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Emperor of Russia, who, he said, never would sanction the system of vexation which had been imposed upon him at St. Helena.”
London, March 21, 1817. A considerable sensation will be excited if a prediction of no common report is realised respecting Buonaparte. Colonel Mansell, of the 53rd regiment, is arrived from St. Helena ; he is not in town, but at his brother's house in Dorsetshire. A letter was received yesterday from the colonel in which he says,
“ When I left the island Buonaparte, was very ill, so much so, that the medical men who had seen him were of opinion that he could not live three weeks longer. From my own observations every thing tended to justify that opinion. I really think that the next intelligence will bring an account of his death.” Colonel M. will be in London in a few days, and I mean to wait upon
him with an introduction from Sir G. Cockburn.
Count Bettera, who gives to the world the copy of the Address of the Sicilians to the British Nation, says that the original is signed by twenty noblemen. When it was proposed to publish their names the count said that must not be. Ferdinand would strike off their heads if such a step were taken.
Major Rainsford, one of Christophe's generals, resident here, said, yesterday—“ The safety of Jamaica greatly depends upon your good conduct. In three hours I would undertake to get possession of it." He told me that Peltier was in disgrace with King Henry the First ; but vice versâ,—the late printer of the Ambigu said last night that 2000 pounds' worth of colonial produce was on its way from St. Domingo, intended as a present to Peltier. Of course you are aware that the Ambigu is dropped. The printer finding he could get no money, refused to go on with that journal unless his employer would agree to allow the receipts to go in liquidation of his claims (they amount to 8001.). Peltier would not accede to their conditions.
A reply to Lord Bathurst upon the subject of Buonaparte's treatment is ready for the press ; an outline of which you may perhaps receive ere the close of this letter. The topic of conversation in the fashionable world is
the sudden indisposition of Lord -- Dr. Gower states, as a rumour merely, that he has been taking poison. The noble lord has been long the victim of sharpers ; an ample patrimony is nearly swallowed up by speculations on the turf, and at the hazard-table. Another victim is Lord A- ;
his papa left this hopeful youth seventeen thousand pounds per year, in landed and funded property, and, in less than seven years, the whole was expended. A person of the name of Crockford, whose mother kept a fishstall, the corner of Essex-street, Strand, is one of the winners. He has bought the Panton estate at Newmarket, and drives a set of black blood horses in his barouche.
Four o'clock.- I have been waiting at R's since ten o'clock, for the Preface to the third edition of the “ Memorial addressed by Buonaparte to Sir Hudson Lowe." It is not come in.
Sir Robert Wilson applied to me, about a week since, for the American minister's address ; and also to learn at what time he could be most conveniently seen. Mentioning this circumstance to one of his intimates today, he said, “Sir R. is trying the American envoy upon the subject of the South American expedition - he has, in fact, offered his services.”
Our ministers hate the American minister most cordially. They assign as a reason his unaccountable reserve, on all occasions. Castlereagh's apparent candour will not go down in that quarter. Carlton House is poor and penniless. Mrs.
cannot get any money from thence. Of course the arrears are hopeless. Her allowance never exceeded six thousand pounds per annum, but the agreement was ten thousand.
The prince dines out again. His Highness went to the Bishop of Exeter's, and stayed till half-past one this morning. The report was, “ that he breaks fast, but that his spirits and appetite are good.” A leading man in the Opposition said just now,
you ever see the fiat of Parliament so completely set at defiance as in the new acts; it is very different, indeed, from the effect produced in 1796.”
The topic of conversation at the Great House is upon the subject of the Queensbury cause. Yarmouth will there be beaten in spite of the Lord Chancellor's teeth! B, K
that Leach will be Vice Chancellor in a few days, and Lord Chancellor before the end of the year.
A dreadful accident happened this morning. The Honourable Fitzroy Stanhope, son of the Earl of Harrington, when on his road to Newmarket, was upset, and his right leg cut off by the wheel of his tandem.
The Opposition say that Lord Holland never appeared so great as he did when he replied, the other night, to Lord Bathurst—" he equalled his uncle in his best days.”
London, the 25th of March, 1817. Hints have been dropped, from time to time, that in a few days I should be put in possession of a procedure of some importance! Time passed away, and still the day did not arrive; "another and another still succeeds.” Lost in conjecture, the mind wanders, but there are some things going on at Carlton House which bewilder me amazingly! At present I cannot communicate a sentence. Every thing is cloaked under the impenetrable veil of mystery. The Lord Chancellor was sent on Sunday to the chambers of Mr. L- in Lincoln's-inn. This visit
be thought derogatory in the great law lord, but when we recollect that the latter is still an invalid, from the effects of a sprained ancle, our wonder will cease. Nothing but the mandate of his royal master could have induced Eldon to pay this visit to a man whom he detests, nay, abhors! A long consultation took place, after which the Chancellor returned to the Great House.
Several cabinet councils have been held lately relative to foreign affairs. Lord Castlereagh has been up several nights together, for the purpose of expediting some arrangements of vast importance. Count Lieven and the Prince Esterhazy have been deeply interested. On Sunday the result was communicated to the Regent, and yesterday messengers were sent off.
America has also been prominent in the deliberations of our wise legislators. The propriety of remonstrance to that government upon they are now taking, in respect to the Spanish possessions in the South is undergoing a full discussion.
The India Board are tortured almost to madness! 6. The vast, the unbounded prospect lies before them.” The failure of Lord Amherst would have excited no surprise ; but the folly of the captain of the Alceste swells
the part I will send you
them with rage and indignation. Sir Joseph Banks received a letter from China yesterday, detailing the particulars of that affair ; the writer supposes that the Chinese will insist upon the delivery of the captain of the Alceste into their hands—their motto is “ blood for blood.”
The fourth edition of Santini's appeal will appear in the course of the week, with considerable additions from the pen of Colonel Poniatowski. As soon as the manuscript is put into the hands of Ran outline of it.
Mr. K — of Grosvenor Square, has returned from Paris. So far from leaving the French metropolis with regret, he says “ that nothing but illness prevented my visiting Old England again six months ago." Spoke of the marked neglect he had experienced from Talleyrand, who was under great pecuniary obligations to him in former times !! Ascribed this conduct, not to ingratitude, but imperious necessity. Related many anecdotes of the marked insult his daughter received in the streets of Paris, &c.
New improvements !—Waterloo-place, opposite Carlton House, is beginning to assume something like an uniform feature with façade of Carlton House. The columns are composed of brick, supporting a scaffolding pole, and the latter supports the entablature. Now, when the pole rots, down will come the whole structure. So inuch for the economy
of the architect. The Prince Regent dined yesterday with Sir Gore Ouseley, our late Ambassador in Persia. The conversation turned upon our relative situation with that country, and among other topics discussed was the alarming reports respecting the movements of the Grand Duke Constantine in that quarter. A paragraph appears in the New Times of this day upon the subject. There were present at the above dinner, the Prince Esterhazy, the Spanish, Dutch, Bavarian, Wurtemburg, Portuguese, and Hanoverian Members of the foreign corps diplomatique, in short, all except the Russian Ambassador, Count Lieven, who sent an excuse.
The paragraph !—The following singular piece of information is given in a letter from Calcutta of the 15th of October.-— Great alarm has been occasioned by information said to be received, that the Archduke Constantine has entered Persia at the head of a 100,000 Russians. The ostensible motive is to acquire possession of their ancient province of Georgia ; a project for which only three or four thousand men would be necessary." It is scarcely requisite to observe, that but a few weeks ago this formidable expedition was unknown in Russia, and that the Archduke Constantine was passing his time very quietly at Petersburg,
Four o'clock.—The day has passed over nearly without any incident happening worth recording. Castlereagh is said to have sprained his ancle! he is either politically indisposed, or indisposition has really attacked him unexpectedly!
Colonel Mansell is hourly expected in town. His arrival is looked for with great eagerness by those who require corroborating evidence relative to the treatment Buonaparte experienced from Sir Hudson Lowe.
No letter from you since the 20th of February! How is this?
GOSSIP ON PARISIAN AUTHORS.
M. Barrois and his Bibliographical Rarities-Henri Berthoud and the Musée
de Famille—“ La Némesis" - M. Jules Janin and his Apprentices-Bibliophile Jacob and Middle Age Literature-Parisian Literary Society-Countess de Ludre and Philosophical Divinity.
To the literary foreigner, Paris is a most interesting city. The number and extent of her public libraries, the profusion of literary curiosities, and the activity and zeal of her authors, tend to keep alive that enthusiastic ardour for letters, which would most certainly languish and die, but for such frequent and powerful stimulants. To an ordinary traveller, who is concerned only with the materiel of the city and its pleasant environs, the capital of France may be sufficiently conned over in a few days; but not so to the literary man. He requires more time to know the mind of Paris. It is varied, scattered in many directions, and composed of numerous heterogeneous elements. A man must be well introduced, and well acquainted with the general current of literature elsewhere, before he is qualified to appreciate the value and extent of the French intellect and acquirements. When, however, he gets once fairly within the magic circle, his movements are easy and agreeable. An Englishman, for instance, will find greater facilities for remark and investigation than among learned people in his own country. There are few restraints upon intercourse, and more of what an ardent and poetical mind would figure to itself to be connected with the social and friendly movements of a republic of letters.
After having taken a few days' ramble about the city and in its public buildings, I began to look over my letters of introduction. These I delivered with all speed, and found they were generally full of promise.
The first entrance I made among the learned, was to a somewhat remarkable personage, with whom I became acquainted during my stay in the French capital. It is M. Barrois, No. 6, Rue des Pyramides; a literary gentleman well known in Paris, both for the singularity of his undertakings, and the ardour and disinterestedness with which he prosecutes them. M. Barrois was not long ago one of the members of the Chambers of Deputies for the Département du Nord, and he is now a member of the French Academy. It was his connexion with this last body of literary men, which gave rise to that singular project in which he has been for several years actively engaged, and of which we shall immediately make some mention to the reader.
About four or five years ago, M. Barrois read a paper to the members of the academy, in which he affirmed that the Emperor Charlemagne invented a complete ALPHABET, taught it to his friends and courtiers, and carried on a constant intercourse with them, through its instrumentality, on all important state affairs. This alphabet was composed of the ten fingers of the hands, and in its leading features resembled many of those in use in public and private seminaries for the especial instruction of the deaf and dumb. Whether there had been any thing grotesque in M. Barrois's manner of communicating this curious piece of historical information to this august assembly of savants, or whether a morbid feeling of jealousy and envy had been somehow created against him, certain it is that the communication in question was received with a great deal of ironical mirth; and some members pointedly declared their belief that the whole statement was a complete delusion and a hoax; that Charlemagne never invented, or ever used, such an alphabet ; nor was there a particle of authentic historical evidence on which such a statement could be founded.
It is almost needless to say, that the literary pride of the ex-deputy was most grievously wounded at this contemptuous and sceptical conduct of the learned academicians. On the spur of the moment, he retorted upon them in the best manner he could. He told them that he was in a position to prove the historical fact, by the most incontrovertible evidence; but, from what had just transpired, he would never trouble them more with a single word upon the subject ; that he would make his appeal to the literary public in France, in a more full and formal statement; and that he had not the slightest doubt but he would succeed in establishing the truth of what he had that day announced to the academy.
From this moment M. Barrois took his resolve. He threw his whole mind, body, and fortune into the cause he had adopted. Being possessed of a very handsome fortune, and living economically, though, in every respect, as a French gentleman ought to do, he immediately began to form a rare and expensive collection of every thing connected with the early history of European civilisation, but particularly with matters relative to the life and times of Charlemagne. There was not a library or literary dépôt in Europe which was not ransacked for documents and manuscripts connected with the foundation of the French monarchy, and more especially with every matter directly or indirectly concerned with the public and private movements of Charlemagne and his immediate descendants. The author's own labours were great ; but, in addition, he procured the assistance of three other literary gentlemen, whose skill in collating and copying manuscripts he renumerated in the most handsome manner. About eighteen months ago the result of this united undertaking was considerably advanced towards completion ; and the sum expended on the forthcoming historical work, up to this period, including numerous and expensive engravings, amounted to nearly five thousand pounds! From what I have seen of the work I am fully persuaded that M. Barrois has made out his case, and has fully established the curious fact, that Charlemagne used a language of signs among his political agents and courtiers, with which none but themselves were acquainted, and of the applications of which, after the demise of the royal inventor, we have scarcely any traces whatever. Among the many historical proofs which M. Barrois has furnished, none gave him more pleasure than the discovery, that upon the back of the bible of the Englishman Alcuin, who was the private secretary and friend of the emperor, and which is preserved in the British Museum, there is a figure of two fingers crossing each other. The indefatigable academician sent a gentleman to England to ascertain this fact, and to make a correct drawing of this unique relic of antiquity, for the purpose of embellishing his work, and of adding another strong presumptive proof to the truth of his theory.
Whatever may be the opinion of the literary men of France, or of Europe generally, as to the abstract value or importance of this discovery