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Document number: 680
Date: Fri 19 Jan 1816
Dating: see Doc 00679; Compte Lavelette escaped 8 Jan 1816
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: FEILDING Charles
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA16-2
Last updated: 20th November 2012


Friday 19th

My dear Boy

I should have indeed been brought to the blush if your letter which I recd yesterday had arrived before I had despatched my answer to yr former – I make up you see as well as I can by losing no time in noticing the last – though I have not much to say which will answer you – till yesterday when Ld Erskine <1> came I have been the only stranger in the house & very snug & comfortable it has been – he is a very agreeable person, full of eccentricity & cleverness – Read over 4 lines of his writing “on Walter Scotts poem of Waterloo” <2> which is a sad production. How Prostrate lie the heaps of slain on Waterloo’s immortal plain yet none by sabre or by shot Fell half so flat as Walter Scott.


We are going over today to see a play acted by Amateurs at Lord Guildfords – I dare say it will be very amusing – Tuesday I go to Town & except for a few days perhaps at Ld Coopers <3> shall remain there for some time. You have heard in the Papers of Sir Robt Wilson & 2 other English having assisted Lavalette in his escape <4> – I think it was very natural for persons living as they did with his wife & seeing her great misery to do so. & the crime of Treason for is so different from any other being after all but the preferring one mode of governments or one Governor to another, that one always rejoices at the escape of any person condemned to suffer for it – I conclude they will exile them from France but I do not think our Government can take any notice of it – Thank you my love I am better but not yet what I should like to be – I am very glad you have been amused with your visits & do most sincerely wish Nutall may never come back to disturb your harmony. I wish you could get some of this good shooting of which you give me an account – but I agree with you in what you say about the quantity that was killed – it certainly is cruel & the pleasure


1. Probably Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron (1750–1823). His Epigram on Walter Scott appeared in the Manchester Volunteer. [See Doc. No: 00688].

2. Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), novelist and poet, The Field of Waterloo; A Poem (Edinburgh & London: 1815).

3. Possibly Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Ashley, 7th Earl of Shaftsbury (1801–1885), MP.

4. Compte Antoine de Lavelette (1769–1830), sentenced to death for refusing to accompany Napoleon into exile. On 8 January 1816, dressed in a British uniform, he was smuggled out to Belgium by General Robert Thomas Wilson (1777–1849), Michael Bruce and Captain John-Hely Hutchinson.

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