and events that followed, the Town has suffered so much in its Buildings and inhabitants, that I think it will never recover. The Manufactories of silk are just beginning to shoot up by slow degrees. Formerly they afforded employment to 40,000 men, now not above half that number can be found, and they cannot earn so much. Were I a Lyonese I should wish to plant the plains of Buttereaux with cypress-trees and close them in with rails. The Place had been a scene of too much horror to remain open for Public amusement. The fine Hopital de la Charite, against which the besiegers directed their heaviest cannon in spite of the Black ensign, which it is customary to hoist over buildings of that nature during a Siege, is much damaged, though scarcely so much as I should have expected. The Romantic Castle of the Pierre Suisse is no longer to be found, it was destroyed early in the troubles together with most of the Roman Antiquities round Lyons. I yesterday dined with two more Englishmen at the Table d'hote; they were from the South; one, from his conversation a Navy officer, had been absent seven years, and had been in the Garrison of Porte Ferrajo in the Isle of Elba, the other an Egyptian Hero. There is also a Colonel from the same place whose name I know not.
I heard it was an easy thing to be introduced to the Pope, if letters are to be had for our Minister, whose name is Fagan, or something like it. Now, as I may if I can get an opportunity when at Geneva to pay a visit to Rome and Florence previous to passing the Pyrenees, I should like a letter to this Mr. Fagan, if one can be got. As Buonaparte's Pope is not, I believe, so particular as the Hero himself with regard to introductions, I may perhaps be presented to him. I look forward with inexpressible pleasure to my arrival at Geneva, to find myself amongst old friends and to meet with, I hope, an immense collection of letters.
The Vineyards promise to be very abundant; of course we tasted some of the best when in Burgundy and Champagne. What a country that is! The corn to the East of Paris is not so promising as that in Normandy. The frosts which we felt in May have extended even more to the South than to this Town. The apple-trees of Normandy have suffered most, and the vines in the Northern parts of France have also been damaged.... I shall go from Geneva to Genoa, and there hold a council of war.
...Between Lyons and Geneva we supped with the Passengers of a Vetturino. Two of these were Officers in the French Service, one of them a Swiss, the other a Frenchman. The conversation soon fell upon Politics, in which I did not choose to join, but was sufficiently entertained in hearing the Discourse. Both agreed in abominating the present state of Affairs. The Swiss hated the Consul, because he destroyed his Country, the other because he was too like a King. Both were Philosophers, and each declared himself to be a Moralist. The Frenchman was by far the most vehement of the two, and the Swiss seemed to take much pleasure in leading him on. His philosophy seemed to be drawn from a source equally pure with his Morality; assuming for his Motto his first and favourite Maxim, "que tous les hommes sont egaux par les lois de la Nature," &c., he thought himself justified in wishing Buonaparte (I was going to say) at the Devil (but I soon found out that the existence of that Gentleman was a matter of great doubt with the Philosopher) for daring to call himself the Head of the French Republic. His hatred of Power was only equalled by his aversion to the English, whom he seemed to abhor from the bottom of his heart, so much so, that when I attempted to defend the First Consul, he dashed out with a Torrent of abuse, and ended by saying, "Et enfin c'est lui qui a fait la paix avec l'Angleterre."
I was for some time in doubt what part of the Revolution he preferred, but by defending Robespierre, he soon gave me an Idea of his Love of Liberty, Morality, Equality, and so forth. I was sorry he retired so soon after Supper, as I never was more entertained in my life in so short a time as with this little Fellow, as singular in his Figure and Dress as in his Manner, and he contrived to be always eating as well as talking.
Edward Stanley to his brother J, T. Stanley.
Argonauta, OFF HYERES, Sept. 29, 1802.
MY DEAR BROTHER,—Before I left Geneva I firmly intended writing to you, but as I left it unexpectedly and sooner than I intended I had not time, but this, and all my adventures till I left it, I hope you have already heard, as I wrote two letters, one to my Father, the other to my Mother before I quitted Geneva. You will no doubt be Surprised, and perhaps envy my present situation. Where do you think I am? Why, truly, writing on a cot between two 24-pounders in a Spanish 84. You will wonder, I am sure, at seeing the date of this letter, and perhaps wish to know by what good fortune I found a berth in a Spanish man-of-war, an Event which I little expected when I wrote last. I shall begin my story from Geneva, and you shall hear my adventures to the present moment. We left Geneva in a Vetturino for Turin, a Journey which took up 8 days longer than it naturally should have done, but our Coachman was taken ill, & we were on his account obliged to travel slowly. But I was not impatient, as you will know the Scenery is beautiful; we crossed Mount Cenis, which, after St. Bernard's, cannot be called a difficult pass. At Turin we stayed 3 days. It is now a melancholy Town, without commerce, & decreasing daily in population. The celebrated Jourdan is the ruler of the place, & with his wife lives in the King's Palace. From Turin we went to Genoa, passing through Country not equal in Scenery, but infinitely more interesting than that between Geneva & Turin, every step almost having been the scene of battle, and every Town the Object of a siege. But the most interesting spot of all was the plain of Marengo, near Alessandria. As we travelled in the Diligence I had not so good an opportunity of viewing it as I should have had in a Vetturino, but we stopped a short time to see the monument which is raised to commemorate the victory; it is erected near 2 remarkable spots, one where Desaix fell, the other the House from which Buonaparte wrote an account of the event to the Directory.
We passed also thro' Novi, every House in which is marked by Shot; that unfortunate Town has been three times pillaged during the war. We arrived at Genoa on the 10th of Septr., in my opinion the most magnificent Town for its size I ever saw. The Palaces are beyond conception beautiful, or rather were, for the French Troops are not at this moment admitted within the Gates; they are quartered in the Suburb in great numbers. As for the new Government, it is easily seen who is at the head of it. There is a Doge, to be sure, but his orders come all from Paris. While we were waiting there expecting a ship to sail to Barcelona, the Medusa, English Frigate, came in, and amongst its passengers who came with her we found a Cambridge acquaintance, who advised us to go without delay to Leghorn as the Spanish Squadron was waiting there for the King of Etruria in order to carry him to Barcelona. Fortunately the next day an English Brig was going, & in her we took our passages; we were fortunate enough to receive a large packet of letters from England a few hours before she sailed, which had she sailed at the time the Captain intended we should have missed. Will you let my sisters know that they arrived safe? I am not without hopes of making some use of the interesting letters to Italy, tho' I am now steering to the westward. After a good passage of two days we arrived at Leghorn and found the Spaniards still there. As soon as I landed I delivered a letter to a Mr. Callyer, a Liverpool Gentleman who is settled there, & by his means was introduced to the Admiral's first Lieut., who promised to secure me a berth in some of the ships. In short, here I am in a very fine ship, tho' a horrid sailer. I have now given you a short sketch of my tour till arriving at Leghorn; I have only to say something of Leghorn and the Argonauta. The Town has suffered very much by the war, supported nearly as it was by its Commerce with England. The inhabitants saw with little pleasure a French army take possession of the place & drive away the English. They still have a strong force in the town—upwards of 2,000—and its fortifications have been dismantled. It is singular enough to see the French and Tuscan colours flying together on the same staff. When we entered the port the Tuscan Ensign was becalmed & the French flag was flying by itself. I was much grieved not to be able to visit Florence when so near it, but as the Squadron was in daily expectation of sailing I did not venture to be absent for 4 days, which the Journey would have required. I was therefore obliged to content myself with a view of Pisa, which I would not have missed on any account. The leaning Tower is a curiosity in itself sufficient to induce a stranger to make a long journey to visit it. Here the King of Etruria lived and was hourly expected to set out for Leghorn. But his health, as it was believed, was in so precarious a State that it was sometimes reported that he would not go at all. The Queen, indeed, was in a very critical state, and were it not that her children, she being an Infanta of Spain, are entitled to a certain sum of money by no means small, provided they were born in Spain, it would have been madness in her to have undertaken the voyage; indeed, I think it highly probable that a young Prince will make his appearance ere we arrive at Barcelona. After having spent a longer time than I liked at Leghorn, which has nothing curious to recommend it, at length it was given out that on the 26th the K. would certainly arrive from Pisa and embark as soon as possible. Accordingly at 6 o'Clock on that day all the houses were ornamented in the Italian style by a display of different coloured Streamers, etc., from the windows, & His Majesty entered the Town. Had I been a King I should have been not altogether pleased with my reception. He appeared in the Balcony of the Grand Duke's Palace, no one cried, "Viva Ludovico I!" He went to the Theatre the same Evening, which was illuminated on the occasion, &, of course, much crowded. I do not think our opera could have boasted a finer display of Diamonds than I saw that Evening in the Ladies' heads, but, be it remembered, that there are 7,000 Jews in Leghorn, not one of whom is poor; some are reported to be worth a million. Many of the Italians are also very rich. Next day we were informed that it was necessary to repair on board our ship, as the King was to go early on the 20th. The Naval Scene received an addition on 26th by the arrival of 2 French frigates from Porto Ferrajo. They had carried a fresh garrison there & landed 500 men of the former one at Leghorn; they marched immediately, as it was said, to garrison Florence. On the 27th the Spaniards and French, the only ships of war in the roads, saluted, were manned and dressed. At Eleven o'Clock of the 27th (after having again seen the K. at the Opera) in the Launch of the Argonauta we left Leghorn & went on board, for the first time in my life, to spend I hope many days in so large a ship. She was one of that unfortunate Squadron which came forth from Cadiz to convey home Adl. Linois & his prize the Hannibal, after our unsuccessful attack in Algeciras bay. This Ship suffered little; she was then a better sailer than she is now, or most probably she would not be at present in the Service of Spain. Early on the morning of the 28th the Marines were on the deck. It blew fresh from the shore, & it was doubted whether the K. would venture; at 8 o'Clock, however, the Royal barge was seen coming out of the Mole. The Admiral's Ship, La Reyna Louisa, gave the signal & at the instant Every Ship fired 3 royal salutes. The Effect was very beautiful; we were the nearest to the Admiral, nearer the land were the 2 other Spanish frigates, & abreast of us the two French Ships. They were all dressed, and as the King passed near them they were manned and three cheers were given. The King's boat came first, then the Queen's. After them followed the Consuls of the different Nations who were at Leghorn, & after them a boat from each of the Ships. There were besides a great number of other boats & Ships sailing about. Soon after the King had arrived on board the Reyna Louisa, of 120 guns, the Signal was made for preparing to Sail, & soon after the Signal for Sailing. We all got under weigh, but as our Ship was a bad sailer we had the mortification of seeing ourselves left far behind in a short time. We have had nothing but light winds ever since, & for the last two days contrary, but I am not in the smallest degree impatient to get to Barcelona. The Novelty of Scene, more especially as it is a naval one, pleases me more than anything I have met with hitherto. We are, however, now (Oct. 3rd) looking out for land. Cape Sebastian will be the point we shall first see in Spain, & I much fear that to-morrow night I shall sleep in Barcelona. Of the Discipline of the Spanish Navy I cannot say much, nor can I praise their cleanliness. I wish much to see a storm. How they manage then I do not know, for when it blows hard the sailors will not go aloft; as for the officers or Midshipmen, they never think of it. Indeed, the latter live exactly as well as the officers; they mess with them, have as good berths, & are as familiar with them as they are with each other; very different in every respect from the discipline in English Men of War. I shall write another letter to my sisters by this post; as they are at Highlake you may exchange letters. Soon I shall write to you again. I have to thank you for a very long letter which I received at Geneva, chiefly relating to the proper judgement of paintings. I am not yet quite a convert, but experience may improve me. In Spain I understand I shall see some very good ones by the first masters. I fear much that my desire of visiting Spain will not be so keen as it was when I have seen a very little of it. By all accounts, even from Spaniards themselves, travelling is very inconvenient, & what is infinitely worse, very expensive; added to which the intolerable Suspicion & care of the Government renders any stay there very unpleasant. In case I find myself not at my ease there I shall, when at Gibraltar, take a passage back to Italy, for Rome & Naples must be seen. Now I think of it I must mention one ship well known to you which I saw at Leghorn, namely, the John of Leith. I accidentally saw her boat with the name written; you may be sure I looked at her with no small pleasure. When I sought for her next day she was gone. I little thought when I last saw you to see a ship in which you had spent so much time, up the Mediterranean. I am learning Spanish at present, & the progress I have made in it is not the least pleasure I have received during my stay in the Argonauta. It is a language extremely difficult to understand when spoken, but easy to read, & very fine. I can already understand an easy book. If I can add Spanish & Italian, or some knowledge of those languages, to my stock, I shall consider my time and money as well spent, independent of the Countries I shall have seen. Before I close this letter, which you will receive long after its original date, I must tell you I have been making a most interesting visit to the celebrated Lady of Mont Serrat, & was even permitted to kiss her hand, an honour which few, unless well recommended, enjoy. I have not time to say so much of it as I could, I can only assure you that it fully answered the expectations I had raised. The singular Scenery and the more singular Customs of its solitary inhabitants, excepting the monks of the convent, who lead a most merry, sociable life, are well worth the trouble of going some distance to visit. The formation of the mountain is also very extraordinary. Entirely pudding stone, chiefly calcarious, some small parts of quartz, red granite, & flint only to be found. I have preserved some pieces for your museum, which I hope will arrive safe in England, as also the small collection of stones which I sent from the Alps.
Yours sincerely, EDWD. STANLEY.
MALAGA, Jan., 1803.
MY DEAR FATHER,—To this place am I once more returned, after having made an excursion to the far-famed city of Granada and still more renowned palace of the Alhambra. My last letter was dated from Gibraltar on the 17th of Decr. We left the Rock in a Vile Tartan, rendered still less agreeable by belonging to Spaniards, who, at no time remarkable for cleanliness, were not likely to exert themselves in that point in a small trading Vessel. We were crowded with Passengers and empty Casks—both Equally in the Way; tho' the latter were not then noisy nor Sick, I considered them as the least nuisance. Fortunately a strong W. Breeze soon carried us from the Rock, and in one night we found ourselves close to the Mole of Malaga. We introduced ourselves on landing to the English Consul Laird, to whose attentions we have been since much indebted. On the 2nd day after our arrival we heard of a Muleteer who was on his return to Granada, and with whom we agreed for 3 Mules. The distance is 18 leagues over the Mountains, a Journey of 3 days; this is a Country wild as the Highlands of Scotland, and in parts, if possible, more barren. The first night we slept at Vetey Malaga and the 2nd at Alhama, a Town famous for its hot baths, which, thanks to the Moors—who built walls about them—the Spaniards still enjoy. The accommodations in the Country are rather inferior to those of England, tho' perhaps you may consider me so prejudiced in favour of my own, and therefore unjust in my accounts of other Countries. This may be the Case, and I dare say a Muleteer would find infinite fault with an English Inn, where accommodation may be found for the Rider as well as the Mule. On entering one of these Ventas, or Inns, you find yourself in the Midst of Jack Asses and Mules, the necks of which, being usually adorned with bells, produce a Music highly entertaining to a traveller after a long day's Journey over these delightful roads. If you can force your way through this Crowd of Musical Quadrupeds it is necessary that you should attempt to find out the Landlord and petition for a room, which in general may be had, and if you are fortunate, Mattrasses are laid on the floor. Eating, however, is always out of the question. It is absolutely necessary to carry your own Stock and look for your self if a frying Pan can be found. If you are very much tired and the Bugs, Mosquitos, Fleas, and other insects (sent into the World, I believe, to torment Mankind) are also tired or satiated with sucking the Blood from the Travellers the preceding night, you may chance to sleep till 3 o'clock in the Morning, when the Carriers begin to load their beasts and prepare for the day's Journey. The pleasure of travelling is also considerably diminished by the numbers of Crosses by the road side, which, being all stuck up wherever a murder has been committed, are very unpleasant hints, and you are constantly put in mind of your latter End by these confounded Monuments of Mortality. Fortunately, we met with no Tromboners on the road, and hitherto we have saved the Country the Expence of Erecting 3 Crosses on our account. At last we arrived at Granada, the 3rd Town in Spain in Extent, being surpassed only by Seville and Toledo. You will, I suppose, expect a long account of the Alhambra and Romantic Gardens of the Generalife, a minute account of the curiosities in the City and a long string of etceteras relative to the place. You must, however, remain in ignorance of all these things till we meet, as at present I have neither time or inclination or paper sufficient to repeat my adventures and observations: suffice it to say that on the whole I was much disappointed both with the Alhambra and Granada, which are I cannot say lasting Monuments, for they are falling fast to ruin. Of the Indolence and negligence of the people, you will scarcely believe that so large a Town so near the sea, and situated in one of the finest vales in Spain, is almost without Trade of any Sort—neither troubling itself with importations or exerting its powers to provide Materials for Exportation. The Capt. Genl., however, is doing all he can to restore it to its former dignity, and were he well seconded, Granada might again hope to become one of the brightest ornaments of Spain. We returned by way of Loja and Antiquiera on the 27th of Decr., and have been wind bound ever since, and likely to be for another Month—sure never was a wind so obstinate as the present. We have here, I believe, quite formed a party to visit another quarter of the Globe—a short trip to Africa is at present in agitation. A Capt. Riddel from Gibraltar is one of the promoters, and if we can get to Gibraltar in any decent time you may possibly in my next letter hear some account of the Good Mahometans at Tangiers. We are but to make a short Stay and carry our Guns and dogs, as we are told the Country is overrun with game of every sort. I have been most agreeably surprised in finding Malaga a very pleasant place: we have met with more attention and seen more Company here than we ever did in Barcelona. I am this Evening going to a Ball; unfortunately Fandangos are not fashionable dances, but they have another called the Bolero, which in grace and Elegance stands unrivalled, but would scarcely be admitted in the less licentious circles of our N. Climate. I shall take lessons at Cadiz, and hope to become an adept in all those dances before I see you. If you write within a fortnight—and of course you will after receiving this—you may still direct to Cadiz. There has been a disturbance at Gibraltar, which was hatching when we were there, and during our absence has Broken out. The many strange reports and particulars which have reached Malaga—as I cannot vouch for their truth, I shall not Mention; the Grand point, however, was to put his Royal H. on board of a Ship and send him back to England. There has been also a desperate gale of Wind in the Straights—3 Portuguese Frigates, one with the loss of her rudder, were blown in here. Some Vessels, I understand, were also lost at the Rock. I hope our little brig, ye Corporation, with the young pointers has arrived in the Thames in spite of the constant Gales and contrary Winds which we met with. I was sorry when the Wind became fair and the Rock appeared ahead. My taste for salt Water is not at all diminished by Experience. It is no doubt a strange one, but there is no accounting for these things, you know. Malaga is warm enough—we have Green Peas and Asparagus every day. But we experienced very severe Weather at Granada—Frost and Snow. The baths of the Alhambra were even covered with Ice an Inch Thick. Adieu! this is Post Day.
Loves to all, Yours Sincerely, E. S.
GIBRALTAR, Jan. 22, 1803.
MY DEAR BROTHER,—I promised in my last, which I wrote when I was on the point of Setting out on a tour to Granada, to write again and give some account of myself immediately on my return, which was delayed on account of Sundry unfortunate Circumstances till the day before yesterday. From Malaga I wrote to my Father, and you probably have heard that a fair wind carried us in a vile vessel from this place to Malaga in one night, from whence, staying as Short a time as possible, I set out on mules to Granada, distant a journey of three days. Till this time I had never, excepting from hearsay, formed a true idea of the perfection to which travelling in Spain could be carried, and yet, bad as it was, my return to land from Gibraltar has shown that things might be a degree worse. Of the roads I can only say that most probably the Spaniards are indebted to the Moors for first marking them out, and that the present race follow the steps of their Ancestors, without troubling themselves with repairs or alterations of any description. You may well then imagine the delicate State in which they now are. The Ventas or Inns are in a State admirably corresponding to that of the high-roads. Provisions of every sort must necessarily be carried unless the traveller wishes to fast; beds are occasionally, and indeed I may say pretty generally, to be met with, such as they are; of course, bugs, fleas, Mosquitos, and so forth must not be considered: they are plentifully diffused over the Country, and are by no means confined to the inferior houses. With a Substitution for "Pallida Mors" the quotation from Horace may with truth be applied, "aequo pulsant pede pauperum tabernae, Regum turres." We passed thro' Alhama, near which are some very fine hot baths; the exact heat I could not ascertain (as my thermometer was actually jolted to pieces tho' in its case in my pocket, travelling from Turin to Genoa), but it is so great that I could scarcely keep my hand immersed for a minute. In another Country they would be much frequented; as it is there are only some miserable rooms for those who repair to them from necessity. On the evening of the 21st of December we arrived at our Journey's end, and found, what we did not expect, a very tolerable Inn, though as Granada is considered the third Town in Spain, those who are unacquainted with the country might expect a better. I have so much to say that I cannot enter into a minute account of the famous Palace of the Alhambra and other Curiosities in the Town, which is most beautifully situated at the foot of a range of snow-covered Mountains at the extremity of what is said to be the most luxuriant and delightful valley in Spain. I hope for the credit of the Inhabitants that it is not so, as certainly it is in a disgraceful state of Cultivation, and were it not for the Acqueducts erected by the Moors for the convenience of watering the land would, I fear, in a few years be burnt up by the intense heat of summer. Its chief produce is Corn and oil; silk and Wine are also cultivated, but the cold of winter sometimes injures the two latter. The place is badly peopled and has no trade; it is chiefly supported by being the chief criminal port of Spain, and the richest people are consequently the Lawyers. We saw the baths of Alhambra in a state very different from what they usually are—actually frozen over and the Ice nearly an Inch thick. I must say I was greatly disappointed with these famed remains of Moorish Magnificence, tho' certainly when everything was kept in order, the fountains all playing, it must have been very different; at present it is falling fast to ruin. The Governor is a man appointed by the Prince of Peace, and I believe would be unwilling to bestow any attention on anything in the world but his own person, of which by all accounts he takes special care. We returned to Malaga through Loja and Antequerra, both Moorish towns. At Malaga we were detained by Contrary winds for three weeks; we might, indeed, have passed our time less advantageously at other places, as we experienced much unexpected Civility & saw a great deal of Spanish Society. Wearied at length with waiting for Winds, we determined to set out on our return to the Rock by land, and accordingly hired 4 horses, and, under the most favourable auspices, left Malaga. We soon found that even a Spanish sky could not be trusted; it began before we had completed half our first day's journey to pour with rain. To return was impossible, as we had forded the first river. In short, for three days we suffered Every Inconvenience which can be conceived, but were still to meet with another disappointment, for on the Morning of the day in which we had certainly calculated to arrive at Gibraltar we came to a River which was so much swelled that the Boatman could not ferry us over. Nearly a hundred Muleteers and others were in the same predicament, and we had the satisfaction of passing two most miserable days in a horrid Cortigo, a house of accommodation a degree lower than a Venta. Our provisions were exhausted, and nothing but bread and water were to be met with. Beds, of course, or a room of any sort were unobtainable. Conceive to yourself a kitchen filled with smoke, without windows, in which were huddled together about forty of the lowest order of Spaniards. As it poured with rain we could not stir out, and as for staying within doors it was scarcely possible. If we tried to sleep we were instantly covered with fleas and other insects equally partial to a residence on the human body. After two days' penance, as the waters began to abate, we determined to cross the river in a small boat and proceed on foot, which we did, and though we had to skip thro' 2 or 3 horrible streams and wade thro' Mud and Marshes we performed the journey lightly, as anything was bearable after the Cortigo del rio Zuariano. We passed through St. Roque and the Spanish lines and arrived at Gibraltar on 20th, out of patience with the Spaniards and everything belonging to Spain. Indeed, the Country is a disgrace to Europe. I wish indolence was the only vice of the inhabitants, but added to laziness they are in general mean in their ideas, the women licentious in their manners, and both sexes sanguinary to a degree scarcely credible. In Malaga particularly, few nights pass without some murders. Those who have any regard for their safety must after dark carry a sword and a lantern. You may form some idea of the people when there was one fellow at Granada who had with his own hand committed no less than 22 Murders. Nothing could be more gratifying to an Englishman than finding wherever he goes the manufactures of his own Country. This in Spain is particularly the case; there is scarcely a single article of any description which this people can make for themselves, consequently English goods are sure of meeting with a quick sale. Perhaps it may be from prejudice, but certainly the idea I had of England before I left it has been raised many degrees since I have had an opportunity of comparing it with other countries. But now for some news respecting Gibraltar itself, which has during my absence been a scene of Confusion, first by a dreadful gale of wind, and secondly from a much more serious cause, a spirit of Mutiny in the Garrison. By the former 16 or 18 vessels were either lost or driven on shore; by the latter some lives were sacrificed before tranquillity was restored, and 3 men have since suffered death by the Verdict of a Court Martial. No doubt you will see something of it in the papers; I cannot now enter into a detail as it would take some time. The 2 Regts. principally, and I believe I may say only, concerned were the Royals, which is the Duke's own Regt., and the 25th; fortunately they did not act in concert. The other Regts. of the Garrison, the 2nd, 8th, 23rd, and 54th, particularly the latter, behaved well. The design was to seize the Duke and put him on board a ship and send him to England. He is disliked on account of his great severity: whether he carries discipline to an unnecessary degree military men know better than myself. Despatches have been sent to England, and I believe some of the men concerned; the greatest anxiety prevails to know what answers or orders will be returned. Of War and the rumours of War, tho' we it seems are nearer the scene of action than those who dwell at home, little is known, and what little is seems to be more inclined to peace than the English papers allow. It is here said, on what grounds I know not, that the Spaniards have entirely ceded Minorca to their good neighbours the French. We have but a small Naval force in the bay; and a few frigates and ships of war, one of the latter the Bittern, I believe, arrived yesterday from England, but without any particular news. Many gun boats were fitting out at Malaga, but I was informed they were only meant for "Guarda Costas," which may or not be the truth. We sailed for Cadiz the moment an E. wind would give us leave; it has now blown almost constantly a W. wind for three months, and the season has been remarkably wet. I am impatient to get to Cadiz as I expect certainly to find letters, the receipt of which from home is, I think, the greatest pleasure a traveller can experience. Of Louisa's marriage I have as yet not heard, tho' no doubt, however, it has taken place. How are my Nephews and Nieces? I do indeed look forward with pleasure to my next visit to Alderley. Remember it is now nearly 2 years since I have seen you; how many things have happened in the time to yours most sincerely
Edward Stanley to his brother J. T. Stanley.
GIBRALTAR, January 16, 1803.
MY DEAR BROTHER,— ... I shall pass over the greater part of the rest of your long letter & proceed without further delay to talk of myself. The last time you heard from me I think was soon after I arrived in Barcelona; what occurred during my stay there you have most probably heard from my sisters, as I wrote to Highlake just before I left that place. I consider myself as extremely fortunate in being at Barcelona during a time when I had a better opportunity of seeing the Court of Spain and the different amusements of the Country than I could have witnessed by a much longer residence even in Madrid itself. I was, however, unfortunately only a Spectator; as no regular English Consul had arrived in Barcelona, I had no opportunity of being introduced either at Court or in the first Circles. Another difficulty also was in my way; unfortunately I was not in the Army & consequently had no uniform, without which or a Court dress no person is considered as a Gentleman in this Country. I have repeatedly regretted that before I left England I did not put my name down on some Military list, & under cover of a red Coat procure an undisputed right to the title of Gentleman in Spain.
As for the people, both noble and vulgar, it requires but a very short residence amongst them to be highly disgusted; few receive any thing which deserves the name of a regular Education, & I have been told from, I believe, undoubted Authority, that a nobleman unable to write his name, or even read his own pedigree, is by no means a difficult thing to meet with. The Government is in such a State that ere long it must fall, I should think. The King is entirely under the power of the Prince of Peace, a man who from being a common Corps de Garde has risen by degrees, & being naturally ambitious & extremely avaricious has gained a rank inferior only to that of the King, & a fortune which makes him not only the richest man in Spain but probably in Europe. He is disliked by every Class of people, & it is not, I believe, without good ground that he is considered as little better than a tool of Buonaparte's.
The conduct of France to Spain in many particulars, which are too numerous now to mention, shews in what a degraded state the latter is—how totally unable to act or even think for herself. One instance I need only mention, tho' I do not vouch for the truth of it, further than as being a report current in the Garrison. The French have kindly offered to send 4,000 troops to Minorca in order to take care of it for yr good friends the Spaniards, and a Squadron is fitting out at Toulon to carry them there. After your alarming account of the naval preparations in the three kingdoms you will expect that I, who am here in the centre of everything, should be able to tell you a great deal; you will, therefore, be surprised when you are informed that yours is almost the only account of another war which I have heard of. A Strong Squadron, indeed, of 6 line of Battle Ships some time ago sailed with sealed orders and went aloft, but where is unknown. From Barcelona, as it was utterly impossible to get to Madrid on account of the King having put an Embargo on every Conveyance, which is easily done as the Conveyances are bad as the roads and difficult to meet with, as well as enormously dear, we determined to steer for Gibraltar by Sea, and accordingly took passage on an English brig, which was to stop on the Coast for fruit we took on board. The Voyage was uncommonly long, and we met with every Species of weather, during which I had the pleasure of witnessing a very interesting Collection of Storms, with all the concomitant circumstances such as Splitting Sails and Shipping Seas, one of which did us considerable mischief, staving in all the starboard quarter boards, filling and very nearly carrying away the long-boat, drowning our live Stock, and, of course, ducking us all on deck most thoroughly. We stayed a week at Denia, a small but beautiful Town on the south part of the K. of Valencia. We were fortunately put on shore here in the night of December 6th. I say fortunately, as in consequence of a very strong Levanter the Captn. was for some hours in doubt whether he should not be under the necessity of running through the straits and carrying us to England, which was very near happening. Italy I have quite given up for the present. Rome and Naples I lament not to have seen, but you know that from Leghorn I turned to the westward in Compliance with Hussey's wish, who was anxious to be near Lisbon. We have some idea of going from this place thro' Malaga to Granada, and soon after we return proceed to Cadiz, and after making some excursions from thence go on to Lisbon. Your letter which you promised to send to Madrid will, I fear, never reach me, tho' I have still hopes of paying that Capital a visit. At Lisbon I shall arrive, I should think, about March, and hope to be in England about May, or perhaps sooner. At Lisbon I hope to find a letter from you; the direction is Jos. Lyne & Co. I have been very unfortunate in not finding some friends in the Garrison, the only officer to whom I had a letter whom I found here has been of little Service to us. I have, however, made the best use of my time and have been over the greatest part of this extraordinary Fortress, but shall leave the description of it, as well as of an infinity of other things, till we meet, which shall be very soon after my arrival in England. I must send this instantly or wait for the next Post day, so I shall conclude rather hastily. My best Love to Mrs. S. and Believe me,
Yours sincerely, EDWD. STANLEY.
AFTER NAPOLEON'S FALL
News of the Emperor's fall—Foreign plans—Disquieting rumours—Madame de Stael—London in an uproar—Emperors and Kings—Hero-worship at close quarters.
The sudden rupture of the Peace of Amiens in May, 1803, closed France to Englishmen, except to the miserable eight or nine thousand who were in the country at the time, and were forcibly detained there by orders of the First Consul. It was not until eleven years later, in April, 1814, when Napoleon had abdicated, and when the allies had triumphantly entered Paris and restored Louis XVIII. to the throne of his fathers, that peaceful British travellers could cross the frontier once more.
The busy parish life which had occupied Edward Stanley during the years which had elapsed since his first visit to France had not made him less keen for travel than he had been in his college days, and all his ardour was aroused by the news that there was to be an end to Napoleon's rule.
The excitement caused by the rumour of the capture of Paris and the deposition of the Emperor may be guessed at by a letter received at Alderley from Lord Sheffield, father of Lady Maria Stanley, in the spring of 1814.
Letter from Lord Sheffield.
PORTLAND PLACE, April 6, 1814.
...I am just come from the Secretary of State's Office. We are all gasping for further intelligence from Paris, but none has arrived since Capt. Harris, a very intelligent young man who was despatched in half an hour after the business was completed, but of course cannot answer half the questions put to him. He came by Flanders, escorted part of the way by Cossacks, but was stopped nearly a day on the road. Schwartzenberg completely out-generalled Buonaparte. An intercepted letter of the latter gave him notice of an intended operation. He instantly decided on the measures which brought on the capture of Paris. I suppose you know that King Joseph sent the Empress and King of Rome previously to Rambouillet. It is supposed that Buonaparte has fallen back to form a junction with some other troops. A friend of Marshal Beresford's has just called here who lately had a letter from the Marshal which says that he is quite sure that Soult has not 15,000 men left, and that in sundry engagements and by desertion he has lost about 16,000 men. I have no letter from Sir Henry or William Clinton since I saw you, but I learn at the War Office that the latter was, on the 20th of last month, within ten days' march of the right wing of Lord Wellington's army.
* * * * *
Further news soon followed, and the authentic accounts of the Emperor's abdication at Fontainebleau on April 11th, and of his banishment to Elba, made it certain that his power was broken.
The Rector of Alderley was eager to seize the chance of viewing the wreck of Napoleon's Empire while the country was still ringing with rumours of battles and sieges, and he began to make plans to do so almost as soon as the French ports were open.
His wife was as keen as himself, and it was at first suggested that Sir John and Lady Maria, as well as Mrs. Edward Stanley, should join the expedition; but the difficulties of finding accommodation, and the fears of the disturbed state of the country, made them abandon the idea, to their great disappointment.
The following extracts from the correspondence of Lady Maria Stanley explain the reasons for the journey being given up by herself and her sister-in-law.
They describe the feeling in England on the foreign situation, and also give a glimpse of the wayward authoress, Madame de Stael, who was just then on her way back to France after a banishment of ten years.
Lady Maria Stanley to her sister, Lady Louisa Clinton.
ALDERLEY PARK, April 30, 1814.
So the Parisian expedition is at an end for us, in convention, that is, for I think Edward will brave all difficulties, and with Ed. Leycester, taking Holland first on his way, make a fight for Paris if possible; but all who know anything on the subject represent the present difficulties as so great, and the probable future ones so much greater, that Kitty (Mrs. Ed. Stanley) has given up all thought of making the attempt this year.