« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
at present, it is quite impossible for me to give any advice or opinion that ought in the smallest degree to have weight; yet, from all that Lord Sligo has told me, I will so far venture my sentiments as to say, that I am rather inclined to take B.'s side of the question, as likely to prove the best measure for ameliorating the evils and difficulties which must, I fear, from the general usage and customs of the world, and of our country in particular, be naturally produced by such an event as has occurred.
Lord Sligo has told me the object of his intended visit to Cadiz. It is certainly very kind of him to undertake the task, and I most earnestly hope he may succeed in curbing your brother's impetuosity, and reducing him to reason; this, however, will naturally require some art, and possibly a considerable degree of temper and patience. Lord Sligo has, I am sure, a good heart, with the best intentions, and the natural effusion of his genuine feelings may probably prevail, but I wish on this occasion he was a little older, and had a greater knowledge of mankind and of the world.
I now quit this subject until I have the pleasure of hearing from you again, requesting you will command me in any way that I can do you service.
Pray make my best regards to Bruce, and assure him of the same. I have not time to write to him by this opportunity. The letters I inclose from his father both to you and him, will no doubt be greatly interesting; and it is my earnest hope that they may prove also satisfactory.
Lady Hester Stanhope to Lieut.-General Oakes.
My dear General,
Rebeck, upon the Bosphorus,
I have only a moment to thank you for your dear kind letter of the 22d of June. I will write to you in length in about a week or ten days, and will only just tell you now that I have received, as well as B., the most satisfactory letters from his father; what an honest, upright feeling man he must be! As to my brother, he is rather less wild, but he is not all I could wish. I do wish you could hint to General Graham to betune him a little. The General knows all about it by this time, I am sure; for Mr. B. says that he has been tormented with anonymous letters. My old enemies, I suppose, are still at work, lamenting that all their former wicked intrigues to ruin my happiness has not, as they hoped it would, end by sending me into the next world.
How can I thank you for your kindness to Lord Sligo? he is so grateful for it, poor man, and to me for having spoken to you in his favour. God bless you, my dear General. I pray for the restoration of your health, and remain,
Ever most sincerely yours,
H. L. S.
We have only returned here a fortnight ago, and B. set off yesterday for Adrianople. He expects to be back in twelve days, and will then write to you.
Lady Hester Stanhope to Lieut.-General Oakes.
Rebeck, upon the Banks of the Bosphorus,
My dear General, Unless I could communicate to you the unfortunate history of my life, I have no sort of defence to make for that conduct which surprised you; all I can say is, had I acted differently, I should have had to reproach myself, and altogether to give up a person whose attachment appeared to me as extraordinary, as I have since found it uniform and sincere, I fairly tell you I had not courage to do so. I know how to make the best of my situation, and have sense and feeling enough never to wish to force myself forward so as to make it at all awkward to him; all the society I want is, that which, if I had been nobody, I could equally have enjoyed-a few of his men friends, and those of my own, who this nor any other imprudence would not have deprived me of; yet I never wish them to commit themselves, particularly those in a public situation, which was one of my reasons for having candidly mentioned this business to you; but at any time when you might hear me abused, you might be tempted to take my part, or that in the event of my again passing by Malta, you might be prepared to act towards me as you should think most becoming your situation, and which I never could take ill, knowing, at least flattering myself, that from your heart you can never act unkindly towards me.
The conduct of a certain person has given me great concern, and I little expected that he who knew the violence of my feelings could ever have acted as he has done. Thank God, upon his own account, he has not my death to reproach himself with, nor would I wish him ever to know not only all the misery, but sufferings his imprudence has caused me; but all that was over long ago. If he chooses to act as a friend towards me in private, it is all very well; if not, I shall never cease to pray for his welfare, but I can never see him again, nor will I allow him to torment me by letter: he might know me well enough to be aware that when my mind is made up upon any subject, it is unchangeable; however, I am still in hopes that matters will not come to this, if they do, God's will be done.
I am in all other respects happy and comfortable, and quite another creature to what I was when I left Malta. A very short time will now decide to what part of the world we shall bend our steps, to Egypt or to Italy; you must know, I think, we have great hopes of getting to Rome, even perhaps to France. Here is my letter to Lord Wellesley, which will explain the whole business: had *** not been a fool, he would never have acted as he has done; on the contrary, a public man ought to feel happy at the very idea of any thing like confidence subsisting between the two nations, and be very happy to find there are people in the world whose fears will not prevent their making an experiment upon its sincerity. But he is a bigot and an idiot in all
these sort of affairs; he made nearly as much fuss about the Captain Pacha having given us leave to go up the Black Sea if we chose it; to say the truth, I believe he is jealous; I never have yet either asked or allowed him to introduce one person to me since I came here, but young Morier, whom I dislike extremely, and Count Ludolph, whom I think of not in the way it is the fashion to do.
I have made my own way with the Turks, and I have contrived to get upon so intimate a footing, that the pacha's brother, brother-inlaw, and captain of the fleet dined with us, accompanied by the confidential physician. This may not sound like a compliment; but see the captain pacha's brother, bending under a tree in a public walk, he neither notices Greek, Armenian, or Frank women of any kind, but looks at them all as if they were sheep in a field, and they dare not come near him, as his attendants form a circle which they never pass, but stand and look at him for an hour together. I must likewise tell you that C. has been much shocked at my having gone on board the fleet in men's clothes; a pair of overalls, a military great-coat, and cocked hat, is so much less decent a dress than that of a real fine lady in her shift and gown and half-naked besides! The captain pacha said I was welcome to go, but I must change my dress, and I certainly thought it worth while. I closely examined every thing; and as I understand a little about a ship, it was not quite a useless visit. After his foolish conduct, all communication with the palace being at an end, I have not seen Sir H. Jones, but this I do not care much about.
When the answer arrives from Paris I will communicate to you the nature of it, and at all events as soon as it comes, and Mr. Liston is arrived, we shall leave this place. I find he is a sensible, liberal man, and I dare say he will see this business in a different light from C. To give you a little idea of the narrowness of this man's mind, when I praised Monsieur de M. to him, and said even himself could no but confess the French chargé d'affaires had never done a dirty thing and was considered even by his enemies as disinterested and pure, he was obliged to agree; but added, had he been a man of principle he could never live under the orders of a tyrant. I said what was he or any other Frenchman to do? He replied, Leave France for England. And what to do there? said I. Live upon bread-andwater! he answered. God knows we have too many Frenchmen in England as it is, to wish for more. By the by, though I have made it a rule never to repeat my conversation with Monsieur de M., I will tell you in confidence one thing I said to him (having you, my dear general, a little in my head). He seldom talks politics, but one day asked questions about L. Bonaparte, How was he, How would he be treated in England, How considered, &c. &c. &c. I answered, I knew not, but were I a public man I should have put him at first, and kept him in close confinement. If he was his brother's spy he deserved, if a traitor to his country, the same; for it is neither to the honour or interest of a great nation to encourage either the one or the other. These are my true feelings, and I am not ashamed to confess them to any one; and I fancy although I can do justice to the French as a nation full of talent and resource, no one can better faire valoir their own country.
The long-promised bridle accompanies this letter. I fear you will Jan.-VOL. LXVII. NO. CCLXV.
not like it much, but it is of the newest fashion. There are two sorts of bridles here, such as I send of various descriptions and colours, and those made for very great men, of solid silver, weighing some of them twelve or fifteen pounds, which their own stallions can just bear the weight of during some grand procession. In the hand, these bridles are the most magnificent things you can imagine, but they are so confused with chains and ornaments that they bury a horse's head and have little effect. I have sent a red one to my brother, but I thought that a dark one would more become your white horse. All those with tassels are made with a little silk mixed with silver or gold twist; it looks pretty for a day, but the heat of the horse spoils it directly, and it cannot be cleaned! This bridle must be cleaned with lemon-juice.
I must now conclude my long letter, but not without again thanking you for all your kindness to me, and exertions about Lord Sligo, who by Captain Barrie's account is even more committed than I imagined. Captain B. was poor Lord Camelford's greatest friend, therefore I received him with great cordiality. Adieu, my dear general, any letters which arrive more than a fortnight after Mr. Liston has passed you, pray keep till you hear from us.
Yours most sincerely,
H. L. S.
I am grieved about your health; pray do not remain at Malta long enough to injure it seriously. I should think if you came up here, and then went to Greece in the winter and returned home in the spring, it would be of great advantage, for few of our military men are acquainted with this country; besides, travelling and constant change of air would do you much good. I wish I could talk to you, for I have many important things to say. Now the dear duke is in power you may be any thing; but pray get quite well. Once more, adieu. bless you, my dear General.
Lady Hester Stanhope to the Marquis Wellesley.
Mr. Canning having threatened to write to your lordship, I take the liberty of addressing you on a subject I am anxious should not be misrepresented.
You are aware, my lord, that I left England on account of my health; which, though mended, is by no means re-established: and I always suffer extremely from cold. In the course of last winter I had often expressed a wish that it were possible I could visit either Italy or the south of France: which coming to the ears of Mr. Latour Maubourg, the French chargé d'affaires at this place, he was so good as to hint, through a third person, that he should be most happy to give me every assistance in his power to accomplish this object. Had Mr. Adair been here, or any man of known character and liberal opinions, I should, in the first instance, have communicated this circumstance to him, and fairly told him it was my intention to take advantage of the opportunity which now presented itself of making the acquaintance of Mr. Maubourg, and of requesting him to forward my views in the manner which he thought most honourable and respectable to both parties. But Mr. Canning was young and inexperienced; full of zeal, but full of prejudice; I guessed, therefore, what might be the line of
conduct he would pursue on such an occasion. Respecting, as I do, his many virtues, I did not wish to quarrel with him, or appear openly to disregard his authority, or publicly to ridicule the very idea of any person presuming to doubt my patriotism; because I despise the idea of war with individuals, and, also, cannot but lament a fault too common to most of our public men-that of seeing things in the light they wish them to be, and not as they are; and wishing to impose this fallacy upon the public mind, which, when discovered, must sooner or later destroy the degree of confidence they ought to possess.
The above reasons decided me to see Mr. M. privately; who is also very young for his situation, but which his talents fully qualify him to fill. Nothing can have been more candid, more honourable, than his conduct upon this occasion. He lost no time in writing to Paris for passports, and his answer may be expected every day. Not long ago Mr. Canning's spy, who I saw was pursuing me for some time, communicated to his employer that he had seen Mr. M. and myself walking together upon the coast of Asia. This led Mr. C. to inquire into the business, the whole of which I communicated to him, and my reasons for having kept it a secret. He has thought it his duty to take leave of me, and also to forbid any of those persons belonging to him to visit me: which, as far as it affects my comfort, is of no consequence, as they are all horridly dull, except Mr. Pisani, who is a man of information and merit and as far as relates to my politics I flatter myself that it is not in the power of Mr. C., or any other person, to cast any reflection upon them, that would be credited in this or any other country, and much less in my own.
Although it is very evident that Mr. Cauning has not been educated in your lordship's school of gallantry, yet I give him full credit for acting from the most upright and conscientious principles; and if his zeal has carried him a little too far, there is no one so willing to forgive it as I am, or so little inclined to attempt to turn him from what he considers to be the execution of his duty. Affectation nor fear has in no degree influenced my line of conduct towards him; and if I have acted with more moderation than is usual to me, it proceeds from what may (though true) sound like conceit to confess-the persuasion that Mr. Canning and I do not stand upon equal grounds, and that he is by no means a match for me, were I determined to revenge what, to others, carries the appearance of insult. But as he is both a religious and political methodist, after having appeared to doubt my love for my country, he will next presume to teach me my duty to my God!
Before I conclude, I must request your lordship not to receive Mr. C. with dry bows or wry faces, or allow the fine ladies to toss him in a blanket. The best recompence for his services would be, to appoint him commander-in-chief at home and ambassador extraordinary abroad to the various societies for the suppression of vice and cultivation of patriotism. The latter consists in putting oneself into greater convulsions than the dervishes, at the mention of Bonaparte's name. H. C. S.
To the Most Noble
&c. &c. &c.