Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/270

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volume of poems, with a prophetic dedication to his younger brother, Edward Lytton Bulwer. In the autumn of 1824 Bulwer left Cambridge; for the Greek committee, then sitting in London, authorised him to set out at once for the Morea as their agent. He carried with him a sum of 80,000l., which he handed over to Prince Mavrocordato. He was accompanied by Hamilton Browne, who, only the year before, had been commissioned by Lord Byron to treat with the armed insurgents at Cephalonia. During Bulwer's absence abroad he was gazetted on 19 Oct. 1825 as a cornet in the 2nd life guards. On 2 June 1826 he exchanged into the 58th regiment. On 27 July 1826 he obtained an unattached ensigncy. On 1 Jan. 1829 he commuted his half-pay and became a diplomatist.

In 1826 he published a record of his excursion to the Morea, under the title of ‘An Autumn in Greece.’ In August 1827 he was appointed attaché at Berlin. While passing through Paris he found himself one night a winner at play of between 6,000l. and 7,000l. This enabled him to join a select whist-playing set at Prince Wittgenstein's, where the stakes ran high, sometimes reaching even 500 louis the rubber. In April 1829 he became an attaché at Vienna. Thence in April 1830 he was transferred to the Hague. On the outbreak of the revolution at Brussels on 25 Aug. 1830, Bulwer was despatched by Lord Aberdeen, then foreign secretary, upon a special mission into Belgium. At the very moment of his arrival at Ghent the civic conflict broke out, the commissionnaire of his hotel being shot down at his elbow on the Grand' Place. On reaching Brussels he found the Dutch troops already upon the heights. While he was passing through the streets of Ath the insurgents took possession of that fortress. His despatches were considered so able that in a few days he was summoned to London to receive the congratulations of the cabinet. He returned to Brussels in a regular official capacity. He took an important part in the negotiations which followed, and gave an interesting account of the facts in the ‘Westminster Review’ for January 1831.

Bulwer was returned to parliament for Wilton, 30 Aug. 1830, but, having voted for the disfranchisement of the borough, sought another seat, and on 29 April 1831 was returned as an advanced liberal for Coventry. He sat for Coventry in the parliament of 1833, and on 9 Jan. 1835 was returned as a radical reformer by Marylebone. He held that seat till the dissolution of 1837, and won high repute as a debater. In 1834 he published, in two volumes—entitled ‘France: Social, Literary, and Political’—the first half of a work, completed in 1836, called ‘The Monarchy of the Middle Classes.’ He prefixed in 1835 a sympathetic ‘Life of Lord Byron’ to the Paris edition of the poet's works published by Galignani, a memoir that was republished sixteen years afterwards.

On 27 Nov. 1835 he became secretary of legation, and during 1835 and 1836 he was chargé d'affaires at Brussels. In 1836 he brought out a pamphlet entitled ‘The Lords, the Government, and the Country.’ For the next thirty years he devoted himself entirely to diplomacy. He had become familiar with French society of all ranks, and was said to have suggested or inspired George Sand's ‘Mauprat.’ While at Paris on 14 Aug. 1837 he received his nomination as secretary of embassy at Constantinople. In this post he distinguished himself by negotiating a commercial treaty with the Porte, the duty being entrusted to him by Lord Ponsonby, then ambassador at Constantinople. He has told the story of his success in the twelfth chapter of his ‘Life of Lord Palmerston’ (ii. 250–88). Palmerston, writing from Windsor Castle on 13 Sept. 1838, pronounced the treaty a masterpiece. Soon afterwards Bulwer was appointed secretary of embassy at St. Petersburg, but he delayed his departure on account of his health, and the appointment was practically cancelled in the June of 1839 by his despatch to Paris as secretary of embassy there, when there was some danger of war with France. In 1839 and in 1840 Bulwer held the responsible office of chargé d'affaires. On 14 Nov. 1843 he was appointed ambassador at the court of Isabella II. He was appointed, with the assent of both powers, arbitrator between Spain and Morocco. A treaty of peace was signed in 1844. In 1846 a far more formidable difficulty originated in the dynastic intrigues of Louis-Philippe and the affair of the Spanish marriages. There can be little doubt that, but for Lord Palmerston, Bulwer might readily have prevented those fatal marriages. The direct result of their accomplishment was the French revolution of February 1848; and, a month after the popular outburst at Paris, came the insurrectionary explosion at Madrid. When Marshal Narvaez proceeded summarily to suppress the constitutional guarantees, Bulwer formally protested in the name of England. Narvaez in return denounced the ambassador as an accomplice in the conspiracies of the Progresistas. On 19 May 1848 Bulwer was required to quit Madrid within forty-eight