Feb 29 1812: Beethoven to Thomson

George Thomson (1757-1815) was a Scottish publisher who began a correspondence in 1803 with Beethoven.  Beethoven's reply letter to Thomson dated October 5, 1803 is the composer's first letter to Britain. The exchanges and business between the two continued until 1820.

During that period, Thomson asked Beethoven to compose various works based on traditional Scottish, English and Welsh melodies. In turn, Thomson published the adaptations sometimes with words added by poets such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and even Lord Byron.  Beethoven also wrote various works including piano variations on the English folk songs "God save the King" and "Rule Britannia." Beethoven initially received three ducats for each adaptation, later on he received four and then five.

On February 29, 1812, Beethoven is writing to Thomson asking for payment for the Scottish songs he had sent him. Beethoven appears particularly annoyed that Thomson had implied that Beethoven was charging to much because Monsieur Kozeluch was charging less for adaptations. Leopold Kozeluch was a Czech composer. He was also Mozart's successor as Court composer and imperial Capellmeister in Prague. Beethoven may have resented being compared to him, as early in Beethoven's career, Kozeluch had been held up as a model for Beethoven to follow. Beethoven does not care that Kozeluch only charges two ducats for each song. "Moi je m'estime encore line fois plus superieur en ce genre que Monsieur Kozeluch (:Miserabilis:)", Beethoven writes indignantly. He also adds that he knows that Hayden charges 4 ducats. He wants his money. 

Beethoven's letter of February 29, 1812, written in French, can be found here

More information on the relationship between George Thomson and Beethoven can be found here.

You can hear 'Oh, Had My Fate Been Join'd With Thinecomposed by Beethoven with words by Lord Byron below:

I have also attached a video of Sir Thomas Allen, Janice Watson and Timothy Robinson singing 'Come fill, fill, my good fellow' composed by Beethoven with words by William Smyth.

Feb 29 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 29, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:  
29.      After writing to you last evening I found on my table a note from D.M.R. The most desponding you can imagine. I was really apprehensive that he would blow out his own brains before I could see him to forbid him. Was just setting out on this pious errand at 10, when in came Castella and sat an hour. I was very glad to see him. We walked together to Covent Garden, where lives D.M.R. I found him better dressed than usual, and apparently in good spirits. After writing the note to me yesterday, he had met a gentleman of fortune who listened to his disclosure of his new principles of wheel carriages, and who, says D.M.R., "was delighted" with them, and is to call on me to learn more of it in a few days. I was greatly relieved to find his nerves in so good order, and went on to Dessaules's, who had fitted the dent. I went on with it to Bonnell, the enameller. He is to make an essay on Monday. Then called on Contresse to get him to alter his work a little. He was very surly, and said he was too busy, and should be too busy tomorrow. Then to J. Bentham's. There was nothing for me. Did not see him, but met there his beautiful little nephew, 11 years old, son of Sir Samuel; did not sit down, but back to Graves's; all out. To Joyce's, watchmaker, Lombard street, with whom left your picturewatch  to be regulated and to get a key; half a guinea! Having only 18 pence I begged him to charge it till the other watch was done (a silver repeater, intended for Harry, but will probably be the only one I shall have for myself). Hastened home lest I should not be in time to receive J.H., who engaged to call at 4 to take coffee with me, &c. Got home at 4, and J. H. came in a few minutes. We had our coffee, which was my dinner, and J. staid till 6. At 7 came in, also by appointment, and staid till 9. I walked with her to her door, and came quickly home, and am now going to occupy myself in filing and assorting papers. Have left in cash 1 halfpence, which is much better than one penny, because they jingle, and thus one may refresh one's self with the music. Called today for the ringwatch; not done. Am to have it on Monday, and shall employ Mr. G. to sell it. After weighing the subject very gravely, I think you would prefer that this beautiful trinket, rather than Bayle and Moreri, should be sold.

Feb 28, 1812: Shelley Speech

On February 28, 1812, Percy Shelley continuing with his agitation for Catholic Emancipation gives a speech at Fishamble Street Theatre Dublin. Denis Florence MacCarthy in his Shelley's early life from original sources: with curious incidents, letters provides three newspaper reports of the speech
From The Freeman's Journal Dublin Feb 29th 1812
On the fifth [it should have been the sixth] resolution being proposed, Mr Shelley an English gentleman (very young), the son of a Member of Parliament rose to address the meeting. He was received with great kindness, and declared that the greatest misery this country endured was the Union Law, the Penal Code, and the state of the representation. He drew a lively picture of the misery of the country, which he attributed to the unfortunate Act of Legislative Union. 

From The Dublin Evening Post Saturday 29th Feb 1812
Mr Shelley requested a hearing. He was an Englishman, and when he reflected on the crimes committed by his nation on Ireland, he could not but blush for his countrymen, did he not know that arbitrary power never failed to corrupt the heart of man. ( Loud applause for several minutes.)
He had come to Ireland for the sole purpose of interesting himself in her misfortunes. He was deeply impressed with a sense of the evils which Ireland endured, and he considered them to be truly ascribed to the fatal effects of the legislative union with Great Britain.
He walked through the streets and he saw the fane of liberty converted into a temple of Mammon. (Loud applause.) He beheld beggary and famine in the country, and he could lay his hand on his heart and say that the cause of such sights was the union with Great Britain. (Hear, hear.) He was resolved to do his utmost to promote a Repeal of the Union. Catholic Emancipation would do a great deal towards the amelioration of the condition of the people, but he was convinced that the Repeal of the Union was of more importance. He considered that the victims whose members were vibrating on gibbets were driven to the commission of the crimes which they expiated by their lives by the effects of the Union.

The Patriot Dublin 2nd March 1812
Mr. Shelley then addressed the Chair. He hoped he should not be accounted a transgressor on the time of the meeting. He felt inadequate to the task he had undertaken but he hoped the feelings which urged him forward would plead his pardon. He was an Englishman; when he reflected on the outrages that his countrymen had committed here for the last twenty years he confessed that he blushed for them. He had come to Ireland for the sole purpose of interesting himself in the misfortunes of this country; and impressed with a full conviction of the necessity of Catholic Emancipation, and of the baneful effects which the union with Great Britain had entailed upon Ireland. He had walked through the fields of the country and the streets of the city, and he had in both seen the miserable effects of that fatal step. He had seen that edifice which ought to have been the fane of their liberties converted to a temple of Mammon. Many of the crimes which are daily committed he could not avoid attributing to the effect of that measure, which had thrown numbers of people out of the employment they had in manufacture, and induced them to commit acts of the greatest desperation for the support of their existence.
He could not imagine that the religious opinion of a man should exclude him from the rights of society. The original founder of our religion taught no such doctrine. Equality in this respect was general in the American States, and why not here? Did a change of place change the nature of man? He would beg those in power to recollect the French Revolution: the suddenness, the violence with which it burst forth, and the causes which gave rise to it.
Both the measures of Emancipation and a Repeal of the Union should meet his decided support, but he hoped many years would not pass over his head when he would make himself conspicuous at least by his zeal for them. 

February 28, 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 28, 1812, Aaron Burr made the following entry in his Private Journal:
28.     The headache returned, and had a restless night. Lay till 10. It was too late for the errands I had intended. Tea for breakfast. Wrote anew my letter to E. Livingston, and enclosed it in a note to Graves, which our pretty Maria took for me. Was engaged to dine to-day at Godwin's, and to walk with the four dames. After dinner to the Hopwood's. All which was done. The little Patty Hopwood, about 12 or 13, plays on the piano in a style that would do credit to a master of any age; of Hannah's talent for dessein [drawing]you have already heard; two other daughters are engravers and painters. The eldest son an engraver of the first rate; a little boy musician. Fortunately, the eldest daughter is a good, steady manager. The father was in his youth a footman; he acquired, without a master, drawing, engraving and music; has contrived to give good educations to all his children (ten, I think); the family seem good-tempered, united, cheerful, and happy. Hannah is handsome, Patty beautiful. Home at 10. You see, my dear Theodosia, that nothing has been done or attempted to-day to further my departure. My 3 shillings and penny halfpenny are reduced to 18 pence; but I cannot suffer before Wednesday (pay-day), for my little Eliz., who is about 13, sees what I want, buys it without consulting me, and renders the account at the end of the week. But this won't get me off. Will do better to-morrow. No more ale.

Feb 27 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 27, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:  
27.    Vigil 1 till 4. Rose at 7. To Hawkins's at 11; out. To J. Bentham's. Nothing but a card from Lovett. To Dessaules's to get the repeater; not done. Over again to Hawkins's for the other repeater; got it, but he cannot mend it. To Graves's. Waited an hour for him to come in. He came and informed me of a fine ship to sail on Monday for New Orleans, and a moral certainty that I can have a passage in her. Hastened home to make my preparations, and sat down to finish the "Nairs," which took till past 6 ; but, in the meantime, dined on my potatoes; added meat and a pint of ale. Then off "to Humbert's, J. H.'s beau frere [brother-in-law] to get the ring-watch, which will be sold immediately; not done. Then to Graves's again, to instruct him to write to Liverpool about the ship. Home at 9. Headache, and sick at stomach with that cursed ale. After vomiting freely, was better. In the midst of this operation, overset my tea-kettle and put out my fire, every spark. The family being all abed, was obliged to make it anew. Did you ever make a coal fire ? No. Past 2, and must  be early up. Have been writing a long letter to E. Livingston lest I should not get a passage.  

Feb 27 1812: Byron Speech

On February 27, 1812, the order of the day in the House of Lords was for the second reading of the Frame Work bill, known popularly as the Frame Breaking Bill. The bill made it a capital offence to destroy various frames. It also compelled persons in whose houses the frames were broken to give information to magistrates. Lord Byron gave his first speech in the House of Lords in opposition to this bill.

The bill was intended to deal with the Luddite rioting that had broken out among unemployed stocking weavers. The livelihood of these workers and artisans was being threatened by new forms of frames that enabled more than one piece of material to be knitted at a time. In general,  workers were experiencing changing economic conditions that we broadly call the industrial revolution. There were also various economic difficulties caused by the disruption in economic activity as a result of the Napoleonic wars. Byron had observed some of the economic distress when he had visited his estate in Newstead in December of 1811 on his return from his travels in Europe and Turkey.

On February 27, 1812, Byron was also days away from the publication of the poem, Childe Harold Pilgrimage, that would make him one of the most famous men of his time. He was very conscious of the fact that his speech would, in his words, "[be] the best advertisement for Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." [Benita, Eisler, Byron: Child of Passsion, Fool of Fame (New York, Random House, 1999) at page 325] The speech also represented another path to fame for Byron. It was an opportunity to be a success in the political world that was expected of him as an aristocrat.

Success in the political world, however, was not to be for Byron. The reaction to Byron's speech suggests some of the reasons why this was the case. He received some compliments for the speech but it has to be said that the speech was a political failure. Government members in the House of Lords did not rise to respond to Byron's speech. They simply did not think that Byron had made any arguments that they needed to address.  The brilliant but violent language of the speech undermined its political effectiveness. Even Byron's Whig patron, Lord Holland thought the speech was not a success. Byron's biographer, Fiona MaCarthy (Byron: Life and Legend (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002) at 157 notes:
Lord Holland judged it as too self-consciously rhetorical:  "His speech was full of fancy, wit and invective, but not exempt from affectation nor well reasoned, nor at all suited to our common notions of Parliamentary eloquence." His approach was that of the poet and the writer. He could not embrace the humdrum, workday language of professional politicians.
There was an artificiality to Byron's oratory that even his admirers found unfortunate. His friend Robert Charles Dallas, who heard the speech, noted that Byron "altered the natural tone of his voice, which was sweet and round, into a formal drawl, and he prepared his features for a part--it was a youth declaiming a task."(Eisler, Byron, page 325) More fundamentally, as his life would attest, Byron simply did not have the discipline required to be an effective political leader.

It is, however, important to note that Byron was only twenty-four years old as he rises to address the House of Lords as follows:
My Lords,--The subject now submitted to your Lordships for the first time, though new to the House, is by no means new to the country. I believe it had occupied the serious thoughts of all descriptions of persons, long before its introduction to the notice of that legislature, whose interference alone could be of real service. As a person in some degree connected with the suffering county, though a stranger not only to this House in general, but to almost every individual whose attention I presume to solicit, I must claim some portion of your Lordships indulgence, whilst I offer a few observations on a question in which I confess myself deeply interested.
To enter into any detail of the riots would be superfluous the House is already aware that every outrage short of actual bloodshed has been perpetrated, and that the proprietors of the frames obnoxious to the rioters, and all persons supposed to be connected with them, have been liable to insult and violence. During the short time I recently passed in Nottinghamshire, not twelve hours elapsed without some fresh act of violence ; and on the day I left the county I was informed that forty frames had been broken the preceding evening, as usual, without resistance and without detection.
Such was then the state of that county, and such I have reason to believe it to be at this moment. But whilst these outrages must be admitted to exist to an alarming extent, it cannot be denied that they have arisen from circumstances of the most unparalleled distress: the perseverance of these miserable men in their proceedings tends to prove that nothing but absolute want could have driven a large, and once honest and industrious, body of the people, into the commission of excesses so hazardous to themselves, their families, and the community. At the time to which I allude, the town and county were burdened with large detachments of the military; the police was in motion, the magistrates assembled; yet all the movements, civil and military, led to--nothing. Not a single instance had occurred of the apprehension of any real delinquent actually taken in the fact, against whom there existed legal evidence sufficient for conviction. But the police, however useless, were by no means idle : several notorious delinquents had been detected, --men, liable to conviction, on the clearest evidence, of the capital crime of poverty ; men, who had been nefariously guilty of lawfully begetting several children, whom, thanks to the times I they were unable to maintain. Considerable injury has been done to the proprietors of the improved frames. These machines were to them an advantage, inasmuch as they superseded the necessity of employing a number of workmen, who were left in consequence to starve. By the adoption of one species of frame in particular, one man performed the work of many, and the superfluous labourers were thrown out of employment. Yet it is to be observed, that the work thus executed was inferior in quality; not marketable at home, and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. It was called, in the cant of the trade, by the name of "Spider-work." The rejected workmen, in the blindness of their ignorance, instead of rejoicing at these improvements in arts so beneficial to mankind, conceived themselves to be sacrificed to improvements in mechanism. In the foolishness of their hearts they imagined that the maintenance and well-doing of the industrious poor were objects of greater consequence than the enrichment of a few individuals by any improvement, in the implements of trade, which threw the workmen out of employment, and rendered the labourer unworthy of his hire. And it must be confessed that although the adoption of the enlarged machinery in that state of our commerce which the country once boasted might have been beneficial to the master without being detrimental to the servant; yet, in the present situation of our manufactures, rotting in warehouses, without a prospect of exportation, with the demand for work and workmen equally diminished, frames of this description tend materially to aggravate the distress and discontent of the disappointed sufferers. But the real cause of these distresses and consequent disturbances lies deeper. When we are told that these men are leagued together not only for the destruction of their own comfort, but of their very means of subsistence, can we forget that it is the bitter policy, the destructive warfare of the last eighteen years, which has destroyed their comfort, your comfort, all men's comfort? that policy, which, originating with "great statesmen now no more," has survived the dead to become a curse on the living, unto the third and fourth generation! These men never destroyed their looms till they were become useless, worse than useless ; till they were become actual impediments to their exertions in obtaining their daily bread. Can you, then, wonder that in times like these when bankruptcy, convicted fraud, and imputed felony are found in a station not far beneath that of your Lordships, the lowest, though once most useful portion of the people, should forget their duty in their distresses, and become only less guilty than one of their representatives? But while the exalted offender can find means to baffle the law, new capital punishments must be devised, new snares of death must be spread for the wretched mechanic, who is famished into guilt. These men were willing to dig, but the spade was in other hands: they were not ashamed to beg, but there was none to relieve them: their own means of subsistence were cut off, all other employments pre-occupied; and their excesses, however to be deplored and condemned, can hardly be subject of surprise.
It has been stated that the persons in the temporary possession of frames connive at their destruction; if this be proved upon inquiry, it were necessary that such material accessories to the crime should be principals in the punishment. But I did hope, that any measure proposed by his Majesty's government for your Lordships' decision, would have bad conciliation for its basis; or, if that were hopeless, that some previous inquiry, some deliberation, would have been deemed requisite; not that we should have been called at once, without examination and without cause, to pass sentences by wholesale, and sign death-warrant, blindfold. But, admitting that these men had no cause of complaint; that the grievances of them and their employers were alike groundless; that they deserved the worst;--what inefficiency, what imbecility has been evinced in the method chosen to reduce them! Why were the military called out to be made a mockery of, if they were to be called out at all? As far as the difference of seasons would permit, they have merely parodied the summer campaign of Major Sturgeon ; and, indeed, the whole proceedings, civil and military, seemed on the model of those of the mayor and corporation of Garratt. --Such marchings and countermarchings!--from Nottingham to Bullwell, from Bullwell to Banford, from Banford to Mansfield! And when at length the detachment, arrived at their destination, in all "the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war," they came just in time to witness the mischief which had been done, and ascertain the escape of the perpetrators, to collect the "spolia opima" in the fragments of broken frames, and return to their quarters amidst the derision of old women, and the hootings of children. Now, though, in a free country, it were to be wished that our military should never be too formidable, at least to ourselves, I cannot see the policy of placing them in situations where they can only be made ridiculous. As the sword is the worst argument that can be used, so should it be the last. In this instance it has been the first; but providentially as yet only in the scabbard. The present measure will, indeed, pluck it from the sheath; yet bad proper meetings been held in the earlier stages of these riots, had the grievances of these men and their masters (for they also had their grievances) been fairly weighed and justly examined, I do think that means might have been devised to restore these workmen to their avocations, and tranquillity to the county. At present the county suffers from the double infliction of an idle military and a starving population. In what state of apathy have we been plunged so long, that now for the first time the House has been officially apprised of these disturbances? All this has been transacting within 130 miles of London; and yet we, "good easy men, have deemed full sure our greatness was a-ripening," and have sat down to enjoy our foreign triumphs in the midst of domestic calamity. But all the cities you have taken, all the armies which have retreated before your leaders, are but paltry subjects of self-congratulation, if your land divides against itself, and your dragoons and your executioners must be let loose against your fellow-citizens.--You call these men a mob, desperate, dangerous, and ignorant; and seem to think that the only way to quiet the "Bellua multorum capitum" is to lop off a few of its superfluous heads. But reduced to reason by a mixture even a mob may be better of conciliation and firmness, than by additional irritation and redoubled penalties. Are we aware of our obligations to a mob? It is the mob that labour in your fields and serve in your houses,--that man your navy, and recruit your army,--that have enabled you to defy all the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair! You may call the people a mob; but do not forget that a mob too often speaks the sentiments of the people. And here I must remark, with what alacrity you are accustomed to fly to the succour of your distressed allies, leaving the distressed of your own country to the care of Providence or--the parish. When the Portuguese suffered under the retreat of the French, every arm was stretched out, every hand was opened, from the rich man's largess to widow's mite, all was bestowed, to enable them to rebuild the their villages and replenish their granaries. And at this moment, when thousands of misguided but most unfortunate fellow-countrymen are struggling with the extremes of hardships and hunger, as your charity began abroad it should end at home. A much less sum, a tithe of the bounty bestowed on Portugal, even if these men (which I cannot admit without inquiry) could not have been restored to their employments, would have rendered unnecessary the tender mercies of the bayonet and the gibbet. But doubtless our friends have too many foreign claims to admit a prospect of domestic relief; though never did such objects demand it. I have traversed the seat of war in the Peninsula, I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey; but never under the most despotic of infidel governments did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since my return in the very heart of a Christian country. And what are your remedies? After months of inaction, and months of action worse than inactivity, at length comes forth the grand specific, the never-failing nostrum of all state physicians, from the days of Draco to the present time. After feeling the pulse and shaking the head over the patient, prescribing the usual course of warm water and bleeding,--the warm water of your mawkish police, and the lancers of your military,--these convulsions must terminate in death, the sure consummation of the prescriptions of all political Sangrados. Setting aside the palpable injustice and the certain inefficiency of the Bill, are there not capital punishments sufficient in your statutes? Is there not blood enough upon your penal code, that more must be poured forth to ascend to Heaven and testify against you? How will you carry the Bill into effect? Can you commit a whole county to their own prisons? Will you erect a gibbet in every field, and hang up men like scarecrows? or will you proceed (as you must to bring this measure into effect) by decimation? place the county under martial law? depopulate and lay waste all around you? and restore Sherwood Forest as an acceptable gift to the crown, in its former condition of a royal chase and an asylum for outlaws? Are these the remedies for a starving and desperate populace? Will the famished wretch who has braved your bayonets be appalled by your gibbets? When death is a relief, and the only relief it appears that you will afford him, will he be dragooned into tranquillity? Will that which could not be effected by your grenadiers be accomplished by your executioners? If you proceed by the forms of law, where is your evidence? Those who have refused to impeach their accomplices when transportation only was the punishment, will hardly be tempted to witness against them when death is the penalty. With all due deference to the noble lords opposite, I think a little investigation, some previous inquiry, would induce even them to change their purpose. That most favourite state measure, so marvellously efficacious in many and recent instances, temporising, would not be without its advantages in this. When a proposal is made to emancipate or relieve, you hesitate, you deliberate for years, you temporise and tamper with the minds of men; but a death-bill must be passed off-hand, without a thought of the consequences. Sure I am, from what I have heard, and from what I have seen, that to pass the Bill under all the existing circumstances, without inquiry, without deliberation, would only be to add injustice to irritation, and barbarity to neglect. The framers of such a bill must be content to inherit the honours of that Athenian law-giver whose edicts were said to be written not in ink but in blood. But suppose it passed; suppose one of these men, as I have seen them,--meagre with famine, sullen with despair, careless of a life which your Lordships are perhaps about to value at something less than the price of a stocking-frame;--suppose this man surrounded by the children for whom be is unable to procure bread at the hazard of his existence, about to be torn for ever from a family which he lately supported in peaceful industry, and which it is not his fault that he can no longer so support;--suppose this man--and there are ten thousand such from whom you may select your victims--dragged into court, to be tried for this new offence, by this new law; still, there are two things wanting to convict and condemn him and these are, in my opinion,--twelve butchers for a jury, and a Jeffreys for a judge!
After the speech, Byron attended for the first time as dinner guest at House of Holland. The tweets describing this and Holland House are taken from Benita Eisler's Byron: Child of Passsion, Fool of Fame (New York, Random House, 1999) very fine biography. 

Feb 26, 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 26, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:   

26.        It is already past 1, my fire is out, and the weather cool. I have been the whole evening reading the "Nairs." Shall finish it in about three hours to-morrow; and then, perhaps, may give you some account of it. Slept later than usual this morning. It is with some effort that I rise early. If my fire was made at 6, I should be always up before 7; but, after having slept my allowance, five or six hours, if I lay longer there comes on a drowsiness and disposition to slumber which is immovable, and then the following night I lay sleepless an hour or two, and so gradually encroach on the morning, till I am obliged to get back by going a whole night and day without sleep; then I am sure to sleep as soon as I lay down, though the sensation of being sleepy is what I am a stranger to, except in a stage-coach. At 12 this morning to see Hawkins, inventor of the cement, with which tried in vain to mend a broken dent. He was out. Then to J. Bentham's. No better; did not see him. Then by Westminster and Blackfriars' bridges to friend Allen's, Plough Court, Lombard street. The last experiment on the acid had not succeeded. Allen was at dinner. Left some directions with James, and then to Graves's. He had procured me a list of vessels about to sail to your region; among them one to Providence, Rhode Island, and another to Portland, Maine. Wrote a note to D. M. R. to inquire all the particulars of these two. He came in, promised to get the information, and to call on me with it this evening, but he has not called. I will go in either of these vessels if things suit and a passage on credit. To Godwin's, to communicate something which I had undertaken to discover for him. Asked me to dine, which refused, but took a bowl of soup. Home at 1/p. 4. Expected J. H., but came not. Roasted by my fire some potatoes, on which dined. Have drank nothing but toast and water since my swelled jaws. Nothing new about finance. Paid this morning my weekly bill, and 2 shillings to Eliz., and have now left 3 shillings and 3 halfpence. Pray look at your map to see what distance I walk every day.

Feb 26, 1812: Dinner at Godwin with Coleridge

On January 25, 1812, Henry Crabb Robinson writes in his diary the following: 
February 26th  A dinner party.  Coleridge, Godwin &c. &c. The company rather too numerous. Coleridge by no means the eloquent man he usually is. It was not till ten minutes before he went away that he fell into a declaiming;  mood "having," as Godwin, said "got upon the indefinites and the infinites,viz. the nature of religious conviction.  He contended that the external evidence of Christianity would be weak but for the internal evidence arising out of the necessity of our nature--our want of religion. He made use of one very happy allusion. Speaking of the mingling of subordinate evils with great good, he said, "though the serpent does twine himself round the staff of the god of healing."*...
* Godwin and Rough met at this party for the first time. The very next day Godwin called on me to say how much he liked Rough adding.  "By the by do you think he would lend me L 50 just now, as I am in want of a little money? He had not left me an hour before Rough came with a like question. He wanted a bill discounted and asked whether I thought Godwin would do it for him? The habit of both was so well known that some persons were afraid to invite them lest, it should lead to an application for a loan from some friend who chanced to be present.-- H.C.R. 

Feb 25 1812: Madison to Richard Cutts

On February 25 1812, James Madison writes to Richard Cutts, Representative from Massachusetts. The letter reads as follows:

February 25, 1812.
I inclose for your amusement a few papers of the latest date. You will see that the Constitution has returned from France, and that an arrival from Great Britain has brought the speech opening the British Parliament. The latter decides nothing as to a change of the Cabinet, or repeal of the Orders in Council. Its tone on the whole is not arrogant. It is silent as to Russia and to Ireland, and as to trade and revenue. Distress may possibly supply motives, which ought to be found in wisdom and justice, but it is to be hoped that our National Councils will rely less on either than on our measures. We learn from France that Barlow is engaged in discussions which encourage his hope of doing something valuable. The return of the Hornet will enable us to form a more decided judgment. The repeal of the decrees of B. A. M. is a fact nowise in question there, though still a topic of malignant cavil here. A very large batch of the nominations for the army of 25,000 went in to the Senate to-day, and it will soon be followed by others. General Dearborn is with us and lends a helping hand. We are well, and offer affectionate salutations to Anna and yourself. We hope to see you all in the spring, and that you will pass the interim with us at Montpelier.

Feb 25 1812: Byron

On February 25, 1812, Lord Byron writes to Lord Holland who was a major figure in Whig politics in the early 19th century. Lord Holland was grooming Byron for his entry into a more active political role. At this time, Byron is already preparing for his maiden speech in the House of Lords which he is to give on February 27, 1812 speaking against the Frame-breaking bill. His letter reads:
8, St. James’s-street, February 25th, 1812.


With my best thanks, I have the honour to return the Notts. letter to your lordship. I have read it with attention, but do not think I shall venture to avail myself of its contents, as my view of the question differs in some measure from Mr. Coldham’s. I hope I do not wrong him, but his objections to the bill appear to me to be founded on certain apprehensions that he and his coadjutors might be mistaken for the ‘original advisers’ (to quote him) of the measure. For my own part, I consider the manufacturers as a much injured body of men, sacrificed to the views of certain individuals who have enriched themselves by those practices which have deprived the frame-workers of employment. For instance;—by the adoption of a certain kind of frame, one man performs the work of seven—six are thus thrown out of business. But it is to be observed that the work thus done is far inferior in quality, hardly marketable at home, and hurried over with a view to exportation. Surely, my lord, however we may rejoice in any improvement in the arts which may be beneficial to mankind, we must not allow mankind to be sacrificed to improvements in mechanism. The maintenance and well-doing of the industrious poor is an object of greater consequence to the community than the enrichment of a few monopolists by any improvement in the implements of trade, which deprives the workman of his bread, and renders the labourer ‘unworthy of his hire.’ My own motive for opposing the bill is founded on its palpable injustice, and its certain inefficacy. I have seen the state of these miserable men, and it is a disgrace to a civilized country. Their excesses may be condemned, but cannot be subject of wonder. The effect of the present bill would be to drive them into actual rebellion. The few words I shall venture to offer on Thursday will be founded upon these opinions formed from my own observations on the spot. By previous inquiry, I am convinced these men would have been restored to employment and the county to tranquillity. It is, perhaps, not yet too late, and is surely worth the trial. It can never be too late to employ force in such circumstances. I believe your lordship does not coincide with me entirely on this subject, and most cheerfully and sincerely shall I submit to your superior judgment and experience, and take some other line of argument against the bill, or be silent altogether, should you deem it more advisable. Condemning, as every one must condemn the conduct of these wretches, I believe in the existence of grievances which call rather for pity than punishment. I have the honour to be, with great respect, my lord,

Your lordship’s most obedient and obliged servant,


P.S. I am a little apprehensive that your lordship will think me too lenient towards these men, and half a framebreaker myself.

Feb 25 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 25, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:   
25.  Rose as usual. Raining and blowing violently. At 12 to friend Allen's. The experiment had not yet been made; but Jones, the workman in the laboratory, was just preparing to make it. To Joyce's, a watchmaker recommended by Allen. Left with him yesterday my silver repeater to be put in order that I may sell it ; but I could not learn from Mr. J. what he meant to charge me, and now cannot call for it till I shall have wherewithal to pay for the repairs. To Graves's, where found a letter from the Captain; a most impertinent letter, declaring that he will not pay a farthing. To Godwin's for a few minutes, and borrowed two volumes of " The Nairs, or the Rights of Women," by Lawrence. And now must tell what was referred to yesterday. I was so with Fonzi at Paris that I became as good a dentist as himself; and, on coming off, he confided to me an assortment, perhaps one thousand, of teeth of his fabrique. I had intended this for Greenwood; but it occurred to me that something might be made of the dents 1 and my science here. Have called on three of the most celebrated dentists. The first was engaged, and was not seen ; the second was engaged, but I saw him, and made an appointment to call Saturday next. The third I had a long talk with ; he showed me his ovmfafoique*, which I was constrained to acknowledge was fully equal to Fonzi's ; and, indeed, I think, for beauty, superior, but not solid; he, however, held Fonzi's in contempt, so nothing to be done. To-morrow will make further trial. It is unpleasant and unpromising. The rain has continued all day, which has prevented J. H. from calling. D. M. came in at 5 in a state of extreme despondency. He ate bro.* and case. 5 , and took coffee, and staid till 8. I have been all the evening reading the " Nairs." 6 The fellow has stolen a good many of my ideas, but I am glad of it. The subject will always be new in my hands.

Feb 25 1812: Brock to Provost

On February 25, 182, Major-General Brock writes to Sir George Prevost complaining about the difficulties he is having with the legislature.
YORK, February 25, 1812.
I cannot permit Colonel M'Donnell to return home without giving your excellency a short account of our proceedings  here. I had every reason to expect the almost unanimous support of the two houses of the legislature to every measure the government thought it necessary to recommend; but after a  short trial, I found myself egregiously mistaken in my calculations.
The many doubtful characters in the militia made me anxious to  introduce the oath of abjuration into the bill: there were   twenty members in the house, when this highly important measure was lost by the casting voice of the chairman.    The great influence which the numerous settlers from the  United States possess over the decisions of the lower house is  truly alarming, and ought immediately, by every practical means, to be diminished. To give encouragement to real subjects to settle in this province, can alone remove the  evil. The consideration of the fees should not stand in the way of such a politic arrangement; and should your excellency ultimately determine to promise some of the waste lands of the crown to such Scotch emigrants as enlist in the Glengary Fencibles, I have no hesitation in recommending, in the  strongest manner, the raising of a Canadian corps upon similar  offers, to be hereafter disbanded and distributed among their countrymen in the vicinity of Amherstburg. Colonel M'Donnell  being in full possession of my sentiments on this subject, I beg leave to refer your excellency to him for further   information.  The bill for the suspension of the habeas corpus, I regret to  say, was likewise lost by a very trifling majority. A strong  sentiment now prevails that war is not likely to occur with the United States, which, I believe, tended to influence the votes of the members; I mean of such who, though honest, are    by their ignorance easily betrayed into error. The low ebb of their finances appears to stagger the most  desperate democrats in the States, and may possibly delay the  commencement of direct hostilities; but should France and England continue the contest much longer, it appears to me  absolutely impossible for the United States to avoid making their election; and the unfriendly disposition they have for some years past evinced towards England, leaves little doubt  as to their choice. Your excellency, I am sensible, will   excuse the freedom with which I deliver my sentiments. 
Every day hostilities are retarded, the greater the difficulties we shall have to encounter. The Americans are at  this moment busily employed in raising six companies of Rangers, for the express purpose of overawing the Indians; and are besides collecting a regular force at Vincennes, probably with a view of reinforcing Detroit. Indeed, report states the  arrival of a large force at Fort Wayne, intended for the former garrison. Their intrigues among the different tribes are carried on openly and with the utmost activity, and as no  expense is spared, it may reasonably be supposed that they do not fail of success. Divisions are thus uninterruptedly sowed  among our Indian friends, and the minds of many altogether   estranged from our interests. Such must inevitably be the consequence of our present inert and neutral proceedings in regard to them. It ill becomes me to determine how long true policy requires that the restrictions now imposed upon the Indian department ought to continue; but this I will venture to assert, that each day the officers are restrained from interfering in the concerns of the Indians, each time they advise peace and withhold the accustomed supply of ammunition, their influence will diminish, till at length they lose it altogether.
I find that ever since the departure of Priest Burke from Sandwich, the £50 per annum paid from the military chest to that gentleman have been withheld, on what account I have not been able to ascertain. The individual at present officiating is highly spoken of; and as several gentlemen of the Catholic persuasion have applied to me to intercede with your excellency to renew the allowance, I presume to submit the case to your indulgent consideration.

Feb 24, 1812: Publication of An Address, to the Irish People

On February 24, 1812, Percy Shelley published An Address, to the Irish People. The introduction to this work by T.W. Rolleston describes the publication as follows:
It was published on February 24th, and although Shelley wrote a couple of days later "that it had excited a sensation of wonder in Dublin," it seems to have had absolutely no success. Shelley's methods of getting his pamphlet into circulation were certainly likely enough to excite sensations of wonder, and perhaps, too, of  ridicule, in those to whom apostolic ardour and faith are ridiculous. No bookseller would dare to publish it — so  he wrote to a friend some months afterwards — and an  Irish servant was employed to distribute it by hand, while he himself stood in he balcony of his lodgings, (No. 7, Lower Sackville St.,) watching the stream of passers: when a man "who looked likely " appeared among the crowd of commonplace figures, a copy of the gospel of philosophy descended at his feet.  "We throw them out of window," wrote Harriet to Miss Hitchener, " and give them to men that we pass in the streets. For myself I am ready to die of laughter when it  is done, and Percy looks so grave. Yesterday he put one into a woman's hood of a cloak ; she knew nothing of it and we passed her. I could hardly get on, my muscles were so irritated."

The complete address can be found here.

Feb 24 1812: Brock Proclamation

On February 24, 1812, Isaac Brock issued the following proclamation:

Proclamation. Province of Upper Canada
Isaac Brock, Esquire, President administering the Government of the Province of Upper Canada, and Major. General Commanding His Majesty's forces with the same.
To all to whom it may concern: Greeting.

Whereas information has been received, that divers persons have recently come into this Province, with a seditious intent to disturb the tranquility of thereof, and to endeavour to alienate the minds of His Majesty's Subjects from His Person and Government; I hereby require and enjoin the several persons authorized, to carry into effect a certain Statute, passed in the Forty-fourth year of His Majesty's reign, intituled, "An Act for the better security this Province against all seditions attempts or designs to disturb the tranquillity thereof, to be vigilant in the execution of their duty, and strictly to enquire into the behaviour and conduct of all such persons as may be subject to the provisions of the said Act; I also charge and require all his Majesty's Good and Loyal Subjects within this Province, to be aiding and assisting the said Persons, in the execution of the powers vested in them by the said Act. 

Given under my Hand and Seal at Arms, at York, this Twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and Twelve, and in the Fifty-second of his Majesty's Reign.
Isaac Brock, President

Feb 24 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 24, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:    
24.     Slept uninterruptedly till near 8.  At 11 to friend Allen's, to tell him of the disappointment about the retorts. He very kindly said he had some of his own that would answer. We agreed on the further experiment; but I begin to think we shall not succeed in any way that will be useful, i.e. without an operation of too much expense. To Graves's; out. To J. B.'s to get some things; you know that my trunks are there. Some one called there to see me yesterday, but did not leave his address, nor did they inquire. While I was at J.B.'s in came A., whom I thought out of town. We met with the familiarity of old acquaintance. Did not see J.B. To_______, the goldsmith, Princess street, Leicester Square, which is set down for myself, and not for you, Madame; he has very politely undertaken to repair another repeater for me. Then to Contesse's workshop, and stayed an hour, assisting and directing a small job. Paid him 3 shillings 6 pence. Home at 1/2 p. 4, and greatly surprised to find that J. Hug. had called. Got my dinner, rice boiled, and went off to J.H.'s, to see what was the matter, being greatly apprehensive that there was trouble. I was right. There lives in the same house a fellow of the name of Voche or Vache, a Swiss engraver, who has taken upon him to talk about my visits. Staid but a minute, and appointed J. to call on me at 4 tomorrow. I am much concerned at this circumstance.The idea of causing the least inconvenience to so good a soul would distress me. Called at Godwin's to the newspapers which I borrowed, and to get that of to-day. Les goddesses [Godwin girls] kept me by acclamation to tea with La Peintresse  Hopwood. I agreed to go with the girls to call on her on Friday. Home at 1/2 p. 9- Read the newspapers, and a pamphlet tolerably well written, explanatory of the cause of the French successes. Be assured that, though I have said nothing about finance, my head has not been idle. I have a project too ridiculous to be mentioned, and of little promise; but will tell you tomorrow. I shall have just enough to pay my weekly bill the day after tomorrow, and then be again on the sans sous  establishment.

Feb 23 1812: Aaron Burr

For February 23, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:   
23.      Couche at 1, but did not sleep till 3; cause, took my coffee too late and too strong. Having offered Elizabeth, my little menagere 1, 6 pence to wake me and have a fire at 1/2 6, she was punctual. I rose and had my breakfast at 1/2 p. 7 ; and at 9 was at Contesse's workshop. He has been for six weeks promising to do a small but necessary job to my repeater; and he appointed this hour and this day. He was not there. Waited near an hour; he came not. Went to his house at 10, found him just up and complaining of indisposition. Appointed 2 P.M. to-morrow. Then to________'s, another goldsmith, with whom had an appointment on similar business. He was still abed. To Dumont's, Haymarket. He had informed me that Lord Lansdowne would give 10 guineas for my Bayle, and would also, probably, buy Moreri at 15. I thought this quite sure; but Mr. D. informed me that his lordship had been otherwise supplied. Your ribbons, too, have been returned, not sold. The medalmonger would pay for Gampillo's medals and coins little more than the value of the metal, which would not be 3 guineas. So my three grand resources have failed. Walked over to Graves's. Had nothing to communicate. Home, and wrote another letter to the Captain, proposing that he should take me on board at Gravesend, and under a feigned name, so that the consuls would not know that I had embarked. Do not think he will do it, and am sure he will not pay, all of which is "very disagreeable" There being no mail going out to-day, went to the stage-office to send my letter to the Captain. Theman would not receive it because it weighed less than four ounces. Went and hunted in the street till I found a stone weighing about a quarter of a pound ;wrapped that up in the letter, and then it was received. The Captain will greatly marvel at the receipt of the stone sent from London. At 1/2 p. 3 to Godwin's. There dined and staid till 9. The history of M. Turner, fils c Tun bucket', lately married to M'lle Boinville, niece de 1 Madame Frank Newton. There was only the family and little Hopwood. Have been reading the newspapers and the pamphlets which I bought on the controversy between Lancaster and Bell, which you shall read, to see the gross bigotry which still prevails here.