1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hookham Frere

Henry Crabb Robinson, 20 October 1808; Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence (1870; 1872) 1:144-45.



I witnessed a procession from that coast to the Town Hall, of which the two leading figures were the Spanish General General Romana and the English Minister, Mr. Frere.... Romana looked, in my eyes, like a Spanish barber. I was therefore less surprised and vexed than others were when, in the course of events, he showed himself to be an ordinary character, having no just sense of what the times and the situation required from the Spanish nation. On the other hand, I received a favourable impression from the person and address of Mr. Frere. And when, in a few months, the public voice in England was raised against him as the injudicious counsellor who imperilled the English army by advising their advance on Madrid, my own feeling was that he was unjustly treated.