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the end of the last century. . . He said that “ At a little after eight o'clock on the morn. Lord Bellamont, in person, was like a black ing of Friday, May 11, I was awakened by a bull, always butting. He was cursed with a loud rapping at my bedroom door, and, getting talent for imitation, and selected some one bad up, had a packet of letters put into my hand, habit from each of his friends, so that he was a signed Sidney Osborne,' and headed · By escompound of vicious qualities, or, at least, dis- press.' There was also a note from Douglas agreeable manners. One of these friends al. Kinnaird; and, on opening it, I found that ways stood with his toes in — Bellamont did the BYRON WAS
The despatch was from same; another wore black stockings and dirty Corfu. These letters were from Lord Sidney brown breeches — Bellamont copied this also. Osborne to me, from Count Gamba to me, from He wore his wig half off his head, in imitation Count Gamba to Lord Sidney Osborne, and of some one else; and, in speaking, he took off from the Count to the English Consul at Zante. the bad manner of some other acquaintance. Besides these, there were letters from Fletcher, He had a watery elocution, spoke through the Byron's valet, to Fletcher's wife, to Mrs. nose, and had a face totally insensible to every-Leigh, and to Captain George Byron; also there thing he was saying. Mr. Grattan added that were four copies of a Greek proclamation by the he thought Bellamont's wig was dirtier than Greek Government at Missolonghi, with a transCurran's hair. He said a deal of a Dr. Lucas, lation annexed. The proclamation contained and finished his sketch of him by saying, the details which have been often published • When he rose to speak in Parliament, he had the ten days' illness of my dear friend, the pubnot a friend in the House; when he sat down, lic anxiety during those days of hope and fear he had spoken so ill that he had not an enemy.' - his death — the universal dejection and al
“ During this exhibition Lord Holland and most despair of the Greeks around him. The myself were in convulsions of laughter. Kenn, proclamation next decreed that the Easter festinotwithstanding every effort, roared outright. val should be suspended; that the shops should Lady Holland gave way, and Miss Fox was in be closed for three days; that a general mourning esctasy. He kept us in this way until half-past for twenty days should be observedd; and that nt eleven, when he took me in his carriage to the sunrise the next morning, the 20th of April, Princess of Wales. He was muttering to him- thirty-seven minute-guns should be fired from self, and slapping his thigh, during our ride, the batteries to indicate the age of the deceased. and twisting about into many odd shapes and “How much soever the Greeks of that day forms — antics not worth recordling, except when may have differed on other topics, there was no it is recollected who Mr. Grattan had been, difference of opinion in regard to the loss they and, indeed, was, at the time I was with him.” had sustained by the death of Byron. Those who (Vol. i. p. 91.)
have read Colonel Leicester Stanhope's interestThese volumes do not contain many particularly Colonel Stanhope’s Sketch,' and
ing volume, 'Greece in 1823 and 1821,' and more memorials of Hobhouse's intimate and Mr. Finlay's · Reminiscences ' of Byron - will affectionate friendship with Lord Byron. have seen him just as he appeared to me during They are recorded in another place, which our long intimacy. I liked him a great deal too we do not propose to touch upon now. well to be an impartial judge of his character; Suffice it here to say, that whatever may but I can confilently appeal to the impressions have been the recklessness and selfishness be made upon the two above-mentioned witnesses of Byron to others, he was always the of his conduct, under very trying circumstances, warm and grateful friend of Hobhouse. for a justification of my strong affection for him The last time they met was at Pisa, in
- an affection not weakened by the fifty years September 1822, when Byron took leave of a busy and chequered life that have passed of him with the touching words,
over me since I saw him laid in his grave. house, you should never have come, or
“ The influence he had acquired in Greece you should never go.” At the close of the was unbounded, and he had exerted it in a man.
ner most useful to her cause. Lord Sidney Os. Session of 1823 and early in 1824, Hob- borne, writing to Mrs. Leigh, said, that if Byron house became one of the most active had never written a line in his life, he had done members of the Greek Committee in Lon- enough, during the last six months, in Greece, don, when his gifted friend was preparing to immortalize his name. He added, that no at Cephalonia and Missolonghi for a more one unacquainted with the circumstances of the active championship of the Greek cause. case could have any idea of the difficulties he Whilt soldiers like Colonel Leicester had overcome: he had reconciled the conten ling Stanhope were intent on providing the parties, and had given a character of humanity Greeks with the newest constitutions out and civilization to the warfare in which they of Bentham, Lord Byron was all for fight- were engaged, besides contriving to prevent them ing, and had actually resolved to attack from offending their powerful neighbours in the the Castle of Lepanto as soon as he could Ionian Islands. I heard that Sir F. Adam, in a collect a sufficient body of troops. How despatch to Lord Bathurst, bore testimony to
his great qualities, and lamented his death as soon were these hopes doomed to be an
depriving the Ionian Government of the only nihilated!
man with whom they could act with safety. “ After the removal of the corpse into the Mavrocordato, in his letter to Dr. Bowring, coffin, and the arrival of the order from the called him a great man,' and confessed that Custom-house, I accompanied the undertaker in he was almost ignorant how to act when de- the barge with the coffin. There were many prived of such a coadjutor.
boats round the ship at the time, and the shore “ On Thursday, July 1, I heard that the was crowded with spectators. We passed • Florida,' with the remains of Byron, had ar- quietly up the river, and landed at Palace Yard rived in the Downs, and I went, the same even-stairs. Thence the coffin and the small chest ing, to Rochester. The next morning I went to containing the heart were carried to the house Standgate Creek, and, taking a boat, went on in George Street, and deposited in the room preboard the vessel. There I found Colonel Leices- pared for their reception. The room was de ter Stanhope, Dr. Bruno, Fletcher, Byron's cently hung with black, but there was Valet, with three others of his servants. Three other decoration than an escutcheon of the dogs that had belonged to my friend were play- Byron arms, roughly daubed on a deal board. ing about the deck. I could hardly bring my- “On reaching my rooms in the Albany, I self to look at them. The vessel had got under found a note from Mr. Murray, telling me that weigh, and we beat up the river to Gravesend. he had received a letter from Dr. Ireland, poI cannot describe what I felt during the five or litely declining to allow the burial of Byron in six hours of our passage. I was the last person Westminster Abbey; but it was not until the who shook hands with Byron when he left Eng- next day that, to my great surprise, I learnt, land in 1816. I recollected his waving his cap on reading the doctor's note, that Mr. Murray to me as the packet bounded off on a curling had made the request to the Dean in my name; wave from the pier-head at Dover, and here I I thought that it had been settled that Mr. Gifwas now coming back to England with his ford should sound the Dean of Westminster precorpse.
viously to any formal request being made. I “Poor Fletcher burst into tears when he wrote to Mr. Murray, asking him to inform the first saw me, and wept bitterly when he told me Dean that I had not made the request. Whether the particulars of my friend's last illness. These he did so, I never inquired. have been frequently made public, and need not “I ascertained from Mrs. Leigh that it was be repeated here. I heard, however, on un- wished the interment should take place at the doubted authority, that, until he became deliri- family vault at Hucknall in Nottinghamshire. ous, he was perfectly calm; and I called to The utmost eagerness was shown, both publicly mind how often I had heard him say, that he and privately, to get a sight of anything conwas not apprehensive as to death itself, but as nected with Byron. Lafayette was at that time to how, from physical infirmity, he might be on his way to America, and a young Frenchhave at that inevitable hour. On one occasion man came over from the General at Havre, and he said to me, “ Let no one come near me when wrote me a note requesting a sight of the deI am dying, if you can help it, and we happen ceased poet. The coffin had been closed, and to be together at the time.'
his wishes could not be complied with. A “ The • Florida' anchored at Gravesend, and young man came on board the • Florida,' and I returned to London; Colonel Stanhope accom- in very moving terms besought me to allow him panied me. This was on Friday, July 2. On to take one look at him. I was sorry to be the following Monday I went to Doctors' Com-obliged to refuse, as I did not know the young mons and proved Byron's will. Mr Hanson man, and there were many round the vessel did so likewise. Thence I went to London who would have made the same request. He Bridge, got into a boat, and went to London was bitterly disappointed; and when I gave Docks Buoy, where the · Florida ' was anchored. him a piece of the cotton in which the corpse I found Mr. Woodeson, the undertaker, on had been wrapped, he took it with much devoboard, employed in emptying the spirit from tion, and placed it in his pocketbook. Mr. the large barrel containing the box that held Phillips, the Academican, applied for permisthe corpse. This box was removed and placed sion to take a likeness, but I heard from Mrs. on deck by the side of a leaden coffin. I stayed Leigh that the features of her brother had been whilst the iron hoops were knocked off the box, so disfigured by the means used to preserve his but I could not bear to see the remainder of the remains, that she scarcely recognized them. operation, and went into the cabin. Whilst This was the fact; for I had summoned courage there I looked over the sealed packet of papers enough to look at my dead friend; so completely belonging to Byron, which he had deposited at was he altered, that the sight did not affect me Cefalonia, and which had not been opened since so much as looking at his handwriting, or any. he left them there. Captain Hodgson of the thing that I knew had belonged to him.” (Vol. • Florida,' the captain's father, and Fletcher i.
pp. 140-143.) were with me: we examined every paper, and did not find any will.* Those present signed a
The funeral started from Nottingham on document to that effect.
the 16th July. Hodgson the translator of * This is at variance with the preceding statement
Juvenal, and Colonel Wildman of Newthat Hobhouse had just proved Byron's will.
It stead, attended as mourners, probably means that there was no other testamentary instrument.
“ The Mayor and Corporation of Nottingham joined the funeral procession. It ex- d'un autre.'' We shall therefore content tended about a quarter of a mile, and, moving ourselves with transcribing the following very slowly, was five hours on the road to paragraph, which is decisive as to Mr. Hucknall. The view of it as it wound through Hobhouse's opinion on the subject :the villages of Papplewick and Lindly excited sensations in me which will never be forgotten. “ At this time (April and May, 1830) I had As we passed under the hill of Annesley, much of my time taken up by looking after crowned with the peculiar diadem of trees Lord Byron's affairs, and taking advice as to iromortalized by Byron, I called to mind a the expediency of giving some public refutation thousand particulars of my first visit to New- to a charge made, as was stated, by Larly stead. It was dining at Annesley Park that I Byron, in regard to the separation between Bysaw the first interview of Byron, after a long ron and his wife. The attack on Lord Byron, interval, with his early love, Mary Anne Cha- on the authority of Lady Byron, was counteworth.
nanced by Tom Campbell, who was a first-rate “ The churchyard and the little church of poet, no doubt, but a very bad pleader, even in Hucknall were so crowded that it was with dif- a good cause, and made therefore a most pitiable ficulty we could follow the coffin up the aisle. figure when he had no case at all._I consulted The contrast between the gorgeous decorations friends, and amongst them Lord Holland, who of the coffin and the urn, and the humble vil- strongly recommended silence; and did not lage-church, was very striking. I was told scruple to say that the lady would be more anafterwards that the place was crowded until a noyed if she were left unnoticed, than if, late hour in the evening, and that the vault whether wrong or right, she had to figure in a was not closed until the next morning.
controversy. I was far from wishing to annoy “I returned to Bunny Park. The corpora- her at all; my sole wish was to do my duty by tion of Nottingham offered me the freedom of my friend; and I hope I have done that suffithe town, but I had no inclination for the cer- ciently by leaving, behind me, to be used if necernonjes with which the acceptance of the hon- essary, a full and scrupulously accurate acour would have been accompanied; I therefore count of the transaction in question. I shall declined it.
content myself here with asserting that it was “I should have mentioned that I thought not fear, on the part of Lord Byron, that perLady Byron ought to be consulted respecting suaded him to separate from his wife. On the the funeral of her husband; and I advised Mrs. contrary, he was quite ready to go into court,' Leigh to write to her, and ask what her wishes as they call it.” (Vol. i. p. 411 ) might be. Her answer was, if the deceased had left no directions she thought the matter might
The death of Byron placed the Greek be left to the judgment of Mr. Hobhouse. Committee in considerable embarrassment, There was a postscript, saying, “If you like and at one moment Hobhouse himself was you may show this.'
on the point of starting for Greece to “ I was present at the marriage of this lady manage the loan. Difficulties were, howwith my friend, and handed her into the carriage ever, raised by Mr. Joseph Hume, and which took the bride and bridegroom away. this plan was abandoned. The following Shaking hands with Lady Byron, I wished her picture of that individual, who was so all happiness. Her answer was, If I am not much better known to the last generation happy it will be my own fault.'” (Vol. i. p. than he is to the present, is not a flatter145.)
ing one; but it would be hard for anyone We have not thought ourselves called who knew him well to dispute the truth
of it:upon in this Journal to take any part in the controversy which recently occupied “ Joseph Hume had many valuable qualities, several of our contemporaries as to the mixed up with some eccentricities which boralleged causes of Lady Byron's alienation dered upon moral perversity. As a political asfrom her husband. The curiosity and cre- sociate he was unsafe, and, although his asdulity which prey upon the remains of saults were vigorous and successful enough, it genius and explore the recesses of forgot- was better to have to deal with him as an ten slanders are not to our taste. When enemy than a friend. As he cared little for inHobhouse read the horrible libels pub- vectives against himself, he was not aware of lished after Lord Byron's death, by a
the effects which his own intemperate talk ruffian who had extorted money from him, i might produce on others. Not only was his his first impulse was to take this thankless language coarse and absurdly inaccurate, but villain in hand himself. But he adds : “I his intellect was obtuse to a degree seldom, if
ever, found in a man who had been busily emdid not do this. I remembered what was said to the assassin who tried to murder portance. He was of great service, previously
ployed his whole life in affairs of the utmost im. Harley, and who asked the Duke of Or- to passing the Reform Bill, in sifting and exmond to kill him at once : «Ce n'est pas posing occasionally the estimates; and being a l'affaire des honnetes gens; c'est l'affaire man of indefatigable industry, collected a vast mass of materials which he could sometimes personal violence against the House.* skilfully employ. He, like Sir James Graham, Party ran very high. The Westminster Sir Robert Inglis, and one or two others, was reformers were regarded as incarnate essentially a part of the House of Commons for demons of revolution ; and as the pubmany years; and I recollect a saying of Sir lisher of the pamphlet was authorized to Robert Peel, that he could not conceive a House give up the name of the author at the Bar of Commons without a Joseph Hume.” (Vol. i. of the House, the House at once voted it p. 150.)
to be a contempt and a breach of privilege, Eventually Mr. Henry Lytton Bulwer and sent Mr. Hobhouse to Newgate. Sixwent out in the “ Florida,” in place of ty-five members, who were chiefly Whigs, Hobhouse, and subsequently published an voted against this arbitrary sentence. The account of his mission of 1824. It is re- motion was made by Mr. Courtenay, after markable that we should now, at an inter- wards Earl of Devon, who many years val of forty-seven years, have the pleasure afterwards in proposing the health of to welcome another literary production of Lord Broughton at his daughter's marthat accomplished diplomatist.
riage, took occasion to refer to what he The Byron episode has led us to antici- was then pleased to call his distinguished pate in some measure the earlier years of career. Distinguished or not, it began in Hobhouse's political life, and to these we Newgate, when it was an honour to be must now return. The city of Westmin- sent there; and there he remained till the ster may justly be regarded as the cradle death of George III. caused a dissolution of Parliamentary Reform. When Whigs of Parliament, opened his prison doors, stood aloof, and Brookes' frowned, and the and secured his speedy return for Westmost liberal Ministers of the day were on minster as the popular and persecuted the side of the old Borough system, a com-candidate at the ensuing general election. mittee of Westminster tradesmen, led by He retained that highly honourable posiMr. Brooke, the glass manufacturer in the tion of member for Westminster for nearly Strand, Mr. Adams, the coach-builder in thirteen years. During the greater part Long Acre, and Mr. Place, the tailor, and of that time his colleague was Sir Francis friend of Bentham, at Charing Cross, had Burdett, and there are living, we trust, begun to fight with success the battle of many of our friends who can remember Reform. They had brought Sir Francis what the good old cry of “Burdett and Burdett into Parliament in 1807, and on Hobhouse for Westminster" meant. the death of Sir Samuel Romilly in 1818 they offered the vacant seat to Mr. Hob
“ During the early part of my parliamentary house. He failed, however, on that occa
life my principal associate indeed, my consion. “ Citizen Place,” who was proud of Sir Francis Burdett was endowed with qualities
stant guide – was my friend and colleague. his pen, wrote a bitter appeal which irri- rarely united. A manly understanding and a tated and divided the party, and Mr. tender heart gave a charm to his society such as George Lamb, a brother of Lord Mel- I have never derived in any other instance from bourne’s, carried the day. This election, a man whose principal pursuit was politics. however, brought Hobhouse into notice. He was the delight both of old and young. He became a member of a political dinner There was no base alloy in his noble nature. club called “ The Rota,” to which Bicker- His address was most pleasing and un affected, steth, Burdett, Douglas, Kinnaird, Sir his manners most gentle; and yet where energy Robert Wilson, &c., belonged. The object and decision were required he assumel a quiet of this society was to discuss and promote
but determined superiority which few were the work of Parliamentary, or as it was
willing or able to contest. first called, “ Radical” Reform, and that
“ As a parliamentary orator he was, to my
mind, without an equal. A lofty stature, a adjective has given its name to a party mellifluous voice, a command of language easy throughout the world. A pamphlet was and natural, but at the same time most imconcocted at one of these meetings in pressive; sincere, and spoken from the heart as
an intemperate anti-reform well as the head. He never used a note or con. speech of Mr. Canning's. Canning attrib- sulted a paper of any kind. He never hesitated uted it to Sir Philip Francis, and was very angry; but it was in fact written by The sentence which called down on Hobhouse Hobhouse. Another pamphlet also written the indignation of the House and was voted by him in answer to one by Lord Erskine, vents the people from marching to the House, pull. gave rise to more serious consequences. ing the Members out by the ears, locking, the door, A member of the House of Commons and flinging the key into the Thames?”
terrogation was construed into an incitement to re. drew attention to a passage which he erro- volt. The answer to the question was given in the neously conceived to convey a threat of I next line - “ Knightsbridge barracks."
for a word, but he was never diffuse. I acci- | liam IV. ascended the throne of England; dentally heard the opinions of two of his parlia- Charles X. was driven by a revolution mentary contemporaries in regard to his ora- from that of France ; the Belgian revolutory, — Mr. Canning and Mr. Tierney; each tion followed; England was agitated to an of them, on different occasions, placed Sir Franhead of the orators of their day.” (Vol. i. p. istry collapsed and the Reform Ministry eis Buruett very nearly, if not quite, at the unprecedented degree; and before the end
of the year the Duke of Wellington's Min112.)
of Lord Grey was in office. We must pass lightly, for the way be- It was at this time (4th November) that fore us is long anil interesting, over the M. Vandeweyer, one of the Belgian Profirst ten years of Hobhouse's public life, visional Government, first arrived in Lonthough they were marked by several im-don. He knew no one, but he had letters portant events, the Canning Ministry, of introduction from Mr. Bulwer, and he Catholic Emancipation, and the steady called on Hobhouse. “ He appeared to progress of the Reform party in the me," says our author,
a very straightforHlouse of Commons, where our autobi- ward intelligent young man,” and this cirographer played no inconsiderable part. cumstance led Hobhouse to take a warm He took an active share in debate. His interest in Belgian independence.
The speeches laid no claim to high-flown elo-following account of an interview between quence, but they were full of good sense, the young emissary and the old Duke is and they were expressed with a sharpness curious : of wit that made him a formidable antagonist. He was not afraid to cross swords
“ Mr. Vandeweyer told me that the Duke of with Canning in a passage of studied sar
Wellington had written to him a very polite
note in the morning, asking to see him. He casm and invective, to which Canning went, and was much surprised, so he told me, made no reply; and some of his bon mots to see an infirm old man in an arm-chair, from were long remembered. It was on one of which he raised himself with difficulty to rethese occasions that Hobhouse first ap-ceive him. He gave me an account of what plied the expression “ His Majesty's Op- passed between them. • Although,' said he, 'I position " to the anti-ministerial side of the am no diplomatist, I knew there was an advantHouse. Canning took up the expression age in not speaking first; and, as the Duke as a happy one; and Tierney expanded it had invited me, and I had not invited myself, I by saying, “No better phrase could be remained silent. So did the Duke for å short adopted, for we are certainly a branch of time, and then began to talk. He showed that His Majesty's Government. Although he knew what had passed between Lord Aberthe gentlemen opposite are in office, we deen and me, and between the Prince of Or
He was extremely civil, and are in power. The measures are ours, but ange and me. all the emoluments are theirs !” But the said, “ Je vous donne ma pırole d'honneur qu'il
n'y a pas la moindre intention de notre part de joke originated with Mr. Hobhouse.
nous mêler dans vos affaires.” He added that It was in one of these debates of the the Conference of which I had complained had præ-Reform period that Canning in the quite another object; and then the Duke said course of an elaborate defence of the that “ he hoped the Belgians, in choosing a borough system urged that it formed an form of Government, would take care not to essential element of the British Constitu- give cause for disquiet to neighbouring nations." tion, since it had
I answered that we “ should take care of that, “ Grown with our growth, and strengthened provided there was no intervention; but that, if
there was, we should infallibly throw ourselves with our strength.”
into the arms of France." “ That,” replied the Sir Francis Burdett took up the quota- Duke, “would infallibly lead to a general war; tion in reply, and said, “ The Right Hon- besides which, the French would act in concert ourable Gentleman doubtless remembers with us, and would not accept you.” I said, the first line of the distich he has cited,
“ We are aware that, at first, the French Gov
ernment would not accept us; but we shoul'l apand that it is
peal to the French People, and, in a short time, ""The young disease, which must subdue at the Government would accept us. As for the length,
war, the people would fight their own battles, Grows with our growth and strengthens and have nothing to fear.”, with our strength.'
“ I asked Vandeweyer whether, under all the
circumstances, he would wish me to bring on Canning acknowledged that the retort my Bel rian motion. He answered • Yes' and was a happy and a just one.
he then told me that he had been chosen MemThe year 1830 was destined to witness ber for Brussels. I shook hands with him, and changes of a momentous character. Wil- I begged him to take care of himself. He ap