The Chung Collection

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The Chung Collection

A residence at the court of London Rush, Richard, 1780-1859 1833

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UNITED  STATES  OF  AMERICA,   FROM   1817  TO   1825.
aPubltefjev fa ©rtJtnarg to %i& ;$Haj«st|>.
*rNTED     IN
When I first took the pen to prepare the following sheets for the press, it was with the intention
of going through the full term of my mission; but
finding them run on to their present number in
using the materials of little more than a year, I
have, for the present, given over that intention. I
am the more admonished to this course, as negotiations with which I was charged at later periods,
were more elaborate and full than any recorded
in this volume. Miss More, in noticing Pope's precept that the greatest art in writing is "to blot,"
says that there is still a greater—the art to stop.
The contents of the chapters may startle at first;
but I trust only at first. I am as deeply sensible of
the impropriety of making an ill use of the incidents of private life, as it is possible any one can be,
and flatter myself that what I have said in this
connexion will be clear of all exception. I would
otherwise burn the sheets. I would burn them,
if I thought they contained a line or word to create vin
my country, and other official communications, it
is proper I should say, that I violate no duty. It
is known to be as well the practice as the principle
of the Government of the United States, to publish
such documents for general information: and in
fact I publish nothing that has not heretofore had
publicity in this manner, though piece-meal and at
detached intervals. I know of no exception, unless
the cases of Arbuthnot and Ambrister. These
constitute a transaction too marked to remain unknown in its diplomatic progress, the result having
long been known. My more ample account of it
all, at the time it arose, was transmitted to the
Department of State, and rests in its archives.
Even the European rule sanctions the publication
of negotiations when no longer pending, and this
is the case with all I present. I have only given
them in connecting links, and under forms somewhat different. Often I have omitted particulars
already published by the Government, whilst sometimes I have brought to light what may serve
as new explanations. In this, as other parts of the
work, I venture to claim for it, as the only title to
an indulgent reception, essential fidelity in its contents ; repeating, that I am chargeable with all
imperfections merely verbal.
I might have thrown into separate works  the
parts official and parts personal.    But I preferred IX
their junction. No public man, whatever the
extent or magnitude of his duties, leads a purely
official life, detached from personal scenes and feelings interwoven with it. Some view of these may
even serve on occasion to elucidate better the true
movement of official acts, by exhibiting the latter
in a broader connexion. I have also thought, that
it might not be wholly unacceptable to the American community to know something of the personal
reception of their Minister in England in virtue of
the trust he bears; not simply that which awaits
him in the common forms when he first arrives, but
more generally afterwards. The same motive will
open to his countrymen some views, imperfect indeed and few, but still some views of the social,
tone prevailing in classes amongst which his public
trust necessarily, and, if his residence be protracted,
largely throws him.
Brief reflections which I may now and then have
hazarded on the institutions and character of England, are of Httle moment. They will pass only
for what they are worth, with those who may be at
the trouble of reading them. Far from my purpose
has it been to scan all her institutions and character,
(a mighty task!) but rather to speak cursorily of
portions falling under my own immediate observation in some among the many spheres of her society
and population.    Other portions have been abun- dantly described by her own and foreign writers;
and here, portraits unlike each other, may each be
true to the original. Even an individual in whom
great qualities meet, may often be described under
different colours, each being just according to the
point of sight whence he is beheld. Who then
shall undertake to concentrate in a single picture,
a great and mighty nation ? The opinions in which
I feel most confidence, and which are most important, are those which refer to the wealth and
power of England, and their steady augmentation.
Those, of whatever nature, in which I have indulged, have reference, with scarcely any exceptions,
to the dates that belong to them. I am aware that
great political changes have taken place since; but
I do not, at my distance, believe that any essential
changes will yet have been produced by them, bearing upon the character or habits of the nation.
These, when the growth of ages, alter slowly in
any country. In England, they will come about
more slowly than in most countries.
Of current politics I have said nothing. Who
looks for party spirit therefore in these pages, will
not find it. They are merely intended to be historical and descriptive, if, in very humble ways,
they may at all lay claim to such characteristics.
It will scarcely be supposed that, even as far as they
go, they embody all the scenes, social or official, of XI
my mission. Of the first, there are only occasional
notices; and of the second, only such have been
selected as are decidedly national, and not all these.
The whole business of private claims, requiring
appeals to the British Government, I have of course
passed by; with a great variety of incidental duties.
These are of constant recurrence in countries between which there is so large and active a commerce as the United States and Great Britain.
The Consuls take charge of many of them in the
first instance; but the cases are still numerous in
which they find their way to the Minister.
I went to England again on a short visit in 1829.
An interval of but four years had elapsed; yet I
was amazed at the increase of London. The Regent's Park, which, when I first knew the west-
end of the town, disclosed nothing but lawns and
fields, was now a city. You saw long rows of lofty
buildings, in their outward aspect magnificent. On
this whole space was set down a population of probably not less than fifty or sixty thousand souls.
Another city, hardly smaller^ seemed to have sprung
up in the neighbourhood of St. Pancras Church
and the London University. Belgrave Square, in
an opposite region, broke upon me with like surprise. The road from Westminster Bridge to
Greenwich exhibited for several miles compact
ranges of new houses.    Finchley Common, desolate xu
in 1819, was covered with neat cottages, and indeed
villages. In whatever direction I went, indications
were similar. I say nothing of Carlton Terrace,
for Carlton House was gone, or of the street, of
two miles, from that point to Park Crescent, surpassing any other in London, or any that I saw in
Europe. To make room for this new and spacious
street, old ones had been pulled down, of which no
vestige remained. I could scarcely, but for the
evidence of the senses, have believed it all. The
historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire remarks, that the description, composed in the
Theodosian age, of the many stately mansions in
Rome, might almost excuse the exaggeration of the
poet; that Rome contained a multitude of palaces,
and that each palace was equal to a city. Is the
British metropolis advancing to that destiny ? Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, and other provincial towns that I visited, appeared, on their smaller
scales, to have increased as much.
In the midst of it all, nearly every newspaper
that I opened rang the changes upon the distress
and poverty of England. Mr. Peel's bill banishing
bank-notes under five pounds from circulation, had
recently passed. There was great clamour — there
is always clamour at something among this people.
Prices had fallen — trade was said to be irrecoverably ruined, through the over-production qf goods. Xlll
I have since seen the state of things at that epoch
better described perhaps, as the result of an underproduction of money. Workmen in many places
were out of employ; there were said to be fourteen
thousand of this description in Manchester. I saw
portions of them walking along the streets. Most
of this body had struck for wages. I asked how
they subsisted when doing nothing. It was answered, that they had laid up funds by joint contributions among themselves whilst engaged in work.
In no part of Liverpool or its extensive environs
did I see pauperism; the paupers for that entire
district being kept within the limits of its poor-
house; in which receptacle I was informed there
were fifteen hundred. I passed through the vale
of Cheshire; I saw in that fertile district, in Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire,
Warwickshire, Worcestershire, appearances of widespread prosperity, in the lands, houses, canals, roads,
public works, domestic animals, people—in every
thing that the eye of the merely transient traveller
took in. I stopped at Kenilworth, and Warwick
Castle; enchanting spots, which English literature
has almost, rendered classic. I had invitations to
Trentham Hall, Apthorpe, Hagley, Ockham, Land-
gewin, Grange Park, Digswell; from going to which
I was prevented by objects confining me to the
metropolis.    But I seize this opportunity of mark- XiV
ing my sense of the kindnesses intended me by the
proprietors of those beautiful seats. Nor can I let
it pass without comprehending in my grateful acknowledgments my valued American friends,
George Marx and Joshua Bates, Esquires, who
with their amiable families, kept London from
being a dull place to me during the autumn and
part of the winter, by their warm-hearted hospitalities. I have to say the same of my friend of
longer date, Colonel Aspinwall, Consul of the
United States for London, then residing with his
amiable family at Highgate.
I cannot close these preliminary lines without the
remark, that, since the volume was written, events
have transpired in our own country calculated at
first to give uneasiness to those who dearly love
it. But may we not hope that all danger is past;
and that the Union, which made and can alone
preserve us a nation, will derive from them new
strength and glory ?
R. R.
Sydenham, near Philadelphia,
April 1833. CONTENTS.
Voyage, and arrival at the Isle of Wight      .        .        Page    1
Landing at Portsmouth, and journey to London        .        .11
First interview with Lord Castlereagh.—First appearances of
Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—Slaves carried away from the
United States contrary to the Treaty of Ghent.—Equalization of
Tonnage duties.—West India trade.—Members of the British and
American Cabinets      .        .       .        .        .       .        .        .81
London East of Temple-Bar.— London North of Oxford
Street ..........    49
Dinner at Lord  Castlereagh's.—Members of the Diplomatic
Corps.—The first visit.—Dinner at Lord Westmoreland's      .    57 CONTENTS.
Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—Slave Question under the
Treaty of Ghent.—North-Western boundary between the United
States and British Possessions.—Post at the mouth of Columbia
River Page    71
Reception by the Prince Regent.—The Levee,—The Royal
Family       ..........    SO
Attempt upon the life of the Duke of Wellington.—Old customs
about the Court.—Dinner at the Danish Minister's.—Private
audience of the Queen.—The Drawing-room.—Dinner at Lord
Castlereagh's 93
Emigration.—Literary Institutions.—Clubs.—Booksellers' shops.
— St. James's Palace.—Party at the Duchess of Cumberland's—
At the Russian Ambassador's—At the Marchioness of Stafford's
—At Lord Melville's—The Duke of Sussex Dinner at the Mansion House         ......... 107
Visit to Mr. West.—Dinner at Mr. Lyttelton's—At Lord Holland's.—A day at Deptford and Greenwich.—Dinner at the Austrian Ambassador's—At Earl Bathurst's.—Marriage of the Princess Elizabeth.—Dinner at Lord Bagot's       .... 127
Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—General negotiation proposed
on the West-India trade, Maritime questions, and Impressment.
—Nature of the last question.—The Slave-trade.—Offer of British
mediation in the affairs of the United States and Spain. Dinner
at Mr. Wilberforce's—At the Earl of Hardwicke's.—Almack's.	
Late hours.—Covent-Garden theatre .        .        .        .154 CONTENTS.
Wager of battle.—Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—Impressment. Course of Great Britain and the United States as between
Spain and her Colonies.—Affairs between the United States and
Spain. — Safety of diplomatic correspondence. — The Drawing-
room.—Birth-day dinner at Lord Castlereagh's Page    177
The daily press.—Annual exhibition at the Royal Academy.—
Public  Societies. — Dinner at the  Marquis of Lansdowne's. —
Evening   entertainment at   Carlton   House. — Dinner   at   Dr.
Pinckard's 195
The  United States and Ionian Islands.—Affairs between the
United States and Spain.—Monument to Burns.—British Institution, Pail-Mall.—Dinner at Mr. Canning's—Lord Erskine   .218
Dissolution of Parliament.—Revenue and resources of England.
—Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—Impressment. — The Slave-
trade.—Commercial Convention of 1815.—Dinner at the Marquis
of Stafford's.—Further interview with Lord Castlereagh on Impressment and the Slave-trade.—The hustings at Covent Garden.
—Dinner at the Chancellor of the Exchequer's    .        .        . 239
Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—General negotiation proposed.
—Commercial Convention of 1815.—European mediation between
Spain and her Colonies.—Dinner at Mr. Villiers's.—The Quarterly
Review.—Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—Proposal for a general  negotiation accepted.—Mr. Gallatin to take part in it	
Mr. Robinson and Mr. Goulburn, the British negotiators.—Commercial Convention of 1815. — Dinner at Sir John Sinclair's—
At Mr. Bentham's—At the French Ambassador's.—Interview with
Lord Castlereagh.—Course of Great Britain and the United States
towards Spain and her Colonies.—Affair of Pensacola . 269 van-;
Interview with Lord Castlereagh.—.Impressment.—Cases of Ar-
buthnot and Ambrister.—Mr. Gallatin arrives in London.—Preparatory Conference at North Cray, Kent, the seat of Lord Castlereagh, where the negotiators dine and pass the night.—Appearances of the country.—Opening of the negotiation -. The points
recapitulated. — Last interview with Lord Castlereagh on Impressment, prior to his departure for Aix-la-Chapelle       Page 301
Progress of the negotiation.—A Convention concluded.—Questions arranged by it; viz. that of the Fisheries—North Western
boundary line Columbia River and Territory West of the Rocky
Mountains.—Commercial Convention of 1815.—Slaves carried off
contrary to the Treaty of Ghent  322
Subjects which the negotiation left unadjusted, particularly the
West-India Trade and Impressment .... 349
The English in the Autumn.—Inauguration of the Lord Mayor
—Death of the Queen .       .        .       ,       .       .        .381
Americans abroad.—Cases of Arbuthnot and Ambrister.—Opening of Parliament.—Royal Speech by Commission.—Dinner at Mr.
Wellesley Pole's.—Chesapeake and Shannon        .       .       . 897 A RESIDENCE AT
On the 19th of November 1817, I embarked at Annapolis in the Franklin seventy-
four, as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States to the
Court of London. The ship was new, built
at Philadelphia, and ordered round to Annapolis to take me and my family on board.
The anchors were weighed to the sound of
music. We were three days in getting down
the Chesapeake, and on the 23rd found ourselves at sea. The evening sun shone upon
the light-house as we left the capes, which
jut out towards each other, looking, from the
ocean, like a fine natural gateway to the entrance of this part of our country.
I will not stop to describe the minute occurrences of the voyage, though a large raan-
0 2
of-war abounds with them, as they strike
upon the observation of a person who has
never before been at sea. The crew consisted of upwards of seven hundred men.
The ship was of two thousand tons, and, although rated a seventy-four, mounted ninety
guns. If silence and cleanliness be proofs of
discipline, the ship's company was entitled
to that praise. We had one storm, a severe
one; so it seemed to a landsman. As it
was coming on, the sails were taken in, even
whilst it raged, the top-gallant yards sent
down, and masts struck, with a quickness that
appeared wonderful. " Call a hundred men
aft" said the officer on the quarter-deck to
a midshipman, when something urgent was to
be done. In a moment, a hundred men were
there. Occasionally the trumpet was used; the
straining of the voice through which, amidst
the roaring of the winds, had a hideous sound.
When the storm began to abate, I fell into
conversation with Commodore Stewart. We
were holding-on to one of the guns that had
been run into the cabin. " Commodore," said
I, " this is a new scene to me; what could you
do if we were at war and an enemy of equal
force hove in sight ?"—" Chase him," he said,
gravely.—"What then," I replied; "you could
not engage, I suppose ?  for  ten hours your 1817.
ship has been tempest-tost; all your exertions
seem to have been required to resist the
storm."—I True," he said, " but we could keep
the enemy in sight."—" But certainly you
could not fight him," I again remarked.—" We
could not," he rejoined, " now ; but we should
watch each other, and go to it when the storm
was over."—" What! all exhausted with the
labour it has cost, all dismantled as your ship
is !"—| Yes, as quick as possible," he answered,
I there would be no time to lose ; the rigging
must go up faster than it came down." Such
is war. The elements cannot stop it. Their
very raging seems akin to it. This was no
vain boasting. The Commodore was a modest,
unassuming man; but faithful to his duty in
the battle or storm.
An incident occurred that may be worth
mentioning from its possible bearing upon the
theory of the currents along our coast. We
left the capes of Chesapeake on a Sunday,
steering for England. On the following Friday, to the surprise of all on board, we saw
land. It proved to be the Island of Bermuda.
But how came we there ? Our Captain had
no intention of running down to that latitude.
From the first few hours after leaving the
capes, the winds had been light, chiefly from
the  north and  north-west,  and  the weather
B 2
thick. No accurate observations could be
taken. We were aware that the ship had
fallen to the south before entering the gulf-
stream, but had counted upon its current,
which sweeps from south to north, bringing us
sufficiently back again. It happened that, when
we entered it, the wind freshened, and carried us across very fast, dying away soon afterwards. Thus the current had but little time
to act, in drifting us again to the north. This
seemed to be, in part, the way of accounting
for the situation of the ship. Yet the fact was
strange that she should be so far south, as no
very strong winds had blown from the north,
or any quarter. I am sensible that, to present
this fact properly, the precise state of the
winds, with the ship's reckoning for each day,
ought to be given, which I have not the means
of doing. Humboldt, who overlooked nothing
connected with the phenomena of nature, remarks in his Personal Narrative upon the small
portion of knowledge which we possess of the
absolute position and breadth of the gulf-stream,
as well as of its prolongation towards the coasts
of Europe and Africa; and as the true knowledge of it would be of the highest importance
in shortening voyages, he hints that it might
be useful if vessels furnished with the best instruments  were  instructed  to  cruise  in  the 1817.
gulf of Mexico, and in the Atlantic, between
the 30th and 54th degrees of north latitude,
expressly with a view to determine at what
distances, and in what precise directions, the
stream is found in different seasons and under
the influence of different winds. The same
navigators, he remarks, might have instructions
to examine whether this great current constantly skirts the southern banks of Newfoundland ; and on what parallel between 32 and 40
degrees of west longitude the waters which
run from east to west, are nearest to those
which flow in an opposite direction. The
Commodore, who was considered by those who
knew him best, to be as skilful a navigator as
he was an accomplished officer, inclined to the
belief, I thought, that the currents of the
ocean, the theory of which we do not yet fully
understand, had exerted some agency in bringing the ship into the situation described.
On the evening of the 28th, after having
had Bermuda in view for a few hours, and
noticing some signals made to us, the wind
springing up, we gladly bade it adieu, and
laid our course for England. It was on the
Sunday following that we had the storm.
From that time the ship went swiftly onward
under boisterous winds. On the 14th of December we were in the Channel.    The nights 6
were long and dark; the days gloomy. We
could get no good observation from the sun or
stars. We spoke no vessels, saw none; nor
any sign of a pilot. The New England pilot
boats and those of the Chesapeake, our officers said, would run out to sea twenty and
thirty miles to look for vessels ; but here, in
the English Channel, such a high-way for vessels, no pilots were to be seen, and at a season
when most wanted. It was somewhat remarkable, that neither the Commodore, who had
been twenty years in the navy, nor any of his
Lieutenants, though seven in number, and
some like himself familiar with almost all seas,
had ever before been up the English Channel;
nor had the sailing-master, or mate. Cowes or
Portsmouth was the port we desired to make.
Our midshipmen, two, in particular, whose
names I remember, young Powell of Virginia
and Cooper of New York, would climb up to
the truck of the mainmast; but neither land,
nor light-house, nor pilot-boat, nor any thing
could be descried. All was a dreary waste.
Throughout the 14th and 15th the Commodore's anxiety was very great, especially by
night, for the weather was rough, and he believed we were close by the coast. The ship
was chiefly steered by soundings; her situation being ascertained from the appearances of 1817.
the soil which the lead brought up; a resource
when other guides of navigation fail, but tedious, and apt to prove deceptive.
At length, early in the morning of the
16th, all uneasiness was dispelled. The first
gleams of light disclosed land. It was a long
blue-looking ridge rising out of the water. A
gun was fired, which brought a pilot. We
learned, as he stepped on board, that the land
before us was the Isle of Wight, and that we
were near Cowes. All eyes were upon him as
he passed along the deck. The first person
that comes on ship-board after a voyage seems
like a new link to human existence. When he
took his station at the helm, I heard the Commodore ask how the Needles bore. " Ahead
north," he answered.—" Do you take the ship
through them." — " Ay." — " Does the wind
set right, and have you enough?" — "Ay."
This closed all dialogue, as far as I heard.
He remained at his post, giving his laconic
orders. In good time we approached the Needles. The spectacle was grand. Our officers
gazed in admiration. The very men, who
swarmed upon the deck, made a pause to look
upon the giddy height. The most exact steering seemed necessary to save the ship from the
sharp rocks that compress the waters into the
narrow strait  below.    But  she passed easily 8
through. There is something imposing in entering England by this access. I afterwards
entered at Dover, in a packet, from Calais ; my
eye fixed upon the sentinels as they slowly
paced the heights. But those cliffs, bold as
they are, and immortalized by Shakspeare, did
not equal the passage through the Needles.
There was a breathless curiosity also in the
first approach augmenting its intrinsic grandeur.
In a little while we anchored off Cowes. If
the Needles were a grand sight, the one now
before us was full of beauty. Castles, cottages,
villas, gardens, were scattered on all sides.
When we left our own country, the leaves had
fallen, and the grass lost its green ; but now,
although the season was more advanced and
we had got to a higher latitude, a general verdure was to be seen. This was doubtless the
effect in part of exquisite cultivation, and in
part of the natural moisture and mildness of
the climate of this part of England. As we
looked all round after so immediately emerging from the gloom of the ocean, it seemed
like enchantment. Boats came off from the
shore to look at our ship ; the persons in them,
their dress, countenances, the minutest thing,
fixed our attention. Our Consul at Cowes
came on board, and some officers of the port. 1817.
Three pilots also came. Between these and
our pilot words were soon heard. The cause
was remarkable. It turned out that our pilot
was in fact no pilot. He had been one, but his
branch was taken away for habitual drunkenness. Continuing to own his boat, he sailed
about this part of the Channel at his pleasure,
like the old man of the sea. Hearing our gun,
he came on board, and, making the most of our
being a foreign ship, cunningly resorted to the
exercise of his old craft. The disappointed
pilots declared, and our Consul rather confirmed what they said, that at the moment of their
dispute he was in a state of intoxication ; so
that we were then first made acquainted with
the fact of having been brought through the
Needles by a drunken steersman ! It appeared
singular that such an occurrence should have
happened in the English Channel; yet so it
was. It was hinted that he had so good a tact
in his business, and knew that part of the coast
so well, that he would generally steer right
even when drunk. Such was the lucky accident in our case, and, being ignorant, we were
not uneasy. His drunkenness taking the form
of taciturnity, he escaped detection in the eyes
of strangers, though his sulkiness had not been
unnoticed. The others stoutly denied his
right to any fees ;  but as the fact of service  1817.
I stayed on ship-board two days waiting
the proper order from London, for which the
Consul had written, to have my baggage passed. During this interval the surrounding
scene lost none of its interest; it was further
enlivened by visitors coming on board the ship.
We got the London newspapers wet from the
press. It is a remark of Humboldt, that no
language can express the emotion that a European naturalist feels when he touches for the
first time American land. May not the remark be reversed by saying, that no language
can express the emotion which almost every
American feels when he first touches the
shores of Europe ? This feeling must have a
special increase, if it be the case of a citizen of
the United States going to England. Her
fame is constantly before him. He hears of her
statesmen, her orators, her scholars, her philosophers, her divines, her patriots. In the nursery he learns her ballads.    Her poets train his 12 RESIDENCE  AT THE 1817.
imagination. Her language is his, with its
whole intellectual riches, past, and for ever
newly flowing; a tie, to use Burke's figure,
light as air, and unseen ; but stronger than
links of iron. In spite of political differences,
her glory allures him. In spite of hostile collision, he clings to her lineage. After Captain
Decatur's capture of a British frigate, some
one asked him if his forefathers were not
French. " No, I beg pardon," he answered,
" they were English." In that spirit would his
countrymen generally answer. Walking the
deck with two of our lieutenants, while sounding up the Channel, " Think," said one of them,
" that we may be in the track of the Armada "
and they talked of the heroine queen at Tilbury. These are irrepressible feelings in an
American. His native patriotism takes a
higher tone from dwelling on the illustrious
parent stock. Places and incidents that Englishmen pass by fill his imagination. He sees
the past in conjunction with the present.
Three thousand miles, said Franklin, are as
three thousand years. Intervention of space
seems to kindle enthusiasm, like intervention
of time. Is it not fit that two such nations
should be friends ? Let us hope so. It is the
hope which every minister from the United
States should carry with him to England.    It 1817. COURT  OF  LONDON. 13
is the hope in which every British minister
of State should meet him. If, nevertheless,
rivalry is in the nature of things, at least let
it be on fair principles. Let it be generous,
never paltry, never malignant.
The order for my baggage not arriving at
the time expected, I landed without it. Preferring to land at Portsmouth, the boats were
prepared, and on the 19th I left the ship.
The Commodore and some of his officers accompanied me. A salute was fired, as on embarking ; the usual ceremony when our ministers are received on board, or landed from,
the national ships. Approaching Portsmouth,
we passed numerous vessels of war. Some were
lying in ordinary, some ready for sea. There
were docks, and arsenals, and store-houses, and
batteries, and fortifications. The day was fair ;
the wind fresh. This gave animation to the
harbour scene, swelling the sails of vessels in
motion^and streaming out the colours of those
at anchor. It was a fine naval panorama. Besides formidable rows of line of battle ships
and frigates, we saw transports crowded with
troops. I had before seen ports alive with the
bustle of trade; but never one so frowning and
glistening with features and objects of war.
When we reached the shore, tide-waiters advanced to take possession of my baggage.   They
i 14
were informed of my public character.    This
did not turn them from their purpose.    The
national ship from which I had debarked was
in view; her colours flying.    Still they alleged,
that having received no orders to the contrary,
they must inspect my baggage.    I said to Commodore Stewart that, strictly, they were right,
and directed my servant to deliver it.    There
was but little, the principal part having been
left on board to await the permit of exemption.    It might have been supposed that these
guardians of the revenue would have satisfied
their sense of duty by a merely formal examination of what was delivered so readily.    Not
so ; carpet-bags were ransacked; the folds of
linen opened, as if Brussels lace had been hidden in them ; small portmanteaus peered into,
as if contraband lurked in every corner.    Nothing was overlooked.    A few books brought
for amusement on the voyage were taken possession of, and I had to go on without them.
I should have been disposed to make complaint
of this mock official fidelity and subaltern folly,
but from an unwillingness to begin my public
career with a complaint.    And I remembered to
have heard Mr. Adams say, that when the Allied Sovereigns visited England after the battle
of Waterloo, their baggage was  inspected at
Dover, the order for exemption having, by an 1817.
inadvertence, not been sent. There is no privilege, by positive law, of a foreign minister's
effects from Custom-house examination ; but
by universal comity, it is forborne. The exercise of such a claim with the privity of a Government would become an affront. I must
add, that the order for the full delivery of all
mine, with every immunity, arrived at Cowes
soon after I left the ship. In the sequel the
unlucky books found their way back to me.
I proceeded to the George Inn in Portsmouth, where the Commodore and his officers
were to give me the favour of their company
to dinner. Arrived there, we had every attention from the master, and his servants. Comfortable apartments were promptly prepared,
and the ready-laid fires lighted. We found
that careful anticipation of our wants, and
orderly arrangement of every thing, for which
we had understood English inns were remarkable.
Whilst seated round our parlour fire in the
evening, fatigued by the excitements we had
gone through, and waiting the summons to
dinner, we heard the bells. It was a fine
chime to which we all listened. My wife was
especially fond of their music. Sometimes the
sound grew faint, and then from a turn in the
wind, came back in peals.    We knew not the 16
cause. It passed in our thoughts that the
same bells might have rung their hurras for
the victories of Hawke and Nelson ; " May be"
said one of the party, "for Sir Cloudesley Shovel's too." Thus musing, an unexpected piece
of intelligence found its way into our circle.
We were given to understand that they were
ringing on the occasion of my arrival; a compliment to my station to which I had not
looked. We went in to our first dinner in
England under a continuation of their peals.
The cloth removed, we had a glass or two to
our country and friends, after which we returned to our sitting-room. When all were
re-assembled there, I had an intimation that
" The Royal Bell-ringers were in waiting in
the hall desirous of seeing me." They flid not
ask admittance, I was told, but at my pleasure.
I directed them to be shown in at once, beginning now to understand the spring to the compliment. Eight men with coats reaching down
to their heels, hereupon slowly entered. They
ranged themselves one after another, in a solemn line along the wall. 'Every thing being
adjusted, the spokesman at their head broke
silence with the following intelligible address.
He said that they had come, " with their due
and customary respects, to wish me joy on my
safe arrival in Old England as Ambassador Ex- 1817.
traordinary from the United States, hoping to
receive from me the usual favour, such as they
had received from other ambassadors, for which
they had their book to show." Their book was
a curiosity. It looked like a venerable heirloom of office. There were in it, the names of
I know not how many ambassadors, ministers,
and other functionaries, arriving from foreign
parts, throughout the lapse of I know not
how many ages, with the donations annexed to
each. Magna Charta itself was not a more important document to the liberties of England,
than this book to the Royal Bell-ringers of
Portsmouth! I cheerfully gave to the good-
humoured fraternity the gratuity which their
efforts in their vocation appeared to have drawn
from so many others under like circumstances.
So, and with other incidents, passed my first
day in England.
On the following morning, Admiral Thorn-
borough, the admiral in command at Portsmouth, Sir James Yeo, captain in t the British
navy, and Sir George Grey, chief commissioner
of the dock-yard, called upon me. They offered their congratulations on my arrival. The
admiral said, that if Commodore Stewart required any supplies for his ship, every facility-
which the yard afforded would be at his command.    He added, tfiat he would be happy in RESIDENCE AT THE
the opportunity of showing him the hospitalities of the port. Sir George Grey expressed
his regrets that he had not known of my intention to land at Portsmouth, saying that he
would have sent the Admiralty Yacht to the
Franklin to bring me, my family, and suite, on
shore; the more so, as the day was blustering,
and he feared we had suffered from exposure
in the ship's boats, the distance being several
miles from Cowes to Portsmouth. I made the
acknowledgments which these courtesies demanded. If but the natural offspring of the
occasion, they tended to show, that whatever
had been the conduct of the subordinates of
the Custom-house, those who stood higher
were likely to be actuated by different feelings
towards an official stranger. I estimated properly Sir George Grey's offer, but had a silent
feeling that would have made me prefer under
any circumstances the landing from the ship's
boats, with my country's flag at the stern.
At noon I set out for London. My family
consisted of my wife, four small children, young
Mr. Taylor, of Washington, attached to my
legation, whose name I cannot mention without
an allusion to his amiable and gentlemanly
qualities, and three servants. As the post-
chaises drew up, the master of the inn returned
me his thanks for my custom.    The servants
Tfe**- 1817. COURT  OF  LONDON. 19
also formed a line on each side of the entry,
thanking us as we passed along. I am aware
that this had all been paid for; still there is a
charm in civility. Money owing, says the moralist of Tusculanum, is not paid, and when
paid is not owing; but he who pays gratitude
possesses it, and he who possesses, pays it. So,
civility for the small things of life is a species
of gratitude which we like. We were soon out
of Portsmouth, and went as far as Godalming
that day, a distance of thirty-eight miles, over
roads like a floor.
I was surprised at the few houses along or
near the road side. I had been full of the idea
of the populousness of England, and although
I must needs have supposed that this could
not be the case in every spot, it had not occurred to me that along such a high road I
should find the first and so remarkable an
exception. We rarely met waggons, carriages,
or vehicles of any sort, except stage-coaches.
We did not see a single person on horseback.
The stage-coaches illustrated what is said of
the excellence of that mode of travelling in
England. These, as they came swiftly down
the hills or were met in full trot upon the
plains, the horses fine, the harness bright, and
the inside and out filled with passengers, not
only men but women, crowding the tops, had a
r   9.
1 20
bold and picturesque appearance. The few
peasants whom we saw were fully and warmly
clad. They wore breeches, a heavy shoe, which,
lacing over the ankle made the foot look
clumsy; a linen frock over the coat, and stout
leather gloves, which they kept on while working. They were generally robust men, short,
and of fair complexions. We passed a waggon
of great size. It had no pole, but double
shafts, with a horse in each, and a line of four
horses before each shaft horse, making ten in all,
of enormous size. Their tails were uncut, and
the long shaggy hair hung about their pasterns.
The waggon was loaded with bales pile upon
pile, higher than I had ever seen. Our postilions called it the Portsmouth heavy waggon.
We afterwards saw others of like size and construction, drawn by like horses, loaded with
the produce of agriculture. Whilst the draft-
horses were thus enormous and rough, and the
stage-coach horses sleek and beautiful, our post-
horses were small, gaunt, and unsightly, but
with great capacity to go fast. I was looking
for a favourable change in their appearance
at every relay, without finding it. In good
time I discovered that the principle of subdivision applied to horses, with as much strictness as to every thing else in England, there
being every variety for work and luxury. 1817.
In regard to population, I had subsequent
opportunities of perceiving that there were
other parts of England, and of greater extent,
where it was much more thin than was generally the case from Portsmouth to Godalming.
London, and a circuit of twenty miles round,
give more than two millions of inhabitants ;
Yorkshire gives one million, and Lancashire
about one million. Hence these three portions
of territory, so small when compared with all
England, embrace nearly one third of her
population. This concentration in particular
districts seems to have left others relatively
bare. It is difficult to believe under such
facts, whatever theories we meet with, that
England is at present overpeopled. Her soil,
it would seem, must be open to further meliorations, which, with improved systems of policy
and agriculture, and further means of internal
communication, great as are already the latter,
will in time not distant carry her population as
far above what it now is, as it now exceeds what
it was at the period of her early kings. If we
take Holland as an example of successful industry and art, where a nation has been compelled to struggle against the disadvantages of
a stinted soil, there are great portions of territory in England still like a desert, which after-
ages may behold productive.
At  Godalming we lost
our  mocking-bird.
We had brought it as a mark of remembrance
from Mr. Crawford, formerly Minister of the
United States in France, to Lady Auckland,
for some kindnesses received from her in England. We nursed it with all care during the
voyage. It drooped, however, at sea, and the
night being cold at Godalming, it died. This
bird is small, and has no beauty of plumage.
Its notes are as melodious as the nightingale's,
and of more variety; but I doubt if they can
ever be drawn out in their full extent, and
richness, except in its native climates. Mr.
Fox, as we learn in the introduction to his
James IL, thought the notes of the nightingale
sprightly rather than plaintive, and refers to
the " Floure and Leafe" of Chaucer as showing
him to have been of that opinion, when he
speaks of its merry song. Mr. Fox even calls
Theocritus to his aid, who makes the yellow
nightingale u trill her minstrelsy" in notes responsive to the cheerful blackbird's. Could this
British statesman, who in the midst of his
graver pursuits was so alive to the beauties of
poetry and nature, have heard the American
mocking bird warbling its wood notes wild, he
would at one moment have been cheered by
their sprightliness ; the next, soothed by their
melancholy. 1817.
On the morning of the 21st we proceeded on
our journey. Every thing now began to wear
a different aspect. The change was more decided after passing Guildford, the county town
of Surrey. We saw the traces of a more abundant population, and advanced state of husbandry. The season did not show the country
in its best dress ; but we were enabled to see
more of it by the very absence of the foliage.
Farms, and common dwellings, with fields beautifully divided, and enclosed; country seats with
lodges and stately gates of iron marking the
entrance to them; lawns, fresh and verdant,
though it was the winter solstice; parks and
pleasure-grounds munificently enclosed; ancient
trees in avenues, standing in copses, or shooting up among the hedges, with shrubbery tastefully arranged in gardens, and vines and flowers clustering about the houses, were among
the objects that rose in succession as we passed
along. We put frequent questions to the postilions, but they could tell us little. The eye
was constantly occupied. None of us had ever
before been in Europe. As we got nearer to
London, indications multiplied of what had been
effected by time, to fill up its vast environs.
Unlike the approaches to Rome, some of which
are said to be at the present day through partial
desolation, all within our view grew more and 24
more instinct with life: until, at length, evening coming on, at first villages, then rows of
buildings, and people, and twinkling lights, and
all kinds of sound, gave token that the metropolis was close by. We entered it by Hyde
Park Corner, passing through Piccadilly and
Bond Street, beholding the moving crowds
which now the town lights revealed. Another
turn brought us into Conduit Street, where
rooms had been engaged for our accommodation. In a little while we proceeded to the
house of Ross Cuthbert, Esq. in Gloucester
Place, a Canadian gentleman, married to one
of my sisters, at whose hospitable table we
dined : where also it was my fortune to meet
another sister, wife of Major Manners of the
British army. 1817.
December 22, 1817. I addressed a note to
Lord Castlereagh, the English Secretary-of-
state for Foreign Affairs, informing him of my
arrival. I asked when I might have the honour of waiting on him. He immediately replied that he would be happy to see me at the
Foreign-office, in Downing Street, to-morrow
at four o'clock.
December 23. Went to the Foreign-office.
A sentry was walking before the door. I was
admitted by a porter, and shown by a messenger into an ante-room. Another messenger
conducted me up-stairs to Lord Castlereagh's
apartment. First salutations being over, I said
that I sh6uld be happy to learn at what time I
might have the honour of delivering to his
Royal Highness the Prince Regent my letter
of credence from the President,  constituting 26
me Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, at his Royal
Highness's court. I handed his Lordship a
copy of the letter. He replied, that the Prince
was at Brighton; that he himself was going
there on the day following, expecting to be absent a week; that he did not know precisely
when the Prince would leave Brighton, but
was sure he would appoint an early day for receiving me, after he came to town. I said that
his Royal Highness's pleasure on the occasion
would be mine. His Lordship begged I would
consider myself free to call upon him, immediately after his own return to town; remarking that he would consider my reception by
the Prince as having taken place, if there were
any subjects I desired to broach beforehand.
He added, that his wish would invariably be
to give every facility to the transaction of business between us, in the hope of results satisfactory to both countries; for all which I
thanked him. He also said that perhaps he
might wish to converse with me on matters
of business before my formal reception. He
made enquiries for Mr. Adams, my predecessor
in the mission, and President Monroe, whom
he had also known in England. He spoke of
the prosperity of the United States, which he
said he heard of with pleasure: remarking that 1817.
the prosperity of one commercial nation contributed to that of others. His whole reception
of me was very conciliatory. There was a simplicity in his manner, the best, and most attractive characteristic of a first interview. It
lasted about twenty minutes.
December 24. — Go through several parts
of the town : Bond Street, Albermarle Street,
Berkeley Square, Piccadilly, St. James's Street
and Park, Pall Mall, St. James's Square, the
Strand, and a few others. Well-dressed persons, men and women, throng them. In the
dresses of both, black predominates. It is
nearly universal. This proceeds from the
general mourning for the Princess Charlotte,
late heiress apparent to the throne, who died
in November. The roll of chariots, and carriages of all kinds, from two until past four, was
incessant. In all directions they were in motion. It was like a show — the horses, the
coachmen with triangular hats and tassels,
the footmen with cockades and canes—it seemed as if nothing could exceed it all. Yet I
was told that the sight in Hyde Park, any day
in May or June, was more striking; and that
if it happened to be on the same day with the
Epsom or Ascot races, which keep the roads
alive for ten miles with London carriages, a
stranger misses none from the Park.    Some- 28
times with this glitter of private equipages,
you saw a stationary line of hacks, the worn-
down horses eating out of nose-bags; and
sometimes, at a slow, tugging walk, immense
waggons, filled with coals, in black sacks,
drawn by black horses, large and shaggy, and
fat as those in the Portsmouth waggon. I
am disappointed in the general exterior of the
dwelling-houses. I had anticipated something
better at the west end of the town; more sym-
metry; buildings more by themselves, denoting the residences of the richest people in the
richest city in Europe. But I do not yet see
these. I see haberdashers' shops, poulterers'
shops, the leaden stalls of fishmongers, and. the
slaughtering blocks of butchers, in the near
vicinity of a nobleman's mansion and a king's
palace. This may be necessary, or convenient,
for the supplies of a capital too large to admit
of one or more concentrated markets; but the
imagination at a distance pictures something
different. Perhaps it is to give a hint of English liberty; if so, I will be the last to find
fault. Being the day before Christmas, there
was more display in the shops than usual. I
did not get back until candle-light. The
whole scene began to be illuminated. Altogether, what a scene it was ! the shops in the
Strand and elsewhere, where every conceivable 1817. COURT OF  LONDON. 29
article lay before you; and all made in England, which struck me the more, coming from
a country where few things are made, however
foreign commerce may send them to us ; then,
the open squares and gardens ; the parks with
spacious walks ; the palisades of iron, or enclosures of solid wall, wherever enclosures were
requisite; the people ; the countless number of
equipages, and fine horses; the gigantic draft
horses;—what an aspect the*"whole exhibited!
what industry, what luxury, what infinite particulars, what an aggregate! The men were
taller and straighter than the peasantry I had
seen. The lineaments of a race descend like
their language. The people I met, constantly
reminded me of those of my own country—I
caught the same expression—often it glided
by in complete identity—my ear took in accents to which it was native—but I knew no
one. It was like coming to another planet,
familiar with voices and faces—yet encircled
by strangers.
December 31. The fog was so thick that
the shops in Bond Street had lights at noon.
I could not see people in the street from my
windows. I am tempted to ask, how the English became great with so little day-light ? It
seems not to come fully out until nine in the
morning, and immediately after four it is gone. King Charles's saying of the English climate
is often brought up; that it interrupts outdoor labour fewer days in the year than any
Did he remember the fogs, and how
very short the day is, for labour, during a portion of the year ?
WBM 1818.
January 3, 1818. Waited on Lord Castlereagh at eleven in the morning, at his private
residence, St. James's Square. It was by his
request, in a note received yesterday. I was
shown into a room near the hall. Family portraits were on one side, books on another, and
two white bull-dogs lying before the fire.
Contradicting their looks, they proved good-
natured. In a few minutes, a servant conducted me into a room adjoining, where I
found Lord Castlereagh. He received me
with his former courtesy, renewing his obliging inquiries for the health of my family after
our winter's voyage, with the expression of a
hope that the fogs of London had not alarmed
us. 32
He informed me that he had been to Brighton, and delivered to the Prince Regent the
copy of my letter of credence, and that the
Prince would receive me as soon as he came to
town. In the mean time he had his Royal
Highness's commands to say, that I must look
upon myself as already, in effect, accredited.
He proceeded to say, that if there were any
subjects of business I desired to mention, he
would hear me. He remarked, that it had
been his habit to treat of business with the
foreign ministers in frank conversations; a
course that saved time, and was in other ways
preferable, as a general one, to official notes.
He intimated his wish to do the same with
me. I replied, that nothing could be more
agreeable to me than to be placed upon that
footing with him. ,
The way being opened for business, I entered upon it. I said there were two subjects
that my Government had charged me to bring
to the notice of his Majesty's, without delay.
The first had reference to the slaves carried off
by the English ships from the United States
at the close of the late war, in contravention,
as we alleged, of the treaty of Ghent. This
subject, already discussed between the two
Governments without prospect of an agreement, was exciting, I remarked, an interest in
w** 1818.
the United States, to be expected where the
property and rights of a large class of their
citizens were at stake. It had therefore been
made my earliest duty to renew the proposition
submitted to my Government, and believed to
point to the best, if not only mode of satisfactory settlement. The proposition was, that the
question be referred to a third power to be
chosen as umpire between the parties. This
course was recommended by the example of
provisions in the treaty of Ghent as to other
subjects on which differences of opinion had
existed between the two nations ; my Government therefore had the hope, that Great Britain
would accede to it in this instance also.
His Lordship said, that he had been much
on the Continent, whilst the discussions on this
subject were going forward, and inquired if we
had precise information as to the number of
slaves carried away. I replied, not in hand,
but that it would be afforded at the proper
time. He next asked, if their dispersed situation would not be an impediment to restitution. This was met by saying, that the
owners would look to a pecuniary equivalent.
Conversation was continued on the general
question. In conclusion, he promised to keep
it in mind.
The next subject grew out of the commer-
D 34
cial convention between the two countries, of
the 3rd of July 1815. This convention had
established a reciprocity of duties and charges
of all kinds, upon the vessels of the two nations
in each other's ports. Its operation was, by its
terms, to begin from the day of its date. The
rule of reciprocity ought therefore to have
attached, practically, at that time ; instead of
which, each nation continued for a while to
levy the duties existing before the convention,
and Great Britain had not yet abolished them
all. My Government desired, I said, to carry
back the operation of the convention to the
day of its date, and was ready to give this rule
effect by retrospective measures, hoping to find
a corresponding disposition in his Majesty's
This subject being new to his Lordship, he
gave no opinion upon it, but promised, as in
the other case, to seek the necessary lights for
forming one. I may state that, in the end,
it was adjusted to the satisfaction of both
The foregoing being the only topics which
it fell within my purpose to bring to^his Lordship's notice at this time, he, in turn, drew my
attention to a subject on which he desired information.
It related to the four articles submitted by 1818.
the British Government to my predecessor for
partially opening the West India trade to the
vessels of the United States. His Lordship
wished to know, what probability there was of
my Government agreeing to them.
As this trade enters much into future negotiations between the two countries, the first
mention of the subject calls for a succinct explanation of the general question.
It stands thus, according to the statement
on the side of the United States. They contend for a free intercourse in their vessels
with the British West India Islands, and British colonies on the continent of North America, whenever the trade to either is opened
at all by Great Britain to their flag; else,
they say, that, by navigation acts of their own
they will be obliged to prohibit the trade altogether. The steady policy of England has
been, to secure as large an employment as
possible of her own tonnage, in carrying on
her commerce with the rest of the world. Her
celebrated navigation acts, commenced in Cromwell's time, and adhered to in principle ever
since, whatever occasional departures there may
have been from them in practice, have all had
this end in view. They provided that the
whole trade between England and the continents of Asia, Africa, and America, should be
d 2 36
carried on in English ships, manned by English sailors. They also embraced regulations
that placed the trade between England and
the European nations upon nearly the same
footing. It was against the previous monopoly
of Dutch tonnage that these navigation acts were
levelled. What more natural, than that other
nations should be unwilling to witness the
same monopoly in the tonnage of England,
that she objected to in that of the Dutch ;
more especially since the foreign and colonial
dominions of the former, have swelled to an
extent that could scarcely have been conceived
in the time of Cromwell. The West India
Islands being part of the British Empire, her
right to interdict all trade between them and
any foreign country, could not be denied; and
was not. As a general rule, she did interdict
it. I speak of time anterior to this interview.
But there were junctures when, to advance objects of her own, she would throw the trade
open to the United States. When she did
this, she confined it to her own ships, manned,
as by law they must be, by her own sailors.
What the United States claimed was, that,
whenever the trade existed at all, it should
be carried on in their vessels, manned by their
sailors, as well as with the vessels and sailors of
England.    The trade once opened, the United 1818. COURT OF LONDON. 37
States were parties to it; and thence urged
their right to a voice in its regulation. This
was their doctrine. It had been maintained
since the days of President Washington. It
contemplated no interference with the colonial
rights, or monopoly of Britain. It left her at
full liberty to prohibit the importation into
her colonies of whatever articles she thought
fit from the United States; and in like manner to prohibit exportations. It only asked,
that the commercial intercourse, of whatever
nature it might be, that was once opened for
her benefit, or that of both countries, should
be placed upon a footing of equality as to the
vessels and sailors of both. This had lately
been done in the trade between the United
States and the European dominions of Britain,
by the convention of July 1815. That convention itself, unless the reciprocity were extended to the West Indies, would give undue
advantages to British vessels. The latter
could sail under its enactments, from Liverpool to New York, for example, paying, in
New York, none other than American duties.
Thence, under the English colonial system,
they could sail to the English West Indies,
and back again to England; making profit
from this threefold operation. American vessels, on the other hand, were confined to the 38
direct track between New York and Liverpool.
The British ship, as was well expressed by a
distinguished American senator, could sail on
three sides of the triangle; the American, only
on one.
Britain on her part alleged, that she had the
right to regulate her trade between her colonies and the rest of the world in all respects as
she saw fit. This she declared it was proper she
should do, not only as regarded the commodities entering into the trade, but the vessels
carrying them. She said, that to assent to the
basis of reciprocity in her trade between these
Islands and the United States, would give to
the latter inherent advantages, owing to their
proximity to the Islands. That she maintained the Islands at great expense for their civil
governments and military establishments, and
that on these grounds, as well as that of her general sovereignty over them, not only had the
right, but held it necessary to her just interests,
to employ, chiefly, if not exclusively, her own
vessels and seamen in the trade whenever opened, no matter to what extent, or on what inducements. Such, briefly, was the British doctrine.    It will come into view again.
I will subjoin a brief commentary upon the
original Navigation Act of England, as passed
by the Commonwealth Parliament in 1652. It
is  by Jenkinson, from his work on  treaties. 1818.
"Critics in commerce reason variously," says
he, " on the benefits or disadvantages of this
act. Those who argue in its disfavour, reason
on the general principle of its being an error
in politics to interrupt the free course of commerce by any kind of prohibitions whatsoever;
which is generally true, and would be always
so, could one be assured of constant universal
amity. But as that is very far from being the
case, the exception to the general rule in this
case holds good, since nothing is more clear
than that those who employ most ships will
have most seamen, and consequently be best
enabled to command the sea. It was but too
evident by this short war, [Cromwell's with
Holland,] how near a match for us the Dutch
were, and continued so for some years after;
and had not this act been made, would very
probably before this time have been too potent
for us, as they would have had the gross of the
European seamen in their service ; so that the
act, notwithstanding some inconveniences it
might produce in point of commerce, was a very
happy thought in the making, and shows our
judgment in its being continued."
This celebrated act may be said to have
changed the maritime condition of the world.
It continues to this day to affect the legislation of the United States.
The four articles of which Lord Castlereagh
o 40
spoke, reduced to their essence, may be described thus. The first extended to the United
States the provisions of certain Free Port acts,
as they were called, authorizing a trade in the
articles which they enumerated, between certain specified ports of the British West Indies,
and the colonies of European nations, in vessels having only one deck. The second made
a special provision for the trade between the
United States and the Island of Bermuda, in a
larger list of articles, and without limiting the
size of the vessel. The third allowed cotton
and tobacco to be imported from the United
States in their own vessels to Turks Island,
and salt to be taken away from that island,
also in their vessels. The fourth aimed at regulating the intercourse, though under many
restrictions, between the United States and the
British continental colonies in America, adjoining the dominions of the former.
To his Lordship's inquiry as to the probability of my Government agreeing to these articles, I replied, " that the President, when I
left Washington, had them under consideration ; but I owed it to candour to say, that
there was little likelihood of their being accepted, so far did they fall short of the reciprocity
desired." He afterwards inquired of what nature would be our counter projet, in the event 1818.
of their rejection. I said, one that would open
this trade fully, and, above all, give to British
vessels no privileges of any kind whatever, direct or incidental, over the vessels of the
United States. The latter were ready to grant,
in their ports, to British vessels coming from
the islands, all the privileges which their own
vessels enjoyed; and could not be content with
less to their vessels, in the ports of the islands. His Lordship here spoke generally of
the colonial system of Britain. He said it was
interwoven with her whole commercial code,
and code of navigation ; and that she owed it
to interests which she believed to be important
in both connexions, to adhere to the system in
the main, however willing to submit to occasional or partial relaxations. I rejoined, that,
with whatever reluctance the United States
would adopt the policy of closing the trade altogether, in the continued absence of the reciprocity for which they contended, they would
at last be compelled to adopt it, in necessary
justice to their own commercial and navigating
interests. I referred him to some acts of Congress already passed with that intent. He
wound up by remarking, that Britain, considering the nature of her colonial system, had
no right to complain of measures of that character on the part of the United States, how- 42
ever she might regret them ; nor would she
complain. She had maintained it so long, that
she would find it difficult on that as well as
other accounts, to change it. Such was the
general outline of what fell from him.
Before I came away, he said, that the Christmas holidays had scattered the members of the
cabinet; they were chiefly in the country; on
the return of some of them to town he would
avail himself of an early opportunity of enabling me to make their acquaintance by meeting them at dinner at his house.
I will here give the names of those who composed the Cabinet. They were as follow:—
The Earl of Liverpool, First Lord of the Treasury, and Prime Minister ; Lord Eldon, Lord
Chancellor; the Earl of Harrowby, Lord President of the Council; the Earl of Westmoreland, Lord Privy Seal; Lord Sidmouth, Secre-
tary-of-state for the Home department; Lord
Castlereagh, Secretary-of-state for Foreign Affairs ; Earl Bathurst, Secretary-of-state for the
Colonial department; Mr. Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Melville, First
Lord of the Admiralty; the Earl of Mulgrave,
Master-general of the Ordnance ; Mr. Canning,
President of the Board of Controul for the
Affairs of India; Mr. Wellesley Pole, Master
of the Mint j   and Mr. C. B. Bathurst, Chan- 1818.
cellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. These comprehended the whole list on my arrival in
England. No other officers of the Government,
however high in station, were then of the cabinet. The Secretary-of-war was not, nor the
Attorney-general. The absence of the former
I could not well explain, although the Colonial
Secretary acted in the concerns of war at cabinet councils, seeing that the navy had a stated
representative in those councils. Was not the
army entitled to equal consideration ? I could
even less explain the exclusion of the Attorney-
general. No acts of government, in a free
country, are independent of law. Hence, I
should have inferred, that this officer would
have been one of the primary advisers of the
Crown. I was aware of the high legal functions of the Lord Chancellor ; but in the complicated and daily workings of the machine of
free government throughout a vast empire, I
could still see room for the Attorney-general
in the cabinet.
During my residence of more than seven
years at the English coust, this administration
remained unchanged. There were resignations
that led to new appointments, and some transpositions. The Duke of Wellington was made
Master-general of the Ordnance, on the resignation of Lord Mulgrave.     Lord  Sidmouth s*»
retired from the Home department, and was
succeeded by Mr. Peel. Mr. Wellesley Pole
gave up the Mastership of the Mint for a situation nearer the person of the King, and was
created Lord Maryborough. Mr. C. B. Bathurst went out of the Chancellorship of the
Duchy of Lancaster, into which Mr. Vansittart
passed; the latter being also called to the
peerage, under the title of Lord Bexley, Mr.
Robinson, afterwards Lord Goderich, was appointed to Mr. Vansittart's place. Mr. Canning became Secretary-of-state for Foreign Affairs, on the death of Lord Castlereagh, which
occurred soon after the latter succeeded to the
title of Marquis of Londonderry. Mr. C. W.
W. Wynn was made President of the Board
of Controul in place of Mr. Canning. Mr.
Wallace, afterwards Lord Wallace, became
Master of the Mint; and Mr. Huskisson, appointed President of the Board of Trade, was
called to a seat in the cabinet, his office not
having before been of that rank.
None of the new appointments were understood to have grown out of want of concord in
the body. The policy, as the premiership of
Lord Liverpool, was maintained. He was placed
in that post by the Prince Regent, in 1812.
The age and infirmities of the reigning monarch
had led Parliament two years before to establish 1818.
a regency in the person of the Prince of Wales.
The Regent found, and kept, Mr. Perceval at
the head of affairs, until he perished by assassination. It was then that Lord Liverpool was
called to the helm. History will view his administration as one of renown to England. In
the exertions of Europe against Napoleon from
1812 to 1815, the part which she acted by her
arms and resources is before the world. Both
were directed by this ministry, until the achievement at Waterloo closed the momentous struggle. It was there that the Duke of Wellington,
after numerous victories in India, in Portugal,
in Spain, that had earned for him the reiterated
thanks of Parliament and applauses of the nation, ascended to the pinnacle of military glory.
One of the English ministers, on entering the
House of Commons, bearing in his hand the
Treaties of Peace which the triumphant battles
of this great commander had done so much towards securing, was enthusiastically cheered by
all the members. It was a spontaneous burst
of public joy. Party differences were forgotten
in deeds so overpowering. The same minister
—it was Lord Castlereagh—afterwards declared
in one of his speeches, that the " British empire
had twice dictated the Peace of Europe in the
capital of France." The fame of such deeds
naturally established in the confidence of the
I 46
British public, the ministry on whose banner
they were inscribed.
Lord Liverpool was not a person to lose
confidence so acquired. Splendour of genius
was not his characteristic; but among his talents was that of assembling able men around
him. His cabinet was already strong, when, as
we have seen, he enriched it with the names of
Wellington, and Peel, and Robinson, and Hus-
kisson ; lastly with that of Canning, whom he
brought into the Foreign Office, vacant by the
sudden demise of a powerful incumbent. These,
though differing in important points among
each other, and from the Premier, remained in
harmony under him as leader. Each was made
efficient in his sphere, and the power of the
whole augmented. If Lord Liverpool was not
the ablest man of the body, he was essentially
its head. With a sound judgment improved
by public affairs, he was fitted for the business
of a nation. What he did not take in by
promptitude, he mastered by perseverance;
not that he was deficient in the former, but
that he paused upon his first conclusions.
Systematic and grave, educated in maxims
which he conscientiously approved, however
others may have dissented from them; courteous, yet inflexible ; with a personal character
eminently pure, and a high reputation for
official probity, his influence, as it rested upon 1818. COURT  OF  LONDON. 47
practical qualities, went on to increase ; so that,
during the whole term of my residence, I never
heard that a change of ministry was for one
moment seriously in contemplation.    Such was
the Premier whom I found and left in power.
He enjoyed the entire confidence of his sovereign ; and had the confidence of the country to
an extent that made him sure of his measures
in both Houses of Parliament.    Such, too, was
the ministry with which I was to conduct negotiations, and all other business of my mission.
It was with a full sense of responsibility that
I entered upon its duties.    I was sustained by
remembering who were at the head of my own
Government.   In President Monroe his country
recognized a patriot and sage.    Time and long
service had consecrated his virtues and talents.
A chivalrous officer of the revolution, his youthful blood had been poured out on the plains of
Trenton.   To the careful study of history and
government, he added a participation in the
business of legislative halls, and that of diplomacy, at home and abroad. Perfectly acquainted
with the foreign policy of the United States as
with their domestic concerns; elevated in all
his principles ; just,  magnanimous,   self-con-
trouled, few countries ever possessed a chief
magistrate   better  qualified to administer  its
affairs with wisdom, or more exempt from pas- 48
sions to mislead. First of his cabinet, as regarded
every thing foreign, stood Mr. Secretary Adams;
a statesman of profound and various knowledge.
He had received the best education that Europe
and his own country could bestow, and from
early life been practised in affairs. Minister at
several of the Courts of Europe, favourable opportunities were before him of studying their
policy, and a superior capacity enabled him to
improve his opportunities. Thus gifted and
trained as a statesman, he was accomplished as
a scholar, fervent as a patriot, and virtuous as
a man.
For the remainder of the Cabinet of the
United States, there were Mr. Secretary Crawford of the Treasury department; Mr. Secretary
Calhoun of the War department; Mr. Secretary
Thompson, and afterwards Mr. Secretary Southard, of the Navy department; with Mr. Attorney-general Wirt; men whose abilities gave
further assurance to those in the foreign service of the country, that her interests would
not be overlooked. Such were the counsels
whence my instructions were to flow. Of this
cabinet I may add, that two of its members have
since been called by the people to the high posts
of President and Vice President of the United
States; Mr. Secretary Adams to the former, Mr.
Secretary Calhoun to the latter. 1818.
January 7, 1818. Went through Temple
Bar into the city, in contradistinction to the
West-end of London, always called town. Passed along Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, St. Paul's,
Cheapside, the Poultry, Cornhill, and other
streets in the direction of the Tower. Saw
the Bank, Royal Exchange, Lord Mayor's
house, Guildhall, India House, the Excise
buildings. If I looked with any feeling of
wonder on the throngs at the West-end, more
cause is there for it here. The shops stand,
side by side, for entire miles. The accumulation of things is amazing. It would seem
impossible that there can be purchasers for
them all, until you consider what multitudes
there are to buy; then, you are disposed to
ask how the buyers can be supplied. In the
middle of the streets, coal-waggons and others
as large, carts, trucks, vehicles of every sort,
loaded in every way, are passing.    They are
E 50
in two close lines, reaching farther than the
eye can see, going reverse ways.    The horses
come so near to the  foot-pavement, which is
crowded with people, that their hoofs, and the
great wheels of the waggons, are only a few
inches from them.    In this manner the whole
procession is in   movement, with  its complicated noise.    It confounds the  senses  to  be
among it all.    You would anticipate constant
accidents ; yet they seldom happen.    The fear
of the law preserves order ; moreover, the universal sense of danger, if order were violated,
prevents its violation.   I am assured that these
streets present the same appearance every day
in   the  year, except  Sundays,  when   solitude
reigns.    I must notice as before the dress of
the people.    A large proportion were of the
working classes; yet all were whole in their
clothing;   you   could  hardly  see   exceptions.
All looked healthy ; the more to be remarked
in parts of the city where   they live in perpetual crowds by day, and sleep in confined
places.    The Custom House, and black forest
of ships below  London  Bridge,  I saw by a
glimpse: that was  enough to show that  the
Thames was choked up with vessels and boats
of every description, much after the manner
that I beheld Cheapside and Fleet Street to be
choked with vehicles that move on land. 1818.
I went into two shops. One a silversmith's,
that of Rundell and Bridge, on Ludgate Hill.
Outside it is plain; you might pass by without
noticing it; but on entering, the articles of
silver were piled in heaps, even on the floor.
Going further into the building the masses increased. In a room up-stairs, there was part
of a dinner-service in course of manufacture.
The cost of an entire service varied from thirty
to fifty thousand pounds sterling, according to
the number of pieces, and workmanship ; sometimes it was much higher. A candelabra for
the middle of a table, had just been finished
for a customer, at fourteen hundred pounds.
A dress sword for another customer was shown;
the cost was four thousand guineas. Other
specimens of luxury might be mentioned, including ambassadors' snuff-boxes of gold and
diamonds. The proprietors were extremely
civil; for I gave trouble only from curiosity.
If you purchase but a pin for a few shillings,
they return thanks; if you do not incline to
take it away yourself, they readily send it home,
no matter how far off. The other shop was
Shepherd's, for cut-glass, near Charing Cross.
There too I had civility from the proprietor.
In place of speaking of his wares, I will relate
what he said of the Emperor Alexander. His
Imperial Majesty, it seems, when on his visit
e 2 52
to England with the Allied Sovereigns, honoured his shop with a call. Pleased with his
articles beyond any of the kind he had seen in
Europe, he gave an order for a magnificent
list for one of his palaces. The pieces arrived
in St. Petersburgh. Immediately, a ukase issued, prohibiting the future importation of cut
glass into Russia. Whether the Emperor most
desired to encourage the home manufacture of
so beautiful a ware, or enhance the gratification of his Imperial taste by keeping it exclusive, were questions that I had no right to
Of all the sights, the one in the middle of
the streets, bespoke to me most of causes and
effects. Being afterwards in Paris, I saw more
of architectural beauty, at first; more of brilliancy. The Boulevards, the Palais Royal, the
Rue Rivoli, which looked into the Tuileries
through golden-tipped palisades, and a few
other places, were not to be matched by any
thing I saw in London. But their compass
was small, and soon exhausted. The space between Northumberland House and Bishopsgate
disclosed more of transportation, more of the
operations that proclaim circulation of capital,
more of all that laid at the roots of commerce
at home and throughout the world, more of all
that wTent to the prolific sources of riches and 1818.
power, than I was able to discover in going
about Paris, again and again, in every direction.
I am aware how much larger London is than
Paris; but the bustle of business seemed to
abound in the English metropolis, in a proportion tenfold greater than its superior size.
January 19-—I have taken a house. It is
situated in Marylebone parish, north of Oxford Road, as I hear the latter called by some,
probably from its having been an open road
within their recollection. Now, it is a street
fully built up, and among the longest and
widest in London. North of this street lies a
part of the town different from any I have hitherto seen. The streets cross each other at
right angles. All are of good width : some a
hundred feet and more. Many of them, as
Harley Street, Wimpole Street, Baker Street,
Devonshire Place, Portland Place, and others,
present long ranges of houses built with uniformity, which gives them a metropolitan aspect. Through some, you look, as through a
vista, into the verdant scenery of the Regent's
Park. This commences almost at the point
where the buildings, which are lofty, end ; so
that you seem to step at once into the country. An air of gloom hangs over these streets,
from the dark brick of which most of the
houses are built, or which  coal smoke gives 54
them; the case, I may add, with nearly every
part of London. This part is quite secluded,
if so I may speak of ,a town district of more
than a hundred thousand inhabitants. You
hear little noise beyond the rumble of equipages, beginning at two o'clock, abating ip the
evening, and returning at midnight. Its quietness, and the number of ready-furnished houses
to be hired in it, are probably the inducements
for its being much chosen by the foreign ambassadors for their residence. I found that the
Russian, Austrian, and French Ambassadors,
had here fixed their domiciles. Every house
has its area enclosed with iron palisades. The
front door-steps are all of brown stone, with
iron railings topped with spikes; so that the
eye traced in all directions lines of this bristling iron-work. If you add, that on the broad
pavements of flag, you perhaps saw nobody
before noon, unless a straggling servant in
morning livery, or a butcher's boy with tray in
hand issuing here and there from an area, you
have the main external characteristics of this
region when first I beheld it. There is another town district, a mile or two east, made-up
of well-built streets about Russell Square, that
had an aspect somewhat similar. It contained,
I was told, another one hundred thousand inhabitants, London dissected showing these va- 1818. COURT OF  LONDON. 55
rious circles. " The entire metropolis," says
Gibbon, in his memoirs, is | an astonishing and
perpetual spectacle to the curious eye ; each
taste, each sense, may be gratified by the variety of objects which will occur in the long
circuit of a morning walk."
Of the part I have been describing in its
external aspect, I must notice the complexion
within. A great number of the houses were to
let, and I went through them. From the
basement to the attics, every thing had an air
of comfort. The supply of furniture was full.
The staircases were of white stone. The windows and beds in servants' rooms had curtains.
No floor was without carpeting. In many instances libraries made part of the furniture to
be rented with the houses—a beautiful part.
The rents varied from four hundred to a thousand guineas a year. In some of the squares
of the West-end, I learned, that the rent of
a furnished house was sixty and sometimes
eighty guineas a week. Houses of the first
class, with the sumptuous furniture to suit, are
not to be hired at all. These, belonging to the
nobility or other opulent proprietors, are left
in the care of servants when the owners are
away. The house I took was in Baker Street,
at a rent of four hundred and fifty guineas a-
year.    The policy of my Government being to
4 56
1 II
give to its public servants small salaries, the
latter act but in unison with this policy, in
having their establishments small. It is not
for those honoured by being selected to serve
the Republic abroad, to complain. Nor, with
the English, do I believe, that the consideration attaching to foreign ministers, is dependent upon the salaries they receive. However
large these may be, and sometimes are, in the
persons of the representatives of the Imperial
and Royal governments of Europe, they are still
so much below the wealth of the home circles
in London, as to be no distinction, supposing
distinction to be sought on that ground. The
surpassing incomes in the home circles, and habit
of expenditure, with the ample accommodations by which the many who possess them
live surrounded, incline their possessors to regard such official strangers as objects, rather
than agents, of hospitality. It may be otherwise in capitals on the Continent; but this is
the general relationship which the diplomatic
corps holds to society in London. 1818.
January 20, 1818. Dined at Lord Castle-
reagh's. The company consisted of Lord and
Lady Castlereagh, the Earl of Westmoreland,
Lord Melville, Lord Mulgrave, Mr. Wellesley
Pole, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Burg-
hersh, the Ambassador of France and his Marchioness, the Austrian Ambassador, the Portuguese Ambassador and his Countess, the Minister Plenipotentiary from Bavaria, the Marquis
Grimaldi of Sardinia, and a few others. Of the
foregoing, some were strangers, to whom, as to
myself, it was a first dinner.
The invitation was for seven o'clock. Our
names were announced by servants in the hall,
and on the landings. The company had chiefly
assembled when we arrived. All were in full
black, under the court mourning for the Princess Charlotte.    I am wrong—one lady was in white satin ! It would have been painfully
embarrassing, but that her union of ease and
dignity enabled her, after the first suffusion,
to turn her misfortune into a grace. Salutations were in subdued tones, but cordial, and
the hand given. Introductions took place at
convenient moments. Before eight, dinner
was announced. The dining-room was on the
floor with the drawing-rooms. As we entered
it through a door-way surrounded by a hanging curtain that drew aside, the effect was
beautiful. A profusion of light fell upon the
cloth, and as every thing else was of silver, the
dishes covered, and wines hidden in ranges of
silver coolers, the whole had an aspect of pure
white. Lord Castlereagh sat at the head. On
his right was the lady of the French Ambassador, with whom, in going in, he had led the
way. Lady Castlereagh was on the side, half
way down. On her left, was the Duke of Wellington, with whom she came in. Between the
Duke and the Earl of Westmoreland, was my
wife, who came in upon the arm of the latter.
Opposite, was the lady of the Portuguese Ambassador. She entered with the French Ambassador, and sat next to him. I was between
Lords Melville and Mulgrave. The former
gratified me by the manner in which he spoke
of the United States; the latter by what he 1818.
said of President Monroe, who was Minister in
England when he was Secretary for Foreign
Affairs. He had ever found him, he said, conciliatory in business, while steadfast in his
duty. Being near to these two noblemen in
coming in, I paused to give place, having understood that Cabinet Ministers preceded Ministers Plenipotentiary on these occasions ; but
they declined it, and I went first; Lord Melville remarking, " We are at home." There
were twelve servants; the superior ones not in
The general topics related to France, and
French society. The foreigners spoke English ; nevertheless, the conversation was nearly
all in French. This was not only the case
when the English addressed the foreigners, but
in speaking to each other. Before dinner, I
had observed in the drawing-room, books lying
about. As many as I glanced at were French.
I thought of the days of Charles II. when the
tastes of the English all ran upon the models
of France. Here, at the house of an English
minister of state, French literature, the French
language, French topics were all about me;
I add, French entrees, French wines! I was
unwilling to believe that the parallel to the
days of Charles II. held throughout. By my
longer residence in England I discovered, that the enlightened classes were more ready to
copy from the French what they thought good,
than the same classes in France to copy from
England. As regards language, the difference
is striking. There is scarcely a well-educated
person in England who does not speak French,
whilst thousands among the best educated in
France are ignorant of English. In the competition between these great nations, this gives
England an advantage. It is no answer that
French is the language of intercourse in Europe : the Frenchman may repose upon this,
for not acquiring the English; but it cannot
take from Englishmen the advantage of being
at home in both tongues. Equally have the
English the advantage in travel. They go in
great numbers to France; while few of the
French, comparatively speaking, visit England.
Soon after nine, the ladies left table. Before
ten, the gentlemen followed. The company
broke into knots, or loitered through the drawing-rooms. In one, was a full-length likeness
of the Prince Regent, by Lawrence ; in another, the celebrated portrait of Charles I. by
Vandyck, presenting three views of his face;
scattered about in all, were articles of virtu
or munificence. Of the latter, were vases of
massive porcelain and other memorials, sent as
presents to Lord Castlereagh by the crowned 1818.
heads of Europe, after the treaties of Paris and
Vienna. I had now conversation for which opportunities had not before offered. The Austrian Ambassador told me, that his court had
appointed Baron Sturmer Consul-General to
the United States. He said, that it was the
wish of his court to cultivate amicable relations with the United States, the more, as
foreign commerce had become an object with
Austria. I replied that my Government would
receive the information with satisfaction. This
was the first public officer sent by Austria
to the United States, and laid the foundation
of commercial relations that had not before
subsisted between the two nations. I remarked, that the commerce of Austria appeared to
be doing well in the Black Sea. " For a beginning," he replied. I added a hope, that the
flag of the United States, might find admittance into that sea; but it was a point on
which he was not prepared to speak. To Lord
Castlereagh I expressed the pleasure I had derived from making the acquaintance of his
guests; amongst them, the Duke of Wellington's. He spoke of the Duke. He said that
his achievements in war were known ; but that
his ability in council, his caution, his conciliation in dealing with the complicated arrangements of the Continent that had followed his
Ah 62
battles, were not so much known; these formed
not less a part of his character, and had gained
for him, perhaps in a higher degree than centered in any other individual in Europe, the
confidence of its cabinets and sovereigns.
Before parting, his Lordship said, that the
Prince Regent would probably be in town by
the middle of February, and that I might then
expect my audience of reception.
At eleven, I came away. The servants were
at their stations, and passed the call for my
carriage, as when we were announced; forms
observed towards all.
Having met some of the diplomatic corps, I
will subjoin the names of those who composed
it, whilst I was in England. There was entire
cordiality in the intercourse of its members.
The period was one of peace. No acts transpired among nations, tending to abridge the
harmony of private life among their representatives.
From France, there was the Marquis D'Osmond, among the best specimens of the old
French court. From Russia, Count, afterwards
Prince Lieven; from Austria, Prince Ester-
hazy ; from Prussia, Baron Humboldt, brother
and rival in genius to the celebrated traveller;
from the Netherlands, Baron Fagel, a name
known in his  country's history; from Spain, 1818.
the Duke of San Carlos ; from Portugal, Count,
afterwards Marquis Palmella, maintaining under all vicissitudes, his reputation for abilities.
These were Ambassadors. The chief difference
between the ambassador and minister plenipotentiary, in common speech often confounded,
is, that the former is viewed as representing
the person of his sovereign. In that capacity
he takes precedence in matters of form. He
has also exaltation, personally, in various ways.
For every national end, the attributes of the
minister plenipotentiary are the same.
France changed her ambassador four times.
She sent, after the departure of the Marquis
D'Osmond, the Marquis de la Tour Mauberg,
the Duke de Cazes, Viscount Chateaubriand,
and Prince Polignac. The first was the celebrated cavalry officer, not more known by his
powers as a commander, than his gallant exploits in battle, particularly at Leipsic, where
he lost a leg. His manly form thus maimed,
was doubly interesting by his habitually amiable manners. The second was the distinguished Minister of the Interior under Louis
XVIII. and at that time head of the French
administration. The third was the brilliant
author of \ France,'—an author admired by the
world, who brings at all times to his page, the
most eloquent and touching reflections, whe- 64
ther writing from the deep shades of American
forests, from classic Italy, or the sacred banks
of the Jordan ; who gives elevation to party
strife, investing with instructive and elegant
generalities, what in feebler hands degenerates
into   common   details   or  personality.      The
fourth, was the same who was afterwards President of the Council and Prime-minister under
Charles X.    He was fatally conspicuous in the
revolution of July 1830; but to his personal
accomplishments and worth all bore testimony.
The Netherlands changed her's once, sending
in place of Baron Fagel, called to the home
service, Mr. Falk ; whose activity in the cause
of Holland has been witnessed at dates more
recent. Prussia sent  Baron Werter   in place
of Baron Humboldt; the latter also called to
the home service.    Spain substituted the Duke
de Frias  for  the  Duke  of San Carlos ; and
afterwards sent Mr. Onis (as minister plenipotentiary)   in  the  time  of  the  constitutional
government of the  Cortes.    From   Portugal/
Count Villa Real succeeded the Marquis Pal-;
mella, Mr. Olivera interposing (as minister plenipotentiary) for a short interval, in the time of
the constitutional government of that country.
The Ministers Plenipotentiary were Count
Munster,  from Hanover;  Mr. Bourke,   from
Denmark;   Baron   Stierneld,   from  Sweden; 1818.
Baron Just, from Saxony; Mr. Pfeffel, from
Bavaria; Count Ludolf, from Naples ; Count
D'Aglie, from Sardinia. The only change in
this order was from Denmark, in the person
of Count Moltke for Mr. Bourke. The former
was accompanied by his Countess, an accession
to the English as to any Court. Italy had her
season of constitutional governments, as Spain
and Portugal; but the Austrian troops overturned them too rapidly to afford time to
Sardinia or Naples to new-model their diplomacy. France marched her army across the
Bidassoa more slowly, but not less decisively.
She too overturned constitutional government
in Spain; an attack upon national independence, which Britain, in her state papers and
parliamentary speeches, officially disapproved*
without resisting, and which the friends of
freedom in both hemispheres joined in deploring.
There were two Ministers Resident, an order
below Ministers Plenipotentiary; Baron Langs-
dorff, from Baden ; Mr. Haller, from Switzerland. There was a Charge-d'affaires from Wir-
temburg, Mr. Wagner ; who was succeeded by
Count Mandelsloh; and one from Constantinople, Mr. Ramadani. The latter, on official
occasions, appeared in his robes and turban ; a
dress not more in contrast with all that sur- 66
rounded him, than the institutions of his country with those of Christendom. The credentials of diplomatic agents of this class are to
the Secretary-of-state for Foreign Affairs, not
the Sovereign. When Mr. Canning became
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in the fourth year
of my residence, plenipotentiaries arrived from
three of the new states of Spanish America;
Mr. Hurtado from Columbia; General Mi-
chelena from Mexico, and Mr. Rividavia from
Buenos Ayres.
The embassies of the great powers were
amply provided with secretaries, and had persons attached to them in other capacities. The
entire aggregate made a large body. Not large
when compared with the embassies of other
times. Sully brought to England a retinue of
two hundred gentlemen. Bassompierre, still
earlier, speaks of an " equipage of four hundred
persons" returning with him to France. The
former, on reaching London, was saluted with
three thousand guns from the Tower. So, D'Es-
trades, ambassador to the States General from
Louis XIV. tells us, that he was met at Rys-
wick by the Deputies, with a train of threescore
coaches. Compliments so profuse have wisely
gone out of date.
But, in all affairs, forms prevail. Governments never dispense with them. Having men- 1818.
tioned the members of the diplomatic corps, I
will allude to some of the forms that regulated
their intercourse. Once, the uncertainty of these
led to difficulties, even wars. The congress of
Vienna, in 1815, extirpated them all, as far as
questions of precedence were concerned; and
these had been found the most serious. It
declared that every question of that nature
should be settled by the rule of time. He who
has been longest at a court or government, is
to be first. The relative power of the nation
he represents, is to count nothing. This is a
rule satisfactory to small states. It is to the
praise of large ones that they established it. It
applies to all intercourse where competition can
arise, whether in business or ceremony; and
therefore regulates visits. The member of the
corps who has last arrived pays the first. The
rule does not overleap classes, applying only to
those of the same class. Its propriety has commanded universal assent. Under its operation,
we shall hear no more of personal rudenesses,
no disturbances of the public decorum, no cutting of traces that one ambassador's coach may
whip up before another ; none of the acts, ill-
adapted to such functionaries, of which we
catch the glimmerings, sometimes the details,
in Finett, Digges, Melville, D'Estrades, Wique-
fort; even in the later pages of Segur, much as
f 2 68
his own good sense discountenanced them. The
treaty of Westphalia tried to put a stop to these
contentions by fixing the relative rank of the
principal powers of Europe ; but in Vain. That
of Utrecht had the same aim, in introducing
the title of Minister Plenipotentiary, the contentions before being confined to ambassadors.
In vain also. It was reserved for the rule of
Vienna, aided by modern manners, at last to
get rid of what had so often proved a hindrance
to public business, and injurious to individual
concord. Although the United States had no
agency in making that rule, their minister
shared its benefits.
But, as far as visits are concerned, it has
turned out, that the certainty of the rule leads
to its being frequently disregarded. In obedience to it, I was prepared to pay the first visit to
all the members of the corps who had arrived
before me. But, from several, I had the favour
of calls by anticipation, as was common in other
cases. Fortunate change! when the strife of
courtesy has supplanted hostile strife.
The right of precedence in treaties is of a
different nature. These solemn instruments are
executed in double original. This gives to each
nation the opportunity of being named first,
and signing first, in the treaty to be deposited
in its own archives. Such is the rule as between 1818.
the United States and foreign powers. Formerly
it was not so. In the time of President Madison, an occasion arising where the representative of a monarchy questioned the principle of
coequality in the United States on the asserted
ground of Republics being of secondary dignity,
the rule was established, and has since been
adhered to.
January 31. Dined at the Earl of Westmoreland's, at his residence, Grosvenor Square.
Forms were as at Lord Castlereagh's. The party
was small—Sir John and Lady Ann Becket,
Mr. and Mrs. Patterson of Baltimore, the Danish Minister, and some of the members of Lord
Westmoreland's family. The cheerful manner
of his lordship promoted conversation. Much
of it related to England. Duelling was spoken
of. His lordship said, that among private gentlemen in England it was very rare; that if a
person from this class had been engaged in a
duel, and applied for admission to a club, there
would be a scrutiny; and unless it appeared
that he was not quarrelsome, he would be in
danger of rejection ; but that if he had been
engaged in two, he believed he would be blackballed. His lordship did not condemn duelling. He only meant that the occasions of it
in private life were so few in classes where proper
restraints existed, that he whose misfortune it  1818.
February 1, 1818. Had an interview with
Lord Castlereagh.
He began about the slaves; expressing the
readiness he would ever feel in endeavouring
to bring to a satisfactory close all points in
dispute between the two countries. That in
this spirit he had laid before the Cabinet
my proposal of the 3rd of January upon this
subject; and had to inform me that it would be
acceded to. But, as the treaty of Ghent had
led to the proposal, the assent would be under
the rules which that treaty had fixed in relation to other points. That to this end, he was
prepared to give effect, substantially, to my
proposal, by saying, that his Government was 72
willing that the question about the slaves
should also go before commissioners; and in
the event of their not concurring, that resort
should be had to an umpire, as prescribed by
the fourth and subsequent articles of the treaty
reference  to  territorial  claims.    That an
article between the two Governments, supplemental to the treaty, might be requisite to give
the proper authority for this proceeding. That
as regarded the commissioners, his Government
had no objections to devolving the service upon
some of those already appointed under the
treaty, unless mine should wish new appointments ; that, in short, the whole machinery of
that instrument should be adopted, in settling
the conflict of opinion about the slaves.
Finishing upon this point, he went to another. The present, he said, appeared to be a
favourable time for putting in train for settlement, claims to territory, other than those comprehended in the treaty of Ghent.    That it
belonged to forecast,
to aim at extinguishing,
in a friendly way, seeds of future controversy,
while the subjects were of no great present
importance, but liable to become so in future.
That such considerations led him to hope that
the Government of the United States would
not be disinclined to measures having in view
the final settlement of that part of the North- 1818.
western boundary line contemplated in the old
treaty between the two countries of 1783 ; he
meant, the line from the most North-western
point of the lake of the woods to the Mississippi. Accordingly, he had to say, that the adoption of measures for accomplishing this object
would be highly acceptable to the British Government. The treaty of Ghent, he thought,
would form a guide equally convenient for fulfilling the intentions of the parties in this instance also. Should his proposal be acquiesced
in, another supplemental article might be added to the treaty, to give it effect, and new commissioners be appointed; or, as before suggested, those already appointed, perform the duty.
Lastly, he came to the affair of the post at
Columbia river. A despatch from Mr. Bagot,
he said, had informed the British Government
that the United States were about to take possession of that post, by sending out an armed
ship; and he had to express the regret felt at
the measure. It was to have been wished, he
remarked, that, before the ship sailed, notice
had been given to his Majesty's Minister in
Washington of her destination, Great Britain
having a claim of dominion over that territory.
He proceeded to inform me, that Mr. Bagot
had sent in a remonstrance upon the occasion ;
to which, at the last dates, no answer had been 74
received. He closed by saying, that it was the
desire of his Government to submit a proposal
that the question of title to this territory
should, as in the two other cases, go before
commissioners, and be governed in all other
respects by the precedent of the treaty of
Ghent; annexing to it a third supplemental
article as the groundwork of contingent arbitration before some friendly sovereign.
To his proposals and remarks I made such
replies as they seemed to call for; and first
as to the post on the Columbia. Nothing, I
told him, could exceed the concern I felt at
our act being viewed in the light presented by
him, and nothing could have been less expected. The grounds upon which England claimed
dominion, were unknown to me ; but granting
that she had a claim, was the lawfulness of the
step taken by the United States to be questioned ? That the post was in their possession
before the war. of 1812 was admitted; and
also, that it had fallen by capture into the
hands of Britain during the war. How then
under a treaty of peace, the first article of
which stipulated the mutual restitution of all
places reduced by the arms of either party,
was our right to restitution to be impeached ?
I mentioned the cases of Nootka Sound and
Falkland  Islands.     In   these,  Great  Britain, 1818.
under circumstances far less strong, had asserted the principle of which we claimed the
His lordship admitted our right to restitution, and our claim to be in possession, when
negotiations for the title were going on. But
the manner of obtaining it, he said, was to be
lamented, from its possible tendency to interrupt the harmony subsisting between the two
countries. He sincerely hoped it would not
have that effect, and added, that to forestall all
risk as far as he could, he had addressed a note
to the Lords of the Admiralty, and one to
Lord Bathurst as charged with colonial affairs,
desiring that prompt orders might be issued
for preventing all hostile collision, either at
the post, or with British ships in its vicinity.
He took from his files, copies of these notes,
(and read them to me.
I said, that although it was scarcely to be
expected that I could yet have received official
information respecting the measure, and although, in fact, none had reached me, I was
entirely confident that it had originated in no
unfriendly feeling. Nor was it believed that
any thing essentially due to Great Britain had
been omitted. It had so happened, I remarked, that I had some knowledge myself of the
intentions of my Government at the time the measure was projected, which enabled me with
the less scruple to speak as I did. I left
Washington, it was true, before the departure
of the ship ; but felt sure that there could
have been no alteration in the views that had
suggested her voyage to those seas; and, above
all, I knew that the employment of force as a
means of reinstating ourselves under the treaty,
had in no wise been in contemplation.
These assurances appeared to have the proper influence in placing the transaction in its
true lights. The post came peaceably into our
possession, and the case was not subsequently
revived as one of complaint.
As regarded the North-western boundary
line, I remarked, that this subject had no place
in my instructions. An article to the effect of
his proposal, had once been inserted in a convention between the two Governments, but
expunged by that of the United States. The
ground of objection was, that the only line
that could be run in the direction proposed
under the treaty of 1783, would not, as had
been ascertained since the date of the treaty,
strike the Mississippi; and to run it lower down
would bring it through territory within the
limits pf the United States. Great Britain
was free to renew the proposal; all that I
could do, would be to transmit it to my Go- 1818. COURT  OF  LONDON. 77
vernment, and it would be for his lordship to
judge how far the past rejection, with its unchanged ground, was discouraging to another
Finally, as to the slaves. I said, that I had
no authority to assent to the proposal as modified from that of my predecessor, which I
had done nothing more than renew. That
much anxiety continued to exist on this subject in the United States, as might be inferred
from the late resolution in the Senate, submitted by Mr. Troup, from Georgia; and that
the fact of each Government having adhered to
its own construction of the treaty on this point,
afforded little presage of a concurrence in opinion by commissioners chosen by each. Still, I
had every reason to think that the President
would view as friendly, the principle of the
proposal; for whilst it did hold out a preliminary step of no very probable efficacy, it came
at last to our own overture. I would gladly
therefore transmit it for his consideration,
assuming, as I did, that this subject of compensation for slaves would be acted upon by
itself, in the event of obstacles being found to
lie in the way of the two others.
To this his lordship did not yield his assent.
He hoped that I presupposed an imaginary
case, abstaining in this way from a positive 78
refusal at first. He afterwards, in effect, embodied one in the remark, that as each Government had objects of its own in view, the
three propositions ought, in his opinion, to
be classed together, awaiting a common assent
or rejection. I combated this doctrine. The
carrying off of the slaves involved a case of palpable injury, and, as we also contended, of
wrong ; one that brought loss to all, and ruin
to some of the proprietors. The fundamental
laws of the Union guaranteed to our Southern
planters as sure a property in their slaves, as
in their houses and lands; and as well might
the two last be taken from them as the first.
The two other propositions rested upon ancient, undefined claims ; not pressing in their
nature, or any of their consequences. The
jcase of the slaves, moreover, sprang out of the
treaty of Ghent, and was peculiarly entitled to
the benefit of its equitable example in settling
controversies. The other two subjects were
wholly extrinsic. Whatever rights or expectations might even justly be coupled with them
by Great Britain, it seemed proper that they
should stand upon independent ground. It
was so that I drew distinctions.
But I perceived no change in what were at
least his lordship's first impressions, that the
three questions ought to be dealt with in the 1818. COURT OF LONDON. 79
same way. The interview was extended to
much length, and closed by his saying, that as
all the proposals proceeded from his Government, they would be forwarded to Mr. Bagot
for the information of mine, in addition to the
communication of them made to me. 1818.
February 9, 1818. Received a note from
Lord Castlereagh informing me that the Prince
Regent had appointed Thursday the 12th, for
my reception, at Carlton House, at a quarter
past two, previous to the levee.
February 12. Had my reception. A competent knowledge of the world may guide any
one in the common walks of life; more especially if he carry with him the cardinal
maxim of good-breeding in all countries—a
wish to please and unwillingness to offend.
But if, even in private society, there are rules
not to be known but by experience, and if
these differ in different places, I could not feel
insensible to the approach of an occasion so
new. My first desire was, not to fail in the
public duties of my mission. The next, to
pass properly through the scenes of official
and personal ceremony to which it  exposed 1818.
me. At the head of them, was my introduction to the Sovereign. I desired to do all
that full respect required, but not more: yet
—the external observances—what were they ?
They defy exact definition beforehand, and I
had never seen them. From the restraints,
too, that prevail in these spheres, lapses, if
you fall into them, are little apt to be told
to you; which increases your solicitude to
avoid them. I had, in some of my intercourse, caught the impression, that simplicity
was considered best adapted to such an introduction ; also, that the Prince Regent was
not thought to be fond of set speeches. This
was all that I could collect. But simplicity,
all know, is a relative idea. Often it is attainable, in the right sense, only through the
highest art.
I arrived before the hour appointed. My
carriage having the entree, or right to the private entrance, I went through St. James's
Park and got to Carlton House by the paved
way, through the gardens. Even this approach was already filled. I was set down
at a side-door, where stood servants in the
Prince's livery. Gaining the hall, persons
were seen in different costumes. Among them
yeomen of the guard, with halberds. They
had hats of velvet, with wreaths round them, 82
and rosettes in their shoes. In the courtyard, which opened through the columns of
the portico, bands of music were heard. Carriages, in a stream, were approaching by this
access, through the double gates that separate
the royal residence from the street. The
company arriving this way, entered through
the portico, and turned off to the right. I
went to the left, through a vestibule, leading
to other rooms, into which none went but
those having the entree. They consisted of
cabinet ministers, the diplomatic corps, persons in chief employment about the court, and
a few others, the privilege being in high esteem. Knights of the Garter appeared to have
it, for I observed their insignium round the
knee of several. There was the Lord Steward
with his badge of office ; the Lord Chamberlain with his; also, gold stick, and silver stick.
The foreign ambassadors and ministers wore
their national costumes ; the cabinet ministers,
such as we see in old portraits, with bag and
sword. The Lord Chancellor, and other functionaries of the Law, had black silk gowns,
with full wigs. The bishops and dignitaries
of the Church, had aprons of black silk. The
walls were covered with paintings. If these
were historical, so were the rooms. As I
looked through them, I thought of the scenes 1818. COURT  OF  LONDON. 83
in Doddington ; of the Pelhams, the Boling-
brokes, the Hillsboroughs. The Prince had
not left his apartment. Half-an-hour went by,
when Sir Robert Chester, Master of Ceremonies, said to me, that in a few minutes he
would conduct me to the Prince. The Spanish Ambassador had gone in, and I was next
in turn. When he came out, the Master of the
Ceremonies advanced with me to the door.
Opening it, he left me. I entered alone.
The Prince was standing; Lord Castlereagh
by him. No one else was in the room.
Holding in my hand the letter of credence, I
approached, as to a private gentleman, and said,
that it was " from the President of the United
" States, appointing me their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the
"Court of his Royal Highness; and that I
"had been directed by the President to say,
" that I could in no way better serve the Uni-
" ted States, or gain his approbation, than by
"using all my endeavours to strengthen and
" prolong the good understanding that happily
" subsisted between the two Countries." The
Prince took the letter, and handed it to Lord
Castlereagh. He then said, that he would
"ever be ready on his part to act upon the
"sentiments I had expressed; that I might
" assure the President of this, for that he sin-
o2 84
"cerely desired to keep up and improve the
"friendly relations subsisting between the
" two nations, which he regarded as so much
I to the advantage of both." I replied, that
I would not fail to do so.
The purpose of the interview seeming to be
accomplished, I had supposed it would here
end, and was about to withdraw; but the
Prince prolonged it. He congratulated me on
my arrival. He inquired for the health of Mr.
Adams, and spoke of others who had preceded
me in the mission, going back as far as the first
Mr. Pinckney. Of him, and Mr. King, his inquiries were minute. He made others, which
it gave me still more pleasure to answer—he
asked if I knew the ladies from my country,
then in England, who had made such favourable
impressions, naming Mrs. Patterson, and the
Miss Catons. I replied that I did, and responded to his gratifying notice of these my
fair countrywomen. A few more remarks on
the climate of the two countries closed the
It would be out of place in me to portray
the exterior qualities of this monarch. The
commanding union of them has often been a
theme in his own dominions. He was then in
his 56th year; but in fine health, and maintaining the erect, ambitious, carriage of early 1818.
life. The Envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary from Sicily and Naples, had
his reception immediately afterwards.
When the Prince came from his apartment,
called in the language of palaces his closet, into
the entree rooms, I presented to him Mr. John
Adams Smith, as public secretary of the legation, and Mr. Ogle Taylore, as attached to it
personally. Other special presentations took
place; amongst them, that of the Prince of
Hesse Homberg, by Lord Stewart, both
distinguished in the then recent battles of
the Continent. The Prince Regent moved
about these rooms, until he had addressed
everybody; all waiting his salutation. Doors
hitherto shut, now opened, when a new
scene appeared. You beheld in other rooms
the company that had turned off to the right.
The opening of the doors was the signal for the
commencement of the general levee. I remained with others to see it. All passed, one
by one, before the Prince, each receiving a
momentary salutation. To a few he addressed
conversation, but briefly ; as it stopped the
line. All were in rich costume. Men of genius and science were there. The nobility
were numerous ; so were the military. There
were from forty to fifty generals; perhaps as
many admirals, with throngs of officers of rank 86
inferior. I remarked upon the number of
wounded. Who is that, I asked, pallid but
with a countenance so animated ? " That's General Walker" I was told, "pierced with bayonets,
leading on the assault at Badajos." And he, close
by, tall but limping ? " Colonel Ponsonby ; he
was left for dead at Waterloo ; the cavalry it was
thought had trampled upon him." Then came
one of like port, but deprived of a leg, slowly
moving ; and the whisper went, " That's Lord
Anglesea." A fourth had been wounded at
Seringapatam ; a fifth at Talavera; some had
suffered in Egypt; some in America. There
were those who had received scars on the deck
with Nelson ; others who carried them from
the days of Howe. One, yes one, had fought
at Saratoga. It was so that my inquiries were
answered. All had " done their duty " this
was the favourite praise bestowed. The great
number of wounded was accounted for by recollecting, that little more than two years had
elapsed since the armies and fleets of Britain
had been liberated from wars of extraordinary
fierceness and duration in all parts of the
globe. For, so it is, other nations chiefly
fight on or near their own territory ; the English everywhere.
Taking the whole line, perhaps a thousand
must have passed.    Its current flowed through 1818.
the entree rooms, got onward to the vestibule,
and was finally dispersed in the great hall.
Those who composed it, found themselves
there, by a course reverse to that of their
entrance; and went away through the portico,
as their carriages came up.
The whole ceremony lasted until past five.
When it was over, I called upon each member
of the Royal Family; a mark of respect omitted
by no foreign minister after being received by
the Sovereign. The call is made by inscribing
your name in books kept at their several residences. The royal family were, of the male
branches—the Dukes of York, Clarence, (now
William IV.) Kent, Cumberland, Sussex,
Cambridge, and Gloucester. Of the female
branches—the Duchess of Gloucester,' the
Princesses Augusta, Elizabeth, Sophia, and
Sophia Matilda. Prince Leopold (present
King of Belgium,) husband of the late Princess
Charlotte, shared the same attentions ; as did
the Duchesses of York and Cumberland. How
far it may be necessary for a distant Republic,
whose genius is entirely different from the ancient governments of Europe, to exchange
with them diplomatic representatives of the
higher class, may be a question; but it can be
none whether, when once sent, they shall
offer   all   the  appropriate marks   of  respect 88
which the usages of the world accord to sovereigns and those in immediate connexion with
them. To withhold or stint them would be
in conflict with the purposes of the diplomatic
office. It was in this feeling that, during 'my
residence, I thought it proper never to be,
absent from a levee, or pretermit in any wise
attentions to the royal family paid by other
foreign ministers; and I will take occasion to
add, that I did not find an insensibility to the
just motives of such a course.
It will be in unison with my narrative to insert a copy of the letter of credence I delivered to the Prince Regent. It followed the
established formulary, when the United States
send ministers to foreign courts. An eminent
individual in England asked me what the form
was from republics to monarchies. The answer
is easy. The head of a republic, however appointed or chosen, represents, for the time
being, its collective power and dignity. To
foreign nations, he is the visible image of its
sovereignty, and speaks to monarchs, clothed
with its attributes. The letter will afford at
the same time a specimen of the peculiar style
adopted by nations when speaking to each
other through the personality centring in their
executive heads.    It is in these words :— 1818.
"James Monroe, President of the United
States of America, to his Royal Highness
the Prince Regent of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland:
1 Great and good Friend:
"I have made choice of Richard Rush, to
reside near your Royal Highness in quality of
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. He
is well informed of the relative interests of the-
two countries, and of our sincere desire to cultivate and strengthen the friendship and good
correspondence between us; and from a knowledge of his fidelity, probity, and good conduct, I have entire confidence that he will
render himself acceptable to your Royal Highness by his constant endeavours to preserve
and advance the interests and happiness of
both nations. I therefore request your Royal
Highness to receive him favourably, and to give
full credence to whatever he shall say on the
part of the United States, and most of all when
he shall assure you of their friendship, and
wishes for your prosperity ; and I pray God to
have your Royal Highness in his safe and holy
keeping. Written at the city of Washington,
the thirty-first day of October, anno Domini 90
one  thousand eight  hundred and seventeen.
By your good friend,
" James Monroe."
" John Quincy Adams,
I Secretary of State."
The letter of credence from the King, or
Prince Regent, of England, on sending a minister plenipotentiary to the United States, is the
same, mutatis mutandis, in its formal commencement and conclusion ; and substantially
the same throughout.
My reception having established me in full
official standing, I left cards at the houses of
the cabinet ministers and diplomatic corps.
The former have precedence over the latter
(though in England they often wave it) because, sharing the confidence and administering the power of the Sovereign, they become
indentified, so far with his dignity. I visited
also the Lord High Steward, Lord Chamberlain, the Master of the Horse, and a few others
personally attached to the royal household.
The only one of the cabinet upon whom I had
called previously, was Lord Castlereagh. Cabinet ministers in England are exempt from
returning visits to foreign ministers, as to all
others; nevertheless, the courtesy of Lord
Castlereagh had returned mine. 1818.
It was so that I aimed at going through the
obligations of ceremony, as I found them established at the English court. I may have
dwelled on them the longer because they were
new to me ; but not too long. I do not discuss their importance. I give them as facts.
The philosopher may rail at them ; but, in his
philosophy, he may discover, if candid, matter
for raillery too. In the machinery of political
as social life, the smallest parts are often those
that give impulse to the greatest movements.
If we visit a strange country, scan its general
population, enter its farm-houses, its cottages,
its work-shops, we are permitted to speak of
appearances and habits that on all sides arrest
the eye. May we not, with a guarded freedom, do the same of the high places of the
world ? In the modes of life in each, are
beheld component parts of the grand whole.
If, from the former, issue the springs of power,
it is in the latter, under monarchies, that its
agents dwell. Perhaps if the feelings that
exist in each could be better known to the
other, jealousies might be softened, more frequently than increased.
It may be thought that the forms I detail,
are the growth only of monarchical soils.
Their roots lie deeper. If none but republics
existed, other forms would arise, differing in 92
circumstance, but not in essence. In the
genius of the latter governments, there is a
sternness peculiarly opposed to giving up
claims to outward reverence. The Roman
Senate took more offence at Caesar's refusal to
rise on an occasion when they intended to do
him honour, than at his passing the Rubicon
or seizing upon the treasury. The title of
Majesty is modern, as applied to Kings. The
Romans used it with peculiar fondness, says
Dryden, in reference to the people—Majestas
Pofuli Romani. The first treaty that Cromwell entered into with the United Provinces,
had a stipulation that their ships should strike
their flags in British seas, to the " Republic"
of England. We have seen, in our own day,
with how prompt a sensibility President Madison, whose life has been a model of dignity as
of public and private virtue, stood upon the
point of form, when treaties were to be signed.
Nor was he less scrupulous, when complimentary salutes were to be exchanged with the
vessels or batteries of foreign powers. If the
individual of just pride respects himself whilst
he respects others, nations will ever be still
more quick to the same feeling, and to all
its external manifestations. 1818.
February 16, 1818. The late attempt upon
the life of the Duke of Wellington in Paris is
a topic. He went there on business relating,
as is believed, to the evacuation of France by
the Army of Occupation, of which the English
forms a part. Returning to his hotel at midnight, a pistol was fired at his carriage. One
of his aids was with him. Nobody was hurt.
The report collected people, and some gendarmerie went in pursuit. The Duke made his
coachman stop, got out, and looked around.
Such is the account I hear. I learn that it
was transmitted by a special messenger from
the French King, to his ambassador at this
court. The ambassador repaired to Carlton
House, to express to the Prince Regent the 94
concern felt by his sovereign ; with assurances
that all means would be used to discover the
offender, and bring him to proper punishment.
The ambassador afterwards went to Apsley
House, the residence of the Duke of Wellington, to express to his family appropriate sentiments on the occasion.
February 21. Since my reception I have,
had calls from servants of official persons for
"favours." I became acquainted with the term
at Portsmouth. They had no warrant from
their masters; but came under ancient custom.
There have also been to me, fraternities, more
nearly allied to the Portsmouth bell-ringers;
as the I Palace drums and fifes" the "Royal
waits and music" and a third, the derivation of
which I could not understand, and which no
external signs that I saw bespoke, the " King's
marrow-bones and cleavers." Each presented me
with a congratulatory address. Each had their
I book to show." They all have something to
do with out-door arrangements when levees
are held. These contributions upon the diplomatic stranger, awakened at first my surprise. I afterwards heard what, perhaps, may
serve as explanatory. Ambassadors on leaving
England, receive from the Government a present of a thousand pounds ; and ministers plenipotentiary, five hundred.    If then on their 1818.
arrival, and afterwards, there are appeals to
their bounty by those in menial and such-like
situations about the Government, the latter, it
seems, pays back again ! I do not hint that it
does so in the light of an indemnification ; but
the customs harmonize. True, the minister
plenipotentiary of the United States never
takes the five hundred pounds; the constitution of his country forbidding it. But this
is a point which it may be presumed he does
not stop to expound to the servants of the
foreign secretary, or the " Royal waits and
music." It would doubtless be to them a
novel plea in bar for not putting his hand in
his pocket! Whenever he pays for music, he
must consider himself as having an equivalent
in its I silver sounds."
If I had calls like these, I am bound to
mention others. A great number of persons
of the court and other circles paid me visits.
Their names I need not recount. Of the list,
were those whose acquaintance any one might
regard as a source of gratification. In me, the
feeling was heightened, as it marked the estimation in which my country was held. Intercourse to which the door thus opened in
my favour was afterwards extended, leading
to hospitalities, that can neither pass from the
memory nor grow cold upon the heart. 96
February 23. At a dinner at the Danish
minister's we had half a dozen gentlemen;
among them Sir Humphrey Davy. There were
also ladies. One of the latter spoke of Franklin ;
he was a captivating writer—so much nature—
so much genius ; Mr. Jefferson had said that to
see the junction of two of our rivers where one
breaks through a mountain, was worth crossing
the Atlantic ; but she would think the voyage
better undertaken to see Franklin's old china
bowl and silver spoon his wife bought for him;
she hoped both were kept; it would be sacrilege to let them perish. I was charmed at her
manner of saying all this. Sir Humphrey took
his share in the conversation. At the first
words of this great chemist and philosopher, I
was all attention. But he talked of neither
chemistry nor philosophy. He agreed to what
was said of Franklin. He spoke of the expedition preparing for the North Pole; it
was fitted up, he said, with every thing but a
philosopher; whether the sailors would have
no such non-descript on board, or none would
consent to go, he could not say; the ocean
was a noble dominion for nations, but a bad
place £®r landsmen ; worst of all for philosophers. He spoke of the case about wager of
battle, pending in the King's Bench; the very
argument was  so like a burlesque, that, he 1818.
thought, the parties had better be allowed to
fight it out at once, the
ii   fr
forming a
*& - jancy
ring, while parliament and the judges looked
on. His elocution was remarkably prompt and
smooth. In society he seems as pleasing, as
in the lecture-room he is profound. He told
me that the widow of Gar rick was alive, at an
advanced age, and lived not far from the house
I had taken. Mr. Bourke, our kind host, had
been much among the courts of Europe. Inclination and opportunity had improved his
taste in the arts. In the drawing-rooms after
dinner, pictures were talked of, his walls showing some fine ones. He said, that in distinguishing the various productions of the different
masters, there was no more difficulty, where
the eye had been practised among large collections, than in distinguishing the faces and
handwriting of your living acquaintances.
February 25. Having brought from my Government a letter of credence to the Queen, I
was this day presented to her. It was called
a private presentation, and took place at Buckingham Palace.
I got to the palace before the hour fixed.
Servants were at the door, and in the hall.
Ascending an ample staircase, the master
of ceremonies received me in one of the
rooms of a suite, all open, but no one else in
H 98
them. When five o'clock came, he conducted
me to the audience-room, which I entered
Immediately before me was the Queen. On
her right was one of the Princesses, her daughter ; on her left, another. Near them were
two ladies in waiting. All were in full court-
dresses ; and all standing. In another part
of the room were her Majesty's Chamberlain,
and the Duke of Montrose. These made up
the whole assemblage. All was silence. Approaching the Queen, I said ;—" Having been
accredited by his Royal Highness, the Prince
Regent, as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States, I have
now the honour to present this letter to your
Majesty. In executing the duties of my mission, I have it in charge from the President so
to bear myself as to give hope of gaining your
Majesty's esteem ; and this I beg to assure
your Majesty will be my constant ambition."
She received the letter. As she took it, she
said, that the sentiments I expressed were very
obliging, and entered into conversation. Learning I was from Philadelphia she asked questions about it, and others respecting the United
States, generally ; all put in a very kind spirit.
The interview lasted about fifteen minutes.
The Queen was then seventy-six.   Her birth- 1818.
day was the day following. As I entered the
room, and during the whole interview, there
was a benignity in her manner, which, in union
with her age and rank, was both attractive and
touching. The tones of her voice had a gentleness, the result, in part, of years ; but full as
much of intended suavity to a stranger. The
scene as it first broke upon me ; its novelty,
its quiet yet impressive stateliness, became,
almost immediately, by her manner, one of
naturalness and ease. My immediate predecessor, Mr. Adams, when presented to her,
made an allusion to qualities in her character,
which, as I came to learn through a good
source that it was advantageously remembered
at the English Court, I will repeat. His mission
commenced in 1815, directly after the war between the two countries. He said, that the
political relations between them had been subject to the versatility that attended all human
affairs; that dissensions had arisen, which
however had been removed, and, he ardently
hoped, permanently removed; but that the
reverence commanded by her Majesty's private
virtues had been subject to no such change;
it had been invariably felt by his Government,
and he could utter no wish more propitious to
the happiness of both countries, than that the
future harmony between them might be equally
h 2 100
unalterable. The allusion was happy, because
it was just. Throughout a long life, she had
been uniformly distinguished by her private
virtues, and her efforts to imprint them upon
the times. I saw her sinking below the horizon. But the serenity that I saw, betokened,
that as the splendours of her day were setting,
she had a consciousness that it was not for
them alone she had lived.
February 27. Yesterday her Majesty held
a drawing-room. It was in celebration of her
birth-day. My wife was presented by Lady
Castlereagh. Besides being a birth-day celebration, it was the first drawing-room of the
season, and the first since the death of the
Princess Charlotte. The weather was fine,
with a brilliant sun. A permit had been sent
from the Board of Green Cloth for my carriage to pass into St. James's Park, through
the gate on Constitution Hill.
Going through Hyde Park, I found the whole
way from Tyburn to Piccadilly (about a mile)
filled with private carriages, standing still. Persons were in them who had adopted this mode
of seeing those who went to court. Tenfold the
number went by other approaches, and every
approach, I was told, was thronged with double
rows of equipages, filled with spectators. I was
to be set down with the rest of the diplomatic 1818.
corps, and others having the entree, at a door
assigned, within the court-yard of the palace.
Arrived in its vicinity, my carriage was stopped
by those before it. Here we saw, through the
trees and avenues of the Park, other carriages
rapidly coming up, in two regular lines from
the Horse Guards and St. James's. Another
line, that had been up, was turning slowly
off, towards the Birdcage Walk. Foreigners
agreed, that the united capitals of Europe
could not match the sight. The horses were
all in the highest condition ; and, under heavy
emblazoned harness, seemed, like war-horses,
to move proudly. Trumpets were sounding,
and the Park and Tower guns firing. There
were ranks of cavalry in scarlet, with their
bright helmets, and jet black horses ; the same
we were told, men and horses, that had been
at Waterloo.
We were soon set down, and entered the
great hall. What a contrast! The day before,
I had gone up the staircase alone. Now, what
did I see ? We were not out of time, for, by
appointment, my carriage reached the palace
with Lord Castlereagh's ; but whilst hundreds
were still arriving, hundreds were endeavouring
to come away. The staircase branched off at
the first landing, into two arms. It was wide
enough to admit a partition, which was let in. 102
The company ascending, took one channel;
those descending, the other ; and both were
full. The whole group stood motionless. The
openings through the carved balusters, brought
all under view at once, whilst the paintings on
the walls heightened the effect. The hoop
dresses of the ladies, sparkling with lama ; their
plumes ; their lappets; the fanciful attitudes
which the hoops occasioned, some getting out
of position as when in Addison's time they
were adjusted to shoot a door; the various
costumes of the gentlemen as they stood pi
nioning  their   elbows,
and  holding  in  their
swords; the common hilarity, from the common dilemma; the bland recognitions passing
between those above and below, made up, altogether, an exhibition so picturesque, that a
painter might give it as illustrative, so far, of
the court of that aera. Without pausing to
describe the incidents during our progress
upwards, it may be sufficient to say, that the
party to which I was attached, and of which
Lady Castlereagh, towering in her bloom, was
the pioneer, reached the summit of the staircase in about three quarters of an hour.
Four rooms were allotted to the ceremony.
In the second was the Queen. She sat on a
velvet chair and cushion, a little raised up.
Near  her were the Princesses, and ladies in 1818. COURT OF  LONDON. 103
waiting. The general company, as they reached
the corridor by one arm of the staircase, passed
on to the Queen. Bowing to her, they regained it, after passing through all the rooms,
by an outlet that led to the other arm; which
they descended. When my wife was presented,
her Majesty addressed some conversation to
her, as a stranger. This she could not do to
all, time not permitting. The Regent was
there, and the Royal Family ; cabinet ministers
and their ladies ; foreign ambassadors and ministers with theirs. These, having the entree
remained, if they chose, in the room with the
Queen. A numerous portion of the nobility
were present, their wives and daughters; with
others distinguished in life, though bearing
neither title nor station. Conversation you
got as you could, in so great and rich a
If the scene in the hall was picturesque, the
one upstairs transcended it. The doors of the
rooms were all open. You saw in them a
thousand ladies richly dressed. All the colours of nature were mingling their rays together. It was the first occasion of laying by
mourning for the Princess Charlotte ; so that
it was like the bursting out of spring. No lady
was without her plume. The whole was a
waving field  of feathers.     Some  were  blue, 104
like the sky; some tinged with red ; here you
saw violet and yellow ; there, shades of green.
But the most were like tufts of snow. The
diamonds encircling them, caught the sun
through the windows, and threw dazzling
beams around. Then the hoops! I cannot
describe these. They should be seen. To see
one is nothing. But to see a thousand—and
their thousand wearers ! I afterwards sat in
the Ambassadors' box at a coronation. That
sight faded before this. Each lady seemed to
rise out of a gilded little barricade ; or one of
silvery texture. This, topped by her plume,
and the " face divine" interposing, gave to the
whole an effect so unique, so fraught with feminine grace and grandeur, that it seemed as
if a curtain had risen to show a pageant in another sphere. It was brilliant and joyous,
Those to whom it was not new, stood at gaze
as I did. Canning for one. His fine eye took
it all in. You saw admiration in the gravest
statesmen; Lord Liverpool, Huskisson, the
Lord Chancellor, everybody. I had already
seen in England signs enough of opulence and
power. Now I saw, radiating on all sides,
British beauty. My own country I believed
was destined to a just measure of the two first;
and I had the inward assurance that my coun- 1818. COURT OF  LONDON. 105
trywomen were the inheritresses of the last.
Matre pulchrd JUia pulchrior. So appeared the
drawing-room of Queen Charlotte.
The ceremonies of the day being ended, as
far as myself and suite were concerned, we
sought the corridor to come away. In good
time we reached the head of the descending
channel. Will it be believed ? both channels
were full as ever of hoops and plumes. There
was something in the spectacle from this position that presented a new image. Positively,
it came over the eye like beautiful architecture ; the hoops the base, the plume the pinnacle ! The parts of this dress may have been
incongruous; but the whole was harmony.
Like Old English buildings, and Shakspeare,
it carried the feelings with it. It triumphed
over criticism. We got down stairs in about
the same time it took to get up. As we
waited in the hall for our carriage, military
bands were playing in the court-yard, some
mounted, some on foot; amidst the strains of
which we drove off.
In the evening I dined at Lord Castlereagh's.
It was a dinner in honour of the birth-day.
All were in official costume. The foreign
ambassadors and ministers, and several of the
English  ambassadors at European courts, at
home on leave, were at it. Among the topics
was the beautiful scene of the morning. All
gave their voice to its attractiveness. I will,
say no more of the dinner. Lord Castlereagh,
anxious for the pleasure of his guests, diffused
his attentions in ways to promote it. We sat
down at eight, and rose at ten. By eleven the
company dispersed. 1818.
March 1, 1818. I receive many letters
from persons in England, on emigrating to the
United States. The writers seek information
and advice. I afford neither. The bad sub-
jects of Britain we do not want; the good, it
is no part of my province to be instrumental in
drawing away. If the majority of the applicants be what they profess, they would prove
an acquisition to any new country; where, land
being abundant and labour dear, men are the
best imports. One, a farmer, represents himself to have six thousand pounds. Two of the
same class say, that they each would carry over
about half as much. I learn that another of
the applicants, a manufacturer, is reputed to 103
be worth thirty thousand pounds. The naturalization laws of the United States give
less encouragement to emigrants than is generally supposed; less than some of their citizens
think wise. For one, I regard them as injudicious. They do not confer citizenship upon
terms at all as favourable as Russia and Holland have formerly done, and are believed to
do still; as England did, for ages, when she
even offered bounties to certain classes of
foreigners on coming to her shores; and as
France has done at periods when her population, in proportion to her soil, was far greater
than that of the United States. The latter require a full residence of five years, with regulations that put further clogs upon the privilege.
I should fill many pages were I to detail applications of another description ; I mean from
the authors of new projects. One has an improved plan for making rockets; another thinks
he has discovered a mode of building ships
that will all sail alike; a third has a model of a
gun-carriage, by which a 64-pounder can be
worked like a swivel; a fourth a fire-machine
to explode under water, with more destruction
to every thing above than Fulton's torpedo.
The projectors all desire patronage from the
Government of the United States, and will go 1818.
over, on proper encouragement from me. It
will be inferred, that if I leave farmers and
manufacturers to think and act for themselves,
I abstain from all interference in the cases of
these ingenious persons. In truth, we want
them less. Most of their inventions are for
destroying life; as if means enough were not
known already.
March 2. Visited the Royal Institution in
Albemarle Street. Its objects are scientific
and literary. A lecture-room, with apparatus,
is annexed, where Sir Humphrey Davy, and
Professors Brande and Milligan, deliver lectures. It has a large library, and is furnished
with the current periodical publications. I
note it merely as one, though of much repute,
among numerous establishments of the kind in
London. Another was. mentioned to me—the
London Institution in Moorfields—founded a
few years back, at an expense of upwards of
fifty thousand guineas, obtained by subscription among private individuals in that range of
the city. The Clubs also have libraries, and
the periodical works. It is so at the Alfred,
which is near the Royal Institution. The
Club Houses appear to be among the largest
in town, judging from those in St. James's
Street. Let me here relate what I heard of
one of them—White's-—the great Tory Club, 110
in St. James's. Somebody spoke of the lights
kept burning there all night: " Yes," said a
member, " they have not been out, I should think,
since the reign of Charles II." The London
Clubs of the higher order are not associations
for mere conviviality, but for intercourse upon
a far broader scale; political, literary, scientific, dramatic, and objects more diversified.
At a subsequent day I visited several, and had
the freedom of some bestowed upon me. I
was honoured with that of the United Service
Club, the Travellers', and the Alfred. The
first, for extent and completeness, I may almost add splendour, surpassed any that came
under my observation, though all were more or
less striking. None of its members are below
the rank of field-officers in the army, or captains in the navy. Through the good offices
of Sir Humphrey Davy, I had the privilege of
resorting to the library and reading-rooms of
the Royal Institution. My gratitude is due for
the facilities accorded to me at all times for
reading and consulting books there, and attending lectures.
I have been to several of the great booksellers' shops; that of Payne and Foss in Pall
Mall, whose collection is said to be very choice;
some in Paternoster Row, and Lackington's,
I o *
corner of Finsbury Square.    A bird's-eye view 1818.
of them shows the amount of capital employed in this great branch of business, the
more imposing as it gives the idea of intellectual as well as moneyed capital. The mere
external arrangement at Lackington's seemed
the best, and I should have inferred, but perhaps erroneously, as I did not see the whole
extent of some in Paternoster Row, that their
collection was largest. One of the firm told
me, that the number of volumes in two descriptions of books, Shakspeare and the periodical writers, amounted, as nearly as he could
say, to about one hundred thousand. I should
have conjectured that the entire collection
could scarcely have fallen short of a million of
volumes. Opening cursorily some of the catalogues, Lackington's appeared to contain the
greatest number of works on America; especially on the early colonial history of the
United States. The catalogues are made out
with great care, and give the prices. They
formed well-sized octavo volumes. Lacking-
ton's ran on to a thousand pages.
Of books, we expect catalogues. But it
is much the habit of English shopkeepers
generally to have printed lists of their articles. Stepping into a large hardware-shop,
the proprietor handed me a stout pamphlet
which presented his whole assortment in print,
3 112
with the prices annexed to each item, no
matter how minute. Haberdashers send out
their inventories in print, and the dealers in a
thousand other things theirs. Their packets
come to my house in I know not what quantity; to the advantage of the paper-maker,
job-printer, and other handicrafts in the system of subdivision.
March 4. Went the evening before last to
a party at the Duchess of Cumberland's, St.
James's Palace.
This is among the oldest buildings in' London. It presents on the street a fortress-like
appearance. To what order it belongs would
be hard to say. The whole is an irregular
pile. But the very confusion in its plan, with
its antiquity, and the sentinels pacing day and
night about it, minister to the fancy, making
amends for its want of good architecture. So
says one, who, unaccustomed to the sight of
edifices that go far back into time, finds this
the ingredient which seizes most upon his first
We drove under a gatehouse leading to a
paved court-yard. Here we were set down
at the entrance to the Duke of Cumberland's
apartments. Directed by servants who fined
the way, we passed up to the rooms of entertainment. The company was not very large. 1818.
In a rich arm-chair, sat the Prince Regent;
on one side of him the Duchess of Cumberland, on the other the Marchioness of Hertford. The rest of the company stood. When
we entered, all were listening to music. Members of the royal family, cabinet ministers, the
foreign ambassadors, with their respective
ladies, and others, formed the groups. I observed among them the Lord Chancellor, Sir
William Scott, and Mr. Canning. On a pause
in the music, there was conversation. The
Duchess of Cumberland spoke kindly of my
country, and individuals belonging to it; particularly Mr. and Mrs. Adams, whom she had
known at the court of Berlin. The Duke
talked to me of the United States, embracing
in his inquiries, language ; with a desire to
learn how far, if at all, we fell into changes in
idiom or pronunciation from the parent stock.
I had introductions to several persons.
Whilst in conversation with the Earl of Hard-
wicke, a gentleman stood within a few paces.
I did not know him. On separating from
Lord Hardwicke, he advanced towards me,
saying, " I'm going to bring a bill into Parliament, making it indictable in any stranger,
j whether ambassador from a republic, kingdom
lor popedom, ever to leave his card without his
(address upon it: how do you do, Mr. Rush, 114
how do you do ? I've been trying to find you
everywhere — I'm Lord Erskine." In this
manner commenced my acquaintance with this
gifted man. There was no one in England of
whose fame I had oftener heard, or whom I
more desired to know. He continued—% I
had a letter for you from my brother, the Earl
of Buchan, but you made me carry it so long
in my pocket that I lost it; it had no secrets;
it was only to congratulate you on your arrival ; he was long a correspondent and friend
of your father's, and wants to transfer his feelings to you, that's all; so you can write to him
as if you had received it." I assured him of
my gratification at meeting him, and made the
due apologies for the omission on my card.
He inquired for President Monroe, Mr. Pink-
ney, and others ; said he had always loved the
United States, and hoped to visit them yet, as he
was an old sailor and cared nothing for storms.
Such was his sprightly strain. He must have
been seventy, or. near it; but, as Sir Francis
Burdett said, he illustrated the fable of youth
peeping through the mask of age. It was a
treat to see so much genius with so much playfulness; such a social flow from one whose
powerful eloquence had been felt by the English nation, and helped to change, on some
fundamental points, the English law. He saun- 1818.
tered about with me and looked at the paintings. There was a full-length likeness of
George II. another of George III. and one
of Mary of Scots ; a " Royal jade," he feared,
" but very pretty." We ended in a room at
the extremity of the suite, where was a table
set out with golden urns for tea, and other
light refreshments ; to which those went who
were inclined. At one o'clock we came away.
The music was by professional performers.
Not only are the first musical talents of England engaged for private entertainments at
houses of distinction, but the best from Italy,
France, and other parts of the Continent; the
Fodors, the Pastas, the Ambrogettis, the Cata-
lanis, who may always be seen in London.
March 10. Dined at the Russian Ambassador's. This distinguished diplomatist is understood to enjoy in a high degree the good-will
of his sovereign, and by all other titles is prominent in official and court circles. To the
social assemblages of each, the Princess Lieven,
his lady, brings dignity, intelligence, and grace
From the embassy, we experienced at all times
the kindness in unison with the good relations
subsisting between the United States and
Russiabj The guests consisted of the diplomatic corps, their wives, and some other
s. General conversation was kept up
i 2
4 116
at table, and revived in smaller circles in the
drawing-rooms afterwards.
I had some with the Minister Plenipotentiary
from Naples. He directed it to the affairs of
the United States. Of their commerce and
marine he had been observant, particularly in
the Mediterranean. With the interests of the
countries on this sea, he seemed familiar. He
had been minister at Constantinople; his
father had been in the same post before him,
and now it was filled by his son. He asked if
my Government did not contemplate opening
diplomatic intercourse with the Porte, which
led us to talk of the commerce of the Black
Sea. He doubted if we could derive benefit
from it, unless as carriers, should we even be
admitted there. All that we desired, I said,
was the opportunity. The nations to whom
it was open, were, he said, Russia, Austria,
England, and France. Naples enjoyed it not;
she was unwilling to pay what the court of
Constantinople asked.
Prince Lieven expressed to me his hope,
that the late appointment by the Emperor of
Mr. Poletticca as Minister Plenipotentiary to
the United States, would improve the friendship between our two countries. I joined in
the hope; the more, as Mr. Poletticca had
been favourably known in the United States 1818. COURT OF  LONDON. 117
since the days of Count Pahlen's mission.    He
spoke of Mr. Adams, and the respect in which
he was held when minister in Russia.    I said,
that his titles to respect at home had been
increased by his correspondence whilst at St.
Petersburgh.    Here I stated, that in 1811 and
1812  his   despatches   relating  to  the  great
movements in Europe, were frequent and full;
that  he  proved himself master of them all,
anticipating  the   political  combinations,   and
military results of that era, with remarkable
precision;   above  all,   confidently  predicting
the failure of Napoleon's grand expedition to
Moscow, from the roused and warlike patriotism of Russia, and  her   abundant  resources.
Such had been the uniform tenor of his communications.     They were on the archives of
the American  government, as monuments of
the writer's capacity to handle public affairs of
magnitude, with judgment and forecast.   The
Ambassador heard  with satisfaction my narrative.
March 12. Last night we were at the Marchioness of Stafford's. The rooms were full.
The Prince Regent, Royal family, many of the
nobility, and others thronged them. It was
past eleven when we arrived ; yet fresh names
were every moment announced. All were in
black under an order for a new Court mourn-
^ 118
ing for the late King of Sweden, Charles XIII.;
who however did riot die king, Bernadotte—
the remnant of Napoleon's royal creations—
occupying the Swedish throne. The rooms
abounded in ornamental articles. The paintings commanded admiration. Under light
judiciously disposed, they made a magnificent
appearance. There is said to be no such
private collection in Europe. It comprehends
the productions of the first masters of the
different schools. A considerable number
are from the Orleans collection, procured in
France by the late Duke of Bridgewater, from
whom the estates of the Marquis of Stafford in
part descend. These works of genius glowing
from every part of the walls, formed of themselves a high attraction had the evening
afforded no others.
It was the beginning of many hospitalities
we had from this family. The Marquis is
known to his country by the public character
his peerage gives him, and the posts he has
filled. The Marchioness is not less known by
her rank ; for she is of the oldest of the realm.
But this is adventitious. She is known by her
cultivated mind, her taste in the arts, her
benevolence to her tenantry, by virtues unostentatious and refined, that commend her to
the love of domestic and social circles, and
endear her name to strangers. 1818.
March 17. Dined at Lord Melville's. Lord
and Lady Melville, Lord and Lady Mulgrave,
Lord Keith, the Ambassador of the Netherlands, the Danish Minister and Lady, Mr.
Barrow, and a few more, made the party.
The Polar expedition was talked of. The
prevailing opinion was against its success, but
Mr. Barrow stood up for it. For every doubt,
man of genius like, he had a solution, often in
veins of pleasantry. I learned that he was the
author of the article on this subject in the
thirty-fifth number of the Quarterly Review,
which every body had read with pleasure, at
least. Lord Melville said, that nothing would
be omitted by the Admiralty to ensure success
to the expedition, as far as equipment was
concerned ; but I saw that he was not sanguine
as to results.
I commended some delicious oranges on the
table. His lordship asked if we had them in
the United States. In the southern parts, I
replied; in other parts we got them from the
West Indies. Copying Mr. Barrow's good
vein I said, that those from the English Islands
would have a better relish if his Majesty's Government would allow us to bring them in our
own ships! In the same spirit his lordship
answered, that, for one, he would be most
happy to contribute to our enjoyments; but 120
must hear what Lord Castlereagh had to
In the dining-room hung the original paintings of the places seen by Cooke in his voyages.
In the hall was one of Duncan's victory over
the Dutch off Camperdown. I asked if there
was no collection in England representing, in
historical series, the victories of the nation
gained in fleet, beginning with those in
Cromwell's time.    His lordship said, none.
In the drawing-room was a large vase of
alabaster, about eight feet high, and of the
finest proportions. It stood before a mirror.
On the exterior surface, the whole story of
Lucretia was represented in figures of demi-
relievo. The work was exquisite. The vase
was illuminated inside, and cast softened
shades through the room. By the reflections
of the mirror, all the figures, though on a
spherical surface, came under the eye at once.
This classic and beautiful ornament, which the
size of the room displayed to the best advantage, had been imported from Florence. England, though carrying the manufacturing arts
to so high a pitch, is filled with the costly
productions of other parts of the world; the
porcelain, the silk damasks, the or-molu, of
France ; the finest works in marble from Italy;
the table-linen of Holland and Saxony;  the 1818.
lace of Flanders; the gems, the cashmeres of
India. No amount of duty shuts out such
articles from her opulent classes. Their very
costliness brings them into demand.
March 18. The Duke of Sussex visited me.
He had called when I was out. Seeing the
Secretary of Legation at Almack's, he fixed
to-day for calling again. I stayed at home to
receive him.
An ardour for constitutional liberty pervaded
his conversation. It rose sometimes to an eloquent boldness. I had not been prepared for
quite as much in a prince of the blood, and
prized it the more. Passing in review some of
the speakers in parliament, he specially commended Lords Grey, Holland, Lansdowne,
Grenville, and Erskine; and, of the House
of Commons,— Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr.
Brougham, and Sir James Macintosh.
Gibbon was mentioned. He thought highly
of his historical research, but preferred Addison's style. The latter never tired. It was
adapted to all subjects. He spoke of Mr.
Adams, called him his friend, said he had
known him on the Continent, where, as in
England, he was esteemed by all to whom
he was known. In paying a tribute to his
talents, he mentioned his knowledge of languages. 122
The French was spoken of as the language
of conversation in Europe. His Royal Highness said, that he would not perhaps object to
this, as it was established; but when used as
the language of state papers and treaties, he
was disposed to make a quaere. The French
was acquired by foreigners with sufficient precision for conversation, and general purposes
of literature; but in drawing up treaties,
where the employment of words in their nicest
shades of meaning was often of national moment, he who wrote in his native language had
an advantage; and however slight, it was
enough to lay the practice open to objection.
He would suggest as a remedy, that treaties
and other solemn state papers, to which two or
more nations were parties, should be drawn
up in Latin. This would put modern nations
upon a par. Each would stand upon the
scholarship of their public men. It was to
this effect he spoke. I thought it in the
natural feeling of an English prince.
The language of France has been diffused
by her social manners, the merit of her writers,
the exile of her protestants, and the power
of her monarchy. Some of these influences
are past. Others are shared by contemporary nations. Is it right that the monopoly of her language should last for ever ?   I 1818.
would be much inclined to his Royal Highness's remedy, if there were no other, though
open to difficulty, perhaps, from modern terms
of art.    But I venture upon the suggestion of
another.    Let the language most likely to be
predominant throughout Christendom, be the
common vehicle of Christendom.    If a living
language is to be adopted at all, this would
be the fairest test.    The European dominions
of Britain have a population of upwards of
twenty-two millions ; the United States count
more than  twelve, to take no notice of the
rapid increase of the latter, or numerous colonies of the former.    Here is enough to au-
thorize the belief, that, already, there are more
persons to whom  English is  the  vernacular
tongue than French; and that it is destined
to gain, not only upon the French, but German, Spanish, and all others.    There is another fact more applicable.   The foreign commerce of Britain and that of the United States
conjointly, exceed that of all Europe.    This
serves, at the present day, to send forth the
English tongue more extensively to all parts
of the   globe,   than   the   French,  or  any  of
Christendom.    Malherbe asserted the rights of
his native language so strenuously against all
foreign  usurpation,   that   he  gained   at   the
French court  the appellation  of " tyrant of 124
words and syllables." Very well, in a Frenchman! But if treaties and all other international papers are always to be written in
French words and syllables, what becomes of
the equal independence of English words and
syllables ? The French are too just to disparage the language of Milton, and Newton,
and Locke; and why should they insist upon
the perpetual preference of their own ? or
rather why should England acquiesce ?
His Royal Highness, it must be added, is
himself an excellent linguist. To his knowledge of the classics, he adds German, Italian,
French, Hebrew, and it may be others, of
which I am not informed.
March 23. Dined at the Lord Mayor's. It
was not Lord Mayor's Day, but a city entertainment always given on Easter Monday, at
the Mansion-house. This edifice is sometimes
called the City palace. In size, it resembles
one, and in some points of architecture ; but
is badly situated, close by the Bank and Royal
Exchange. The streets are so narrow, you
can see it but in part, and it is with difficulty
that carriages approach it at all. Through the
courtesy of the Lord Mayor, the diplomatic
corps are annually invited to this entertainment. It is a gratifying one to them, for they
see at it, the image of a powerful class in the
empire ; the commercial class. 1818. COURT OF  LONDON.
The Royal Dukes, some of the nobility, and
persons in station, were present. These, with
the diplomatic corps, occupied seats in a half
circle at the upper extremity of the room,
on an elevation or dais. The tables in the
area below were filled with the opulent citizens of London. It was a fine sight. They
might be taken as a representative body from
the great ocean of mercantile wealth between
Temple-bar and London-bridge. The room
was the Egyptian hall, of ample dimensions
and brilliantly lighted. A band played as we
entered. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress
were side by side in the centre of the half
circle, at the top of the dais; the latter
in a full court-dress. By her position she
faced the whole company; a trying situation,
which she bore with grace. After all the
courses were over, toasts were given, the first
I had heard in England. Music was kept up,
the song rose, and every thing ministered to
the festive feeling. On one side of me was Sir
Benjamin Bloomfield. At intervals we conversed. It was principally of the United States.
He spoke in a very friendly spirit; urging the
benefit to both countries of mutual good-will
and good offices. I listened the more, as he
was Private Secretary to the Prince Regent.
The entertainment closed with a ball in
another part of the building.    Throughout the  COURT OF LONDON.
visit to mr. west. dinner at mr. littleton's at
lord Holland's.—a day at deptford and Greenwich.— DINNER AT  THE  AUSTRIAN  AMBASSADOR'S	
March 26, 1818. Visited Mr. West, President of the Royal Academy. I found him
with his pencil in his hand.
The most curious piece in his collection,
was one painted when he was eight years old.
It was small, and very imperfect, he said; but
added, that the primary colours, blue, red, and
yellow, were so justly blended that he could
not improve that part of the work. On asking
if he had any previous instruction that enabled him to go right in so important a particular, he replied, no; he could no more say
how his judgment had been formed to it, than
how he learned his mother tongue.
The piece to which he pointed with most 128
interest, was the " Continence of Scipio." It
had been instrumental in bringing him into
notice, forty years before. George III. sent
for it, and kept it for some time at his palace.
At his Majesty's request, he had painted a
series of historical pieces, from the New Testament. They were at Windsor—to be put up
in a chapel the King contemplated building.
The number of pieces in his rooms was very
great. He had been computing the dimensions of a gallery, to contain all he had ever
painted. He found that it would require one
four hundred feet long, fifty broad, and forty
high. The piece from Lear, in the Academy
of Arts at Philadelphia, was, he said, among
those with the execution of which he had been
best satisfied. I spoke of his " Christ healing
the sick," in the hospital at Philadelphia, remarking how highly it was prized; all the town
had flocked to see it. He spoke of a criticism
.upon it in Philadelphia, that had come under
his notice; said it was written in a scholarlike manner, and with a perfect knowledge of
the subject. He knew not the author, nor
could I inform him.
This eminent and venerable artist was then
near eighty. A native American, born near
Philadelphia, he adverted to scenes of his early
life.    I was enabled  to understand some of 1818.
his local allusions. His patriarchal look and
character gave me something of the filial feeling. What am I to do, I asked, as our conversation proceeded, to be able to judge of
paintings ? Wherever I go, I meet with them;
in palaces, private houses, everywhere; engravings rest in portfolios; I see nothing but
the works of your art, and all persons appear
to have a knowledge of them; I the rather
ask, as there is a growing taste for the arts in
the United States; Republics have been celebrated for them; we cherish the hope that it
may be our lot. He replied that he believed
he could not do better, than name to me the
discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Those
productions, I said, but increased my despair ;
we knew them in Philadelphia ; they were ingenious, profound; but what a universe they
opened !—wider than the poets in Rasselas; it
was boundless ; all kind of knowledge was necessary to the painter; and could 'we, with
less, and without superadding the practice of
the eye, become judges of painting ? He
agreed that the art was boundless ; said that
he every day saw something to learn in it;
told the anecdote of the clergyman who
preached one of Sir Joshua's discourses from
the pulpit, omitting technical words, as a proof
of its foundation  in  the principles of man's
K 130
general nature, and admitted that it could
only be successfully studied in conjunction
with practice; in other words, that the eye
could not gain a quick or sure perception of
beauties and defects, but by familiarity with
the best models. I said, it was this which gave
to the English their facilities; foreign travel
was so common with them, that they saw the
best models abroad, and then kept the eye in
practice at home;   the Vatican, the  Louvre,
the Museum at the Hague,
the galleries of
Sans Souci, the collections in the Low Countries
and Spain, persons whom you met every day,
had more or less seen. It was somewhat the
same with books of travels. If you alluded to
the latest in France, a gentleman by your side
had been over the ground, and knew more
than the book; if you spoke of the Coliseum
or St. Peter's, half the company had been at
Rome ; and so of other places. He replied
that it was true. Englishmen travelled a great
deal; all did riot bring back useful information in the arts, but so many went abroad, that
the number was still great who did; hence
there were more good judges of painting in
England, than good painters; it was rare to
meet with a person of leisure and fortune who
had not visited Italy and France, if not more
countries; England also contained more paint- 1818.
ings than any other country, not in public depositories, for there were none worth speaking
of, but in private houses ; the rich bought up
the best upon the Continent, wherever to be
had ; he would be glad to point out the private
collections; those of Lord Stafford and Lord
Grosvenor stood at the head, but there were
others scattered about town, and all over the
country. He invited me to call, whenever I
had an hour to throw away, and saunter through
his own collection, for all that it might be
worth to me, saying that he would saunter
with me, being always at home. It was thus
that he received and talked to me. Once there
was a tear, that the early recollections of
his native land seemed to have drawn down.
I felt in his fame the interest of a countryman. In his whole manner there was a cordiality which also inspired personal attachment
even in a first interview. As often as I saw
him afterwards, it was with renewed pleasure
and advantage; but it was not long, before I
was summoned to bear his pall.
March 27. We were entertained at dinner
by Mr. and Lady Sarah Lyttelton. Mr. Lyt-
telton is in Parliament, and heir presumptive
to Hagley, with the title of its possessor. I
spoke of the letters in the name of one of his
family.    He said it was an admitted point that
k 2 132
they had not been written by Lord Lyttelton.
Sir Humphrey Davy was at table. The newsmen had been blowing horns on a false rumour of Buonaparte's death. " When that happens," said Sir Humphrey, " Europe will fly
up, compression being off." We had also Lady
Davy, Miss Fanshawe, Earl Spencer, Lord
Folkstone, and Mr. Luttrel. There was a flow
of conversation that gives charm to a dinnerparty ; our reception having been as friendly
as courteous by this accomplished pair.
March 29. Dined at Lord Holland's. His
Lordship and Lady Holland, the Marquis of
Lansdowne, Lord Morpeth, Lord Maitland,
Sir James Macintosh, and Mr. Tierney, were
of the company.
Lord Holland spoke of the institutions of
the United States. Our system, he said, appeared suited to our circumstances ; he hoped
we would not put it to risk by a fondness for
war ; was there no fear that the excitements
apt to arise under popular forms, and the courage that springs from freedom, might make
us prone to war ? I replied, that our reliance
was in the checks which our constitution raised
up, and chiefly, that the people, who must suffer from war, were the power who alone, by
their representatives, could declare it He
bore testimony to the merit of President Mon- 1818.
roe, whom he had known in personal and official relations, saying that in such hands our
Republic, as far as depended on the chief
magistrate, might always be considered safe.
I asked Sir James Macintosh, when we were
to be favoured with the history the public had
been led to hope he was preparing. He spoke
doubtfully. Hume was mentioned. He could
not always agree with him, he said, but commended the general spirit of his history; the
whole, indeed, was masterly; the best portion,
that which comprised the reigns of the Tudors,
particularly Elizabeth's. He spoke of Robertson and Gibbon; both were careful inquirers
into facts; Gibbon's research was profound,
but he saw objections to his style. He spoke
of Franklin's style with nothing but praise. It
was more than pure; it was classic. It was
neither the style of Addison nor Swift; it had
the simplicity of theirs, but an original and
graceful playfulness not carried too far, which
neither of the others had in so great a degree.
Lord Holland asked if it could be true that
his works, and especially his style, were not
popular in the United States ; he had seen late
publications seeming to point that way. My
own knowledge and observation, I said, would
lead me to a different conclusion as to the
opinions of my countrymen. 134
Holland House, where we dined, four miles
from London, is a venerable building. Among
other associations that go with it, is the name
of Addison. He lived here after his marriage
to the Countess of Warwick. After dinner we
went into the room that had been his library.
It is now Lord Holland's. It is very long.
Addison was not happy in his marriage; and
the jocose tradition is, that he kept his bottle
at each end of the room, so that in his walks
backwards and forwards he might take a glass
at each! It was in this room he wrote his
despatches when Secretary of State. The Spectator being mentioned, Sir James said, that it
had lost its value as a book of instruction, but
as a standard of style would always last. I
listened with interest to these and other remarks from him. His speeches and writings,
read on the banks of the Delaware as those of
the Thames, had taught me to regard his mind
as kindred to Burke's; the same elementary
power ; the same application of the philosophy
of politics and jurisprudence to practical occurrences ; the same use of history, never heavily but always happily brought in ; the same
aptitude for embellishment, not so gorgeous,
but always chaste; the same universal wisdom.
I resumed the topic of his history. I said,
that when he got to the American revolution 1818.
we should, on our side of the Atlantic, open
his pages with peculiar interest. That we
believed the full and proper account of it had
not yet gone forth to the world; that among
us were still left a few who were contemporary
with it; their minds were the repositories of
facts and reflections which, if not rescued in
time, would perish. I instanced particularly,
Mr. Jefferson and the elder Adams. The life
of each hung by a thread ; but their faculties
were unimpaired. If he thought it worth
while to embark in a correspondence with these
fathers of our country, who, like himself, could
have no object but truth, I would be happy to
be the medium of its commencement. Some
light he might hope to glean ; and if, examining also for himself, he should find it the light
of truth, would it not be worthy of both nations to establish this part of their common
history, on a basis that both might approve ?
He caught at the suggestion, and followed it
up with inquiries, saying he would avail himself of it. But it was not acted upon. I do
not believe the omission arose from any diminished sense of the value of the aid he would
probably have derived; but other causes. His
parliamentary engagements took up much of
his time ; those at the India College had their
claims; and shall I add, as another and natural
il 136
hindrance, the claims of daily society upon him
in the highest spheres, uniting as he did, the
ease of the man of the world, to intellectual
stores attractive and inexhaustible. Such men
grow into favourites in these spheres in London. Chains are thrown round them, not easy
to break.
The conversation from which I have minuted a small part, took place after we had
risen from dinner, and were in the library. At
table it was suited to the moment, and with
the moment passing away. Of hospitality -as
dispensed by Lord Holland I had heard; of
its kindness, its elegance. His standing as a
peer is known. Not less, the many attainments which he makes subservient to the pleasures of society and friendship. In his house,
opulence and refinement seem to lend their
aids to invest letters with glory. The room in
which we dined was richly ornamented. I understood that it had been painted and gilded
as I saw, by one of Lord Holland's ancestors
in the time of Charles I. on the occasion of
a fete given to Henrietta his Queen, when she
came over from France.
I must mention an incident at one of the
Holland House dinners, though I was not present. Scott's novels became a topic, a new one
being out.    One or two of the company ex- 1818.
pressed preferences among them. Before opinion had gone farther, Lady Holland proposed
that each person should write down the name
of the novel liked best. Paper and pencil were
passed, and a slip torn off as each wrote. Nine
were handed to her, and each had the name of
a different novel!—a happy illustration of the
various merit of this fascinating writer.
-April 1. Went to Deptford with Sir Humphrey Davy. His carriage was at the door
when I drove up at an early hour to his house.
An accident happening to it, he took a seat in
mine. Our conversation was chiefly about
the United States, he leading it by his rapid,
intelligent inquiries. One object of our excursion was, to see the ships fitting out for the
Polar voyage. We went on board the Isabella. Outside she looked like any common
merchant-vessel equipped for boisterous seas.
There was double planking round her bow
and sides to resist ice. The interior arrangements embraced whatever science could devise
and mechanical skill effect to promote the objects of the expedition and comfort of the
officers and men. Flues for diffusing heated
air through the ship, nautical and philosophical instruments, with a library that seemed
to contain the accounts of all former voyages
of discovery, were to be seen.    Parliament, to ■
increase the zeal of the officers, had included
them within the promise of reward to those
who ascertained most nearly the longitude.
After going through nearly all parts of the
ship, we went into the Naval Dock-yard, and
afterwards to Greenwich to see the Hospital.
Deptford is the smallest of the English dockyards. We saw but few ships-of-war. Only
one of the line, and three frigates were building. There were docks for repairing as well
as building. We saw several royal yachts;
among them, a very old one, the same that had
conveyed Caroline Matilda, sister of George
III. to Denmark, on the occasion of her marriage to the King of that country. The Danes
sent it back to England; refusing to keep it
after the attack upon their capital, and capture of their fleet by Britain, in 1801. Although this is the smallest of the yards, it is
not without importance, from being so near
London. The business of supplying the navy
with provisions is, or until lately was, carried
on from a depot adjoining it. Sir Humphrey
spoke of their excellent quality, remarking'
how much the strength and courage of seamen
depended upon food. They got, he said,
bread and beef of the best quality, and in full
quantity ; an ample allowance of malt liquor;
wine and cocoa, with all other things proper 1818.
for the sea ration. In the timber piled up in
the yard, I observed mahogany. The Commissioner said, it was used, not merely for
decks, as in the royal yachts, but with advantage, as knees and beams in heavy ships.
The timber of all kinds on hand in the yard,
generally amounted to a supply for three years.
It consisted of English oak chiefly; but they
also got supplies of foreign timber. A quantity was soon expected from the forests of
Croatia and Dalmatia, under contracts with the
Government of Vienna. They also obtained
it from the Baltic. This they thought good
when cut from the southern shores. From
their North American possessions they did
not get much, except for large masts. The
attachments of George III. to the navy were
spoken of, his feelings as monarch being seconded, as was said, by a personal fondness
for naval architecture and affairs of the sea.
He had first evinced them in promoting the
voyages of Byron and Cook, as soon as he got
to the throne. It was added, that at Buckingham Palace, he was furnished with models
of the dock-yards, and, occasionally, of the
vessels building; which he took an interest
in examining. These modes of exerting a superintendence over the navy, seem better in
themselves, and, it must be owned, more be- 140
fitted a sovereign, than if he had turned ship-
carpenter, like Peter of Russia. The yard
at Deptford was one of those in which that
eccentric monarch worked.
Commissioner Cunningjham received us very
kindly at his house within the yard. He
would not allow us to depart without partaking of a collation.
We proceeded on towards Greenwich. Going through the streets, and stopping a moment, an incident arrested my attention. A
woman stood at the door of a house where
cheap refreshments were sold. Some common
people passing, she called to ask if they would
take tea. It was about one o'clock. Houses
of this kind, I understood, were not uncommon in London. I had myself observed tea
sold in the streets near Charing Cross, by huckster women, who obtained the boiling water by
means of coals in a pan, or lamp. In a country where the light wines are not produced,
the first step into temperance is small beer;
the next tea. The national schools in Eng-
land have done much towards meliorating the
condition of her people. The use of tea has
co-operated, by doing more of late years, probably, than any other physical cause, towards
lessening the appetite for ardent spirits. It
acts not so much by reclaiming old drunkards, 1818.
as diminishing the stock of new. What a
sight to see this woman beckoning labouring
men to tea instead of drams! The use of
tea in England is universal. It is the breakfast of the wealthy, as of the poorer classes.
On rising from the sumptuous dinner, coffee is
first handed; but black tea comes afterwards.
A general of the Duke of Wellington's army
told me, that when worn down with fatigue,
there was nothing for which the officers in the
Peninsular war used to call so eagerly, as tea.
Servants in London take it twice a day, sometimes oftener, and the occurrence at Greenwich shows the taste for it to be spreading
among labouring classes at all hours.
We soon got near the Hospital. The day
was fine. I saw, as we approached, men in
uniform. They had a blue coat, full in front,
flapped waistcoat, with breeches and stockings.
All had three-cornered hats. Until we got
near, a stranger might have taken them for an
assemblage of old admirals. They were the
pensioners—common seamen. Some were sunning themselves in seats. Others moved slowly about. I heard no talking from any. Altogether, they had a venerable appearance.
Arrived within the high palisades of iron, I
was struck with the extent and grandeur of
the   building.     Domes;   single   and   double
4 142
rows of columns; flights of solid steps; Corinthian porticoes—met the eye on all sides. The
whole was of Portland stone, and on a terrace
fronting the Thames. I had heard that English hospitals were like palaces. The one
before me far exceeded any palace I had beheld. The interior corresponded with the
outside. There was space, neatness, universal
order. The number of pensioners drawing
the funds of the institution was more than
thirty thousand. Those accommodated within
the building, amounted to about three thousand. A Naval Asylum for minors is annexed,
where are eight hundred boys, and two hundred
girls, children of British seamen. These are
educated and otherwise provided for. Some
of the apartments of the Hospital, as the chapel
and great hall, are superbly ornamented. In
the first is the Shipwreck of St. Paul, a large
painting by West. It fills the space over the
altar, to which you ascend by a range of black
marble steps. There are representations of
Christ stilling the tempest and walking upon
the waves, with various other costly emblems
from the pencil and chisel, having relation to
the sea. In the great hall, the ceiling exhibits paintings which years of labouring art
had been necessary to perfect. They portray
under appropriate allegories, astronomical and 1818.
nautical science, intermingled tfith insignia of
the naval glory of England. Probably no
age or nation can show a charity more
splendid ; the first approach so imposing, the
minute examination so calculated to augment
But there arose a reflection that I could
not repress. Many of the veterans whom I
saw, had, doubtless, fought under the compulsion of impressment. As I looked on their
hoary locks and scarred faces, I thought that
a country treating its seamen thus, was bound
to lodge them like kings, when old or wounded; that in fact, it was only a payment back,
and not adequate for, the previous infliction
of such a wrong. It is to me an unaccountable anomaly, that a nation in which
individual rights are guarded by barriers
such as no other ever raised up, except the
nation in the new world that springs from
her; who would wade through blood sooner
than part with her Habeas Corpus, or trial
by jury, should yet sit calmly down under
this unjust and tyrannical practice. It is
said that her navy cannot otherwise be manned. Poor excuse! as if it were not universally true, that labour of any kind can be
commanded by paying for it, and of course
labour upon the ocean, with the risk of battle
and death; and as if, supposing it to cost ten
times over what would ever be asked, it ought
not to be paid, sooner than such an outrage
be committed! The statesmen, the philanthropists of England will at last awake from
this dream of supposed necessity for the press-
gang. It will cease, and the wonder be, that
any arguments for sustaining it could have
been made current so long. There have, it
is true, been states ancient and modern, that
have resorted to force for obtaining military
service; but it has generally been for temporary purposes. Where this has not been the
case, the states have been those in which personal rights have been imperfectly protected.
The precedents are to be shunned, not copied;
especially by a nation whose fundamental code
looks to the inviolability of personal liberty
in a degree far above that of the civil law of
Rome, or any of the codes of Continental
Europe engrafted upon it. I did not volunteer my thoughts upon my English companion ; but if I had, I scarcely think that dissent would have come from his liberal mind,
accustomed as it was to analyze and reason.
We visited in the last place the Observatory
at Greenwich. Mr. Pond, the astronomer-
royal, received us in the same hospitable manner  as   Commissioner Cunningham.    We as- 1818.
cended to the top of the edifice, seeing all the
astronomical instruments in use. When chronometers were spoken of, it was stated, that
the Government ordered twelve to be made
every year by the best watch-makers in London. For the one which kept the most accurate time, a premium was given ; for the next
best, a diminished premium ; and the remaining ten, if approved, were taken at fair prices.
All were for the use of the public ships. In
this way competition was kept up, no watchmaker suffered loss, and the navy got a supply of the best instruments for measuring
time in all latitudes. The hour for our return pressing, we hastened back to town, after
a day which, to me, had been one of great
variety and interest. The Secretary of Legation, and Captain Thompson, of the navy of
the United States, were of the party. Sir
Humphrey's ardour of conversation did not
abate going home. It related, in part, to
what we had seen; he added anecdotes of
eminent persons in England. We all regretted the moment of separation from him.
April 2. Dined at Prince Esterhazy's. Company—the diplomatic corps and their ladies.
The dinner was one to have been expected
from the munificence of the entertainer.
Among a variety of wines, we had hock.    By
4 ■me
Austrian connoisseurs, this is not prized so
much on account of its age, as original quality. When best, they think it does not improve after twelve or fifteen. Perhaps no
wine does. The preference, at English as at
foreign tables, in London, is for the light
wines; the strong, as Madeira and Sherry,
are little used: Sherry most. Generally, it
is limited to a single glass after soup. With
the latter every dinner begins. Turbot follows, before the meats are uncovered. We
had French cookery, in its perfection. This
I find at English, as foreign tables. Mr.
Morris, American Minister in France at the
time of the revolution, said, that if the French
had revolutionized the kitchens of Europe
instead of its courts, they would have rendered a service that no party would have
called in question. He was right. Food simply roasted, or boiled, is thought temperance.
The French know better, and that to render
it simple as well as savoury, a process more
artificial is required. Hence the made dishes,
like the light wines of France, promote health
and cheerfulness. Oppression seldom follows
indulgence in them ; gout as rarely.
Talking with the Prince after coming out
from dinner, we spoke of the campaigns of
Frederick.    There is a pretty little fact with 1818.
which he was familiar on my allusion to it.
After Berlin was taken by the Austrians and
Russians, the soldiers gave themselves up to
plunder. An officer high in rank was seen
to protect the palace at Potsdam. He would
suffer -nothing to be touched; but asked as
a favour to be allowed to take a small picture of Frederick, and one of his flutes, that
he might preserve them as memorials of so
great a warrior and king. This officer was
Prince Esterhazy, a relative, as I learned, of
our accomplished host.
Although no political relations existed between the United States and Austria, I received from this her ambassador in London,
invariable marks of esteem during my residence.
April 3. We dined at Earl Bathurst's.
Earl and Countess Bathurst, the Duke of
York, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of
Montrose, Lord Lynedoch, Mr. and Mrs. Vil-
liers, Sir Henry Torrens, General Maitland,
Mr. Goulburn, and a few others, were the
Conversation turned upon the United States;
their climate, government, productions, steamboats. On a question respecting the width
of a river in one of the States, I was at fault.
One of the Royal Dukes put me right.    Both
l 2
4 148
of them  spoke  of our  Constitution.     They
asked how  the  Senate   and  Supreme  Court
were modelled, not well perceiving the line
between  the National  and State authorities.
I  endeavoured  in  a  few  words to explain;
which it was not easy to do, in a few words;
and it was  no  place  for  dissertation.    The
Colonization society became a topic.    Its objects were approved.    Lord Bathurst expressed a hope that it might select a better place
on  the  coast  of Africa,   than  England had
done  in  selecting Sierra Leone;  which was
known to have proved  unhealthy.    Inquiries
were made  as  to  the  amount of our  slave
population,  the ratio of increase, and others
bearing on this subject.    I answered with an
admission of the general evil of slavery in the
United  States;   but  added  that there  were
great  mitigations in  the  good  treatment of
the  slaves.    To  this the  exceptions,  I  said,
were rare, and scarcely known at all, among
the better classes of our Southern   planters.
The effect of good treatment was, to diffuse
in a large degree content and happiness among
the  slaves.    Conciliatory  sentiments  towards
the United States ran throughout all the conversation.
At eleven, we left the table.    An hour passed in the drawing-rooms, where conversation 1818.
was continued. All gave precedence to the
Royal Dukes. From them there was urbanity
to all.
April 8. The Princess Elizabeth was married last evening to the Prince of Hesse Hom-
berg. The cabinet ministers, foreign ambassadors and ministers, officers of the royal household, persons in the suites of the Royal Dukes
and Princesses, the Archbishops of Canterbury
and York, the Bishop of London, the Lord
Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, were present. The Prince Regent was not there, being
ill. Our invitation was from the Queen, given
through the Earl of Winchelsea, nearly three
weeks before.
We got to the palace at seven o'clock.
Pages were on the stairs to conduct us to the
rooms. The ceremony took place in the
throne-room. Before the throne was an altar
covered with crimson velvet. A profusion of
golden plate was upon it. There was a salver
of great size on which was represented the
Lord's Supper. The company being assembled, the bridegroom entered, with his attendants. Then came the Queen, with the bride
and royal family. All approached the altar.
Her Majesty sat; the rest stood. The marriage service was read by the Archbishop of
Canterbury.    The  Duke   of York   gave   the
I ■«*■
bride away. The whole was according to the
forms of the Church, and performed with great
solemnity. A record of the marriage was
made. When all was finished, the bride knelt
before the Queen to receive her blessing.
The consent of the King (or Regent) and
Privy Council, is necessary to the validity of a
royal marriage in England. There is another
mode, where the party intending to marry, and
being of the male branch, is of the age of
twenty-six. In such case, a record of the intention on the books of the Privy Council will
authorize the marriage at the expiration of a
twelvemonth, unless Parliament interpose an
Soon after the service was performed, the
bride and bridegroom set off for Windsor.
The company remained. The evening passed
in high ceremony, without excluding social
ease. From the members of the royal family,
the guests had every measure of courtesy.
The conduct of the Queen was remarkable.
This venerable personage, the head of a large
family — her children then clustering about
her; the female head of a great empire—in
the seventy-sixth year of her age—went the
rounds of the company, speaking to all. There
was a kindliness in her manner from which
time had struck away useless forms.    No one 1818.
did she omit. Around her neck hung a miniature portrait of the King. He was absent,
scathed by the hand of Heaven; a marriage
going on in one of his palaces; he, the lonely,
suffering tenant of another. But the portrait
was a token superior to a crown! It bespoke
the natural glory of wife and mother, eclipsing
the artificial glory of Queen. For more than
fifty years this royal pair had lived together in
affection. The scene would have been one of
interest anywhere. May it not be noticed on
a throne ?
Tea was handed. The Queen continued to
stand, or move about the rooms. In one was
a table of refreshments. I went to it with
Major-General Sir Henry Torrens, distinguished by service and wounds, whose acquaintance I had made at Lord Bathurst's. He was
of the establishment of the Duke of York.
On the table were urns and tea-kettles of
fretted gold. Sir Henry recommended me to
a glass of what I supposed wine, in a flagon
near me; but he called it king's cup, given
only at royal weddings.
Returning to the chief rooms, the Princess
Sophia Matilda pointed out to Mrs. Rush and
myself the paintings, the representation of a
bird from India formed of precious stones so
as to resemble beautiful plumage, with other 152
objects of curiosity or taste. She did more.
She spoke of Washington. She paid a spontaneous tribute to his virtues. None but Americans can know how this would fall upon the
heart. To hear his immortal name pronounced with praise in a palace of George
III., had a high and touching value. Mentioning this Princess, I add, that myself and
family afterwards experienced her obliging
attentions in ways the remembrance of which
is cherished with grateful pleasure.
At ten the company came away.
April 9. Dined at Lord Bagot's. We had
the Earl of Mount-Edgecumbe, Lady Emma
Edgecumbe, the Duchess of Leeds, the Countess of Dartmouth, Mr. Disbrow, Vice Chamberlain to the Queen, the Bishop of Oxford,
and several Members of Parliament. The
conversation had frequent allusions to the
United States, their public institutions, and
private society. The royal marriage was talked of. Lord Mount-Edgecumbe, who had
been much an inmate of the palace, told anecdotes of the Queen illustrative of her domestic
virtues. Another topic was, the attempt on
the life of Lord Palmerston, Secretary-of-War.
He was shot at and wounded, going into his
office at the Horse-Guards, yesterday. The
person who fired was supposed to be deranged. 1818.
His acquittal was anticipated on this ground,
as with Margaret Nicholson, and Hadfield,
who-attempted to assassinate the King. Whether the life of their King or the lowest subject be struck at, let the law have its course is
the cry in England. Their code is sanguinary,
but all are bound by it, all look up to it. One
of the company considered the law too lenient
upon these attempts to assassinate kings and
their ministers; they recurred too often; he
would punish the offender in the persons of his
relations, as well as his own ; as had been done
with the Ravillacs and Damiens in France.
This opinion found no countenance. It was
canvassed with sprightliness.
After dinner an evening party followed. We
had an invitation from Lord Bagot, to visit
him at his country estate, Blithfield; and Lord
Mount-Edgecumbe invited us to his, near
April 11, 1818. Had an interview with
Lord Castlereagh. I asked it, to apprize him
of the desire of my Government to open negotiations for a general treaty of commerce, and
arrange other matters of importance to both
It was the wish of the President, I said, to
see the commercial relations between the two
countries placed upon a basis broader and more
permanent than hitherto. The existing convention was not only limited as to time, but
objects. The period not being remote when it
would expire, it was desirable that the Pre- 1818.
sident should know the probable determination of his Majesty's Government as to forming one of a different character; one which, if
not comprehending all the colonies of Great
Britain, should at least include those in North
America and the West Indies. I was aware
of her past unwillingness to treat of this, and
other subjects I should name; but had been
instructed to present them anew, in the hope
of other views prevailing. In this event, I was
furnished with a full power to negotiate a
treaty of the nature indicated.
His lordship was candid in reply. He said,
that he could hold out no encouragement towards a treaty so comprehensive; too many
interests hung upon their colonial dominion
in the quarter mentioned. It would operate
like a revolution in their commercial system.
But I might be assured, that the determination
of Great Britain not to bring the trade of
those islands and colonies under such, or any
arrangements by treaty, arose from no unfriendly feeling. It was only continuing a
policy long established. Hence, no complaints
would be made if the United States adopted
countervailing measures; more especially if,
not being vindictive, they were merely based
upon fair competition. I replied, that the
latter was the   spirit  alone  in which   they 156
would be resorted to ; that as Great Britain
guarded her commercial interests very scrupulously, and in connexion with them those 0/
her tonnage, the United. States must do the
This subject being for the present disposed
of, I passed to others. A time of general
peace, as lately intimated by his lordship,
seemed, I said, the proper time for settling
points which, although of no immediate importance, were highly so in the future. The
President was therefore desirous to take advantage of it, in the hope of being able to
arrange the most important of this description ; such as, trade with the colonies of enemies during war; that between colonies and
the parent country ; that from port to port of
an enemy; the list of articles contraband;
the doctrine of blockade, andv the question
of impressment. Past experience had shown
the tendency of conflicting opinions on these
points to embroil neutrals and belligerents;
it had been unhappily too much the case as
between Great Britain and the United States;
the season when both parties were free from?
the excitements of momentary feeling or interest, was auspicious to attempts for adjusting them amicably, and I was empowered to
enter upon negotiations on them all. 1818.
His lordship replied by concurring in the
fitness of the time to the objects. He first
spoke of blockade. Upon this point he believed the two Governments were agreed,
and asked if they were not ? I said that my
Government was satisfied with the definition
of blockade adopted by England in Lord St.
Helen's convention with Russia of 1801 ; but
that it was the President's desire to have the
point placed upon an exact footing, by compact between the two nations. Not much
passed upon this, and scarcely any thing upon
other points, both of us agreeing, that even if
there could be an understanding upon them
all, a treaty would be of little value that did
not also comprehend that of impressment. To
this question he therefore came, as of absorbing importance.
It is one prominent in the negotiations between the two Governments. I will therefore,
before stating what was said on this first occasion of its being broached under my mission,
offer some general account of it. It may be
understood by those who are not politicians,
and its peculiarity may perhaps impart to it,
in the eyes of such, some share of interest.
To many of the rising generation it is also in
a great measure new, and to be learned only
through numerous and detached state papers, 158
not always at command but in the libraries of
public men.
Great Britain, as a measure of state policy,
impresses her seamen to serve on board her
ships-of-war; in other words, takes them by
force. The practice is one with which other
nations have nothing to do, as long as it is
confined to British seamen, the British dominions, and the decks of British vessels upon take
seas. It may seem at variance with the high
standard of personal rights upon which her
laws are set in other respects; but that consideration is wholly for herself.
But she claims the right of searching the
vessels of other nations upon the seas, for her
seamen; and here begins the cause of complaint. For, how can the claim ever be enforced consistently with what is due to other
nations ?
Let the steps by which the enforcement
proceeds be attended to. A British frigate,
in time of war, meets an American merchant
vessel at sea, boards her, and, under terror
of her guns, takes out one of the crew. The
boarding-lieutenant asserts, and, let it be admitted, believes, the man to be a Briton. By
this proceeding, the rules observed in deciding
upon any other fact where individuals or national rights are at stake, are overlooked.   The 1818.
lieutenant is accuser and judge. He decides
upon his own view, instantly. The impressed
man is forced into the frigate's boat, and the
case ends. No appeal follows. There is no
trial of any kind. More important still, there
is no remedy, should it appear that a wrong
has been committed.
Different is the mode of proceeding if an
American merchant-vessel be stopped and ex-
amined at sea under ^circumstances subjecting
her to suspicion as prize of war. In the latter
case, the boarding-officer .sends the vessel into
port under accusation. Facts are inquired into
judicially. Both parties are heard. Both have
ample opportunities of bringing forward proofs.
Should the tribunal decide that no lawful
cause of seizure existed, the vessel is restored,
the captors are answerable in damages, and
there are adequate modes of making them pay:.
I£ on the other hand, the man seized be in
fact no Briton, the most he can ever hope for
iaS, merely to be released. This can only take
place after he has been kept an indefinite
length of time on board the frigate, put to
duty, and perhaps made to fight. He may be
slain in battle. If this fate does not await
him, his subsequent liberation, from the nature
of the case, can only be effected at a distant
day, and is not .certain at last.   He may not 160
be able, whilst on board the frigate, to obtain
documents to show that he is not a Briton.
He may be transferred to some other vessel of
war.     Even  to   trace   him   through  a  navy
scattered over all  seas,  must become  to his
country or friends a difficult, often a hopeless!
task.    Should the chances, multiplied as they
are against him, all turn out in his favour, and
the order for his discharge be obtained, where.
is his action for damages ? where his remedy •
for loss of liberty ?—He has none !
A claim so ecc parte in the whole enforcement, so intrinsically open to error, and the
error so fatal, cannot, it should seem, rest upon
public law. The United States say that it
does not. They have never denied to Great
Britain the right of search. They allege,
however, that this means search for enemy's
property, or articles contraband of war, not
search for men. They say that no public code,
or other adequate authority, has ever established the latter as an international right.
If its exercise by any other State than Great
Britain can be shown, the instances are averred
to be too few, and too devoid of the evidences
of general consent, to have made it part of the
law of nations.
Great Britain places her claim on the ground
of natural allegiance.    She alleges that, by a COURT OF LONDON.
principle of universal law, a man owes this
kind of allegiance to the country of his birth.
That he never can shake it off. That as his
country protects him, so it may demand his
services in return ; especially in time of war.
The United States reply, that the principle
of natural allegiance, however cherished by
some states, is not universal. Sir William
Blackstone, in his Commentaries, so able for
the most part, lays it down as universal. But
he refers for support, only to the writers of
England. Puffendorf holds that allegiance
may be put off. So do Grotius and Bynkers-
hoek. If we choose to go as far back as the
Justinian code, we shall there find the same
doctrine. The principle of perpetual allegiance may be held sacred by Britain; it may be
of the highest practical importance under her
own system; but the United States say, that
its operation should be confined to her own
territorial dominions, and decks of her own
merchant-vessels. There is scarcely an important principle of public law that has not, at
one time or other, had place in treaties among
European States, the better to define or regulate it. This is especially the case with principles that belong to maritime affairs. Would
a right of such concern to all nations using
the sea, as a sovereign's, to enforce the alle-
M 162
giance of his own subjects in neutral vessels
on its broad highway, have escaped notice in
these solemn instruments between States ?
Yet no treaty contains any thing in relation
to it.
The United States have been exposed to
grievances from the exercise of the claim by
Britain, heavier perhaps than ever fell to
the lot of an independent nation. It springs
from a cause rooted in nature, and irreversible ; the resemblance of their seamen to those
of England. Their language, dress, sea-
phrases, every thing, are alike. To discriminate, is in most cases impossible. Of this,
the proof is incontestable.    It here follows.
Britain disavows, unequivocally, all claim
to impress from American ships, any other
seamen than her own. Her sense of justice
would not allow her to set up any pretence
of claim to take Americans; yet these she
unavoidably does take, and in numbers sufficient to surprise those not informed upon
the subject.
From a report made to Congress by the
Secretary of State in April 1816, it appeared,
that the impressed American seamen on board
of British armed ships at the commencement
of the war of 1812, a war occasioned chiefly
by this cause, amounted to one thousand four 1818.
hundred and twenty-two. Here is no exaggeration. The fact comes from the archives
of Britain. It is taken from official lists, furnished by functionaries of the British Government to the American agent for prisoners of
war in London. These men had been transferred from English ships to English prisons,
on the breaking out of the war, or during
its progress.
Furthermore. Britain, at a former period,
liberated one thousand one hundred and
thirty-two Americans who had been impressed
prior to the month of September 1801. This
fact also rests upon the authority of British
archives, and was included in the same report
to Congress. On the impressment of all these
Americans, the British boarding-officers must
have believed they were taking their own subjects ; else they took them knowing them to
be Americans. Hence the difficulty not to be
surmounted, of distinguishing American from
British seamen.
What then do we learn ? more than two
confessedly, the sufferers under this practice!
and this by no means the whole list. All were
native Americans. No British seaman, naturalised in the United States, was ever, if impressed, given back again.    Can Britain, whose
m 2 164
pride and spirit have raised her to greatness,
and who must know how to respect such
qualities in other nations,—can she, for a moment, wonder, that a practice leading to such
consequences should excite the deepest sensation in the United States ?
She complains that she is aggrieved by the
number of her seamen who get into the merchant-service of the United States, through
our naturalization laws and other causes.
This takes from her, she alleges, the right
arm of her defence. Without her navy, her
existence, no less than her glory, might be
endangered. It is therefore vital to both,
that, when war comes, she should reclaim her
seamen from the vessels of a nation where
they are so frequently found.
I have incidentally remarked in another
place, that the naturalization laws of the
United States are less favourable to foreigners than is generally supposed, and less than
those of some of the principal states of Europe. England has statutes, unless recently
repealed, under which foreigners serving only
two years in her navy, become naturalized;
which is going much beyond any facilities
afforded by the United States. As to other
causes that may bring her seamen to their
vessels, the United States can only reply, that 1818.
they do not entice them. Seamen are birds
of passage ; now under one flag, then another.
Those of the United States often seek voluntarily the service of other nations, as those
of other nations voluntarily seek theirs. The
British navy, it is well known, is manned by
a large proportion of foreign seamen. Some
go there of their own accord. The decks of
all nations show, more or less, an intermingling of the seamen of all. But no country
is more desirous of employing their native
seamen than the United States. They know
the value of British seamen; nevertheless,
they prefer their own. And why should it
be thought that they have not enough of
their own, as any other country whose interests and pursuits have long been maritime ?
New England alone is more populous than
was Holland, when her sailors swarmed; and
as maritime. % Her farms are upon the ocean,"
said one of her statesmen, " and she gathers
her harvests from every sea." How numerous
her sailors were as long ago as when she
made part of the British empire, British statistics of that day may attest. This great
nursery, passing by all other districts of a
country with a vast sea coast, is perhaps sufficient to give to the United States as large a
stock of seamen as they require.    The supply, 1818.
as in other fields, meets the demand. If ever
interrupted by temporary causes, things soon
return to this natural basis.
The United States not only desire to foster
their own seamen, but have gone farther. In
the hope of terminating the dissension about
impressment, they have shown a willingness,
as the progress of this work will make known,
to exclude British seamen entirely from their
service. They do not desire to hide the fact
that they come, often in large numbers. It
is a fact, however, which British records will
also attest, that the number of British seamen
regained by impressment out of the vessels
of the United States, falls far behind the number of Americans taken in their stead. Under
this view alone of the practice, apart from all
others, the injury to the United States is
greater than the benefit to Britain.
It is not immaterial to remark, that impressment, as a measure merely under the
English laws and as exercised only in England, has a tendency to drive her seamen
into the merchant-service of the United States
on the breaking out of war. Obedient as the
impressed British seaman may be to discipline
when once on board a man-of-war of his
country, it is not in human nature that he
should like to be impressed.    It is notorious 1818. COURT OF LONDON.
that he does not. He dreads it. He tries
to hide from the press-gang. His bold spirit
would resist if he could; and sometimes he
seeks foreign decks to get out of the way.
There is another heavy evil resulting to the
United States. The voyages of their merchant-vessels are sometimes broken up by
impressment. It is not to be supposed that
they carry extra hands. Hence, when men
are taken out of their vessels upon the high
seas, it may happen, and has happened, that not
enough are left for their safe navigation: and
they have been compelled to make ports,
other than of their first destination.
The foregoing is an outline of the question,
in its main features. It may serve to give
some idea of the manner in which it operates
upon the United States. As between the two
nations, it is a question sui generis. To both
it is of the last importance. The diplomatic
history of the United States will show how
repeated and earnest have been their endeavours to settle it. The joint mission to London in 1806, when Mr. Monroe and Mr.
Pinckney were our negotiators, could effect
nothing on this point; and Mr. King's effort
in 1803, successful in all other respects, was
at last frustrated by Great Britain insisting
on reserving her right to impress within the
4 narrow seas. To this doctrine of the mare
clausum of her Selden, in opposition to the
mare liberum of Grotius, the United States
were not prepared to assent.
I return to my interview with Lord Castlereagh. He remarked, that intrinsic as were
the difficulties respecting impressment, his desire was sincere to see them removed, and his
efforts would be given with earnestness to remove them. I assured him, that, under all my
instructions, my efforts would be equally sincere and earnest. The conversation proceeded.
We adverted to the principles maintained by
our respective countries. He said, that the
abuse of the practice, for he freely admitted its
abuse, had been the result of the peculiar state
of the world, all Europe having being at war,
and America neutral. He did not believe that
the desire to enforce their right to the same
extent, would exist in future ; or that it would
be drawn into exercise at all, if means could
be devised to keep their men out of our vessels. I said, that the question never could be
put to rest as long as a British naval officer
was allowed to muster an American crew upon
an American deck, to look for British seamen,
Besides the indignity, so felt by all America,
the inevitable consequences to which it must
lead of subjecting Americans to seizure instead 1818.
of Britons, would preclude for ever all hope of
adjustment. The best mode we could devise
of keeping British officers from our vessels on
such errands, was that which he had hinted at;
namely, to keep British seamen away altogether. This we were desirous to do, as far as
in our power. I promised to furnish him with
a proposal to this effect; and he, that it should
have a hberal consideration.
His lordship next spoke of the Slave-trade.
The Government of Great Britain felt, he said,
an increasing desire, that the Government of
the United States should lend itself to measures of regulation going forward in Europe for
its extirpation. These were, mainly, a reciprocal submission to the right of search for slaves,
and a limited number of the armed vessels of
each of the maritime states to be empowered
to search. It was contemplated to form out
of an association of these, a species of international police in the African seas, from which
the best effects were anticipated. No unusual
structure or appearances in the vessel searched;
no presence of irons or other presumptions of
guilty intention; nothing but the actual finding of slaves on board, was to authorize a seizure and detention. Great Britain had lately
urged France on this subject; but her consent
could not, for obvious reasons, be made known,
3 until the military occupation of her territory
ceased. A recent vote, however, in both her
chambers, on the principle of abolition, his
lordship added, might safely be taken as a
pledge of future co-operation. I replied, that
I was destitute of instructions on the subject,
but would transmit to my Government all that
he said. The United States had long been
awake to the evils of the Slave-trade. They
had been the first nation to abolish it, unless Denmark led the way, and had directed
against it the penalties of their own laws.
Before we separated, his lordship spoke of
the late offer of Britain, through her minister
at Washington, to mediate in our affairs with
Spain. Although the offer had been refused,
he desired to assure me that the refusal was
taken in no unfriendly part; the less, from its
conciliatory manner. Britain had in like manner refused the mediation of Russia, offered
during the late war with the United States,
without any unfriendly feeling towards Russia,
or any question of her impartial dispositions.
He was about to say something farther on the
affairs of Spain, but, the hour being late, deferred it.
April 12. After my interview with Lord
Castlereagh yesterday, I dined at Mr. Wilber-
force's.    Of the company, were Lord Teign- 1818. COURT  OF  LONDON.
mouth, Lord Rocksavage, Lord Gambler, Mr.
Babington of the House of Commons, Mr.
Neal, with others, ladies as well as gentlemen.
Many inquiries were made about the United
States; their, commerce, revenue, population,
literature, and state of religion. A friendly
spirit characterized the inquiries and remarks.
Mr. Wilberforce's fame as a philanthropist and
Christian had been known to me. His parliamentary labours, and those of his pen, had
probably been more diffused over the United
States than any country out of England. I
expected to find him grave. He was full of
animation. He led, without engrossing the
conversation. His manner gave point to all
that he said, and in his voice there were peculiarly eloquent intonations. He spoke of
Mr. Pitt. They had been at school together.
He was remarkable, he said, for excelling in
mathematics; there was also this peculiarity
in his constitution, that he required a great
deal of sleep, seldom being able to do with less
than ten or eleven hours; he would often drop
asleep in the House of Commons ; once he had
known him do so at seven in the evening,
and sleep until day-light. The ease with which
some persons wrote, and the labour it cost
others, were spoken of.    Burke, Pitt, Wind-
41 i
ham, and Lord Ellenborough, were
blotters, he said; Burke had begun a history
of England, but gave it over; Windham's powers of conversation exceeded those of Fox, Pitt,
and all his contemporaries; he even went beyond Sheridan in wit. One of the company
mentioned the name of a gentleman who had
large possessions in the West Indies. There
is, said Mr. Wilberforce, in grammar, what they
call a disjunctive conjunction; so there is in
society. It is thus with that gentleman and
me, he is so great a slave-holder; but we do
very well when we meet; we pass by topics we
should not agree upon, and exchange the small
shot of conversation. The income-tax being
mentioned, he remarked, that having borne it
once, they could bear it again; it yielded fifteen millions a-year, which would be good for
a new loan of three hundred millions.
These things all flowed from him happily.
Lord Teignmouth and others made their contributions. We were invited and arrived at an
early hour. It was midnight when we got
home, so agreeably had the time passed. Most
of the company were public professors of religion ; always the more attractive when in alliance with genius and accomplishments.
April 13. Dined at the Earl of Hardwicke's*
Lord Somers was of the party.   The English 1818.
•historical names as met in daily society, vividly
arrest the attention of Americans. On this
occasion I could not forget that I was with
those of renown in the law; Lord Hardwicke
being the grandson of the Lord Chancellor of
that title, and Lord Somers a descendant of
Lord Chief Justice Somers. The interest was
heightened by portraits of the two ancestors
hanging in view, the families having intermarried. We had also Lord and Lady Caledon,
Lady Somers, Lady Catherine Halket, Admiral
Sir Joseph Yorke, and Mr. Montagu.
The conversation turned upon France.
Commendation was freely bestowed. Before
coming to England, I nad adopted an impression that the people were not prone to
speak of the merits of their neighbours on the
other side of the Channel. I remark the contrary in the circles I frequent. Another observation continues to force itself upon me;
their taste for foreign things. Among the
embellishments of the table this evening, were
some beautiful ornaments in silver, from
France. Although the French take the lead
in many of the finer manufactures, I had
supposed that English plate was preferred,
from the more copious use of it in England
leading to superior excellence in its manufacture.   The French use more abundantly the
1 174
sumptuous porcelain. The English import
that, in all its variety and costliness; but
French plate, it seems, is also imported. So it
will always be with nations that are opulent.
Tired even of their own forms of superiority,
they seek novelty from abroad.
Sir Joseph York had been reading some of
the official documents published by Congress,
that treat of our navy. He made its condition
the subject of complimentary remarks.
It is not uncommon to hear, that at entertainments there were all the luxuries of the
season. In this metropolis, I witness constantly those out of season; as, on this occasion, strawberries and pine apples, recalling
the " winter roses and summer snows" of the
Roman poet; cestivoz nives, hybernce rosce. We
had also tokay that had been thirty years
in his lordship's cellar; and, better than all,
respectful things said of our country, with
other attractive conversation.
April 16. We were at Almack's last night.
The younger part of the company danced.
They were not the most numerous part.
Statesmen, cabinet ministers and their ladies,
peers, peeresses, and their daughters, foreign
ambassadors, and others, were present. In
these circles, if all classes do not intermingle,
all ages do.    Gibbon, writing to Lord Sheffield 1818.
from Paris, says, that Horace Walpole gave
him a letter to Madame du Deffand, " an
agreeable young lady of eighty-two," who had
constant suppers at her house, and the best
company. There may be seen in society in
London, and as part of its ornaments, ladies
whom I should set down as not much short
of that youthful age. It would be doing injustice to the stronger sex, to suppose that
they give up sooner.
We got to Almack's after having been at
Covent Garden theatre to see Miss O'Neil's
Bianca. In like manner, it is after the Opera,
that we go to the weekly parties of Lady Castlereagh, the invitation specifying that time.
Neither the Opera nor Covent Garden break up
until twelve. Parties beginning at that hour,
last until two and three. Most of those who
have been at them, do not rise until towards
noon next day. About two, commences the
roll of carriages. At six in the evening, the
morning ends. Then, scarcely sooner, the
throngs of carriages, with gentlemen and ladies on horseback, disappear from the streets
and parks, the hour of preparation for dinner
being at hand. This is no overdrawn account,
but the daily routine. It seems strange that
health can be preserved, with such habits; yet
the   men   look   hale,  the  women  blooming. 176
Chiefly, they are of a class whose riches leave
them at perfect leisure; but mixed in with
them, are others, men of affairs, whose duties
are arduous, and whose fame must be kept up
by exertion—cabinet ministers, parliamentary
orators, even chancellors and vice-chancellors
—the last being seen on the bench next morning by nine. How these go through it all,
seems more strange. This kind of life opens
by degrees in February, gets to its crisis in
May and June, and ends with July.
On the drop-curtain at Covent Garden, are
seen the flags of nations with whom England
has been at war. They are in a shattered
state, and represented as in subjection to
England. That of the United States is among
them. The symbols are not historically true.
If they were, they are misplaced at such an
exhibition. Foreign nations do not take offence at such things now, and show good sense.
The age is not remote when their sensibility
was quicker. In the time of Charles II. one
of the reasons given by England for a rupture with Holland was, that a picture of the
burning of the English ships at Chatham by
the Dutch, was permitted to be hung up in
the Town House at Amsterdam. England has
fame enough, military and of all kinds, without straining in small ways after what does not
belong to her. CHAPTER XIII.
April 16, 1818. Went to the Court of
King's Bench to hear the argument in the
case of wager of battle. The parties were present. Through the courtesy of the Judges, I
had a seat on the bench, next to Mr. Justice
Bayley. On his left was Lord Chief Justice
Ellenborough, occupying the seat of the Cokes,
the Hales, the Mansfields. To the left of Lord
Ellenborough were Mr. Justice Abbot and
Mr. Justice Holroyd. If at Lord Hardwicke's
I was awake to the associations which the great
legal names of England call up, the feeling
could not be less here.    The room was ex- RESIDENCE AT THE
tremely full. The case was so remarkable as
to have become a topic in general society.
By the ancient law of England, when a person was murdered, the nearest relative of the
deceased might bring what was called an appeal of death, against the party accused of the
murder. Under this proceeding, the accuser
and accused fought. The weapons were
clubs. The battle began at sun-rise, and was
in presence of the Judges ; by whom also the
dress of the combatants, and all other formalities were arranged. Part of the oath was, that
neither combatant would resort to witchcraft.
If the accused was slain, it was taken as a
proof of his guilt; if the accuser, of his innocence. If the former held out until star-light,
that also attested his innocence. If either
yielded whilst able to fight, it worked his condemnation and disgrace. Those who wish a
full description of the proceedings, may seek it
in Sully, or continental writers of an earlier
day, as Froissart, the custom having been imported into England by the Normans. .My
summary will give the general idea.
It was a mode of trial for dark ages. Ash-
ford the appellor, had accused Thornton the
appellee, of the murder of one of his relations,
and the latter desired to fight. In the highest
tribunal of the most enlightened country in
Europe, I was listening to a discussion whe- 1818.
ther or not this mode of trial was in force in
the nineteenth century] It was difficult to
persuade myself of the reality of the scene.
Sir Humphrey Davy's remark was fresh in my
mind. Mr. Chitty, a lawyer of eminence, argued against the right of battle. Mr. Tindall
had argued on the other side, on a former day.
Fleta, Bracton, the Year-books, and other
repositories of ancient law, were ransacked.
Abundant ability was displayed on both sides.
The greatest order prevailed; even gravity.
The Judges were in their robes. About seventy
lawyers sat in front of them; all in gowns and
wigs. Finally, the Judges decided that trial by
battle was in force. It had never, it seems,
been repealed.
To repeal laws, belongs to the legislature.
Courts expound and apply them. Free government is complex, and works slowly; tyranny is simple, and does its work at once.
An absurd law may sleep in a free code, because overlooked; but, whilst there, it is the
law. It is so, I suppose, that we must reason;
and generally the reasoning would be right.
Yet it might have been thought, that, in a case
like this, long disuse added to obvious absurdity, would have worked the silent repeal of
the law; according to the doctrine of desuetude
under the Roman code.
In the end, no battle was fought. A technical flaw interposed to prevent it, and Parliament passed a repealing statute. But the case
marks an incident in English jurisprudence,
having come near to converting the Court of
King's Bench into another Lyceum of Men-
April 18. Had an interview with Lord Castlereagh. My object was, to submit a proposal
for abolishing impressment. Its nature will be
seen in the paper subjoined. It is not my general design to insert copies of official papers,
meaning to content myself, when they come
into view, with making known their substance
and results. But there may be exceptions, and
the subject of impressment is one. I therefore
give the paper in its words, as follow :—
I Great Britain alleging a right to impress
her seamen out of American vessels, upon the
high seas, it follows, that whenever a mode can
be devised for their previous exclusion from
American vessels, the motive for the practice
must be at an end. It is believed that this
may be effected by each nation imposing restraints upon the naturalization of the seamen
of the other, and reciprocally excluding from
their service all seamen not naturalized. If
Great Britain be allowed to naturalize American seamen, the United States must be allowed 1818.
to naturalize British seamen. Each should be
at liberty to afford the same facilities, or bound
to interpose the same restraints. The greater
the difficulty in acquiring the right of citizenship, the easier will it be to avoid imposition,
and the more complete the desired exclusion.
The law of Congress, of the third of March one
thousand eight hundred and thirteen, of all the
provisions of which Great Britain may command the benefit, will prove how sincerely the
United States desire to settle this controversy
on conditions satisfactory to Great Britain.
By that law it is made indispensable for
every British subject who may hereafter become a citizen, to reside five years in the
United States without intermission, and so
many guards are interposed to prevent frauds,
that it seems scarcely possible they should be
eluded. No British subject can be employed
in a public or private ship of the United
States, unless he produce to the commander
in the one case, and to the collector of the
port in the other, a certified copy of the act
by which he became naturalized. A list of
the crew, in the case of a private ship, must
be taken, certified, and recorded by the collector; and the consuls or commercial agents
of Great Britain may object to the employment of a seaman, and have the privilege of 182
attending the investigation relative to his citizenship. The commander of a public ship
receiving a person not duly qualified, is to
forfeit a thousand dollars, and the commander
or owner of a private ship, five hundred. It
is also made a felony punishable by fine and
imprisonment, for any person to forge or counterfeit, or to pass, or use, any forged or counterfeited certificate of citizenship, or to sell
or dispose of one. The United States will
also be willing to provide, that every British
subject desiring to become a citizen, shall be
bound to appear in person before the proper
tribunal, once a year, for the term of five
years, until his right shall be completed, or
adopt any other more practical and satisfact6ry
evidence that his residence within their territory was bond fide and uninterrupted, it
being their sincere desire to employ their own
seamen only, and exclude British. By requiring five years' uninterrupted residence as
the condition of citizenship, it is confidently
believed that, from considerations readily suggesting themselves, few if any British seamen
would be found to take advantage of it. The
nature of a seaman's life stands opposed to a
different conclusion. If, in some instances,
a residence should be commenced with a real
intention, at the time, of submitting to this 1818.
condition, the presumption is strong that, at
the expiration of the term, such a change of
habits and prospects would be superinduced,
as to lead to the abandonment for ever of the
sea as an occupation. If the proposal be accepted, the United States would farther agree,
that none of the British seamen who might
be within their territory when the stipulation
to give it effect was entered into, without
having already become citizens, should be admitted into either their public or private
ships, until they had acquired the right, according to all the above regulations. In return for them, a clear and distinct provision
to be made by Great Britain against impressment out of American vessels."
I accompanied the delivery of the paper
with renewed assurances to his lordship of
the President's desire to see this cause of dissension for ever removed, and the expression
of a hope that Great Britain would see in
the proposal no surrender of any right or
interest, whilst its acceptance would guard
the United States against wrongs that were
palpable. He replied, that he would lay the
proposal before the cabinet; that it should
have all the consideration due to its importance, and, I might be assured, in a conciliatory spirit.
F'lf t I 184
Leaving this subject in his hands, I reminded him of his intention to speak on Spanish affairs. He resumed the thread. Great
Britain, he said, lamented the long continuance of the contest between Spain and her
colonies. She had done all in her power to
heal it. She would not relinquish her efforts,
always desiring that Spain should pursue a
liberal course, not a narrow or exclusive one;
he meant a course that would look largely to
the commercial emancipation of the colonies.
Great Britain, in particular, would not be
instrumental to a settlement of the contest
upon terms which, drawing to herself peculiar advantages, would exclude the United
States, or any other nation, from a just participation in the trade of South America. He
hoped he might hear from me, that the United
States would be governed by similar principles. .
I rephed, that they were the principles
which had invariably governed the United
States. They desired, as ardently as Great
Britain, the termination of the contest. They
considered it in the light of a civil war, injurious to other nations, and, from geographical and other causes, especially injurious
to the United States. The latter lent aid to
neither   party,   in   men,   money,   nor   ships. 1818.
Spain made complaints; but they were unfounded. The United States maintained as
strict a neutrality as was possible; they considered each party as having all the rights
of war as between .themselves, and as against
other powers. If any of their seafaring or
mercantile inhabitants gave illegal aid to
either party, they did it at their peril;
they were subject to belligerent capture by
the party injured, and to prosecution under
the laws of the United States; who, the better to enforce neutral conduct upon their
citizens, had special statutes annexing penalties to a departure from it. If the colonies
finally prevailed, the United States not only
did not seek, but would not, by treaties or
other compacts, accept, any exclusive advantages ; these, they knew, would create jealousy in other nations; all that they desired
was fair competition. Such were the maxims
of the United States; they had been made
known to the world, and there was no reason
to think they would be departed from.
His lordship asked if I knew whether my
Government had given notice to Spain of its
intention to take possession of Amelia Island.
I said that I did not; nor did I know that
it would have been practicable. That island
had been taken, not from Spain, but those who 186
had previously wrested it from her. It adjoined territories of the Union; an expedition
had been set on foot against it, ostensibly by
the public enemies of Spain, viz. some of her
colonies warring against her; but, in fact, by
an irregular force from all countries, writh such
aid as could clandestinely be drawn from the
United States in spite of prohibitory laws.
This force took the island, and the Spanish
authorities at the Havanna strove, but without
success, to get it back. It became a rendezvous for freebooters, smugglers, and renegado
slaves; and an entrepdt for fresh slaves from
Africa. To put a stop to these and other
enormities upon their border, the United States
sent a small naval and military force to take
possession of the island. They held it subject
to a proper accountability, not doubting that
the world would see in the measure nothing
beyond a necessary precaution for the security
of their commerce, and maintaining the authority of their laws. His lordship assented
to the strength of these motives.
He inquired, lastly, if I was acquainted with
the intentions of my Government as to the
reception of deputies from the colonies of
I replied, that up to the time of my leaving
Washington, no representatives of the colonies "
had been received in any official capacity. Informal agents had arrived, and been informally
listened to. Spain complained of this, and
had even demanded that the United States
should exclude from their ports the flags of
Mexico, Carthagena, Buenos Ayres, and other
provinces in resistance. The demand was
thought unreasonable, especially whilst the
United States had, as they conceived, long and
just causes of complaint against Spain. Some,
I recapitulated. 1. Questions of territory,
growing out of the purchase of Louisiana from
France, by the United States, in regard to which
Spain still failed to do them justice. 2. Her
sudden and violent interruption of the trade
of the United States descending the Mississippi, by cutting off the right of deposit at
New Orleans, before Louisiana belonged to
the United States. 3. Her neglect to award
compensation to the citizens of the United
States for spoliations during the wars of the
French Revolution, although a treaty had attested their title to it; a treaty signed by her
own minister at Madrid, but from which her
Government withheld its ratification. These
things I brought into view, that the forbearing
policy of the United States towards Spain
might be the better appreciated. His lordship expressed a hope that all our differences
r 188
with that power might be satisfactorily accommodated. I joined in the hope, saying that
the desire of my Government not to disturb
the general peace, was steady and sincere,
and that it would leave nothing undone in the
way of further negociations, earnest as had been
its past endeavours.
April 21.    Count. called on me.     He
had requested an interview. After introductory words, he asked if I was aware that the
English Government watched foreign ministers.
I asked, how ? He said, by having persons
in its service. Watched then in . what ways ?
In all ways ; was I sure of my servants ? did
I lock up my manuscripts ? did I send my
letters through the post-office ? I said, yes,
as to the two last. As to my servants, I hired
them, as others did, after learning their characters. Was I sure they were not in secret
pay? Not sure, I said; did he know it?
Not positively; he could bring no proof; it
was a business that kept proof out of sight.
Had he heard any thing ? I asked. No, bu£
he had been long in London, and heard much
on this subject; the Government with an outside of candour, knew how to work under
ground; it thence became an adept in intrigue
by lulling suspicion. But would he let me
into the grounds of his suspicion in my case?
what  whispers   were there?   History enlight- 1818.
ened us much, he said;—did not Walpole expend a million in secret service-money—had
the English Government so changed since, as
to be above all similar practices ?
I replied that little would be gained by
watching me. My Government was not one
of mystery. Those in its service had to act
and write under the responsibility of publication at home. Their secrets would thus
come back to England, more fully than servants, or the post-office, could detail them.
Nevertheless, he rejoined, the American and
Russian legations were the two most watched;
he believed so, and desired to render me a
service by putting me on my guard. I thanked him, but said I was slow to believe. The
English Government had its faults, but not of
that kind. Why not ? Because it was against
the genius of the Government and people;
they openly debated all that they did, and
printed all that they said; twenty folios would
scarcely hold the matter annually sent forth
by Parliament about their finances, trade, foreign relations, army, navy, every thing; into
their public offices any one might go : into their
barracks, arsenals, or any other depdt. Their
press was everywhere, ferreting out every
thing. But what did all that prove ? Nothing, I said, if he had special facts to make
good his suspicion;  but, in the  absence of 190
them, it led me towards the conclusion, that a
nation so devoid of concealment in its own
affairs, would be little inclined to bribe the
servants of a foreign minister. What then
had Walpole done with his million sterling?
That was more than I could say; every Government, however open, had a secret fund;
the Government of the United States had;
some of Walpole's went to pay newspapers}
we were told, which would be foolish in these
days, if not in his.
I do not know that I changed the opinions
of my visitant. He spoke on other subjects
and left me, after having stayed an hour.
April 23. Went to the Drawing-room. We
had the hoops and plumes, the same spectacle
in the hall, up-stairs, and going to the palace.
It was one to bear repeating. The company
was even more numerous.
The Queen was on her velvet elevation as
before. I stood next to the Duke of Sussex.
He named to me those who passed before her.
The anxious countenances as the line slowly
advanced; the dresses ; the silence, increasing
as the moment of presentation approached;
the graceful timidity when at last the youthfel
fair curtsied before the Queen, gave to this
real scene whatever imagination might picture.
Close by me was the Duke of Bourbon; pale, 1818.
silent, accustomed to Chantilly, to Versailles—
even he stood gazing in admiration. It was
the fine sensibility of a Conde, touched by
the female beauty of England. Pensive though
placid, it seemed, even at such a time, as if
the remembrance of his son, the Duke d'En-
ghien, was stealing into his thoughts. Among
the attractions of the day were Lady Elizabeth
Leveson Gower, Miss Seymour, Lady Georgiana
Fane, Lady Emily Bathurst. It was their
first presentation at • Court. The Queen cordially welcomed them, dispensing her accustomed kindness.
This drawing-room was in honour of the
birth-day of the Prince Regent. It comes in
August, but is not then celebrated. The conjecture ran that not fewer than two thousand
persons were present. We got down stairs
as we could, through tulle, gold net, hoops,
and other glittering entanglements with which
beauty obstructed the way.
In the evening, Lord Castlereagh gave a
grand dinner. He was himself unwell, and
not at table. His brother, Lord Stewart, did
the honours. At the foot, were the Earl of
Clanwilliam and Mr. Planta ; the former, private secretary of Lord Castlereagh, the latter,
under secretary of state. Lord Stewart gave
the Prince Regent as a toast.    The company 192
all rose. A few minutes afterwards, Prince
Esterhazy gave Lord Castlereagh, which was
received in like manner. In each case, the
name alone was mentioned. Among the wines
were dry champagne non mousseux, said to
have been the favourite wine of Napoleon;
and tokay, a present to Lord Castlereagh from
one of the crowned heads.
.**### said to me, that he believed the
United States might obtain an island in the
Mediterranean if desired. I said, that our
interests were not European. Did wef not
keep a squadron there ? he asked. I replied
that we did; only, however, to guard our
commerce from African pirates. How long
would we continue that policy ? Always, I
remarked, rather than pay tribute. Had we
no treaty with Algiers by which our commerce was to go free, without tribute ? Yes,
but the Dey gave us to understand, what
might have been inferred, that he would
abide by it no longer than he could help it;
he had signed the treaty to save his fleet
from attack; an enterprise resolved upon by
the United States prior to Lord Exmouth's
bombardment of his town; from that time
we had kept a naval force in the Mediterranean strong enough ^ts was believed, to check
his.    Then, would not this policy make it de- 1818.
sirable to have a station for our ships, and
for supplies? I replied, that our squadron
readily obtained supplies from friendly ports,
paying in specie which it took out, or bills
on London; was not this safer than to run
the risk of exciting jealousy, perhaps of exposing our purpose itself to frustration, by
attempts to get footing in the Mediterranean ?
He said that he was under the belief that
we might obtain Lampedosa in a manner to
avoid objection; he meant the use and occupation of that island, Naples retaining the
sovereignty. To such a transfer he did not
see that Spain, England, France, or any power,
could object. That might change, I said,
some aspects of the question; still there
might be stumbling-blocks. Here our conversation closed.
After we came out from dinner, Baron de
Gerning, attached to the suite of the Prince
of Hesse Homberg, spoke to me of the great
and good Washington. So he called him.
The United States were far removed, he said,
from his part of Germany; but virtue was
of all countries, and all revered it in the
illustrious founder of mine. I had conversation with Admiral Van der Capellen, who
commanded so ably the Dutch ships that
fought with Lord Exmouth at Algiers.    He
the daily press. annual exhibition at the royal
academy. public   societies. — dinner   at   the
marquis   of  lansdowne's. evening entertainment at carlton house. dinner at dr. pinck-
April 29, 1818. A country is not to be
understood by a few months' residence in it.
So many component parts go to make up the
grand total, where civilization, and freedom,
and power, are on a large scale, that the
judgment gets perplexed. It pauses for reexamination. It must be slow in coming to
conclusions, if it would be right. Often it
must change them. A member of the diplomatic corps, an enlightened observer, said to
me a few days ago, that, at the end of his first
year, he thought he knew England very well.
When the third had gone by, he began to have
doubts; and that now, after a still longer time,
his opinions were more unsettled than ever.
o 2
41 196
Some he had changed entirely; others had
undergone modification, and he knew not
what fate was before the rest.
There was reason in his remark. If it be
not contradictory, I would say, that he showed
his judgment in appearing to have at present
no judgment at all. The stranger sees in
England, prosperity the most amazing, with
what seems to strike at the roots of all prosperity. He sees the most profuse expenditure,
not by the nobles alone, but large classes besides ; and, throughout classes far larger, the
most resolute industry supplying its demands
and repairing its waste; taxation strained to
the utmost, with an ability unparalleled to meet
it; pauperism that is startling, with public
and private charity unfailing, to feed, clothe,
and house it; the boldest freedom, with submission to law ; ignorance and crime so widely
diffused as to appal, with genius and learning
and virtue to reassure; intestine commotions
predicted, and never happening; constant
complaints of poverty and suffering, with constant increase in aggregate wealth and power.
These are some of the anomalies which he
sees. How is he at once to pass upon them
all ? he, a stranger, when the foremost of
the natives after studying them a lifetime, do
nothing but differ! COURT OF LONDON.
One of the things that strike me most, is
their press. I live north of Portman Square,
nearly three miles from the House of Commons. By nine in the morning, the newspapers are on my breakfast-table, containing
the debate of the preceding night. This is
the case, though it may have lasted until one,
two, or three in the morning. There is no
disappointment; hardly a typographical error.
The speeches on both sides are given with
like care; a mere rule of justice, to be sure,
without which the paper would have no credit,
but fit to be mentioned where party-feeling
always runs as high as in England.
This promptitude is the result of what alone
could produce it; an unlimited command of
subdivided labour of the hand and mind. The
proprietors of the great newspapers employ
as' many stenographers as they want. One
stays until his sheet is full. He proceeds with
it to the printing-office, where he is soon followed by another with his ; and so on, until
the last arrives. Thus the debate as it advances, is in progress of printing, and when
finished, is all in type but the last part. Sometimes it will occupy twelve and fourteen broad
closely-printed columns. The proprietors enlist the most able pens for editorial articles;
and as correspondents, from different parts of
41 198
Europe. Their ability to do so may be judged
of from the fact, that the leading papers pay
to the Government an annual tax in stamps, of
from twenty to fifty thousand pounds sterling.
I have been told that some of them yield a
profit of fifteen thousand sterling a-year, after
paying this tax, and all expenses. The profits
of " The Times," are said to have exceeded
eighteen thousand a-year. The cost of a daily
paper to a regular subscriber is about ten
pounds sterling a-year. But subdivision comes
in to make them cheap. They are circulated
by agents at a penny an hour in London.
When a few days old, they are sent to the
provincial towns, and through the country at
reduced prices. In this manner, the parliamentary debates and proceedings, impartially
and fully reported, go through the nation.
The newspaper sheet is suited to all this
service, being substantial, and the type good.
Nothing can exceed the despatch with which
the numerous impressions are worked off, the
mechanical operations having reached a perfection calculated to astonish those who would
examine them.
What is done in the courts of law, is disseminated in the same way. Every argument,
trial, and decision, of whatever nature, or before whatever court, goes immediately into the 1818.
newspapers. There is no delay. The following morning ushers it forth. I took the liberty
of remarking to one of the Judges, upon the
smallness of the rooms in which the Courts of
King's Bench and Chancery sit, when the proceedings were so interesting that great numbers of the public would Hke to hear them.
" We sit," said he, " every day in the newspapers." How much did that answer comprehend ! What an increase of responsibility in
the Judge! I understood from a source not
less high, that the newspapers are to be as
much relied upon, as the books of law reports
in which the cases are afterwards published;
that, in fact, the newspaper report is apt to be
the best, being generally the most full, as well
as quite accurate. If not accurate, the newspaper giving it, would soon fall before competitors. Hence, he who keeps his daily
London paper, has, at the year's end, a volume
of the annual law reports of the kingdom, besides all other matter.
In the discussions of the journals, editorial or
otherwise, there is a remarkable fearlessness.
Things that in Junius's time would have put
London in a flame, pass almost daily without
notice. Neither the Sovereign nor his Family
are spared. Parliament sets the example, and
the newspapers follow.    Of this, the debates
P 200
on the royal marriages in the course of the
present month, give illustrations. There are
countries in which the press is more free, by
law, than with the English ; for although they
impose no previous restraints, their definition
of libel is inherently vague. But perhaps
nowhere has the press so much latitude.
Every thing goes into the newspapers. In
other countries, matter of a public nature
may be seen in them ; here, in addition, you
see perpetually even the concerns of individuals. Does a private gentleman come to
town ? you hear it in the newspapers; does he
build a house, or buy an estate ? they give
the information ; does he entertain his friends ?
you have all their names next day in type; is
the drapery of a lady's drawing-room changed
from red damask and gold to white satin and
silver ? the fact is publicly announced. So of
a thousand other things. The first burst of it
all upon Madame de Stael, led her to remark
that the English had realized the fable of
living with a window in their bosoms. It may
be thought that this is confined to a class, who,
surrounded by the allurements of wealth, seek
emblazonment. If it were only so, the class
is immense. But its influence affects other
classes, giving each in their way the habit of
allowing their personal inclinations and objects 1818.
to be dealt with in print; so that, altogether,
these are thrown upon the public in England
to an extent without parallel in any country, ancient or modern. When the drama at
Athens took cognizance of private life, what
was said became known first to a few listeners ;
then to a small town; but in three days, a
London newspaper reaches every part of the
kingdom, and in three months, every part of
the globe.
Some will suppose that the newspapers
govern the country. Nothing would be more
unfounded. There is a power not only in the
Government, but in the country itself, far above
them. It lies in the educated classes. True,
the daily press is of the educated class. Its
conductors hold the pens of scholars, often of
statesmen. Hence you see no editorial personalities ; which, moreover, the public would
not bear. But what goes into the columns of
newspapers, no matter from what sources,
comes into contact with equals at least in mind
among readers, and a thousand to one in number. The bulk of these are unmoved by what
newspapers say, if opposite to their own opinions ; which, passing quickly from one to
another in a society where population is dense,
make head against the daily press, after its
first efforts  are spent  upon  classes less  en- Half the people of England live
in towns. This augments moral as physical
power; the last, by strengthening rural parts
through demand for their products—the first
by sharpening intellect through opportunities
of collision. The daily press could master
opposing mental forces, if scattered; but not
when they can combine. Then, the general
literature of the country, reacts against newspapers. The permanent press, as distinct from
the daily, teems with productions of a commanding character. There is a great class of
authors always existent in England, whose
sway exceeds that of the newspapers, as the
main body the pioneers. Periodical literature
is also effective. It is a match at least for the
newspapers, when its time arrives. It is more
elementary ; less hasty. In a word, the daily
press in England, with its floating capital in
talents, zeal, and money, can do much at an
onset. It is an organized corps, full of spirit
and always ready; but there is a higher power
of mind and influence behind, that can rally
and defeat it. From the latter source it may
also be presumed, that a more deliberate judgment will in the end be formed on difficult
questions, than from the first impulses and
more premature discussions of the daily journals.    The latter move in their orbit by re- COURT  OF LONDON.
fleeting also, in the end, the higher judgment
by which they have been controlled. Such are
some of the considerations that strike the
stranger, reading their daily newspapers.
They make a wonderful part of the social
system in England. Far more might be said
by those having inclination and opportunity to
pursue the subject.
May 3. Yesterday the Royal Academy
gave their anniversary dinner at Somerset
House. It was the fiftieth celebration. Frois-
sart, when he found himself on the English
coast, said, that he was among a people who
" loved war better than peace, and where strangers were.well received." If the latter were true
in the time of Edward III, diplomatic strangers must say that it is, still. Invitations crowd
upon them. If they did not decline more than
they accept, there would be a poor account of
their public business. The Royal Academy is
an institution for the encouragement of the
arts. Professorships of painting, sculpture,
and anatomy, are annexed to it. The first President was Sir Joshua Reynolds. In that capacity he delivered his celebrated Discourses ;
a work invaluable to the student in painting,
and to be read with scarcely less advantage by
the student of any science or profession. The
author, says Burke in his beautiful  obituary 204
notice of him, was the first Englishman who
added the praise of the elegant arts, to the
other glories of his country. Yesterday I had
the satisfaction to see, as his successor in the
chair, my venerable countryman Mr. West.
There were present, the royal academicians, a
large collection of the nobility, many of the
cabinet ministers, the Lord Chancellor, the
Bishops of London and Salisbury, artists and
others, high in the walks of genius and taste;
the foreign ambassadors, and an array of private gentlemen. Five of the rooms had their
walls hung with paintings. There were more
than four hundred. The rule being to receive
none formerly exhibited, this number was therefore to be taken as the year's production of
pieces deemed by the Academy worthy of exhibition. Additional rooms were open, containing architectural designs and specimens in
The collection was rich in portraits. The
English in this line do not perhaps fall behind
any part of Europe. The productions of Lawrence, Beechey, Phillips, Davis, Newton, Jackson, and many others, were seen all around.
The piece that excited most attention from the
interest of the subject in British eyes, was a
full-length likeness of the Duke of Wellington
on the horse he rode, and in the dress he wore, COURT  OF  LONDON.
at the battle of Waterloo. It was by Sir Thomas Lawrence. There was a fine piece by Mr.
West, founded on an interview between the
great Mogul and Lord Clive. But one was
seen of surpassing charm; the family of Walter
Scott, by Wilkie. The great author is seated
on a bank, his wife and daughters near him in
cottage dresses. If we had Shakspeare in a
family scene on the Avon, by a distinguished
artist of Elizabeth's time, how would it be
prized now ! In going through the rooms, it
was not easy to avoid the reflection, that a day
of fame in the arts awaits Britain. She is still
in her youth in them. She has made hardly
any efforts. Busy in climbing to the top of
every thing else, she has not had time. The
useful arts have occupied her. At the head of
these in Europe, she is now at a point for embarking in the fine arts. And are not these
useful too, when all ages pronounce that they
enlarge the understanding, and improve the
heart, as much as they refine the taste ? To
suppose the English climate not favourable to
the fine arts, is strange. A climate where
beautiful appearances of nature abound; that
has been favourable to every kind of mental
eminence, as mechanical skill; where the inferior animals are seen in full size and strength,
and the human form in all its proportions and 206
beauty, not a climate for painters and sculptors ! But it is said there must be a certain
delicacy of thought and feeling to appreciate
the world of nature, and deck it with the glories of art! Is not then the country of Shak-
speare and Scott, of Milton, and Byron, and
Moore, one for painters ? How came the
Dutch with a school of painting of their own,
and an eminent one ? Is their sky more genial ? And will not the English, with political
institutions and social manners of their own,
try new fields of art ? An American adopts
the anticipation the rather, because he clings
to the belief that his own country, like republics of old, is by and by to take her stand in
the arts. Her students even now go to Italy
for instruction. They hold, that in the great
world of art, there is still immeasurable room
for originality, and this under the strictest rules
of art.
We dined in the principal exhibition-room;
a large one. Two tables ran down the sides,
connected by another at the top. In the middle of the latter, sat the President; on one
side of him, the Duke of Sussex, on the other,
the Duke of Norfolk. The walls were so covered that every position commanded the
paintings; and, through vistas, the eye could
steal into the other rooms.    The whole was 1818.
extremely attractive. I enter into no criticism.
I give general impressions. It is not, as I
know, the habit of the English, fastidious from
their familiarity with the exquisite models of
the Continent, to value themselves much on
this home exhibition ; but for myself, bursting
upon me as it did all at once, I thought it
highly worthy to be extolled. I could have
made bold to suggest a subject for a piece that
I did not see in the collection; viz. " The
President and Royal Academy at the anniversary dinner with their guests."
The members of the diplomatic corps had
seats near the head. After the Prince Regent
and Royal family had been given as toasts, according to the custom at public festivals in
England, the President gave the " Foreign
Ambassadors and Ministers," who, as he was
pleased to add, " had done the Academy the
honour to be present." The toast was cheered
with great courtesy. The corps looked to me
as the organ of acknowledgment, English being my native tongue. Obeying their wishes, I
returned thanks, adding that I was authorized
to express the gratification we all derived in
partaking British hospitality, surrounded by so
many memorials of British art. Speeches were
made by several of the nobility and gentlemen,
but  chiefly the   Duke  of  Sussex  and Lord 208
Chancellor Eldon. They were in commendation of the arts, and on the usefulness of that
institution towards their advancement in Ens-
land. Dinner was served at six. Until past
seven, we had the sun through sky-lights. Afterwards, there fell gradually from above, light
from numerous shaded lamps in hanging circles. They were burning, unobserved, when
we sat down, and emerged from ambush only
as night came on.
 Dependent lychni laquearibus aureis
Incensi: et noctem flammis funalia vincunt.
May 6. This is the season for public societies to hold their meetings. It would be next
to impossible to ascertain the number, charitable, religious, literary, dramatic, philanthropic,
and of all descriptions. I made some attempts,
but ceased from their hopelessness. A public-
spirited individual, who is also a member of
parliament, handed me a printed list containing the day and place of meeting of between
fifty and sixty of those only with which he was
connected. The Egyptian Hall, City of London Tavern, Crown and Anchor, or some other
large building is chosen, and a round of dinners begins; this being most commonly the
form of celebration. Persons who were together at the principal schools, as Eton and Har- 1818.
row; and fellow graduates of the different colleges in the Universities, have also their annual
dinners, to keep alive early friendships. Many
of the associates come up to town from their
homes at a distance in the country, on purpose
to attend them.
The English are very remarkable for dinners. I do not allude to the kind last named,
or those in private life; but to their habit of
giving them in connexion with objects exclusively public. These, charitable ones among
them, they constantly advance in this manner.
" The veins unfill'd, our blood is cold, and then
We pout upon the morning, are unapt
To give or to forgive ; but when we' have stuff'd
These pipes and these conveyances of our blood
With wine and feeding, we have suppler souls
Than in our priest-like fasts."
If the English meant to go by this doctrine
of their great bard, they have done well, for
their charities are stupendous. A newspaper
can hardly be opened that does not hold up a
long list of subscriptions, amounting to sums
that are sometimes enormous. I have now reference to some for building churches and establishing schools, that within a few days have
met my eye. So, in various parts of London,
hospitals and other asylums for the distressed, arrest  attention,  bearing the inscription,
n» 210
They would be less remarkable, were they not
beheld in connexion with poor taxes to an
amount such as no nation ever before paid.
The buildings devoted to these charitable purposes, are often more spacious than the royal
palaces, and show an exterior more imposing.
A grand annual dinner seems an indispensable adjunct to an English charity. Here is
a " Samaritan Society ;" or an " Infirmary for
diseases of the Eye;" a society for the I relief
of decayed Artists;" another for relieving "poor
Authors;" a fifth for the | indigent Blind;" a
sixth for I Foreigners in distress;" a seventh
for the I Deaf and Dumb;" a society for " promoting Christian knowledge;" a " Medical benevolent society," and I know not how many
more, for I merely take examples, all of which
have their anniversary dinners. Whatever the
demands upon the charitable fund, there seems
always enough for a dinner fund. Eating and
drinking are not the sole objects of this festivity. Business is transacted, reports on the
state of the charity made, and speeches delivered, in the course of which the pocket is
appealed to. Feeling rises as the inspiring
glass passes, and the evening generally closes
with an increase of the treasurer's store. Noblemen, including royal dukes, take part. They COURT OF  LONDON.
often preside at the dinners, and otherwise
give their personal instrumentality, and freely
their purses, towards the object of the societies. In France, before the Revolution, the
noble families were computed at thirty thousand. In England, they may perhaps be computed at six or eight hundred. This handful
does more of the every-day business of the
country, than the thirty thousand in France.
In France, they did the work of chivalry; they
fought in the army and navy. In England,
besides this, you trace them not merely as patrons of the arts, but in road companies, canal
companies, benevolent and public institutions
of all kinds, to say nothing of their share in
politics; in the latter, not simply as cabinet
ministers, but speakers, committee-men, and
hard-workers otherwise.
I have to-day been at a meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Lord Teign-
mouth was in the chair. Lord Harrowby,
President of the Council of cabinet ministers ;
Mr. Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer;
the Bishops of Norwich and Gloucester, with
several other bishops; Lords Gambier and
Calthorpe, Mr. Wilberforce and others distinguished by character, title, or station, were
present. A report was read, by which it appeared that the society had been the means
p 2 212
of distributing two millions of bibles; had
caused it to be translated into twenty-seven
languages, and that since the last annual meeting, there had been collected in aid of the
society's funds by private subscriptions in
Britain, ninety-nine thousand pounds sterling.
The report contained some complimentary
allusions to Bible Societies in the United
States. These passages were loudly cheered.
Several speakers who addressed the meeting
mentioned the United States in a similar spirit;
amongst them, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Bishop of Gloucester. The former
spoke of Great Britain and the United States,
as the § two greatest maritime nations of the
world; " the Bishop of Gloucester called the
latter | a great and growing sister country."
I was requested, after entering the hall, to
move a vote of thanks to the distinguished
President, Lord Teignmouth. A resolution to
this effect was. put into my hands, which I
moved accordingly. In fulfilling the duty,
whilst joining in the tribute that all had rendered to the objects of the society, I was
happy in the opportunity of responding as
national courtesy demanded, to the notices
taken of my country.
May 10.    Dined  at  the Marquis of Lans-
downe's.    His name had been familiar to me 1818.
with every prepossession. In the House of
Lords I had already listened to his disciplined
The company consisted of Lord and Lady
Lansdowne, his Royal Highness the Duke of
Gloucester, the Earl of Ilchester, the Earl of
Rosslyn, Lord Holland, Lord Erskine, the
Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Russian and
Austrian ambassadors, the Vice-Chancellor,
and the ladies of several of the guests.
In the dining-room were ancient statues.
They were in ancient costumes, standing in
niches. These time-honoured master-pieces
of genius and art, had been obtained from
Rome. As we walked in to dinner through a
suite of apartments, the entire aspect was of
classic beauty.
Conversation was various. The Floridas
being mentioned in connexion with the rumour
of their intended transfer to the United States,
Lord Erskine said, we ought to have them;
that is, he added, | if I belonged to the United
States, I would maintain that doctrine." There
was the same vein about him as at the Duke of
Cumberland's; a youthfulness of imagination
that imparted its sprightliness to every thing.
The Duke of Gloucester spoke of General
Washington. It was with the praise always
annexed to his great name.    He commended 214
his farewell address. Lord Erskine called him
an august and immortal man.
Architecture being a topic, Lord Holland
said that it did not yet flourish in England. Italy,
France, and other parts of the Continent, had
better public edifices : specimens of domestic
architecture were not wanting in England; but
these were too often spoiled by putting the
door in the middle; by this custom, good arrangement inside was sacrificed to external
appearance, and he was not sure that a gain
always followed in this respect; on the Continent, the entrance to the best private buildings, was generally at the side. The architecture of the ancients was spoken of, and other
subjects touched as they arose.
After we came from table, I had more conversation with Lord Erskine. He spoke of the
Emperor Alexander. He had seen La Harpe,
his tutor, at Paris, who showed him letters
from the Emperor, written soon after his accession to the throne. One of them ran thus:
1 My dear friend: I feel the load of my responsibility ; I feel how incompetent my youth
and inexperience are, to wield the sceptre of
such an empire; all that I can hope is, that I
may be guided by the precepts you have
taught me; I pray you, if ever you find me
departing from them,  to remind me of them. 1818.
Do not wait for me to send for you ; this I probably shall not do when I act in opposition to
them; but write to me, come to me, to recall
me from my errors/' All will agree, that such
a letter was creditable to both pupil and preceptor. His lordship said that La Harpe told
him the Emperor was fond of reading works on
the institutions of the United States. Before
separating, he said he intended to call on me
soon, not by leaving a card, the common way,
he believed, of visiting foreign ministers, but
by coming in. I assured him he could in no
way make me more happy.
May 19. Last evening we were at Carlton
House. This seems the season for large routs
by night, as the meeting of public societies by
day. We have been to a number. I could
give httle description of them, unless to speak
of their crowds, and the difficulty of getting
to them and from them through phalanxes of
The entertainment last evening was different.
The company found space in the ample rooms,
although there was an array of all the principal
persons of the court, a very full number of
peers and peeresses, the foreign ambassadors
and ministers, and many others. I caught
conversation as I could. Lord Sidmouth,
Home  Secretary, assured me of the earnest
I 216
desire of His Majesty's Government to
strengthen the friendly relations between our
two countries. He spoke of the United States
with great cordiality. He inquired for Mr.
King, saying that he had earned the lasting
respect and good will of many persons in England. Nor did the Prince Regent conclude
his salutations to me, without renewing his
inquiries for him.
The scene was magnificent. The golden
plate in display is said to be unrivalled in
Europe. It includes some that belonged to
Charles the First. One of the rooms led,
through doors of reflecting glass, to a rich
gothic conservatory, partially illuminated with
coloured lamps. It was filled with flowers,
than which there can be nothing more beautiful even in palaces. The effect was heightened by music from the Prince's band, which
was stationed here, and played at intervals
throughout the evening. It was not at an
early hour that we got away from such a
May 21. Dr. Pinckard, an eminent physician of Bloomsbury Square, entertained us at
dinner. He was formerly attached to the British army, and on service in the West Indies.
Thence he visited Philadelphia, where I made
his  acquaintance;   listening,   at   my  father's COURT OF LONDON.
table,  to his  various and intelligent conversation.
We had a pleasant party. Of the guests,
were Lieutenant-general Sir Charles Green.
Advanced in life, he was still a fine-looking
man, with little of age in his manner. He had
been distinguished by his services in the wars
of the French Revolution. I found that his
military career took an earlier date. He was
a captain in Burgoyne's army, had been captured at Saratoga in 1778, with that army, and
marched as a prisoner from Albany to Boston.
He related anecdotes of the campaign, and of
his march; it need scarcely be added, with
urbanity and good humour.
I mention the incident, because although
the first, it was not the only instance in which
I met in England those who had shared in the
war of the American Revolution, and who
spoke of its events in the same spirit. Belonging to an age gone by, it seems no longer to be
recalled in any other spirit than that of history. 218
May 24, 1818. * * # * from the Ionian
Islands called upon me. He had a communication to make of interest, as he said, to his
country, and he hoped I would think it so
to mine. By a treaty concluded at Paris in
1815, the sefg&n Ionian Islands had been formed
into an independent state, denominated " The
United States of the Ionian Islands," and
placed under the protection of Great Britain.
It was a protection the Islands did not like.
Did the constitution of my country prohibit
our acquiring foreign possessions ? I said, no.
He asked if it would accord with our policy, to
have a connexion with the seven Islands; such
a measure, he believed, would be practicable,
if the United States would consent. In short,
he thought that the islands, particularly Corfu, 1818.
Zante, and Cephalonia, would be willing to
place themselves under the protection of the
United States, if the terms could be arranged.
I asked what England would say, and Russia, and Europe generally ? He replied, that
he did not see what ground of objection there
could be, if the Islands desired it; remarking
that he had perceived by the newspapers that
my Government had protested against Great Britain exercising sovereignty over them any longer.
I was little prepared for his communication.
I cannot say that 1 was an entire stranger to
the publication he alluded to, for I had seen
it. I had considered it in the light of a burlesque upon a previous newspaper paragraph,
stating that Great Britain had protested against
the United States acquiring the Floridas. But
what is penned in mirth, it seems, may pass for
earnest. I assured * * * * that there was no
foundation for the account. He appeared to
have believed it fully, until this interview. He
did not urge the less that my Government
should take into consideration the expediency
of assuming the protectorship of the Islands.*
He enlarged on the prospects of commercial
advantage it would open to us by an intercourse with the Morea, Albania, Constantinople, and the Ottoman dominions generally. I
replied, that it was no part of the system of 220
the United States to get into European politics, and least of all, to interfere in the relationship between Great Britain and these
Islands. This was the amount of the interview. He was attended by two other persons
from the Islands.
As the English newspapers have lately
abounded in vituperative articles against the
United States in connexion with their affairs
with Spain, without understanding them, or
exhibiting only the Spanish side, I will here
insert a letter I addressed to the President. It
bears upon the foregoing interview. My regular weekly despatches, and oftener when necessary, were addressed to Mr. Secretary Adams.
These went on the public files of the Department of State. I wrote to him, also on public
matters, in a way not designed for those files,
it being my good fortune to enjoy his confidence ; and, not unfrequently, I wrote to the
President in the same manner. The communication in question was dated the 20th of this
month.    Its material parts are as follow:
i Since my last, no steps that were practicable have been omitted to ascertain from what
source the letter, a copy of which I transmitted, proceeded; or how far the information
which it disclosed, is to be relied upon. The
writer states himself to be in connexion with a 1818.
person high in station, but declines an interview. Since the tenth instant, he has addressed several letters to the Legation. I
would send copies, but that all are to the same
effect, and the one already sent, will be to you
a sufficient sample of his style and manner.
Keeping to points that are essential, I will condense the information they purport to convey,
thus saving your valuable time.
" He continues to assert, that Great Britain
has secretly determined to support Spain in a
contest with the United States; that the cabinet of the former has resolved that our territory shall not be extended, and more than all
that the Floridas shall not be added to it, as
bringing us too near to Cuba. That Spain is
to begin the contest, not by a formal declaration, but by letting loose her privateers ; that
she will take the step as soon as the armament
now preparing at Cadiz to go against South
America, shall have sailed, and that this is the
opinion of the Spanish Ambassador at this
court, founded on communications from Madrid. That the manifesto of Spain will soon
appear, calling upon all other powers who have
colonies to assist her in her struggle ; that an
officer high in the Spanish embassy, was sent
off express to Paris on these objects last week,
and that a Spanish secretary lately sailed from
§ 222
the Thames with definitive instructions to the
Spanish minister at Washington, Mr. Onis,
under the crisis that is approaching. That
Spain is to have no quarrel with Portugal, such
a measure not falling in with the views of
England, and that Olivenza will be given up.
That five of the daily newspapers of London
have their columns open to the Spanish embassy, and that the Spanish Government is actively employed in buying up vessels to be
fitted out and manned in England, to cruise
under the Spanish flag against our trade. That
Spain has her agents at work in several of the
ports of equipment in this kingdom; also in
France, Holland, and the Netherlands, expecting, under cover of her own flag, to enlist the
privateering means of half Europe against the
commerce of the United States whilst everywhere exposed, and that the vessels will be
fitted out under pretence of acting against
South America. That a person lately arrived
here from Madrid, with full powers from the
King to the Spanish Ambassador to act at his
discretion in procuring the instruments and
means of striking at our commerce; that the
ambassador, who is represented as having
large private resources, wliich he spends liberally in addition to his public allowances, has
the unbounded confidence of his King, who will 1818.
confirm all that he does. Finally, that the ambassador has caused a pamphlet to be written
against the United States, dilating upon their
alleged injustice and rapacity towards Spain,
which, by raising odium against them, is intended to aid the hostile views of Spain ; and
that many thousand copies of it are to be circulated in French, Spanish, and English, in
quarters where it will be likely to be most effective.
H, The question is, how far do the above
allegations, or any of them, appear to be sustained by facts. The most material are, the
asserted purchase and equipment of vessels in
the ports of Great Britain. This, if true, cannot easily be hidden. As yet I have obtained
no information that would authorize me in saying that it has been done. I have made, and
will continue to make, every inquiry. Persons
connected with the American trade are the
proper sources to resort to. Their sagacity
will be sure to make the first discoveries ; nor
will our vigilant consul, Colonel Aspinwall, be
" As to the newspapers being open to the
Spanish embassy, this is not improbable. Most
of the violent articles against the United States
touching their affairs with Spain, that have
lately appeared in the London papers, have 224
proceeded, I have little doubt, from Spaniards,
or pens they enlist. They bear marks of this
origin. There was, I believe, an officer of the
Spanish embassy despatched to Paris ten days
or a fortnight ago. I have been able to procure no evidence of the nature of his errand,
beyond the assertions of the letter-writer.
Upon these alone, reiterated indeed with great
confidence, rests for the present, the credit
due to all his other communications. The
pamphlet of which he speaks, has been written;
at least in part. He sent to the Legation some
of the printed sheets, which I enclose. It is
said that the writer—an Englishman—has received, or is to receive, sixty guineas from the
Spanish embassy. I should pronounce it more
than the pamphlet is worth. The Spanish
ambassador is the Duke of San Carlos. He
formerly represented Spain at the court of
Vienna, where his household was on a munificent scale ; as here. We exchange visits, and
reciprocate other civilities.
I In addition to the communications of the
letter-writer, I have been waited upon by a
member of the Congress of Venezuela, now in
London. He regards a rupture between the
United States and Spain as so near, that, on
the ground of his acquaintance with the condition and resources  of Spanish America, he COURT OF LONDON.
came to tender me all his information in aid of
our cause. I said the United States meditated
no hostile steps. He replied, that Spain did.
I suggested the objections, unless she expected co-operation from England; and that I
could not think the latter meant to go to war
with us without cause. He met the objections
by saying that England had promised no cooperation ; but that the condition of Spain was
desperate : she must lose her colonies if things
continued on the present footing; the only
hope of saving them, rested upon her being
able to bring England by some means or other
to her assistance. That she counted upon the
jealousy between England and the United
States on the ocean, and by going to war
herself with the latter, the course of events
would soon draw the former into it, whatever
she might say at first. At any rate, that this
was a game of chances Spain had resolved to
play, as, at the worst, it could only accelerate
a catastrophe otherwise inevitable, viz. the
total loss of her dominion in America. This
Venezuelan, although liable to be warped by
his political wishes, is intelligent and cool-
minded, and full of activity in seeking information. I therefore report what he said, although he referred to no specific facts. However plausible his way of reasoning, it is not
Q 226
sufficient   with   me    to   overcome   weightier
reasons opposed to it. Hence, that either
Spain or England design to strike a hostile
blow at us, I am not able at present to believe. Still I have not felt at liberty to be
altogether passive under my own incredulity.
I am taking steps of precaution from which, be
the issue what it may, no evil can arise. I
have written to our ministers at Paris and
Madrid, and to the commander of our squadron
in the Mediterranean. I have not expressed
myself in a way to excite alarm, but watchJ
fulness. I shall continue attentive to what
passes, and should any new or more distinctiti
grounds be laid before me, adopt such other
measures as prudence may dictate, hoping
those already taken may have your approbation. It is proper I should add, that there
has been no open departure whatever in the
English cabinet or court from a frank or conciliatory course towards us. If any thing is
going on, it is profoundly in the dark."
The matter of the above letter points to
occurrences which belong to the history of a
public mission. Light is shed by them on incidents otherwise not so well understood. It
was easy to believe that Spain desired a rupture between the United States and England,
and that those in her service would labourWn COURT  OF  LONDON.
aH ways to that end. But it was not to be
believed, that she would go to war with the
United States, on a mere speculation that the
force of circumstances might draw England
iM;o it. The navy of the United States was
efficient, and the certainty of its immediate
co-operation with the Spanish colonies, for
which their proximity afforded advantages,
could not have failed to set before Spain the
risks, on that ground alone, of seeking such a
war. That England would rather the Floridas
belonged to Spain, than the United States, was
no more than natural to suppose. She remembered that the treaty of Utrecht had prohibited Spain from transferring any of her
colonial possessions to other powers. But the
Congress of Vienna had been silent on such a
policy. England, a party to that congress,
knew as well as other powers, that the day for
its revival was at an end.
May 27. A few persons desiring to see a
monument erected to Burns, put an off-hand
notice in the Morning Chronicle, that the admirers of his genius would dine to-day at the
City of London Tavern. About two hundred
assembled. The stewards invited me as a
guest.    The Duke of York was in the chair.
The leading person was Mr. Boswell, son of
the biographer of Johnson, and a member of
Q %
'mm 228
parliament. He made a speech on the genius
of Burns, and urged the propriety of erecting
a monument on the site of the cottage where
he was born. A son of the poet was present.
On " Success to the family of Burns" being
given as a toast, he thanked the company in
a modest, feeling manner. The punch-bowl
that belonged to Burns, and of which it is
known he was too fond, was handed round the
table, as a relic. A full band was in the orchestra. We had a great deal of fine old
Scotch music, with several of Burns's songs,
and a good one written for the occasion by
Mr. Boswell. The Duke of York was toasted,
with a complimentary allusion to the share
which, as commander-in-chief of the British
army, he had taken in improving its condition.
He returned thanks, adding that it was his
highest pride to merit the approbation of his
sovereign, and good-will of his fellow-subjects.
I The admirers of Burns in the United States"
came next; on which I made my acknowledgments, saying that my countrymen were
alive to the charms of his poetry, as he wrote
for the heart, which was of all nations. The
Duke asked me if we made speeches at our
public dinners, as they were forced to do in
England. I said, not hitherto; but it was a
custom which tended, I thought, to improve 1818.
the character of public dinners, by introducing
excitements beyond those merely jovial. He
assented. We had other speeches — short
ones. They would otherwise, all must agree,
lose a chief merit for such occasions.
Several hundred pounds were collected towards the monument. Three or four of my
countrymen, accidentally in London, were present, and marked their admiration of the genius of the bard by being contributors. It
may serve as an instance to show how the
pocket is opened at public dinners in London.
May 28. Visited the British Gallery in Pall
Mall. The collection of paintings is very
choice. It is made up exclusively of pieces
from the Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and
Flemish masters. They belong to persons in
England, who annually send specimens from
their private collections to this exhibition for
the gratification of the public, and to aid in
fostering taste in this branch of the arts. You
wander through rooms where hang productions on which the public taste of different
ages and nations had put the seal of approbation.
It has been said that painters can flourish
only in Roman Catholic countries. That the
Scriptures have afforded the grandest subjects
for the pencil, is true.    In Catholic countries, RESIDENCE AT THE
the Church influences largely secufai4 feeling.
This is a sufficient reason why their painters
so frequently take subjects from Scripture.
But they have not confined themselves to
these; and are not the same subjects open to
the pencil in Protestant countries ? The very
variety of religions, as of character, in England,
will tend to advance her in the arts when she
takes her stand inthem. She has an established church with every species of dissent; a
powerful aristocracy with popular forms and
practices, that in some respects Athens never
equalled; a King venerated and lampooned;
more than all, an amount of riches, not hereditary merely, but self-acquired, in the hands
of individuals in every part of the kingdom,
making a greater number independent in their
circumstances, and giving them consequently
more command over time and inclination, than
has probably ever before been known among
the same number of people, existing as one
nation. All these are materials for the arts.
A school founded in such a soil, could neither
be formal, nor limited. Mannerism belongs to
feelings and pursuits more circumscribed. It
would be a soil too for patronage; not by a
few nobles, or the hand of an amateur Prince;
but diffused, as through rich republics, all
over the land. 1818.
The annual exhibition of the works of the
masters is not the only way in which this Institution aims at advancing the Fine Arts. Its
governors and patrons purchase the productions of British artists, where merit is high. It
was so that Mr. West's picture of " Christ
healing the Sick," was purchased for three
thousand guineas. This is the picture, the
fellow to which was presented to the Hospital
at Philadelphia. There needs no other proof
of the interest the venerable artist felt in the
land of his birth. It was a munificent donation. He contemplated with delight the
growth of the arts in the United States. He
had studied painting as carefully, and understood its rules with as just a discrimination as
any artist living. He had opportunities of
knowing that the study was pursued with both
zeal and judgment in the country always dear
to him. He had seen in her infancy every
presage of future eminence ; and to aid in stimulating tendencies so noble, was one of the
motives to his generous gift.
June 5. We were at another brilliant entertainment at Carlton House on Tuesday evening. To-day I attended the levee. Lord
Castlereagh said to me that his constant engagements in parliament had prevented his
asking an interview with me during the past
i 232
fortnight, as he had wished. Its dissolution
was at hand, immediately after which he would
fix a time for our meeting.
June 6. Dined at Mr. Canning's. His resj,-,,,
dence is at Gloucester-lodge, two miles from
town. We had exchanged visits by cards.
The latter periods of my mission, during which
he was Secretary for foreign affairs, brought me
into much intercourse with him, personal and
official; but this was the first time I had met
him except at levees and drawing-rooms. To
the space he filled in pubhc estimation, I could
be no stranger. He received his guests cordially. The grounds about his house were not
extensive, but shut in by trees. All was seclusion the moment the gates closed; a common
beauty in villas near London. The drawing-
rooms opened on a portico, from which you
walked out upon one of those smoothly-
shaven lawns which Johnson, speaking of
Pope's poetry, likens to velvet. We had the
soft twilight, which at this season lasts so long
in England, and sets off verdure to such advantage. 1 You see," said Mr. Canning, " how
we prize your plants," pointing to some Rhododendrons ; " you must be fond of horticulture in the United States, from the specimens
we have of your flowers." I said it was a
growing taste with us, but that we had much 1818.
to do before we should equal England. And
we in England, he said, are behind Holland,
and I believe France, in flowers. Dinner was
soon announced. Mr. and Mrs. Canning, the
Marquis and Marchioness of Stafford, Lady
Elizabeth Leveson Gower, the Spanish Ambassador and his Duchess, the Neapolitan minister
and his Countess, my wife, Mr. Chinnery, and
some members of the family, made the party.
Mr. Canning sat at the head. His quick eye
was all round the table; his aim to draw out
others. Occasionally, he had touches of pleasantry. He asked for Mr. Pinkney of Maryland. " I once," said he, " had a skirmish with
him about language, but he worsted me; I
said there was no such word as influential,
except in America, but he convinced me that
it was originally carried over from England."
Lord Stafford remarked, that it was so good a
one, they ought to bring it back. " Yes,"
said Mr. Canning, ff it is a very good word, and
I know no reason why it should have remained
in America, but that we lost the thing."
A library was attached to the suite of rooms.
When we came from dinner, some of the company found pastime in turning over the leaves
of caricatures, bound in large volumes. They
went back to the French revolutionary period.
Kings, princes, cabinet ministers, members of
\m. 234
parliament, everybody, figured in them. It was
a kind of history of England in caricature for
five-and-twenty years. Need I add, that our accomplished host was on many a page. He
stood by. Now and then he threw in a word
giving new point to the scenes. It is among
the contradictions of the English, that, shy and
sensitive as the higher classes in many respects
are, perhaps beyond any other people, they are
utterly indifferent to these kind of attacks.
Their public men also, exclude politics from
private life. You see persons of opposite
parties, mingling together.
He asked, who were our favourite authors in
the United States. The English, I said. But
among the English ? Johnson, Dryden, Addison, or Swift ? Opinions varied, I said; Johnson had his admirers; but I thought that after
five-and-twenty, our readers for the most part
came round to the others. They were his
favourites, he said. Next he asked, is not
Junius liked ? Generally, I said. I had
heard of a young gentleman in Philadelphia,
who transcribed all his letters in the hope of
catching his style. He made no comment; but
I thought I saw that he would not recommend
a young friend to that trouble. From the Spanish ambassador I had every civility, notwithstanding the pamphlet. 1818.
So, briefly, was my first dinner at Mr. Canning's. Many and agreeable ones followed.
Sir James Macintosh said of him in debate,
that he had incorporated in his mind all the
elegance and wisdom of ancient literature
It was a high tribute from a political opponent
and competent judge. Both were first-rate
men, as well by native endowments, as the
most careful cultivation; and both disciplined
by an advantageous intermixture in great poli-
llgal and social scenes; Macintosh, universal
and profound; Canning, making every thing
bend to parliamentary supremacy; the one,
delivering speeches in the House of Commons
for the philosopher and statesman to reflect
upon; the other winning, in that arena, daily
victories. Both had equal power to charm in
society; the one various and instructive; the
other intuitive and brilliant; Macintosh, by his
elementary turn, removed from all collisions^
Canning, sarcastic as well as logical in debate,
and sometimes allowing his official pen to trespass in the former field; but in private circles,
bland, courteous, and yielding. Let me add,
that both were self-made men; enjoy ing, by
this title, the highest political consideration
aaijl social esteem, in the most powerful hereditary and other circles of the British empire. iv,
June 7. Lord Erskine called upon me according to promise. First he spoke of the bill
he lately brought into the House of Lords, to
prevent arrest in cases of libel until after indictment, regretting its loss.
He touched on other topics. I pass by all
to come to what he said of Burke. My boys
being in the room, he asked if I had found a
good school for them. I said they were at
present with Mr. Foothead, in my neighbourhood. " You are lucky," he said, " if Burke's
recommendation goes for anything, for he
thought well of him as a teacher of the
classics. What a prodigy Burke was If he
exclaimed. U He came to see me not long
before he died. I then lived on Hampstead
hill. ' Come, Erskine,' said he, holding out
his hand, * let us forget all; I shall soon quit
this stage, and wish to die in peace with every
body, especially you.' I reciprocated the sentiment, and we took a turn round the grounds.
Suddenly, he stopped. An extensive prospect broke upon him. He stood, wrapt in
thought. Gazing on the sky, as the sun was
setting, I Ah! Erskine,' he said, pointing
towards it, ' you cannot spoil that because
you cannot reach it; it would otherwise go;
yes, the firmament itself—ypji and your reformers   would   tear   it   all   down/      I was 1818.
pleased with his friendly familiarity, and we
went into the house, where kind feelings
between us were further improved. A short
time afterwards he wrote that attack upon the
Duke of Devonshire, Fox, and myself, which
flew all over England, and perhaps the United
States." All this his lordship told in the best
manner. In my form of repeating it, I cannot
do him justice.
Desiring to hear something of Burke's
delivery from so high a source, I asked him
about it. " It was execrable," said he. " I was
in the House of Commons when he made his
great speech on American conciliation, the
greatest he ever made. He drove everybody
away. I wanted to go out with the rest, but
was near him and afraid to get up; so I
squeezed myself down, and crawled under the
benches like a dog, until I got to the door
without his seeing me, rejoicing in my escape.
Next day I went to the Isle of Wight. When
the speech followed me there, I read it over
and over again ; I could hardly think of anything else; I carried it about me, thumbed it,
until it got like wadding for mygun." Here he
broke out with a quotation from the passage
beginning, " But what, says the financier, is
peace without money ?" which he gave with a
fervour, showing how he felt it.    He said that RESIDENCE  AT THE
he was in the House when he threw a dagger
on the floor, in his speech on the French Revolution, and it " had liked to have hit my foot?
" It was a sad failure," he added, '4 but Burke
could bear it.
He sat upwards of an hour, leaving me to
regret his departure.
m 1818
June 10. ParHament was dissolved by the
Prince Regent in person. This is regarded as
one of the most imposing public ceremonies in
England. It derives this character, in part,
from the manner in which the Sovereign goes
to Parliament.
In all ages, the horse has helped to swell
the pomp of public processions. Dryden renders Virgil's " bellator equus," led in the train
of Pallas's funeral, | The steed of State." On
this occasion the carriage of the Prince Regent
was drawn by eight horses used only for this RESIDENCE AT THE
ceremony. They were of beautiful form, and
richly caparisoned;
1 With golden bits adorn'd, and purple reins."
There sat with the Prince, the Duke of Montrose, Master of the Horse, and Lord Amherst,
as Lord in Waiting. Even in the insignia of a
state carriage England does not forget the
field of her power. Conspicuously upon this,
was a figure of Neptune, in massive gilding.
Next in the procession came four carriages and
six, all in rich decorations. These made the
royal train. It moved from St. James's palace
through the Park. Thence it came out, under
the arch-way of the Horse Guards. My carriage got to that point, and stopped with
others, as the whole slowly turned into the
street. The sight was gorgeous. Windows,
balconies, house-tops, were lined. It was the
spot, where like crowds had witnessed the
execution of Charles the First. When the
train reached the end of Parliament Street, the
number of equipages in the direction of Westminster Abbey was immense. All were in
rows, and glittered in the sun. The universal
beauty of the horses, for which the English
are so celebrated, the completeness of every
equipage, the turrets of the ancient Abbey,
the vast multitude, presented a scene of great 1818.
animation and brilliancy. The state carriage
drew up before the entrance to the House of
Lords. A groom held each bridle, the horses
champing the " foaming gold." The Prince
Regent on alighting, was greeted with long
The ceremony of the dissolution took place
in the House of Lords. Close in front of the
throne a space was set apart for the Foreign
Ambassadors and Ministers. All attended in
their national costumes. The chamber, when
I arrived, was filled with Peers and Peeresses,
the former wearing robes of scarlet and ermine.
In a little while the Prince Regent entered. A
salute of cannon was at that moment heard. A
procession formed by a portion of his cabinet
ministers, preceded him, the Premier, Lord
Liverpool, going first, and carrying the sword
of state. The Prince took his seat upon the
throne. In a few minutes, doors opened at
the extremity of the chamber, and the Commons entered, the Speaker at their head.
They stopped at a barrier, from which the
Speaker commenced his address to the Throne.
It recapitulated the important business of the
Session, gave a prominent place to the subject
of income and expenditure, saying that, although a heavy pressure continued upon the
finances, the revenue was increasing, and con-
eluded with praying the royal assent to a bill
of Supply which the House brought up, the
last of a series that had been passed. The
title of the bill was read, on which a Clerk of
Parliament exclaimed, " Le Roi remercie ses
loyal subjects, accepte leur benevolence, et aussi le
veut." The titles of other bills were successively read, and the royal assent given by the
same officer pronouncing the words, " Le Roi le
The Prince, who had not yet spoken, now
addressed both Houses. He said that there
had been no alteration in the state of the King's
health; that he continued to receive from Foreign Powers assurances of friendly dispositions,
on which he turned with a manner appropriate
towards the diplomatic corps ; he thanked the
House of Commons for the supplies they had
granted; he informed both Houses of his intention to dissolve the present and call a new
Parliament, in making which communication
he could not, he said, refrain from adverting to
the great changes that had occurred since he
first met them in that chamber. Then, the
dominion of Bonaparte, whom he spoke of as
the '' common enemy," had been so widely
extended, that longer resistance to his power
was by many deemed hopeless; but that by
the unexampled exertions of Britain in co-ope^ 1818.
ration with other countries, Europe had been
delivered from his oppression, and a contest
the most eventful and sanguinary known for
centuries, terminated with unparalleled success
and glory. These were the main points of
the speech. When it was ended, the Lord
Chancellor rose from the woolsack and said, that
it was the will and pleasure of the Prince Regent acting in the name of the King, that the
ParHament be dissolved; and he pronounced it
to be dissolved accordingly.
The Prince remained seated whilst delivering his speech, and wore a hat. The Peers
and Commons stood, and were uncovered.
Mr. Canning in a speech to his constituents
described the British constitution as a monarchy, intended to be checked by two assemblies, one hereditary, independent alike of
crown and people; the other elective, springing from the people ; but, said he, there are
those who argue as if it were originally a democracy, merely inlaid with a peerage, and
topped with a crown. This gives, in a word,
the opposite theories of antiquarians on the
origin of the British constitution. The passing remark may be made, that its external
ceremonies point to a regal, rather than popular root. They are strikingly so at a coronation, as at the dissolution of Parliament.    Take
r 2
another incident at the latter, in addition to
the wearing of the hat. The Clerk, before
reading the title to each bill, made a reverence
to the Throne ; and another, on laying the bill
down upon the table. On receiving the nod
of royal assent, he turned towards the Commons, gave them a look, and barely said, without any reverence, Le Roi le veut.
The scene would have been more imposing
had the chamber been better. It is not merely
deficient in architectural form, but in space.
The Commons stood in a confused heap, pressing one upon another. Their own room below, is even inferior in appearance, and alike inconveniently small. Both may have answered
their original uses centuries ago; one as a ban-
queting-room, the other as a chapel to a
palace; but are unsuited to the accommodation of Parliament. The mode of giving the
royal assent to bills, I had read in books; yet
it sounded strangely to me as a fact. It has
been remarked by a great English writer, that
these old words serve as a memento that the
liberties of England were once destroyed by
foreign force, and may be again but for vigilance. The remark is a strained one in this
connexion. England balanced the account of
warlike exploits with France, in the days of
her Edwards and Henrys.    Her own sovereign 1818.
at last gave up his titular claim to be King of
France. Hence it would seem that this little
badge of the Norman conquest might now be
allowed to drop off. It was discontinued under the Protectorate of Cromwell, the form in
his time being " The lord Protector doth consent." His words of acknowledgment for bills
of Supply were, " Understanding it hath been the
practice of those who have been chief governors,
to acknowledge with thanks to the Commons,
their care and regard for the public, I do very
heartily and thankfully, acknowledge their kindness therein." When the Commonwealth ended,
the foreign jargon revived.
The Speaker in his address stated that the
revenue was increasing. I cannot pass this
subject by. The income for the year was fifty-
one millions of pounds sterling. The largest
item was from the Excise, which yielded upwards of twenty-one millions. The Customs
stood next. They gave upwards of eleven
millions. The Assessed and Land taxes third,
from which eight millions were obtained. The
Stamps fourth, which produced seven millions.
The remainder was from the Post-office, and
miscellaneous sources. Large as this sum
may appear for the produce of one year's
taxes, it is less by more than twenty millions
than was raised two years ago, the Property- RESIDENCE AT THE
tax and certain war duties being then in force.
It may safely be affirmed that no nation, an-
tient or modern, of the same population, has
ever before paid so much under the regular
operation of tax-laws. Of the Excise, I understand that the whole amount due for the year
has actually been paid in, except a fraction of
five thousand pounds, part of which it is believed will be recovered. So exceedingly
small a deficiency on a basis of twenty-one
milHons, manifests an extraordinary ability on
the part of the community at large to meet
with punctuality the demands of the Government under this branch of internal taxation.
Besides the fifty-one millions, which make up
the national taxes proper for Great Britain
and Ireland, the sums levied on account of
Poor-rates for England during the year, have
amounted to nine millions.
The exports from the kingdom for the same
time, amounted, in value, to fifty-three millions
of pounds sterling. The manufactures of the
United Kingdom constituted four-fifths of this
sum. Actual value is meant, as contra-distinguished from official. The latter assumes a
certain standard of price, fixed more than a
century ago, and no longer applicable as a
measure of value. The imports amounted to
thirty-four millions;  considerably less, there- 1818.
fore, than the value of manufactured articles
Expenditure for the year has been about the
same as income. In its great branches, it may
be classed thus: For interest on the public
debt, twenty-nine millions. For the Army,
nine millions; the military force on the present peace establishment, amounting to about
a hundred thousand men. For the Navy, seven
milHons; the peace establishment of that arm
being one hundred and thirty ships, twenty
thousand seamen, and six thousand marines.
For the Ordnance, one milHon. The Civil list,
and miscellaneous items absorb the residue.
In statements whether of British income or
expenditure, I observe that fractions of a million or two seem to be unconsidered. They
are scarcely understood but by those who will
be at the pains of tracing them amidst the rubbish of accounts, and not always then.
As to the debt, what shall I say ? If I specify any sum I may unconsciously commit a
fractional error of fifty milHons ! To find out
precisely what it is, seems to baffle inquiry.
Dr. Hamilton in his work on this subject states
a curious fact. He says, that in an account of
the public debt presented to the House of
Commons in 1799, it was found impossible to
ascertain the sums raised at different periods !48
which created the funds existing prior to the
thirty-third year of George the Third. This
candid avowal of ignorance, where all official
means of information were at command, may
well excuse, as the able author remarks, a private inquirer if his statements be imperfect.
But I will set the debt down at eight hundred millions. This as an absolute sum,
strikes the world as enormous. It loses this
character when viewed in connexion with the
resources of Great Britain, the latter having
increased in a ratio greater than her debt; a
position susceptible of demonstration, though
I do not here design to enter upon it. It may
be proof enough, that in the face of this debt,
her Government could, at any moment, borrow
from British capitalists fresh sums larger than
were ever borrowed before; and than could
be raised by the united exertions of all the
Governments of Europe. Credit so unbounded,
can rest only upon the known extent and solidity of her resources; upon her agricultural,
manufacturing, and commercial riches; the
first coming from her highly cultivated soil
and its exhaustless mines, not of gold and silver, but iron and coal, for ever profitably
worked ; the second, from the various and universal labour bestowed on raw materials, which
brings into play all the industry of her people, 1818.
suffering none to be lost for want of objects;
the third, from a system of navigation and
trade, followed up for ages, which enables her
to send to every part of the globe the products
of this vast and diversified industry, after supplying all her own wants. This system of
navigation and trade is greatly sustained by a
colonial empire of gigantic size, that perpetually increases the demand for her manufactures, and favours the monopoly of her ton
These are the visible foundations of her incalculable riches ; consequently of her credit.
Both seem incessantly augmenting. It is remarkable that she extends them in the midst
of wars. What cripples the resources of other
nations, multiplies her's. Not long ago I went
to Guildhall, to witness the sittings of the
King's Bench, after term-time. The Courtroom was so full, that I could hear or see little, and soon left it. I was compensated by
loitering among the monuments in the hall
close by. The inscription on Lord Chatham's
drew my attention most, because Americans
always hang with reverence on his name, and
because of the inscription itself. It dwells
upon the  services he  rendered his  country,
title to fame, recorded on the marble. Other
nations should look at it. War, by creating
new markets, gives a stimulus to industry, calls
out capital, and may increase not merely the
fictitious but positive wealth of the country
carrying it on, where the country is powerful
and not the seat of war. Moscow may be
burned; Vienna, Berlin, Paris sacked; but it
is always, said Franklin, peace in London.
The British moralist may be slow to think,
that it is during war the riches and power of
Britain are most advanced; but it is the law
of her insular situation and maritime ascendency. The political economist may strive to
reason it down, but facts confound him. It
has been signally confirmed, since engraven on
the monument of Lord Chatham. The Prince
Regent pronounced the contest with Bonaparte the most eventful and sanguinary known
for centuries. Yet, at its termination, the
Speaker of the House of Commons declared,
whilst the representatives of nations stood
listening, that the revenues of Britain were
increasing. What a fact! The Abb6 Du Pradt
has remarked, that England threatens all the
wealth, and Russia all the liberty, of Europe.
Up to the first origin of the contest with Bonaparte, the largest sum England ever raised
by taxes in any one year of war or peace, was 1818.
seventeen millions sterling. In twenty-five
years, when that contest was over, she raised
hardly less than eighty millions. This sum
was paid indeed in the midst of complaints;
but not more than in Queen Anne's time, when
the taxes were three millions, and debt forty;
or at the end of George the Second's, when the
former had risen to seven, and the latter to a
hundred millions. It was also in 1815, at the
close of the same contest, that the world beheld her naval power more than doubled;
whilst that of other states of Europe was, in
a proportion still greater, diminished. Hitherto, at the commencement of wars, the fleets of
France, of Spain, of Holland, if not a match for
those of England, could make a show of resistance. Their concerted movements were
able to hold her in temporary check. Where
are the navies of those powers now ? or those
of the Baltic? Some gone almost totally ; the
rest destined to be withdrawn from the seas,
on the first war with England. There is nothing, singly or combined as far as Europe is
concerned, to make head against her. France
is anxious to revive her navy. She builds good
ships; has brave and scientific officers. So,
Russia. But where are the essential sources
of naval power in either ? where their sailors
trained in a great mercantile marine ?   Both RESIDENCE  AT THE
together have not as many, of this description,
as the United States. England, then, in her
next war, will accomplish more as against
Europe upon this element, than at any former
period. She will start, instead of ending with
her supremacy completely established. The
displays of her power will be more immediate,
as well as more formidable, than the world has
before seen. I will not speak of a new agent
in navigation, "that walks," as Mr. Canning
said, " like a giant on the water, controlling
winds and waves—steam." This great gift to
mankind, in its first efficient power upon the
ocean, was from the United States; but all
Europe will feel its effects in the hands of
I had intended to say something of public
speaking. The dissolution of Parliament might
suggest the topic; but I defer it. I have desired heretofore to make a minute of my impressions on this subject. I have heard debates
in both Houses; but the occasions have been
unfavourable for calling up the leading orators,
or drawing them fully out if they rose. I wait
further lights.
June 11. Had an interview with Lord Castlereagh, on his invitation. He informed me,
that he had brought before the cabinet my pro- 1818.
posal on impressment, and that it had been
considered with the care due to its importance.
He went into some of the arguments to which
the subject always leads. He adverted, first,
to the opposite opinions which the two Governments held on the doctrine of allegiance.
Next he remarked, that we gave to our ships a
character of inviolability that Britain did not;
that we considered them as part of our soil,
clothing them with like immunities. I said
that we did consider them as thus inviolable,
so far as to afford protection to our seamen;
but that we had never sought to exempt them
from search for rightful purposes; viz. for
enemy's property, articles contraband of war,
or men in the land or naval service of the
enemy. These constituted the utmost limit of
the belligerent claim as we understood the law
of nations. What we objected to was, that
Britain, passing this limit, should advance a
claim to enforce her own municipal code relating to allegiance and impressment, on board
our vessels. His lordship did not view it in
this light. He was forced, he said, to add,
that on a full consideration of my proposal, the
cabinet had not found it practicable to forego
under any arrangement, the execution of which
was to depend upon the legislative ordinances 254
of another country, the right of Great Britain
to look for her subjects upon the high seas,
into whatever service they might wander.
The proposal thus rejected, having declared
the readiness of the United States to impose
further restraints upon the naturalization of
British seamen, and exclude from their ships
all not naturalized, I asked his lordship what
difference it would make if the United States
would agree to exclude from their ships of war
and merchant-vessels, all natural born subjects
of Great Britain ?
He replied, that this indeed would be going
a step farther, but that it would still leave the
proposal within the principle of their objection. That the objection rested upon an unwillingness to concede by treaty or convention,
whatever its terms, the right of entering the
vessels of a foreign power to search for their
I said, that I heard this determination with
regret. I had been ready, otherwise, to submit
a proposal to the effect last mentioned. My
regret was the stronger, as it would exhaust
all the offers the United States could make. I
requested him, in fact, to consider such an
offer as actually made, under full authority
from my Government.
I now inquired if any proposals  would be COURT  OF  LONDON.
submitted on the part of Great Britain. His
lordship was prepared with none which did
not assume, as a basis, the right of entering our
vessels. For the exercise of this right in a
manner not to injure the United States, Great
Britain was willing, he said, to come into the
most effective regulations ; such as restricting
the boarding officers to those of rank not below
lieutenants; giving responsible receipts for the
men taken out, or any other safeguards that
the Government of the United States might
propose as better adapted to the end; that she
would receive, and in the most friendly manner
discuss such proposals, in the hope of some satisfactory arrangement. I said that the United
States never could admit the right to enter
their vessels for such a purpose as impressment. Besides the objection to it in principle,
the practice, however attempted to be softened,
must be liable, from causes altogether insurmountable as between the two nations, to perpetual and fatal abuse. This had been shown
by past experience, and it was impossible to
remain blind to it. His lordship again admitted the evils of which it had been the
parent, expressing his hope that they might
never recur.
He next spoke of the Slave-trade.    Great
Britain, he said, had concluded treaties with RESIDENCE AT THE
three of the powers of Europe on this subject;
Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. Portugal
had agreed to abolish the trade, except in certain specified places on the coast of Africa, south
of the equator; Spain, north of the equator,
from the ratification of her treaty, and in all other
parts, after May 1820. To these powers Britain had paid, from first to last, 700,000/. as inducements to the treaties. The clauses stated
the money to be as compensation to Spanish
and Portuguese subjects, for the loss of the
trade. The Netherlands had agreed to abolish,
immediately and totally, without pecuniary inducement. The purport of the treaties, speaking more particularly of the last, was, that the
contracting parties were to authorize a limited
number of the ships of their navy to search the
merchant vessels of each other, found under
circumstances to raise suspicion of being engaged in the trade; and in case of slaves being
actually on board, to send the vessels in for
trial; the tribunals to consist of mixed courts,
composed of judges, or commissioners, appointed by each power; the courts to hold
their sittings within the territories or dependencies of each power, but one always to be
established on the coast of Africa; no search
to be permitted in the Mediterranean, or
any of the  European  seas  north of latitude 37,  or  within and
These were some of the main provisions of
the treaties. There were various others designed to guard against irregularity in the
exercise of a right which the contracting parties had mutually conceded for the common
object. The period had arrived, his lordship
continued, when it was the wish of Great Britain to invite the United States to join in these
measures, and it was his design to submit,
through me, proposals to that effect. It had
occurred to him to send me, with an official
note, authentic copies of the treaties themselves ; they would best unfold in all their details, the grounds on which a concert of action
had been settled with other powers, and it was
on similar grounds he meant to ask the accession of the United States, anticipating large
benefits from their maritime co-operation in
this great work of humanity. Whilst it had
occurred to him to make the overture to my
Government in this manner, he said that, if any
other course presented itself to me as better
adapted to the end, he would be happy to
listen to it.
I replied, that 1 knew of none better. I was
altogether devoid of instructions on the subject,
as already stated, but would transmit the treaties  for the  consideration  of the  President.
4 258
The United States, from an early day, had
regarded this traffick with uniform disapprobation. For many years it had been altogether
prohibited by their statutes. The existence of
slavery in several of the states of the American
Union, had nothing to do, I remarked, with the
slave-trade. The former grew up with the
policy of the parent country anterior to the
independence of the United States, and remained incorporated with the domestic laws of
the particular states where it had been so introduced, and always existed. Yet, those who
could not allow their laws in this respect to be
touched, went hand and heart with the rest of
their fellow-citizens in desiring the abolition of
the slave-trade.
Lastly, his lordship spoke of the commercial
convention of 1815. He reminded me that it
had but little more than a twelvemonth to run,
asking if I knew the views of my Government
in regard to its renewal. I said, not precisely,
but expected soon to ascertain them.
June 12. Dined at the Marquis of Stafford's.
I am no votary of the rout. The private dinnerparty shows society differently. The diplomatic
stranger can hardly command other opportunities of seeing it at all. Evening visits he cannot make; the late hour of dining is an obstacle.
Morning calls are a mere ceremony performed by his card.    Midnight crowds are not society.
It is only at dinners that he finds it.
These seem the chosen scenes of English
hospitality. They are seldom large. Mr. Jefferson's rule was, not fewer than the Graces, nor
more than the Muses. At the London dinners,
from twelve to sixteen seem a favourite number.
Sometimes they are smaller. Individual character and accomplishments, reserved at first in
these classes, here begin to open. Sully, after
Paulus iEmilius, said, that to marshal an army
and an entertainment, were equally difficult.
Those of which I would speak, present no discordant feelings or topics. All obey forms,
with which all are familiar. Conversation
moves along under common contributions and
restraints. There is no ambition of victory.
To give pleasure, not try strength, is the aim.
You remark nothing so much as a certain simplicity, the last attainment of high education
and practised intercourse. Such are some of
the characteristics of these private dinners.
Beginning with such, I must proceed a little farther. The servants are so trained, as to leave
to the master and mistress no care but of looking to the guests. The arrangements of the
table are orderly and beautiful. All are alike,
yet vary; alike in general conformity ; varying
as taste varies where there is self-confidence in
s I
Pil 260
its indulgence, where all have large means, and
all are on the same level. The word fashion
I have not heard ; nor seen its principle, in
mere imitation. The services of silver strike
me as among the evidences of a boundless
opulence. All forms of it, for use or embellishment, are seen, and in surpassing lustre.
Not unfrequently, the romantic patterns and
fretted workmanship of past ages, still remain.
Foreigners from whatever part of Europe, are
in like manner struck with this profusion of
solid and sumptuous plate upon English tables,
as unknown in any other capital to an extent
at all approaching to comparison. The possessors, long accustomed to it, seem unconscious of its presence ; but the foreigner sees
in it all, national as individual riches. Whence
proceed, he asks himself, the incomes, so large,
so increasing, that retain, and acquire in fresh
accumulation, luxuries so costly, but from the
land ? and what would be the land with all
the works upon it, what the crops on its surface, the mines ^underneath, but for the manufactures and trade which bring all into value
by a vast and ever increasing demand; increasing at home as abroad, increasing in war
as in peace ?
Our dinner to-day illustrated, as one instance
might, the characteristics alluded to.    It was COURT OF  LONDON
not large. Lord and Lady Stafford, the Earl
and Countess of Surrey, Lady Elizabeth Leve-
son Gower, Lord Francis Gower, and a few
more, made the party. The country life in
England was much spoken of; also the literary publications of the day, this family being
distinguished by the literary accomplishments
of its members. The paintings of the masters
were all around us. Our hospitable entertainers invited Mrs. Rush and myself to visit
them at their seat, Trentham, in Staffordshire,
than which we could not have known a higher
gratification. Another topic, always grateful,
was not passed by ; our country. Cordial
things were said of it, and enlightened wishes
expressed that two nations so connected as
England and the United States, might long see
their way to mutual good-will. Leaving the
table, we were an hour in the drawing-rooms,
always an agreeable close to English dinners.
Ladies make part of them, and rise first, the
gentlemen soon following and rising all together. On no occasion have I observed any
one gentleman leave the table, until all rise.
We had music from St. James's Park, into
which the windows of Stafford-house look.
Its notes were the softer from the stillness of
that scene, and the breezes of a charming summer night. 262
June 20. Had an interview with Lord
Castlereagh. He read the first draft of a note
to me, inviting the United States to co-operate
in putting down the Slave-trade, asking my
suggestions as to any modifications. I had
none to offer. It was accordingly sent as prepared. I drew up an answer, to the general
effect of the sentiments I had expressed in our
conversations, promising to refer the whole
subject to my government.
I renewed the topic of impressment. Although in our conference of the 11th I had
made known the willingness of the United
States to exclude from their naval and merchant service all British seamen, native as well
as naturalized, I did not think proper to let
the proposition rest on the footing of a verbal
offer. I reduced it to writing, in terms as
"The proposal submitted to Lord Castlereagh upon the subject of impressment on the
18th of April not being found acceptable, the
undersigned has the honour to offer on behalf
of his Government the following. Each nation rigidly to exclude from service on board
their ships-of-war and merchant vessels, all
native-born subjects or citizens of the other.
The checks and precautions stated in the
former paper to guard against fraudulent na- 1818.
turalization, to be resorted to (with the proper
modifications) to prevent imposition relative
to the birth-place of seamen, or others adopted.
Seamen already naturalized in the United
States to be excluded from the operation of
the agreement, as these, by their laws, cannot be included. The number of this class
is believed to be small, and in a short time
would cease altogether. Although the stipulation for exclusion must be reciprocal, a provision to be inserted authorizing the United
States, if so disposed, to dispense with the
obligations it would impose on their own
seamen, whenever the latter may choose of
their own accord to enter the British service; this power of dispensation to be reciprocal, if desired.
" Should the above proposal be accepted,
it will follow, that all British seamen or subjects now in the United States, and not heretofore naturalized, will be excluded from their
sea service; and that all who arrive in future
will be excluded. Great Britain, on her part,
to come into a distinct stipulation not to impress men out of American vessels.       R. R."
I handed this paper to his lordship. The
proposal had, as I knew, been rejected; but I
knew the President's desire to settle this great
question, and believed that I should be more RESIDENCE AT THE
truly the organ of his will, by putting the
proposal in a shape in which it might go upon
the archives of his Majesty's Government. I
even cherished the hope, that other views
might yet be taken of it. His lordship on
reading the paper said, that he would lay it
before the Cabinet on his return from Ireland,
whither he was going the day following, and
should the proposal, now that it had taken
this form, still be objected to, perhaps it might
be thought advisable to put in writing the
counter opinions of Great Britain. Nothing
farther passed at this interview.
The general election for a new House of
Commons being in progress, and the hustings
at Covent Garden open, I said, when about
to come away, that I intended to go there to
see what was doing. " If you can wait a few
minutes," said his lordship," I will go with you ;
I want to vote." I replied that I should be
happy to go under such auspices. " You might
have better, he remarked." At that moment
Sir William Scott was announced, and I took
my leave, finding my own way to the hustings.
They gave a repulsive picture of an English
election. Sir Murray Maxwell was the ministerial candidate; Sir Francis Burdett, Sir
Samuel Romilly, and Mr. Hunt, on the other
side.    The first was not only hissed and hoot- 1818.
ed by the populace, but on a former day had
been wounded by missiles^ He appeared with
his arm tied up, and a bandage over his eye.
I was glad to get away from the scene of
tumult. In a little while Lord Castlereagh.
came. His remark was prophetic; he was
mobbed. Having given his vote for Sir Murray Maxwell, he was recognized, and four or
five hundred of the populace under the opposite banners, pursued him. He took refuge
in a shop in Leicester Square, whence he was
obliged to escape by a back-way, until finally
he found shelter in the Admiralty. If the
ministerial candidate and his supporters were
thus roughly treated, they bore it with good-
humour. The former on reappearing after his
wounds, again mounted the hustings to make
a speech. Being told that pains would be
taken to discover and punish the authors of
the outrage, he forbad all inquiry, saying he
had no doubt they acted thoughtlessly without
any intention of hurting him ; a stroke of
policy that brought fresh votes. As to Lord
Castlereagh, I was informed that, on reaching
the Admiralty, he turned round and with
much complaisance thanked his pursuers, then
close upon him, for their escort, saying that
he would not trouble them to accompany him
farther ; which drew huzzas in his favour. 266
July 1. Dined at the Chancellor of the
Exchequer's. His residence is in Downing
Street, I may add, historical. His dining-
room was once Mr. Pitt's. Here he lived
while Prime Minister; still earlier, Sir Robert Walpole. A portrait of the latter, was on
the wall. You beheld in it the composed
face that enabled him to sit unmoved under
the batteries of Wyndham, and Shippen, and
Pultney. There were at table Mr. and Miss
Vansittart, Mr. and Mrs. East, Lord Har-
rowby, the Ambassador from the Netherlands,
the Prussian Ambassador, Mr. Arbuthnot,
Secretary of the Treasury, and Mr. Mac
Mr. Pitt was spoken of. Lord Harrowby
said that he was a fine Greek scholar; also
that he had retained with singular accuracy
his mathematics acquired at school. He spoke
of Lord Grenville's attainments as a classic,
particularly in Greek, and his skill in languages generally, of which he knew a great
number. Lord Harrowby himself has high reputation in this line, modern languages as
well as the classics being at his command in
great purity. He spoke of words that had obtained a sanction in the United States, in the
condemnation of which he could not join; for
example,  lengthy, which  imported  what  was 1818.
tedious as well as long, an idea that no other
English word seemed to convey as well. I remarked, that we were unfortunate in my country, for that if persons, no matter how illiterate, used wrong words, they were brought to
light as Americanisms, whereas in other countries such things were passed by as merely vulgarisms ; thanking his lordship however for
throwing his shield over lengthy, which I also
thought a very expressive word.
Mr. Vansittart had been reading some of the
official documents of our Government. He
said that our appropriations for the military
service for the year exceeded those of Great
Britain, in proportion to the size of the two
armies; remarking that the British army was
the most expensive in Europe. The Dutch
was next, he said; the Russian cheapest. The
last cost but a seventh part as much, man for
man, as the British. I said that the expense
of an army in the United States arose from
the ease with which subsistence was otherwise
obtainable; moreover, that the service was not
popular in peace. He assigned a further reason—our large proportion of artillery; we had
three thousand to an army of ten thousand;
whilst the British artillery, to an army of an
hundred thousand, amounted to not more than
seven thousand.    This I explained by saying, 268
that one of the chief uses of a small standing
army in the United States was to keep fortifications in order, adding, that we also made
large expenditures upon them, under our miH-
tary appropriations. I owe warm acknowledgments to Mr. Vansittart for hospitalities and
other acts of kindness during the whole of my
mission; appreciated the more in my public
and personal feelings, from his high station in
the cabinet, in conjunction with his individual
distinction and various worth.
In a renewed conversation I asked him
what work was regarded as containing the best
account of the British finances. He said it
was difficult to arrive at a knowledge of them
from any single work; but, on the whole, he
considered Sir John Sinclair's, for the periods
it embraced, as most satisfactory.
July 15. Went to an entertainment at
Carlton-house. It was in honour of the marriages of the Duke of Clarence, and Duke
of Kent, who, with their royal brides, were
present. These marriages, with those of the
Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Cambridge,
all within a few months, have led to a succession of entertainments in which the diplomatic
corps have participated. CHAPTER XVII
July 16. Lord Castlereagh returned from
Ireland on the 14th. To-day I had an interview with him, on my application.
I entered upon the subject of the commercial relations between the two countries. I remarked, that it was with reluctance the President had given his consent to the act of Congress  to  exclude  from  ports  of the  United
States, British vessels coming from the West
Indies or other British colonies, from whose
ports vessels of the United States were excluded. The act indeed was founded on equal
justice, and could lay no ground of complaint,
as had often been agreed by Great Britain.
Still, the President could not but know, that
its practical operation might be irritating to
individual interests affected in both countries,
and his desire was, to give efficacy to measures
mutually more beneficial and conciliatory. It
was therefore that I was once more instructed
to propose to His Majesty's Government the
negotiation of a general treaty of commerce.
The President desired also, that the negotiation should include other matters. I recapitulated the four following. 1. The question
respecting slaves carried off from the United
States, in contravention as we alleged of the
treaty of Ghent. 2. The question of title to
Columbia River. 3. That of the north-western boundary line, from the Lake of the
Woods. 4. The question, of such immediate
importance, relating to the fisheries. Upon all
these, the President preferred negotiating directly, rather than resorting to commissioners
as under the treaty of Ghent, in the hope that
it might prove the means of the two Govern- 1818.
ments coming more speedily to an understanding. If his Majesty's Government was prepared to go into them all, in addition to the
question of a general treaty of commerce, as
the whole would take wide range, the United
States would name another plenipotentiary to
meet, in association with me, any two designated by Great Britain.
His lordship asked what was to be understood by a general treaty of Commerce. I replied, a treaty that would open not a temporary or precarious, but permanent intercourse
with the British West Indies and their colonies in North America to the shipping of the
United States; a subject which I admitted it
might seem unnecessary to bring forward after
the recently expressed opinions of his Majesty's Government, were it not that others of
interest to both nations were now coupled
with it in a way to give the proposition in
some measure a new character.
He said that the British Government would
be willing to enter upon a negotiation on the
commercial relations of the two countries; but
he had no authority to say that the colonial
system would be essentially altered. Broken
down, it could not be. I said, that if it were
not to  be  departed  from   at 272
greater degree than as provided by the four
articles spoken of in our conference of the 3rd
of January, as those articles had not proved
acceptable to my Government, it did not appear to me that any advantage would be
likely to arise from going into the negotiation. He replied, that he was not prepared to
answer definitively upon any of the subjects,
but would lay them before the cabinet. He
professed it to be the earnest desire of the
British Government to see the commercial intercourse between the two countries placed
upon the best footing at all points; the stake
to each being alike important.
In the event of a negotiation not being
opened on the broad grounds I had stated, his
lordship asked if it were yet in my power to
inform him of the intentions of my Government as to the existing convention of July
1815, now so soon to expire.
I gave him to understand that the President
was willing to renew it; thus keeping it distinct from all other questions. It was an instrument satisfactory to the United States, because, as far as it went, it placed the tonnage
of the two countries in each other's ports, on
a footing of equality. His lordship expressed
the readiness of his Majesty's Government to
adopt that course. 1818.
I next passed to South American affairs. I
said that my Government was desirous of ascertaining the intentions of the European Alliance in regard to the contest in that hemisphere, and especially of learning those of Great
Britain, as far as she might be disposed to communicate them. The information was sought;
not from a mere desire to draw aside the veil of
European politics, but from the deep interest
the United States took in that contest. They
asked nothing which they were not prepared
to reciprocate, being ready to disclose with
candour their own intentions. My Government was not uninformed of a general purpose of mediation by the European Alliance ;
but upon what precise basis, it did not
know. This was the point on which it desired
His lordship made the following replies.
He said that the British Government was not
only willing, but desired, to communicate to
the United States, every thing in relation to
the proposed mediation. It acknowledged our
natural interest in the question ; but that, in
fact, no plan for the mediation had been matured. Difficulties had arisen with Spain, on
points the most essential; they were increased
by obstacles to a quick intercourse of counsels
among parties so remote from each other, as
London, St. Petersburgh, Vienna, and Madrid;
even the place for the mediation had not been
fixed upon. The Allied sovereigns when assembled at Aix la Chapelle in the autumn,
would probably take up the subject, although
meeting primarily for the consideration of
others ; and as soon as a basis of pacification
had been laid down, he would not fail to apprise me of it.
Before parting, he gave me the following
piece of information: that in consequence of
the depredations committed upon the lawful
commerce of the world by cruisers ostensibly
sailing under commissions from the Spanish
colonies, the British Government had issued
instructions to some of its armed vessels to arrest and bring in cruisers of this description,
for the purpose of putting a stop to the vexations and losses they inflicted upon British
commerce. He added, that the orders did not
embrace cruisers fitted-out bona fide in South
American ports.
July 20. Dined at Mr. Villiers's, North
Audley Street; to whom I owe obligation for
kindness on many occasions ; and not less for
his invariable expressions of good-will towards
my country. Field-marshal Lord Beresford,
Lord Fitzroy Somerset and Lady Fitzroy, the 1818.
Duchess of Wellington, Mrs. Pole, Lord Maynard, Mr. Ponsonby, Mrs. Villiers, and my
wife, were the party. Conversation turned
chiefly on France. It was in the spirit of
commendation I remark to be so usual.
After dinner, Lord Beresford in conversation with me, spoke of the United States. He
was under the impression that the Union
would not last. Our Government, he said, had
worked extremely well, so far ; but must give
way, he thought, when the country grew to be
highly populous as well as powerful. I inculcated other doctrine, mentioning, as among
our safe-guards, the federative and national
principle interwoven in our constitution, and
referring to shocks the Union had already withstood in peace and in war. He complimented
our navy; it had taken England by surprise,
high praise, had it earned no other, he said;
but, from its nature, not likely to happen again.
I expressed the hope that all such occasions
might be far off; in which he cordially joined.
July 21. Mr. # * # # called upon me.
He said that there would appear in the next
Quarterly Review, an article on the life and
character of Franklin. It was to be the medium of an attack upon the United States. It
would   disparage  the  people, and underrate
t 2 276
the resources of the nation. It would particularly examine the claims of the United
States as a naval power, and strip them of importance. It would state their tonnage at less
than nine hundred thousand, and as decreasing ; endeavouring to show from this and
other things, that their maritime resources
were not only inconsiderable at present, but
not formidable in prospect. The object of the
publication was to lower the reputation of the
United States in Europe. To this end, it
would be translated into French, republished
in Paris, and thence widely circulated. Finally, that the article was already known to persons who stood high in England, and countenanced by them.
The last part of what my informant communicated, may, or may not, be true. The
whole is of small concern. Cromwell said,
that a government was weak that could not
stand paper shot. Who then shall write down
a nation? Insignificant states escape assaults
of the pen. Powerful ones can bear them. If
the United States have long been exposed to
these assaults, so has England. They come
upon her from abroad, but more at home.
Anybody who will spend six months in London and look at only a portion of the publications daily thrown from the press, will be surprised at the number of denunciations he
will surely find of England. The crimes and
other enormities committed by her people ;
the profligacy of the lower orders, the vices
of the higher; the corruptions of the Government, its partiality, injustice, tyranny; the
abuses of law; the abuses in the Church ; the
appalling debt, the grinding taxation, the
starving poor, the pampered rich —these and
like topics, on which are based assertions of
wide-spread depravity and suffering unparalleled, are urged in every form, and run out
into all details. It is not the cheap, unstamped press which alone reiterates them ;
but many of the highest and most powerfully
supported of the journals. Sometimes France
is fiercely attacked, sometimes Russia, sometimes the Holy Alliance, sometimes the United
States; but England always. The battering-
ram against her never stops. What English
Writers thus say of their own country, and
the picture is commonly summed up with
predictions of national ruin, crosses the Channel next day, is translated into French, and,
as foretold of the forthcoming article in the
Quarterly Review, circulated over Europe.
In a month it has crossed the Atlantic, and
is circulating in America. Millions read, millions believe it.    In the midst of it all, Eng-
■3 278 RESIDENCE  AT THE 1818.
land goes on in prosperity and power. Europe and the world see both, in proofs irresistible. The enlightened portion of the
world perceive, also, alongside of the picture of
moral deformity, no matter how much may
be true, or how much over-coloured, counteracting fields of excellence, public and private, that exalt the English nation to a high
pitch of sober renown.
It is in this manner I content myself as
a citizen of the United States. The last forty
years have witnessed their steady advance, in
prosperity and power. Europe and the world
behold both in proofs as irresistible. The
enlightened portion of the world will also
infer, that a nation with a foreign commerce
overshadowing that of the greatest nations
of Europe, England excepted; whose whole
tonnage, instead of nine hundred thousand,
already exceeds fifteen hundred thousand; a
nation throughout whose borders the public
liberty and prosperity have long been diffusing the means of private comfort and the
lights of general education,—the enlightened
everywhere will infer, that such a nation
cannot be wanting in adequate intellectual
advancement or social refinements, any more
than in political power. They follow through
the indissoluble connexion between causes and 1818.
effects. Ingenuity and ill-nature hunting for
exceptions, may find them ; but the great field
of excellence remains. It will continue to
widen, until Britain herself, encompassed as
she is with glory, will in time count it her
chiefest, to have been the original stock of
such a people. Of the frame of our Government, so often denounced and little understood, a British Statesman, wanting neither
in sagacity nor knowledge of history — Mr.
Fox — remarks, that it was precisely that
constitution which the wisest men of the
world would give to the people of the present age, supposing that they had to begin
on a clear foundation, and not to destroy any
thing existing at the cost of anarchy and civil
war. Of such a constitution, the citizen of
the United States may as justly as proudly
boast; concluding, in the additional words of
Mr. Fox, that it is the 1 British Constitution
with the improvements of the experience of
ten centuries."
July 23. A note from Lord Castlereagh
requested I would meet him at the Foreign
Office to-day. I found Mr. Robinson with
him. The latter is President of the Board of
Trade, and recently been called to a seat in
the cabinet.
His lordship informed me that he had made
x; ;:xr 280
known my proposals to the cabinet, and that
a general negotiation would be agreed to, on
all the points I had stated. With regard to
the commercial question, the British Government did not pledge itself to a departure from
the colonial system in any degree greater than
hitherto, but would bring the whole subject
under review; willing to hope, though abstaining from promises, that some modification
of the system, mutually beneficial, might be
the result of frank discussions, renewed at
the present juncture.
I replied, that my Government would hear
this determination with great satisfaction, and
joined in the hope that the new effort might
be productive of advantage to both countries.
I now informed his lordship, that Mr. Gallatin, minister of the United States at Paris,
would take part in the negotiation, and come
to London as soon as it might suit the convenience of his Majesty's Government to appoint plenipotentiaries on the side of Great
He replied, the sooner the better, saying
that Mr. Robinson and Mr. Goulburn would
be appointed. He added that he himself
would be obliged to set out for the Continent,
in August, to attend the congress at Aix-la-
Chapelle, and that the negotiation would have 1818.
to proceed in his absence; but expressed a
wish that it might open before he left town.
I said that all our instructions had not got
to hand, but we expected them daily. He
asked, whether, to guard against delays incident to a general negotiation, I was prepared
to agree separately to a renewal of the convention of 1815, for a term of years to be
fixed. I informed him that I was in possession of a power to that effect.
From the manner in which his lordship
mentioned this subject, and it was for the
third time, it was evident that the British Government strongly desired the renewal of the
convention. The United States desired it not
less. In the early part of the present month,
by information transmitted to me, more of
our vessels were in the port of Liverpool,
than those of any foreign power, or even English vessels, coasters excepted. The latter
fact surprised me. It may be taken as an indication that in the trade between the two
countries, the United States are likely to have
their equal share as carriers, as long as the
charges upon the vessels of each continue
equal. This is all that the United States ask.
It is the offer they make to all nations. They
hold it out in a permanent statute, as the
basis of their code of navigation. 282
July 24. Dined yesterday at Sir John Sinclair's, Ormly Lodge, in the neighbourhood
of Richmond. He had invited us to spend
the day for the sake of an excursion upon
the Thames. Hampton Court, Pope's Villa
at Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, with other
places to call up historical or classic recollections, would have been within our range; but
we were, for this occasion, disappointed. My
interview with Lord Castlereagh had been
fixed for an hour that prevented our leaving
town in season, so that the pleasure of dining
and passing the evening at Ormly Lodge, was
all we could command.
. It was the first time I had been so far into
the country, since our arrival. Gardens, hedgerows, village churches, houses and walls with
ivy growing about them, met the eye in all
directions. Here, were evergreens cut into
shapes as in Queen Anne's time; there, the
modern villa, where art was exerted to avoid
all appearances of it; so that, even in this
short distance, the taste of different ages might
be seen. Looking on the whole, I could not
avoid the thought, that the lawns so neat and
fields so fertile, were the soil that the plough
had gone through when the Romans were
here. The more did this thought come over
me, as in the United States we have what we 1818.
call " old fields," worn out by too much use, as
we think, and abandoned on that account.
They are abandoned, I must remark, for new
ones, more fertile; but when these in turn
become " old fields," it seems we need be in no
despair of making the former " old fields" fertile again, any more than the latter! We drove
through Richmond Park, which completed the
beauty of the scene.
Arrived at Ormly Lodge, we were courteously received at the door, and soon went to
dinner. Sir John and Lady Sinclair with
several members of their family, Mr. and Mrs.
Basil Cochrane, of Portman Square, Sir Benjamin and Lady Hobhouse, with a few others,
made the party. Sentiments the most liberal
were expressed towards the United States, both
Sir John Sinclair and Sir Benjamin Hobhouse
having an acquaintance with their concerns
that belonged to inquiring minds. The latter
was President of the Agricultural Society at
Bath. He spoke of the agriculture of the
United States. It had long been his desire, he
said, that the agriculturists of the two countries should correspond, exchanging observations, and the results of their experiments. I
said that those of my country could scarcely
object, seeing how much they would be likely
to gain.    He  replied,   that agriculturists in 284
England would gain too, and spoke of the advantage he had himself derived from a correspondence with Mr. Peters, of Belmont, President of the Agricultural Society at Philadelphia ; to whose knowledge he bore testimony, and his happy manner of imparting it.
He spoke of Mr. Coke's farm at Holkham, in
Norfolk; it was in the highest order in which
it seemed possible for ground to be, to illustrate productive and beautiful husbandry ; he
did not know that a weed could be found upon
it. He called it horticulture upon a great
scale. This celebrated farm consists of several
thousand acres ; the enclosure round his park
was stated to be ten miles in extent; his whole
estate in that county, to contain about forty
thousand acres. Having had the gratification
at a subsequent day, of visiting Mr. Coke at
his Holkham estate, I am here reminded of
what he told me was jocosely said when he
first took possession of it; that there was but
one blade of grass on the whole, for which
two half-starved rabbits were fighting! All
accounts agree that it was sterile. Skilful
farming, aided by capital, had brought it in
the course of a single life, into the state Sir
Benjamin Hobhouse described, and repaid, as
was added, the large expenditures upon it.
The remark from Brougham's colonial policy 1818.
about Holland, was quoted : that that country
owed its rich agriculture to a combination of
defects in both soil and climate, which put man
upon his own efforts. What a lesson to nations as to individuals! The principle of the
remark may be applied to England; who with
her superabundant riches and strength, is.
greatly stinted in natural advantages bestowed
with a profuse hand upon many other nations.
' Sir John Sinclair's conversation was instructive and entertaining. He had the double
fund of a large mixture with the world and
books, to draw from. Early rising was a topic j
he thought it less conducive to health than
was generally supposed, owing to the morning
exhalations ; we had heard of the robustness
of the old Saxons, but he doubted if they
Were as powerful a race, physically, as the
English of the present day; and as to their
going to bed at dark and getting up with the
dawn, that, he pleasantly said, was natural
among a people ignorant of the art of making
candles! In the evening, further company
arrived from neighbouring country seats. Of
the number were the Miss Penns, descendants
of the founder of Pennsylvania. Pastimes followed, promoted and shared by Sir John,
whose qualities in private life do not fall behind those that have made him known to his 286
country as a public man and author. I mentioned on a former page the Chancellor of the
Exchequer's opinion of his work on the British
finances; I add that, on asking Mr. Coke what
work might be consulted with most advantage
on the agriculture of England, he replied, that
he knew of none, by a private hand, better than
Sir John Sinclair's.    High testimonials.
July 27. Dined at Mr. Jeremy Bentham's.
If Mr. Bentham's character be peculiar, so is
his place of residence.
From my house north of Portman Square, I
was driven nearly three miles through streets
for the most part long and wide, until I passed Westminster Abbey. Thereabouts, things
changed. The streets grew narrow. Houses
seemed falling down with age. The crowds
were as thick, but not as good-looking, as about
Cornhill and the Poultry. In a little while I
reached the purlieus of Queen Square Place.
The farther I advanced, the more confined
was the space. At length turning through a
gateway, the passage was so narrow that I
thought the wheels would have grazed. It
was a kind of blind-alley,, the end of which
widened into a small, neat, court-yard. There,
by itself, stood Mr. Bentham's house. Shrubbery graced its area, and flowers its window-
sills. It was like an oasis in the desert. Its
name is the Hermitage. COURT  OF  LONDON.
Entering, he received me with the simplicity of a philosopher. I should have taken him
for seventy or upwards. Every thing inside
of the house was orderly. The furniture
seemed to have been unmoved since the days
of his fathers; for I learned that it was a
patrimony. A parlour, library, and dining-
room, made up the suite of apartments. In
each was a piano, the eccentric master of the
whole being fond of music as the recreation
of his literary hours. It was a unique, romantic little homestead. Walking with him
into his garden, I found it dark with the
shade of ancient trees. They formed a barrier against all intrusion. In one part was
a high dead wall, the back of a neighbour's
house. It was dark and almost mouldering
with time. In that house, he informed me,
Milton had lived. Perceiving that I took an
interest in hearing it, he soon afterwards obtained a relic, and sent it to me. It was an
old carved baluster, from the staircase, which
there was reason to think the hand of the
great bard had often grasped—so said the
note that accompanied the relic.
The company was small, but choice. Mr.
Brougham, Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr. Mill, author of the well-known work on India, M.
Dumont, the learned Genevan, once the as- ~*l
sociate of Mirabeau, were all who sat down
to table. Mr. Bentham did not talk muchlj
He had a benevolence of manner, suited to
the philanthropy of his mind. He seemed
to be thinking only of the convenience and
pleasure of his guests, not as a rule of artificial breeding, as from Chesterfield or Madame Genlis ; but from innate feeling. Bold
as are his opinions in his works, here he
was wholly unobtrusive of theories that might
not have commanded the assent of all present?.
Something else was remarkable. When he
did converse, it was in simple language, a
contrast to his later writings, where an involved style, and the use of new or unusual
words, are drawbacks upon the speculations
of a genius original and profound, but with
the faults of solitude. Yet some of his earlier productions are distinguished by classical
Mr. Brougham talked with rapidity and
energy. There was a quickness in his bodily
movements indicative of the quickness of his
thoughts. He showed in conversation the
universality and discipline that he exhibits in
Parliament and the Courts of Law. The affairs of South America, English authors, Johnson, Pope, Swift, Milton, Dryden, Addison,
(the criticisms of the last on Paradise Lost, 1818.
he thought  poor  things);   anecdotes  of  the
living Judges of England ; of Lord Chancellors, living and dead; the errors in Burrow's
Reports, not always those of the reporter, he
said ;  the Universities  of Oxford  and Cambridge ; the Constitution of the United States
—these were topics that he touched with the
promptitude  and   power   of a   master.     He
quoted  from the  ancient classics,  and poets
of modern Italy, (the latter  in the original
also,) not with the ostentation of scholarship,
which he is above, but as if they came out
whether  he would or no amidst  the multitude of his ideas and illustrations.    He handled  nothing  at   length,  but  with   a  happy
brevity; the rarest art in conversation, when
loaded with matter like his.    Sometimes he
despatched a subject in a parenthesis ; sometimes by a word, that told like a blow.    Not
long after  this my first meeting with him,
one of his friends informed me that a gentleman  whose  son was  about  to study law,
asked him  what books   he   ought   to  read.
I Tell him  to begin with Demosthenes and
Dante."—| What,  to make a lawyer ?"  said
the father.—"Yes," he replied, and "if you
don't take, we won't argue  about  it."    Mr.
Mill, M. Dumont,  and  Sir Samuel Rom illy,
did  their  parts   in  keeping  up  the  ball  of
u 290
conversation. Sheridan being spoken of, Sir
Samuel Romilly, who had often heard him
in the House of Commons, said, that " nothing
could be more marked than the difference
between the parts of his speeches previously
written out, and the extemporaneous parts.
The audience could discover in a moment
when he fell into the latter. It was well
known," he added, "that all the highly
wrought passages in his speeches on Hastings'
impeachment, were prepared beforehand and
committed to memory."
After we rose from table, Mr. Bentham
sought conversation with me about the United
States. § Keep your salaries low," said he;
1 it is one of the secrets of the success of
your Government.—But what is this," he inquired, I called a Board of Navy Commissioners that you have lately set up ? I don't
understand it." I explained it to him. " I
can't say that . I like it," he replied; " the
simplicity of your public departments has
heretofore been one of their recommendations,
but boards make skreens: if any thing goes
wrong, you don't know where to find the
offender; it was the board that did it, not
one of the members; always the board, the
board!" I got home at a late hour, having
witnessed a degree of intellectual point and
wmm 1818.
strength throughout the whole evening, not
easily to have been exceeded.
July 30. The French Ambassador gave a
dinner to the Prince Regent. There were
present all the foreign ambassadors and ministers, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Melville, Lord
Stewart, Lord Binning, the Vice-Chancellor,
and other official characters, the company being
large. The arrangements were on the models
of France; for wines, we had Burgundy, Tokay, St. Julien, Sillery Champagne, and others
in esteem at such tables. The fruit course
displayed the mingled fruits of France and
England; from the gardens of the former, and
hot-houses of the latter. In England it is
only by heat so obtained, that fruit can have
its full flavour; yet so numerous all over the
island are these receptacles of artificial heat,
that they become as another sun to the English climate.
Beautiful as was the appearance of the table,
the chief attraction did not lie there; but in
the distinguished entertainers, the Marquis
and Marchioness D'Osmond. French society
has always been celebrated; the Sevignes, the
du Deffands, the de Leviss, and a thousand
others, have told us of it. The manners of
the French of those days, in spite of the alloy
mixed with them, command admiration.   They
u 2
I 292
are embalmed in the literature of the nation.
Their influence survives in France; for even
those who discard totally the politics of the
same ages, cherish the example of personal
accomplishments that gave grace and ornament to social life. The memory of them was
recalled on this occasion.
But among personages of the class assembled, exterior attractions are not all that engage the thoughts. In the drawing-rooms of
London as the saloons of Paris, intervals are
found for other topics. § What is it ?" whispered to me in the course of the evening an
ambassador from one of the great powers—
I what is it we hear about Pensacola ? are you
going to have difficulty with Spain ?" I replied that I hoped not. " May I hear from
you the circumstances—I should be glad to
inform my court what they are." I said they
were simply these: The United States were
at war with the Seminole Indians, a tribe
dwelling partly in Florida; Spain was bound
by treaty to restrain their hostilities from
within her own line; nevertheless, they crossed the line, attacked our people, and fell back
into Florida; there, they recruited for new
attacks, and when pursued, found shelter, it
was hoped without the knowledge of Spain, in
the Spanish posts of St. Mark's and Pensacola. Such were the facts on which General Jackson,
commander of the United States troops, had
acted. He had accordingly taken possession
of those fortresses; not as an act of hostility to
Spain, but in necessary prosecution of the war
against the Indians, and defence of our own
frontier. The ambassador said, that Europe
would look with interest upon the progress of
the affair. I gave the same information to
one of the ministers plenipotentiary. The
latter remarked, that the diplomatic corps
were full of the news ; for, said he, " we have
had nothing of late so exciting—it smacks of
war." I said that I had no belief the United
States would detain the posts an hour after
the necessity that led to their being taken,
Mr. Poleticca, appointed minister from Russia to the United States, was of the company.
He spoke of the friendly dispositions he should
carry with him to my country, by command of
his sovereign. So strongly, he said, were his
instructions imbued with this spirit, that he
would not scruple to read them to Mr. Adams,
when he got to Washington. I learned, not
from Mr. Poleticca, but otherwise, that they
related in part to the United States joining
the Holy Alliance. This may seem strange.
It may be explained by the remark, that there
I 294
was nothing objectionable in the ends proposed on the face of this alliance. Religion,
peace, and justice among nations, were its professed objects. It was, however, a sufficient
objection to any free Government becoming
party to it, that it sprang from the wills of
irresponsible sovereigns, was perfected by their
autograph signatures, and susceptible, from its
very nature, of being interpreted and enforced
to their own ends. The Emperors of Russia
and Austria, and the King of Prussia, first
signed it. England declined; on the ground
that by the forms of her constitution, no treaty
or league of any kind was ever signed by the
monarch in person, but by ministers responsible to the nation. A representative of one of
the second-rate powers of Europe remarked to
me on the mortification which such powers felt
at having all their movements brought under
the inspection and control of this alliance.
He told in this connexion the anecdote of the
Dutch ambassador who was sent to make peace
with Louis XIV, after his first successes against
Holland ; but who, on hearing the extravagant
terms demanded by Louis, swooned away, as
being of a nature never to be yielded, and
which he knew not how to resist.
The Prince Regent sat on the right of the
French Ambassador.     The  whole   entertain- 1818.
ment was sumptuous. The company remained until a late hour in the drawing-rooms, under the spell of French affability and taste.
July 31. Had an interview with Lord
Castlereagh, by appointment at the French
Ambassador's yesterday. He informed me that
the Court of Madrid had made propositions to
Great Britain to mediate between Spain and
her colonies, and invited the European Alliance to join. The invitation was given in
a note from the Spanish Ambassador in London, written early this month. He had not
known of it at the time of our interview on
the 16th, having then just got back from Ireland, and a convenient opportunity of noticing
it had not offered when we were together
afterwards. He had therefore sought this interview. He could not better unfold the subject than by putting into my hands the notes
that had passed ; first, the one from the Spanish Ambassador ; next, the answer of the British Government, drawn up a few days ago;
thirdly, as coupling itself with the subject, a
note of the British Government of the 28th of
August 1817, addressed to the Allied Powers
and made known to Spain, containing the sentiments of Great Britain as to a mediation at
that time.
I read each note.    The introductory matter 296
of the Spanish Ambassador's, spoke of the rebellious nature of the war in the colonies, of
the past clemency of Spain, and her continued
willingness to terminate the quarrel. It then
laid down the following as the basis on which
a mediation was asked. 1. An amnesty to the
colonies on their being reduced. Lord Castlereagh explained this word, wrhich was a
translation from the Spanish, by saying that
Spain did not mean conquered, but only that
her colonies must desist from hostility. 2.
The King of Spain to employ in his public
service in America, qualified Americans as well
as European Spaniards, m The King to grant
the colonies privileges of trade adapted to the
existing posture of things. 4. The King to acquiesce in all measures the mediating powers
might suggest to effect the above objects.
The British answer approved the propositions, as general ones, but called for explanations by which the meaning of some of them
might be rendered more definite. It expressed
an opinion that the dispute ought to be healed
without taking away the political supremacy
of the parent state. It declared that the trade
of the colonies ought to be free to the rest
of the world, the mother-country being placed
upon a footing of reasonable preference. Lastly, it made known, that Great Britain would do no more than interpose friendly offices, using
no compulsion should they fail.
The British note of August 1817, related
chiefly to the commercial freedom of the colonies and the non-employment of force. It
was very explicit on the first point, going the
length, as the United States had done, of
saying that Great Britain would accept no privileges of trade at the hands of the colonies
not open to other nations; and on the second
point unequivocally disavowing all intention
of forcing the colonies by arms, into any measures whatever. The proffered mediation at
this period, went off on the question of the
slave-trade, Britain insisting on its abolition
by Spain on terms to which the latter would
not then assent.
These state papers, the purport of which I
give succinctly, record the opinions of Great
Britain on the settlement of this contest at
the epochs indicated.
; When I had finished reading them, his lordship asked if I was in possession of the views
of my own Government as to a basis of settlement.
I replied in the affirmative; informing him
that the desire of my Government was, that
the colonies should be completely emancipated
from the parent state.    It was also of opinion,
4 298
that the contest never would, or could, be settled otherwise.
I added, that the United States would decline taking part, if they took part at all, in
any plan of pacification, except on the basis of
the independence of the colonies.
This was the determination to which my
Government had come on much deliberation,
and I was bound to communicate it in full
candour. It had hoped that the views of
Great Britain would have been coincident.
His lordship appeared to receive the communication with regret. He admitted that
the United States stood in different relations
to the contest, from those which Great Britain
held; as well by reason of the European engagements of the latter, as other causes. Still,
he sincerely desired that our two Governments
should have acted in full harmony of opinion.
He perceived the extent of interest which the
United States had in the whole question ; on
which account their concurrence with Europe
on all the grounds of mediation, although they
took no part in it, would not have been without an influence in rendering it effectual. The
fundamental point of difference was farther
discussed between us; but I gave his lordship
no reason to suppose that the determination of
the United States would  undergo a change. The conversation was conducted and terminated in a spirit altogether conciliatory.
The policy of the United States on the great
question of Spanish American independence,
could not have been different. They owed it
to the actual position of the colonies ; to their
future destinies ; to the cause of human liberty
in the new hemisphere. The determination of
the United States to act upon the policy, was
accelerated by the exertions of a distinguished
patriot and statesman of the Republic, Mr.
Clay; whose comprehensive forecast outran
the doubts of others, and whose ardent, commanding eloquence, never tiring in this cause,
made its impression on the legislative counsels
and pubHc opinion of the nation. It was a
noble spectacle to see the United States stretch
out their powerful hand to these infant communities, anticipating the freest government
of Europe in announcing the decree of their
independence. Mr. Canning, at a subsequent
day, earned a brilliant portion of his fame,
by throwing the mighty aegis of Britain over
their freedom ; which but enhances the fame
of their American champion, who was foremost
in the competition.
When we had done with this subject, his
lordship asked if I had any accounts from my
Government of the capture of Pensacola.    I 300
said, none that were official. I improved the
opportunity, as in other cases at the French
Ambassador's, of giving him an outline of the
transaction. He expressed a hope that it
would not lead to a breach of our peaceful relations with Spain, adding that nothing had
yet been received on the subject from the
British Minister at Washington.
August 12. Called at the Foreign Office, to
inform Mr. Planta that Mr. Gallatin would probably arrive in England in a few days by way
of Dover, on the business of the negotiation.
I requested that the necessary passports might
be forwarded for according to him every facility in landing and coming to London ; which
were promised.
mm 1818
August 14. 1818. Called on Lord Castlereagh by his invitation.
He informed me that causes had occurred
to prevent the Congress of Sovereigns assembling at Aix la Cbapelle as soon as had
been expected. The time was now fixed for
the 20th of September; he was the better
pleased, as it ensured him the opportunity of
being present at the commencement of the negotiation. I expressed my satisfaction at the
communication, and in turn informed him, that
4 302
the full powers and instructions to Mr. Gallatin and myself had arrived, and that I
expected the former from Paris in a day or
He next surprised me agreeably by reviving
the subject of impressment. I feared that it
had been expunged from our conferences.
He premised, that what he was going to say,
was, for the present, without the knowledge of
his colleagues in the administration. He had
reflected upon my late proposals ; they had, it
was true, been rejected, as they stood; but
feeling the great importance of this subject,
and willing to avoid, if possible, shutting it out
from the general negotiation, it had occurred
to him to offer some suggestions to me. He
thought that my proposals might perhaps be
rendered acceptable by some modifications
important to Great Britain, without affecting,
as he hoped, the primary object of the United
States.    The modifications were these :
1. That any treaty or convention founded
on my proposals, should be limited to eight,
ten, or twelve years, with liberty to each party
to be absolved from its stipulations on a notice
of three or six months; as in the existing
arrangement between the two countries for the
reciprocal dismantlement of their flotillas on
the lakes. 1818.
2. That the British boarding-officer entering
American ships at sea for a purpose agreed
by both nations to be justifiable under the laws
of nations, should be entitled to call for a list
of the crew; and if he saw a seaman known to
him, or on good grounds suspected, to be a
British seaman, should have the further privilege of making a record, or proces verbal, of the
fact, in such manner as to bring the case under
the notice of the Government of the United
States, but not to take the man out of the
The latter regulation, his lordship observed,
would operate as a further incentive to the
faithful execution of our home prohibitions for
excluding British subjects from our vessels;
the former, guard against any irrevocable relinquishment by Great Britain of what she believed to be her right of impressment—a relinquishment which the feelings of the country
might not on trial be found to bear.
To the first modification I saw no insurmountable objection. The second I viewed
very differently. But as, in the progress of
the negotiation, a hope might reasonably be
entertained of getting rid of the second if the
first were adopted, I said to his lordship, that
although I would express no opinion on the
proposed  modifications, apart   from  my  col- 304
league, whose arrival was so soon expected, I
saw enough in the suggestion of them to bring
the subject again within the pale of our discussions.
His lordship passed to a new subject, his
manner showing the interest he felt in it. It
was the execution, by order of General Jackson, of two British subjects, Arbuthnot and
Ambrister. This transaction grew out of the
war against the Seminole Indians. Ambrister
was taken in the field, fighting on their side
against the forces of the United States. Arbuthnot was made prisoner in the Spanish fort
of St. Mark's, and charged with instigating the
Indians to war against our troops and people.
His lordship inquired if I had any intelligence
from my Government respecting these executions, saying that his Majesty's Government
had none as yet from Mr. Bagot. I replied,
that neither had I any from my Government.
He said that he could have no complaint to
make at present, the case not being officially before the British Government; but assuming the
rumours to have any foundation, the execution
of these men under the mere authority of the
commanding general, without any reference to
the Government of the United States, seemed
an extreme measure. He asked if I could
account for it.    I replied, that I could  only 1818.
account for it by supposing the offences to
have been extreme. This, combined with the
distance of the commanding general from
Washington, had probably presented the whole
case to his mind, as one for his own discretion ;
the Indians, when waging war, destroyed their
prisoners, sparing neither age nor sex, which
necessarily exposed those who took side with
them to their own rules of warfare, if captured ; a momentary humanity might regret
this kind of retaliation ; but perhaps the permanent interests of humanity would be promoted,
as its tendency would be to deter others from
instigating the Indians to attack our people.
It was so that I spoke. His lordship made no
other commentary than to express a hope that
every thing would be well explained, the occurrence being of a nature to "excite unusual
sensibility in England. I remarked that I saw
with concern the inflammatory comments of the
public journals, before the occurrence could
be rightly understood in England; not that
the press in either country should be left to
any other influence than its own will, but from
the fear that it might forerun, in this instance,
the real nature of the case, and raise up difficulties not intrinsic to it. He replied by disavowing all connexion on this as on other occasions, between the Government and such of
I 306
the public prints as were said to propagate its
opinions; remarking that the Government
formed its own views of subjects without following those of newspapers, or dictating them.
He said at parting, that it was his intention
to go out of town to-morrow, to be back on
the 25th.
August 16.    Mr. Gallatin arrives in London.
August 17. Address a note to Lord Castlereagh, informing him of Mr. Gallatin's arrival, and that we were ready to open the
August 19. Receive an answer. His lordship being still out of town, says, that he will be
happy to see us at dinner at his country residence, on the 22nd. We are asked to come
early, to give time for a conference before dinner, and remain all night.
August 20. Employed to-day and yesterday in going with Mr. Gallatin to leave our
cards at the houses of the members of the
cabinet and diplomatic corps. As minister last
arriving, he makes the first call, though only
in transitory relations with this court.
August 23. We arrived at Lord Castle-
reagh's country seat, North Cray, Kent, sixteen
miles from town, yesterday at three o'clock.
We found there, Mr. Robinson and Mr.
Goulburn,  the two  British plenipotentiaries. 1818.
After a courteous welcome, we all withdrew
to his lordship's cabinet. An informal beginning was made in the negotiation. His lordship said, that this first meeting was one in
which he took much interest, though its principal design was to bring the plenipotentiaries
together, and fix the subjects, rather than discuss them. The negotiation was important to
both countries; he sincerely felt it so to Great
Britain; his Majesty's Government earnestly
desired that every question which had led to
past misunderstandings, might be amicably adjusted at this season of peace, so as to lay a
foundation of stable harmony for the future;
he trusted that the aim of each country would
be to advance, as far as compatible with its
own rights and interests, the just rights and
interests of the other. In short, let us strive,
said he, so to regulate our intercourse in all
respects, as that each nation may be able to
do its utmost towards making the other rich
and happy. These were among his introductory remarks. Mr. Gallatin and I reciprocated
their good spirit. His lordship proceeded to
specify the points the negotiation was to comprehend.
Next, he spoke of impressment. The modifications suggested to the proposals I had
submitted for excluding British seamen from
x2 308
our service, he would, he said, repeat, for the
information of Mr. Gallatin. We expressed at
once our decided objection to the second; but
agreed, that the general subject should come
into the negotiation. With impressment, it
was also agreed that we should let in other
subjects of a maritime nature; such as, the
doctrine of blockade; the right of a neutral to
trade with the colonies of an enemy in time of
war; the right of search, and list of contraband. General conversation was had under
each head. The conference closed with an
understanding that the plenipotentiaries should
re-assemble on the 27th, the negotiation then
to open in form.
Business being over, we took a turn through
the grounds. The day was fine. We walked
on lawns from which sheep were separated by
invisible fences, and along shady I paths by the
Cray side. The Cray is a narrow river, whose
waters here flow through grassy banks. Close
by, were hedges of sweet-briar. Such, and
other rural appearances, might naturally have
been anticipated at such a spot. But they
were not all that we saw. There was something I had not anticipated. It was a menagerie. Taste, in England, appears to take
every form. In this receptacle were lions,
ostriches, kangaroos, and I know not what
other strange animals.    Those who collect rare 1818.
books and pictures, are too numerous to be
computed; so, those who gather relics and
curiosities from different parts of the world.
Some persons are conchologists. They have
the shells of all coasts arranged under scientific
classification, like plants in botany. Some collect pipes. I hear of an individual who has
laid out several thousand pounds sterling upon
this taste. And now, amidst lawns and gardens ; amidst all that denoted cultivation and
art, I beheld wild beasts and outlandish birds
—the tenants of uncivilized forests and skies
— set down as if for contrast!
Getting back we were shown into our rooms
to prepare for dinner. At dinner, we were
joined by Lady Castlereagh and Lady Sandwich. Lord Clanwilliam, and the two Mr.
Stewarts, nephews of Lord Castlereagh, were
also of the guests, with Mr. Robinson and Mr.
Goulburn. Every thing was talked of but the
negotiation. The four-footed and feathered
exotics seen in our walk, were not forgotten.
We rose from table at an early hour. The remainder of the evening went by in conversation and conversation-games. My colleague
and myself felt ourselves at home. Invited
for the purpose of fulfilling public duties to
the house of an English minister of state,
entrenched in confidence and power, we found
ourselves of his domestic circle, the partakers
ill % 310
of a hospitality as easy as delightful.   At twelve
we separated for our bed-rooms.
We were under the necessity of leaving this
agreeable mansion after breakfast this morning.
It was Sunday. Lord and Lady Castlereagh
walked to the village church not far off. They
were followed by their servants, by whom they
are said to be beloved for their kind treatment
of them. Those who oppose his lordship in
politics, accord to him every merit in the relations of private life. To his uniform bland-
ness in all official and personal intercourse, the
whole diplomatic corps bear testimony.
The country between London and North
Cray was undulating. Crossing the Thames
at Westminster Bridge, we left Shooter's Hill
to the north. The whole way presented one
universal face of cultivation. The hop is extensively grown in the county of Kent. It is
relied upon as a principal crop by the Kentish
yeomen, who are said to illustrate finely the
comforts and character of the middle class of
rural population in England. I was told that
but for the heavy duty on the importation of
foreign hops, amounting to prohibition except
when the home crop fails, not a hop vine
would be planted in Kent, or any part of Eng-
land. The hops from several other countries,
including the United States, would be preferred, as of superior strength, and far cheaper. 1818.
With the corn laws of England, the commercial world is familiar. The same policy, it
seems, extends not to hops only, so connected
with the vast home consumption of malt liquor, and other large items of agriculture, but
to the minutest products; comprehending eggs,
apples, cherries, chesnuts. Watch is thus kept
upon the orchards and barn-yards of France !
The old custom ot gavel-kind still prevails
in Kent. This made me look with an eye of
curiosity upon the country. By this custom,
on the death of a parent, his land is divided
equally among all his sons, instead of going to
the eldest, as in other parts of England. The
latter mode of descent the English defend, as
necessary to their prosperity and power. It
is doubtless necessary to their form of government. Nothing else could give stability to
their aristocracy, without which the throne
would not long be stable. But they say that
it is necessary to their agriculture, the root of
all their riches. They allege, that without the
capital which it places in the hands of great
landholders, farming could not be carried on
to full advantage ; the soil could not be improved to its utmost capability, small farmers
not being able to command the means, or willing to incur the risk, of experimental agriculture on a scale to ascertain permanent results,
especially in  connexion with   expensive  and 312
constantly improving machinery. They also
say, that, in the national aggregate, agriculture
is cheaper when farms are large, than when
too much subdivided. The same enclosures
last through ages; and stocks, implements, and
labour of all kinds, are more economically applied when kept together and applied under
one system, than when frequently broken into
small parts. It is so, and more at length that
they reason. I could not see the proof of it,
in the portion of this county that fell under
my observation. The farms, to a rapid glance,
showed thrift, neatness, and fertility. Nor did
I learn from those better informed, that there
was any inferiority in the modes of farming;
or in general productiveness, as compared with
other counties in the kingdom. The gross
product of agriculture in all England, is, indeed, amazing, when it is considered what extensive tracts of her territory are still in downs
and heath ; and how much of the fertile part
is in pleasure-grounds. The wonder augments
when we see what large classes of her population, and of the domestic animals, consume
without working. The horses in England,
kept for luxury, are reckoned as fifteen to one
to those in France. The very pheasants are
consumers ; grain being raised for feeding them
as they fly about the domains of the opulent. 1818.
Gavel-kind creates subdivided inheritances
only when the owner of an estate dies intestate. He may, by will, prefer the eldest son ;
and the general feeling in England, which is
so strong in favour of keeping estates together
that even younger sons acquiesce in it, exerts
an influence in Kent. Some lands are specially exempt by law from the custom, though
most of them are still subject to it. I estimate
fully the political objections to primogeniture.
I deal not with it in this light; but the imagination feels the force of a mere rule of law that
can link time present to time remote ; that can
preserve, unbroken throughout centuries, outward memorials around which it is in man's
nature that his moral associations should linger. It is said that Surrenden House in this
county, the present residence of Sir Edward
Dering, was rebuilt, upon its old foundations,
in the time of Edward III; the lineage of the
proprietor being traceable by family records to
a period earlier than the Norman conquest.
In gazing upon these ancient, massive structures, we forget the tyranny under which they
were first reared, and rude customs and superstitions of their age. These are gone. The
romance of their history remains, stealing into
the feelings when they are approached as seats
of modern hospitality.
4 314
The interest of the whole excursion was increased to me by the companionship of Mr.
Gallatin. His station as Minister Plenipotentiary at Paris has added to all his other information, much insight into the courts and cabinets of Europe. A keen observer of men, and
possessing a knowledge of books, which his
knowledge of the world has taught him how to
read, his stores of conversation are abundant
and ever at command. He did me the favour
to take a seat in my carriage, and in his flow of
anecdote and reflections I had an intellectual
August 27. The Plenipotentiaries assembled at the office of the Board of Trade,
Whitehall. The full powers on each side
were exhibited, and inspected by the other.
A copy of ours was handed to the British plenipotentiaries, and a copy of theirs promised
at the next meeting.
We presented a paper containing a recapitulation of the subjects which, by our understanding, were to be treated of. They were
as follow: 1. The Slave question under the
treaty of Ghent. 2. The Fisheries. 3. Northwestern boundary line. 4. Columbia river
question. 5. Renewal of the commercial convention of 1815. 6. Intercourse between
the United   States   and   British   West   India 1818.
islands. 7. Intercourse by sea between the
United States and British North American
colonies. 8. Inland intercourse between same
and same. 9- Impressment. 10. Blockades.
11. Colonial trade in time of war. 12. List of
contraband. 13. Miscellaneous, minor, questions.
The British plenipotentiaries agreed to this
recapitulation. Referring to the fifth head,
they asked whether we intended to discuss the
provisions of the existing convention. That
instrument might not, they remarked, contain
for either party all that was wished; but if
opened, each would have alterations to propose, which would throw the whole at large.
Under this reasoning, it was determined not to
open it for discussion. We expressed a desire
not to proceed immediately to the formal act
of renewal, but wait a reasonable time to ascertain the progress made on other points.
The desire was acceded to. The British plenipotentiaries stated, that they did not view
this convention as connected with any of the
other points, alleging that they had been ready,
but for our asking a pause, to proceed at once
to the act of renewal. Both parties united in
the propriety of its being renewed in time to
let the merchants of the two countries be seasonably informed of the ground on which they RESIDENCE AT THE
were to stand. After some conversation on
other points, the meeting adjourned to the
29th. It was agreed that the negotiation
should be carried on by conferences and protocol, the privilege being open to either party
of recording their sentiments on the protocol.
Whitehall is one of the ancient palaces of
London. The room in which we assembled,
had been the chamber of the Duke of Monmouth. It was also mentioned that Gibbon
had often written at the table before us, when
a member of the Board of Trade.
August 29- The Plenipotentiaries met. The
protocol of the last conference, as drawn up
by the British plenipotentiaries, was read, and
adopted. They gave us a copy of their full
Regular discussions now commenced. The
question about the slaves first presented itself.
During the war of 1812, great numbers of this
description of population belonging to the
landed proprietors of the southern states, had
found their way to British ships in the Chesapeake, or other waters of the Union. A large
portion had gone on board of them, under proclamations from the British naval commanders;
some without these incentives. Others had
been captured during the progress of the war.
Their loss was heavily felt by the owners.    By 1818.
the first article of the treaty of Ghent it was
provided, that " all territory, places, and possessions, taken by either party from the other
during the war, or which may be taken after the
signing of this treaty, shall be restored without
delay, and without causing any destruction, or
carrying away any of the artillery, or other public
property, originally captured in the said forts or
places, and which shall remain therein after the
exchange of the ratifications of the treaty,  or
Slaves came under the denomination of private property, by the highest sanction of our
laws. The United States held it to be the
true meaning of the foregoing clause, that the
British were to carry off no slaves within our
Hmits, and in their possession, at the time of
the ratifications of the treaty, whether such
slaves were on board their ships, or in forts,
or other places on shore, held by their troops.
Great Britain contended for a more restricted construction. She said that those
slaves only were not to be carried off, who, at
the time of the exchange of the ratifications,
were in the forts and places where they had
been originally taken. This was the question
at issue between the two nations.
By far the greater number of the slaves of
whom the proprietors had, by one means or
-.WMMWa 318
other, been despoiled, were attached to places
that the British had never reduced or taken,
during the war. Very few had been in forts
or places so taken, or at all events remained
in them, up to the time of the ratifications of
the treaty; so that, in effect, the British construction of the clause would have rendered it
nearly inoperative as to any benefit to the owners of the slaves.
We unfolded the views of our Government
on this subject. The British plenipotentiaries
replied and stated theirs. They asked whether
our claim embraced such of the slaves as had
been captured at any periods during the war,
carried out of our limits, and then brought
back again into some bay or harbour, other
than where they had been originally captured.
We answered in the affirmative; assigning as
one reason, that we did not consider even the
original capturing of the slaves, under whatever circumstances, justified by the ordinary
usages of war. The British plenipotentiaries
did not accede to this doctrine.
No definite proposals of any kind resulted
from this day's discussions. It was agreed that
we should adjourn to Friday the 4th of September. The British plenipotentiaries hoped
to be ready by that day to submit proposals on
impressment, we promising to hand in, imme- 1818.
diately afterwards, ours on other maritime
questions. We made known our intention not
to discuss any maritime question, unless that
of impressment was brought forward by Great
September 1. Called on Lord Castlereagh.
He had sent a note requesting to see me. His
travelling-carriages were at the door, preparatory to his departure for Dover on his journey
to the Continent. He had delayed this interview, he remarked, as his last act of business ;
but not one least in his thoughts. It was to
make a communication to me on impressment. He had reported to the Cabinet all
that passed at the meeting at North Cray,
making known especially our objections to the
condition which went to authorize a British
boarding-officer to call for a list of the crew.
The British Government felt an anxious desire
to accommodate this difficult subject, and had
determined upon going all practicable lengths.
He had therefore to inform me, that this condition would be waved. Such had been the
determination of the Cabinet. He took great
pleasure in apprising me of this determination,
hoping I would see in it proof of the friendly
feeling which prevailed in the councils of the
Cabinet towards the United States.
I replied in suitable terms to his communi-
i 320
cation. Continuing his remarks he said, that
the course which the Cabinet had resolved
upon, would probably give a shock to public
feeling in England when known ; but its members would be prepared to meet it. He concluded by observing, that the great principle
being at last settled, viz. that on our engaging
not to employ British seamen, the practice of
impressment from our vessels would cease, he
hoped all details would be easily arranged;
their proposals, put into form, would be ready
as soon as we were prepared with ours on the
fisheries and West India trade.
A few words were exchanged on other
points. Speaking of the trade in time of war
with the colonial ports of a belligerent, I perceived a disinclination in his mind to consider
it as among the questions to be treated of. He
said that the rule of : 56 was one that Great
Britain regarded as so well established that he
did not see how.we could touch it. I replied,
that I had been under the belief that the question was to come into the negotiation, whatever might prove its fate ; adding, that the two
Governments had been so near an adjustment
of it heretofore, that there seemed no reason
to despair now. At this point of the conversation, Sir William Scott was announced. The
coincidence   claims  a passing   notice.     This 1818.
celebrated Judge of the English Court of Admiralty, in whose decrees eloquence unites with
learning to stretch the belligerent and depress
the neutral claim, was the same whose elaborate judgment in the case of the Immanuel,
had done so much towards fortifying the British Government in the very rule we were talking about. Our conversation dropped. His
lordship was on the eve of departure and could
not prolong it. He requested I would impart
to Mr. Gallatin what had passed on impressment, and gave me his adieu. A few minutes
after I left him, he set off.
The affairs of the Foreign Office were confided, during his absence, to Earl Bathurst.
He received, and corresponded with, the foreign ministers. The chief purpose of the
Congress of Aix la Chapelle was, to determine
whether the armies of the allied powers should
be withdrawn from France this autumn, or remain two years longer. Besides other considerations galling to France in the occupation,
the expense, which she was made to bear,
pressed upon her. Other European topics
were to engage the attention of the Congress ;
and the business of Spanish America was not
to be passed by, as Lord Castlereagh had, on
a former occasion, intimated to me. 322
The  Plenipotentiaries assembled  again  at
Whitehall, according to appointment.
Having given an account of the first stages
of the negotiation in the order of dates, it is
no longer my design to proceed in that way.
It has been seen that the subjects were multifarious. All demanded attention; some, copious discussions. These, with the documents
at large, the protocols, the projets and cOun-
ter-projets, debated and modified by the scrutiny of each side, would present a mass of
matter through which the diplomatist or politician might perhaps wade; but be little attractive to any one else. My endeavour will
be to present an intelligible  history of the 1818.
negotiation by giving results rather than details. The latter are deposited in the archives
of the two Governments. I will draw upon
them to no greater extent than may be necessary to illustrate principles upon which the
negotiation turned in its success or failure.
Some of these principles are important to both
nations. To record them with impartiality, is
the aim I propose to myself.
Throughout September and October, meetings were as constant as was compatible with
maturing in a proper manner the various subjects. By the 20th of October all appeared to
have been fully discussed. The points were
ascertained on which there could be agreement,
as well as those on which it was hopeless in
the existing disposition of the two Governments, to continue the negotiation longer.
Accordingly, on that day, a convention was
signed which comprehended the following
I. That of the Fisheries. This, although not
first in the order of discussion, came first in
the convention. The points of misunderstanding had not risen to much height practically ;
but it is scarcely going too far to say, that
they menaced the peace of the two countries.
They therefore merit special notice.
By the third article of the treaty of Sep-
y 2
^ 324
tember 1783 between the United States and
Great Britain, the people of the former had
the right to take fish on the Grand Bank, and
all other banks of Newfoundland ; in the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, and all other places in the
sea, where the inhabitants of both countries
had been used to fish before ; and the liberty
to fish on such part of the coast of Newfoundland as British fishermen used, (but not to dry
or cure fish there) and on the coasts, bays and
creeks of all other British dominions in America. American fishermen had also the liberty
to dry and cure fish in any unsettled bays,
harbours, and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen
Islands, and Labrador ; but as soon as any of
them were settled, this liberty was to cease,
unless continued by agreement with the inhabitants.
These were rights and liberties of great magnitude to the United States. Besides affording
profitable fields of commerce, they fostered a
race of seamen, conducive to the national
riches in peace, as to defence and glory in war.
After the peace of Ghent, the fishing-vessels of
the Union proceeded as formerly to fish off the
British coasts, and use the unsettled shores for
curing and drying, according to the stipulations of the above treaty. They were immediately ordered off by the British naval forces. 1818.
Some were captured. The ground alleged was,
that the treaty was no longer in existence.
The Government of the United States obtained
a suspension of these apparently hostile orders
and proceedings, until the two Governments
could make efforts for adjusting a question of
so much moment.
The British doctrine was, that the treaty of
1783, not being re-enacted or confirmed by the
treaty of Ghent, was annulled by the war of
The United States wholly dissented from
this doctrine. They did not deny the general
rule of public law on which Britain relied;
that a war puts an end to previous treaties;
but they insisted that the rule was not applicable to the treaty of 1783. That treaty, was
peculiar in its nature and objects. It had no
analogy to common treaties, and was not to be
judged by their rules. It was a treaty by
which Great Britain had acknowledged the
independence of the United States after a
seven years' contest in arms. It made two empires out of one. It was a treaty of separation.
The rights of each party were laid down as
primary and fundamental, in the act of dismemberment which the treaty established. So
much of territory and incidental rights in
America were allotted to one, so much to the
•5 326
other. The entire instrument implied permanence. Hence, all the fishing rights secured under it to the United States, were
placed by Great Britain upon the same foundation with their independence itself. Was
her acknowledgment of the latter revoked by
the war of 1812 ? or were the boundaries of
the United States as fixed by the treaty of
1783, annulled by that war ? So far was this
from being the case, that the treaty of Ghent,
in making provision for ascertaining with further accuracy some parts of the boundary line,
constantly referred to the treaty of 1783 ; thus
manifesting a tacit conviction on each side,
that this treaty was regarded as the fundamental law of the relations between the two
countries. By what rule then was the war to
destroy the treaty in some parts, and leave it
whole in others ? The use of the word right
in one place, and liberty in another, could make
no difference. A liberty of unlimited duration,
secured by so elementary and solemn a deed,
was as much a right as if stipulated by any
other term. In speaking of rights and liberties in a national sense, both terms were alike
efficacious. Liberty might have seemed the
more appropriate term where an enjoyment
was guaranteed to one party, of a thing adjoining territory allotted to the other; but it took 1818.
nothing from the permanence of the allotment.
In point of principle, the United States were
pre-eminently entitled to all these fisheries;
and in point of fact they had enjoyed more of
them than  any other portion of the British
Empire, before the separation.    The people of
New England, from their proximity, had been
earlier led to the discovery and improvement
of the best fishing-grounds, and had also, with
other parts of the.Union, contributed amply
in blood and treasure towards winning from
France provinces, on the coast of which some
of the fisheries were situated.    Apart from the
question of right, the claim  of the United
States had high sanctions.     These  fisheries
afforded  subsistence  to a numerous class of
their inhabitants.    By the usages of nations,
fishermen were a portion of human  society
whose occupations, contributing to the general
welfare of the species, were always regarded
with favour.    Sometimes they were even exempt from the effects of war whilst it raged ;
as when England herself allowed the Dutch to
fish upon her coasts at such seasons.     The
foregoing is a synopsis of some of the material
arguments by which the claim of the United
States was defended.    Whatever could shed
light upon it, had been urged by Mr. Adams
when in the English mission, with an ability
j 328
and fulness that left  little to be said after
The claim was resisted by Great Britain in
a manner to give proof of her equal sincerity
in opposite doctrine. She denied that the
treaty of 1783 had anything in its nature
to exempt it from abrogation by a war. She
knew of no exception to this rule of international law; and could not consent to give
to her diplomatic relations with one State,
a different degree of permanence from that on
which her connexion with all other States depended. She did not admit that this treaty
was to be regarded as in force because the
treaty of Ghent had referred to it on the subject of boundaries. One object of the latter
treaty was, the mutual restoration of territory
taken by either party from the other during the
war. As a necessary consequence of such a
stipulation, each party reverted to their boundaries as before the war; and the treaty of
1783 having fixed these, the treaty of Ghent
had referred to them as facts, nothing more.
She contended that it was not unusual for treaties containing recognitions and acknowledgements of perpetual obligation, to contain likewise grants of privileges liable to be revoked.
The treaty of 1783 contained provisions of
different characters; some in perpetuity, others, 1818.
from their nature, temporary. If it were inferred that because some of the advantages
specified, would not terminate by a war, therefore all were designed to be permanent, it
ought first to be shown that the advantages
themselves were the same, or of similar character. But what necessary connexion was
there between a right to national independence, and a liberty to fish within British jurisdiction, or use British territory ? Liberties
within British limits were as capable of being
exercised by a dependent, as an independent
State ; they could not, therefore, be the necessary consequence of independence. The independence of a nation was that which could
not be correctly said to be granted by a treaty,
but to be acknowledged by one. In the treaty
of 1783, the independence of the United
States was acknowledged by Great Britain,
as it had already been by the powers of Europe ; and by Britain herself, in her previous consent in November 1782 to enter
into provisional articles. Their independence might have been acknowledged without either the treaty or provisional articles;
but by whatever mode acknowledged, the acknowledgment was, in its nature, irrevocable.
A power of revoking or even modifying it,
would be destructive of the thing itself, and
4 330
was therefore necessarily renounced when the
acknowledgment was made. She urged as
corroborative of her reasoning, notwithstanding the explanations suggested by the American Plenipotentiaries, the use of the word right
when the United States were to take fish on
the banks, and other places from which Great
Britain could not pretend to exclude any independent nation, and liberty when they were
to cure and dry within British territory. The
latter was also made to depend on agreements
with the proprietors of the soil, whenever the
territory might become settled. As to the
origin of the fishing-privileges in point of fact,
she admitted that whilst the United States
made part of the British dominions, their inhabitants had the enjoyment of them in common with other British subjects ; but they had
at the same time, like British subjects everywhere, duties to perform. When therefore the
United States, by their separation from Great
Britain, became released from the duties, they
became excluded also from the privileges of
British subjects. The above is a summary of
the reasoning in its chief parts against our
claim. It was embodied in a paper by Lord
Bathurst in October 1815, prepared with the
force and zeal that the subject demanded.
The views of each party on the question, had 1818.
not been left out of sight in negotiating the
treaty of Ghent.
To the distinction so much insisted on by
Great Britain between liberty and right it
was replied for the United States, that the
former, if construed to imply limitation of
time or precariousness of tenure, would defeat the whole meaning of the article as gathered from the context. The restriction
itself at the close of the article, stamped permanence upon it. The intention was, that
the people of the United States should continue to enjoy all the benefit they had formerly enjoyed from the fisheries, with the exception of drying and curing on the shores of
Newfoundland; but when other shores on
which they were to have this liberty, became
settled, then its exercise was to be conciliated
with the propriety rights of the owners of the
freehold. This was precisely the restriction
to which British fishermen would be liable.
Whence it followed, that the argument against
permanence on account of the word liberty
being used, if applicable to the inhabitants of
the United States, would also be applicable to
the subjects of Britain. The principles of municipal law in England, which were the same
in the United States, corroborated the interpretation for which the latter contended.    By
3 332
these, the property of a fishery was not necessarily in the owner of the soil. The right to
the soil might be exclusive; the fishery free
or in common. Thus, whilst in this partition
of the national possessions in America, the
jurisdiction over the shores where the fisheries
were situated was reserved to Great Britain,
the fisheries themselves and accommodations
essential to their prosecution and enjoyment,
were, by the mutual compact, agreed to be in
common. How different the course in the
treaty of Utrecht on a similar point. By the
twelfth article of that treaty, Nova Scotia was
ceded to Britain ; yet the subjects of France
were expressly excluded from fishing within
thirty leagues of the coast. This prohibition
was renewed in the fifth article of the treaty
of Paris 1763. By the eighteenth article of
the same treaty, the subjects of Spain were excluded from all fishing-rights in the neighbourhood of Newfoundland. The treaty of
1783 was therefore, it was again insisted, altogether unlike common treaties. It contemplated a permanent division of co-equal rights,
not a transient grant of mere privileges. The
acknowledgment of independence, the establishment of boundaries, and the guarantee
of the fisheries, each rested upon the same immutable footing. 1818.
Neither side yielded its convictions to the
reasoning of the other. This being exhausted,
there was no resource left with nations disposed to peace, but a compromise. Great
Britain grew willing to give up something.
The United States consented to take less than
the whole. After various proposals by the
former which the latter rejected as inadequate,
we at length, as their Plenipotentiaries, acceded to the following : viz.
That the United States should have, for
ever, in common with British subjects the
liberty to fish on the southern coast of Newfoundland from Cape Ray to the Rameau
Islands ; and from that cape to the Quirpon
Islands on the western and northern coasts;
and on the shores of the Magdalen Islands;
and on the coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks
from Mount Joly, on the southern coast of
Labrador, through the Straits of Belleisle, and
thence indefinitely along the coast, northwardly ; but without prejudice to any exclusive
rights of the Hudson's Bay Company. Also
the liberty, for ever, to dry and cure fish in
any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks
of the southern coast of Newfoundland, as
above described; and of the coast of Labrador;
subject, after settlement, to agreement with
the proprietors of the  soil.    In consequence
4 334
of the above stipulations, the United States
renounced for ever the liberty of fishing
within three miles of any other part of the
British coasts in America, or of curing or
drying on them. But American fishermen
were to be permitted to enter bays or harbours on the prohibited coasts for shelter,
repairing damages, and obtaining wood and
water, subject to restrictions necessary to prevent abuses.
Such was the article finally agreed upon.
The most difficult part of our task, was on
the question of permanence. Britain would
not consent to an express clause that a future
war was not to abrogate the rights secured to
us. We inserted the words for ever, and drew
up a paper to be of record in the negotiation,
purporting that if the convention should from
any cause be vacated, all anterior rights were
to revive. The insertion of any words of perpetuity, was strenuously resisted by the British plenipotentiaries. They said that in case
of war, the only effect of their omission would
be, the necessity of providing in the treaty
of peace, for the renewal of the right. We
replied, that we could agree to no article on
the subject, unless the words for ever were retained ; or if any counter record was made on
the protocol impairing its effect.
It was by our act that the United States 1818.
renounced the right to the fisheries not guaranteed to them by the convention. That
clause did not find a place in the British
counter-projet. We deemed it proper under
a threefold view; 1, to exclude the implication of the fisheries secured to us being a
new grant; 2, to place the rights secured and
renounced, on the same footing of permanence ; 3, that it might expressly appear, that
our renunciation was limited to three miles
from the coasts. This last point we deemed
of the more consequence from our fishermen
having assured us, that the whole fishing-
ground on the coast of Nova Scotia extended
to a greater distance than three miles from
land; whereas along the coast of Labrador
it was almost universally close in with the
shore. To the saving of the exclusive rights
of the Hudson's Bay Company, we did not
object. The charter of that Company had
been granted in 1670, and the people of the
United States had never enjoyed rights in
that bay that could trench upon those of the
Company. Finally, it is to be remarked, that
the liberty of drying and curing on certain
parts of the coast of Newfoundland, as secured
in the article, had not been allotted to the
United States even under the old treaty of
When the convention was made public, it
wmmm 336
underwent criticism in Britain as too favourable, throughout, to the United States. But
this article on the fisheries was assailed with
peculiar force. The leading presses of London opened upon it. The claims of the United States were described as of alarming mag-
nitude ; the concessions, as of a character corresponding. Important maritime interests of
the British empire were said to have been
sacrificed. Complaints poured in from the
colonies. The legislative assembly and council of Nova Scotia sent forward remonstrances,
with which were mixed up, not unsparingly,
denunciations of American ambition and encroachment. The tide of complaint was
swelled by the recollection of similar alleged
sacrifices under the treaty of Paris of 1814.
Britain by that treaty, said the journals, had
given back, and this when she was at the
height of influence and power, to France, her
great European rival, the enjoyment of the
Newfoundland fisheries, from which twenty
years of victorious warfare upon the ocean
had totally driven her ; and now the calamity
was to be doubled, by a like gift to her rival
in the other hemisphere !
British statesmen, more calm, thought and
acted otherwise. They had not been deterred
by the anticipation of clamour from entering 1818.
into the article. They felt that, if they had a
duty to fulfil by guarding British interests,
they were not released from the obligation of
looking to the just rights of an independent
nation. It was in this spirit that a formidable
cause of collision was removed, without impairing the honour, or, as is believed, the essential
interests of either country.
II. The second article related to the Boundary line, from the Lake of the Woods. This
line had been originally laid down in the
treaty of 1783. It proved defective, and further provision was made for running it, in the
treaty of 1794. Several attempts for effecting
this provision came to nothing. The cession
of Louisiana by France in 1803, gave to the
United States new and extensive territory west
of the Mississippi. This altered the relative
position of Great Britain and the United States
in this quarter, and the hitherto unsettled
boundary was now arranged. It was provided,
that a line drawn from the most north-western
point of the Lake of the Woods along the
forty-ninth degree of latitude, due west, should
be the line of demarcation, forming the southern boundary of the British territories and the
northern boundary of the United States, from
the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.   In case such a line would not run along
the forty-ninth degree, but fall above or below
it, then the line was to be traced by first drawing one from the same point, north or south as
the case might be, until it struck forty-nine;
from which point of intersection the western
line was to begin. Thus it was definitively
An attempt was • made by the British plenipotentiaries to connect with this article, a
clause securing to Great Britain access to the
Mississippi, and right to its navigation. They
made a similar claim at Ghent, but withdrew
it. We said that we could consent to no
clause of that nature. Its omission having, in
the end, been agreed to, that subject was also
put at rest. Britain, under the treaty of 1783,
had the right of navigating the Mississippi. It
was then the western boundary of the United
States. Their northern boundary, by the same
treaty, was to have been a line running due west
from the most north-western point of the Lake
of the Woods to the Mississippi. It was afterwards ascertained that a line so drawn, would
not strike the Mississippi ; its head waters not
being within British limits as first supposed.
Hence all reason for Britain to claim the right
of navigating a river which touched no part of
her dominions, ceased. The United States have
claimed in a subsequent negotiation, the right 1818.
of navigating the St. Lawrence, from its sources
to its mouth. The essential difference in the
two cases, is, that the upper waters of the St.
Lawrence flow through territory belonging to
both countries, and form a natural outlet to
the ocean for the inhabitants of several states
of the American Union.
III. The third article effected a temporary
arrangement of claims beyond the Rocky Mountains and to Columbia river. I have related
what passed relative to the settlement at the
mouth of this river, in my interview with
Lord Castlereagh in February. That settlement, called Astoria, made by Americans, was
broken up by the British during the war, but
fell back to the United States by the treaty of
Ghent, on the principle of status ante bellum.
The British plenipotentiaries manifested a
strong desire to connect this subject with tfeat
of the boundary line. They appeared unwilling, except under such a connexion, to agree
to the line in any shape. We proposed its extension to the Paeific Ocean. The treaty of
Utrecht had fixed the forty-ninth degree of latitude as the line between the possessions of
Britain and France, including Louisiana since
ceded to the United States. If, therefore, the
United States and Britain arranged their claims
westward, the same line, carried on to the Pa-
z 2
if 340
cific, seemed the natural one. We contended
that, as far as prior discovery could give the
right to territory, ours was complete to the
whole, on the waters of the Columbia. It derived its name from the American ship that
first entered its mouth. It was first explored
from its inland sources under the express authority of the Government of the United States.
The British traveller, Mackensie, had mistaken
another river for a branch of the Columbia;
the American travellers, Lewis and Clarke, as
was now fully ascertained, having been the
first to trace the Columbia from the interior to
the ocean. Astoria had, as incontestably, been
the first permanent settlement at its mouth.
The British plenipotentiaries asserted that
earlier voyages of English navigators, amongst
them Cook's, gave to Britain the rights of prior
discovery on this coast. They spoke also of
purchases of territory from the natives south
of this river, before the American revolution.
They made no formal proposal of a boundary
in these regions, but intimated that the river
itself was the most convenient, and said they
could agree to none that did not give them
the harbour as its mouth, in common with the
United States. To this we could not assent,
but were willing to leave things west of the
mountains, at large for future settlement.    To 1818.
this they objected, and made in turn propositions objectionable in our eyes. Finally it was
agreed, that the country on the north-west
coast of America westward of the Rocky Mountains, claimed by either nation, should be open
to the inhabitants of both, for ten years, for
purposes of trade ; with the equal right of navigat