Sustain-Able 余 : ♥

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

Free e-book Project Gutenberg: Letters of Lord Byron Vol.1

In the past year, a few pathetic low-life losers tried to take my letters and  emails as some sort of proof that their lives are somehow valid if they can gossip !    Lol. Well first of all, your life is not and so-called disclosable letters are not if I own the intellectual copyright to it and publishing it will probably mean you infringed on my copyright as a writer and an artist. Anyway, no one cares what petty little  guys born without balls think in life! 🙂 But it did make me think about the exorbitant amount of money I paid when I was in high school to purchase an antique complete set of Letters of Lord Byron, just so I can trawl through it and find the bits where Lady Caroline Lamb told him to go and “sit on a cactus and rotate” . Of course, his letters are rather one-sided, which was what made the volumes our trusted antique book dealer found for me fascinating! Somebody bothered to collect all the letters from both sides of the exchange! 
Anyway thanks to Project Gutenberg, you can havea look at some of Lord Byron’s rant for free! For different e-book formats follow this link: Project Gutenberg The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals. Vol. 1 by Byron
Personally , I think it is best that you read his poetry…he rants a lot and seems rather narcissistic…at least in poetic format, it is short and concise. Seriously, who wants to listen to some tedious little Capricorn bloke go on and on about how sorry he feels for himself about whatever it is that he decides the world owes him! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But scroll down to the slightly ranchy bit (not his, it is too repressed), the bit where horny chicks wrote to him adding bits of their hair from “down there”…Oh my! Lol. 
Actually the saucy bit is few and far between, this mostly consist of him whining to his mother, whining to his sister, whining to his one and only friend (most Capricorn blokes don’t have many because they are so “gay” but don’t even like boys) and whining to his accountant….there is also the bit where he whines to his publisher about how he is not getting the attention that he decided he deserved! But mostly he just goes on and on about with his life-long love affair with his accountant! Seriously, no wonder his wife left with their daughter and her relatives finally got her a divorce and drove him out of the country for suggesting Anal sex with her after shagging her cousin in a gesture of Social climbing! hahahhahaa. Poor Didums! He still had his trustfund, his opium-addict friend Shelley, his aristocratic title and his permanent seat in the House of Lords! Life was soooo hard! Doesn’t it sound so Romantic the way I tell it? 🙂 CC
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and
Journals, Vol. 1, by Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero
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Title: The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1
Author: Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero
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Letters and Journals. Vol. I.
Two great collections of Byron’s letters have been already printed. In
Moore’s ‘Life’, which appeared in 1830, 561 were given. These, in
FitzGreene Halleck’s American edition of Byron’s ‘Works’, published in
1847, were increased to 635. The first volume of a third collection,
edited by Mr. W. E. Henley, appeared early in 1897. A comparison of the
number of letters contained in these three collections down to August
22, 1811, shows that Moore prints 61, Halleck 78, and Mr. Henley 88. In
other words, the edition of 1897, which was the most complete so far as
it goes, added 27 letters to that of 1830, and 10 to that of 1847. But
it should be remembered that by far the greater part of the material
added by Halleck and Mr. Henley was seen and rejected by Moore.
The present edition, down to August 22, 1811, prints 168 letters, or an
addition of 107 to Moore, 90 to Halleck, and 80 to Mr. Henley. Of this
additional matter considerably more than two-thirds was inaccessible to
Moore in 1830.
In preparing this volume for the press, use has been also made of a mass
of material, bearing more or less directly on Byron’s life, which was
accumulated by the grandfather and father of Mr. Murray. The notes thus
contain, it is believed, many details of biographical interest, which
are now for the first time published.
It is necessary to make these comparisons, in order to define the
position which this edition claims to hold with regard to its
predecessors. On the other hand, no one can regret more sincerely than
myself–no one has more cause to regret–the circumstances which placed
this wealth of new material in my hands rather than in those of the true
poet and brilliant critic, who, to enthusiasm for Byron, and wide
acquaintance with the literature and social life of the day, adds the
rarer gift of giving life and significance to bygone events or trivial
details by unconsciously interesting his readers in his own living
Byron’s letters appeal on three special grounds to all lovers of English
literature. They offer the most suggestive commentary on his poetry;
they give the truest portrait of the man; they possess, at their best,
in their ease, freshness, and racy vigour, a very high literary value.
The present volume, which covers the period from 1798 to August, 1811,
includes the letters written Lord Byron from his eleventh to his
twenty-third year. They therefore illustrate the composition of his
youthful poetry, of ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, and of the
first two cantos of ‘Childe Harold’. They carry his history down to the
eve of that morning in March, 1812, when he awoke and found himself
famous–in a degree and to an extent which to the present generation
seem almost incomprehensible.
If the letters were selected for their literary value alone, it is
probable that very few of those contained in the present volume would
find a place in a collection formed on this principle. But biographical
interest also demands consideration, and, in the case of Byron, this
claim is peculiarly strong. He has for years suffered much from the
suppression of the material on which a just estimate of his life may be
formed. It is difficult not to regret the destruction of the ‘Memoirs’,
in which he himself intended his history to be told. Their loss cannot
be replaced; but their best substitute is found in his letters. Through
them a truer conception of Byron can be formed than any impression which
is derived from Dallas, Leigh Hunt, Medwin, or even Moore. It therefore
seems only fair to Byron, that they should be allowed, as far as
possible, to interpret his career. For other reasons also it appears to
me too late, or too soon, to publish only those letters which possess a
high literary value. The real motive of such a selection would probably
be misread, and thus further misconceptions of Byron’s character would
be encouraged.
With one exception, therefore, the whole of the available material has
been published. The exception consists of some of the business letters
written by Byron to his solicitor. Enough of these have been printed to
indicate the pecuniary difficulties which undoubtedly influenced his
life and character; but it was not considered necessary to publish the
whole series. Men of genius ask money from their lawyers in the same
language, and with the same arguments, as the most ordinary persons.
The picture which the letters give of Byron, is, it is believed, unique
in its completeness, while the portrait has the additional value of
being painted by his own hand. Byron’s career lends itself only too
easily to that method of treatment, which dashes off a likeness by
vigorous strokes with a full brush, seizing with false emphasis on some
salient feature, and revelling in striking contrasts of light and shade.
But the style here adopted by the unconscious artist is rather that in
which Richardson the novelist painted his pathetic picture of Clarissa
Harlowe. With slow, laborious touches, with delicate gradations of
colour, sometimes with almost tedious minuteness and iteration, the
gradual growth of a strangely composite character is presented,
surrounded by the influences which controlled or moulded its
development, and traced through all the varieties of its rapidly
changing moods. Written, as Byron wrote, with habitual exaggeration, and
on the impulse of the moment, his letters correct one another, and, from
this point of view, every letter contained in the volume adds something
to the truth and completeness of the portrait.
Round the central figure of Byron are grouped his relations and friends,
and two of the most interesting features in the volume are the strength
of his family affections, and the width, if not the depth, of his
capacity for friendship. His father died when the child was only three
years old. But a bundle of his letters, written from Valenciennes to his
sister, Mrs. Leigh, in 1790-91, still exists, to attest, with startling
plainness of speech, the strength of the tendencies which John Byron
transmitted to his son. The following extract contains the father’s only
allusion to the boy:–
  “Valenciennes, Feb. 16, 1791.
  Have you never received any letters from me by way of Bologne? I have
  sent two. For God’s sake send me some, as I have a great deal to pay.
  With regard to Mrs. Byron, I am glad she writes to you. She is very
  amiable at a distance; but I defy you and all the Apostles to live
  with her two months, for, if any body could live with her, it was me.
  ‘Mais jeu de Mains, jeu de Vilains’. For my son, I am happy to hear he
  is well; but for his walking, ’tis impossible, as he is club-footed.”
Between his mother and himself, in spite of frequent and violent
collisions, there existed a real affection, while the warmth of his love
for his half-sister Augusta, who had much of her brother’s power of
winning affection, lost nothing in its permanence from the rarity of
their personal intercourse. Outside the family circle, the volume
introduces the only two men among his contemporaries who remained his
lifelong friends. In his affection for Lord Clare, whom he very rarely
saw after leaving school, there was a tinge of romance, and in him Byron
seems to have personified the best memories of an idealized Harrow. In
Hobhouse he found at once the truest and the most intimate of his
friends, a man whom he both liked and respected, and to whose opinion
and judgment he repeatedly deferred. On Hobhouse’s side, the sentiment
which induced him, eminently sensible and practical as he was, to
treasure the nosegay which Byron had given him, long after it was
withered, shows how attractive must have been the personality of the
Without the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’, the labour of preparing
the letters for the press would be trebled. Both in the facts which it
supplies, and in the sources of information which it suggests, it is an
invaluable aid.
In conclusion, I desire to express my special obligations to Lord
Lovelace and Mr. Richard Edgcumbe, who have read the greater part of the
proofs, and to both of whom I am indebted for several useful
March, 1898.
List of Letters
1.  Nov. 8.     To Mrs. Parker
2.  March 13.   To his Mother
3.  Undated.    To John Hanson
4.  May 1.      To his Mother
5.  June 23,    To his Mother
6.  Sept.       To his Mother
7.  March 22.   To the Hon. Augusta Byron
8.  March 26.   To the Hon. Augusta Byron
9.  April  2.   To the Hon. Augusta Byron
10. April 9.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
11  Aug. 18.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
12. Aug. 29.    To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
13. Oct. 25.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
14. Nov. 2.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
15. Nov. 11.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
16. Nov. 17.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
17. Nov. 21.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
18. Dec. 1.     To John Hanson
19. Jan. 30.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
20. April 4.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
21. April 15.   To Hargreaves Hanson
22. April 20.   To Hargreaves Hanson
23. April 23.   To the Hon. Augusta Byron
24. April 25.   To the Hon. Augusta Byron
25. May 11.     To John Hanson
26. June 5.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
27. June 27.    To John Hanson
28. July 2.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
29. July 8.     To John Hanson
30. Aug. 4.     To Charles O. Gordon
31. Aug. 6.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
32. Aug. 10.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
33. Aug. 14.    To Charles O. Gordon.
34. Aug. 19.    To Hargreaves Hanson
35. Undated.    To Hargreaves Hanson
36. Oct. 25.    To Hargreaves Hanson
37. Oct. 26.    To John Hanson
38. Nov. 6.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
39. Nov. 12.    To Hargreaves Hanson
40. Nov. 23.    To John Hanson
41. Nov. 30.    To John Hanson
42. Dec. 4.     To John Hanson
43. Dec. 13.    To John Hanson
44. Dec. 26.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
45. Dec. 27.    To the Hon. Augusta Byron
46. Jan. 7.     To the Hon. Augusta Byron
47. Feb. 26.    To his Mother
48. March 3.    To John Hanson
49. March 10.   To John Hanson
50. March 25.   To John Hanson
51. May 16.     To Henry Angelo
52. Aug. 9.     To John M.B. Pigot
53. Aug. 10.    To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
54. Aug. 10.    To John M.B. Pigot
55. Aug. 16.    To John M.B. Pigot
56. Aug. 18.    To John M.B. Pigot
57. Aug. 26.    To John M. B. Pigot
58. Undated.    To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
59. Dec. 7.     To John Hanson
60. Jan. 12.    To J. Ridge
61. Jan. 13.    To John M. B. Pigot
62. Jan. 31.    To Captain John Leacroft
63. Feb. 4.      ”      ”      “
64. Feb. 4.      ”      ”      “
65. Feb. 6.     To the Earl of Clare
66. Feb. 8.     To Mrs. Hanson
67. March 6.    To William Bankes
68. Undated.     ”       “
69. Undated.    To—-Falkner
70. April 2.    To John Hanson
71. April.      To John M. B. Pigot
72. April 19.   To John Hanson
73. June 11.    To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
74. June 30.      ”        ”       “
75. July 5.       ”        ”       “
76. July 13.      ”        ”       “
77. July 20.    To John Hanson
78. Aug. 2.     To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
79. Aug. 11.     ”        ”       “
80. Oct. 19.    To John Hanson
81. Oct. 26.    To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot
82. Nov. 20.    To J. Ridge
83. Dec. 2.     To John Hanson
84. Nov. 9 (1820) To John Murray
85. Jan. 13.    To Henry Drury
86. Jan. 16.    To John Cam Hobhouse
87. Jan. 20.    To Robert Charles Dallas
88. Jan. 21.     ”      ”       “
89. Jan. 25.    To John Hanson
90. Jan. 25.     ”    “
91. Feb. 2.     To James De Bathe
92. Feb. 11.    To William Harness
93. Feb. 21.    To J. Ridge
94. Feb. 26.    To the Rev. John Becher
95. March 28.    ”      ”      “
96. April 26.   To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
97. Sept. 14.   To the Rev. John Becher
98. Sept. 18.   To John Jackson
99. Oct. 4.      ”     “
100. Oct. 7.    To his Mother
101. Nov. 2.      ”     “
102. Nov. 3.    To Francis Hodgson
103. Nov. 18.   To John Hanson
104. Nov. 27.   To Francis Hodgson
105. Nov. 30.   To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
106. Dec. 14.      ”     ”      “
107. Dec. 17.   To John Hanson
108. Dec. 17.   To Francis Hodgson
109. Jan. 15.   To John Hanson
110. Jan. 25.   To R. C. Dallas
111. Feb. 7.       ”     ”      “
112. Feb. 11.      ”     ”      “
113. Feb. 12.      ”     ”      “
114. Feb. 16.      ”     ”      “
115. Feb. 19.      ”     ”      “
116. Feb. 22.      ”     ”      “
117. March 6.    To his Mother
118. March 18.   To William Harness
119. Undated.    To William Bankes
120. April 25.   To R. C. Dallas
121. April 26.   To John Hanson
122. May 15.     To the Rev. R. Lowe
123. June 22.    To his Mother
124. June 28.    To the Rev. Henry Drury
125. June 25-30. To Francis Hodgson
126. July 16.      ”     ”      “
127. Aug. 6.       ”     ”      “
128. Aug. 11.    To his Mother
129. Aug. 15.    To Mr. Rushton
130. Sept. 15.   To his Mother
131. Nov. 12.    ”     ”      “
132. March 19. To his Mother
133. April  9. To his Mother
134. April I0. To his Mother
135. April 17. To his Mother
136. May 3.    To Henry Drury
137. May 5.    To Francis Hodgson
138. May 18.   To his Mother
139. May 24.   To his Mother
140. June 17.  To Henry Drury
141. June 28.  To his Mother
142. July  1.  To his Mother
143. July  4.  To Francis Hodgson
144. July 25.  To his Mother
145. July 27.  To his Mother
146. July 30.  To his Mother
147. Oct.  2.  To his Mother
148. Oct.  3.  To Francis Hodgson
149. Oct.  4.  To John Cam Hobhouse
150. Nov. 14.  To Francis Hodgson
151. Jan. 14.  To his Mother
I52. Feb. 28.  To his Mother
153. June 25.  To his Mother
154. June 28.  To R. C. Dallas
155. June 29.  To Francis Hodgson
156. July 17.  To Henry Drury
157. July 23.  To his Mother
158. July 30.  To William Miller
159. Aug.  2.  To John M. B. Pigot
160. Aug.  4.  To John Hanson
161. Aug.  7.  To Scrope Berdmore Davies
162. Aug. 12.  To R. C. Dallas
163. Aug. 12.  To—-Bolton
164. Aug. 16.  To—-Bolton
165. Aug. 20.  To—-Bolton
166. Aug. 21.  To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
167. Aug. 21.  To R. C. Dallas
168. Aug. 22.  To Francis Hodgson
Catherine Gordon of Gight (1765-1811), afterwards Mrs. Byron, and mother
of the poet, was descended on the paternal side from Sir William Gordon
of Gight, the third son, by Annabella Stewart, daughter of James I of
Scotland, of George, second Earl of Huntly, Chancellor of Scotland
(1498-1502), and Lord-Lieutenant of the North from 1491 to his death in
1507. The owners of Gight, now a ruin, once a feudal stronghold, were a
hot-headed, hasty-handed race, sufficiently notable to be commemorated
by Thomas the Rhymer, and to leave their mark in the traditions of
Aberdeenshire. In the seventh generation from Sir William Gordon, the
property passed to an heiress, Mary Gordon. By her marriage with
Alexander Davidson of Newton, who assumed the name of Gordon, she had a
son Alexander, Mrs. Byron’s grandfather, who married Margaret Duff of
Craigston, a cousin of the first Earl of Fife. Their eldest son, George,
the fifth of the Gordons of Gight who bore that name, married Catherine
Innes of Rosieburn, and by her became the father of Catherine Gordon,
born in 1765, afterwards Mrs. Byron. Both her parents dying early,
Catherine Gordon was brought up at Banff by her grandmother, commonly
called Lady Gight, a penurious, illiterate woman, who, however, was
careful that her granddaughter was better educated than herself. Thus,
for the second time, Gight, which, with other property, was worth
between £23,000 and £24,000, passed to an heiress.
Miss Catherine Gordon had her full share of feminine vanity. At the age
of thirty-five she was a stout, dumpy, coarse-looking woman, awkward in
her movements, provincial in her accent and manner. But as her son was
vain of his personal appearance, and especially of his hands, neck, and
ears, so she, when other charms had vanished, clung to her pride in her
arms and hands. She exhausted the patience of Stewartson the artist, who
in 1806, after forty sittings, painted her portrait, by her anxiety to
have a particular turn in her elbow exhibited in the most pleasing
light. Of her ancestry she was, to use her son’s expression, as “proud
as Lucifer,” looked down upon the Byron family, and regarded the Duke of
Gordon as an inferior member of her clan. In later life, at any rate,
her temper was ungovernable; her language, when excited, unrestrained;
her love of gossip insatiable. Capricious in her moods, she flew from
one extreme to the other, passing, for the slightest cause, from
passionate affection to equally passionate resentment. How far these
defects were produced, as they certainly were aggravated, by her
husband’s ill treatment and her hard struggle with poverty, it is
impossible to say. She had many good qualities. She bore her ruin, as
her letters show, with good sense, dignity, and composure. She lived on
a miserable pittance without running into debt; she pinched herself in
order to give her son a liberal supply of money; she was warm-hearted
and generous to those in distress. She adored her scamp of a husband,
and, in her own way, was a devoted mother. In politics she affected
democratic opinions, took in the ‘Morning Chronicle’, and paid for it,
as is shown by a bill sent in after her death, at the rate of £4 17s.
6d. for the half-year–no small deduction from her narrow income. She
was fond of books, subscribed to the Southwell Book Club, copied
passages which struck her in the course of her reading, collected all
the criticisms on her son’s poetry, made shrewd remarks upon them
herself (Moore’s ‘Journal and Correspondence’, vol. v. p. 295), and
corresponded with her friends on literary subjects.
In 1785 Miss Catherine Gordon was at Bath, where, it may be mentioned,
her father had, some years before, committed suicide. There she met, and
there, on May 13, 1785, in the parish church of St. Michael, as the
register shows, she married Captain John Byron.
Captain John Byron (1755-91), born at Plymouth, was the eldest son of
Admiral the Hon. John Byron (1723-86)–known in the Royal Navy as “Hardy
Byron” or “Foul-weather Jack”–by his marriage (1748) with Sophia
Trevanion of Carhais, in Cornwall. The admiral, next brother to William,
fifth Lord Byron, was a distinguished naval officer, whose ‘Narrative’
of his shipwreck in the ‘Wager’ was published in 1768, and whose ‘Voyage
round the World’ in the ‘Dolphin’ was described by “an officer in the
said ship” in 1767. His eldest son, John Byron, educated at Westminster
and a French Military Academy, entered the Guards and served in America.
A gambler, a spendthrift, a profligate scamp, disowned by his father, he
in 1778 ran away with, and in 1779 married, Lady Carmarthen, wife of
Francis, afterwards fifth Duke of Leeds, née Lady Amelia d’Arcy, only
child and heiress of the last Earl of Holderness, and Baroness Conyers
in her own right.
Captain Byron and his wife lived in Paris, where were born to them a son
and a daughter, both of whom died in infancy, and Augusta, born 1783,
the poet’s half-sister, who subsequently married her first cousin,
Colonel George Leigh. In 1784 Lady Conyers died, and Captain Byron
returned to England, a widower, over head and ears in debt, and in
search of an heiress.
It was a rhyme in Aberdeenshire–
  “When the heron leaves the tree,
  The laird of Gight shall landless be.”
Tradition has it that, at the marriage of Catherine Gordon with “mad
Jack Byron,” the heronry at Gight passed over to Kelly or Haddo, the
property of the Earl of Aberdeen. “The land itself will not be long in
following,” said his lordship, and so it proved. For a few months Mrs.
Byron Gordon–for her husband assumed the name, and by this title her
Scottish friends always addressed her–lived at Gight. But the ready
money, the outlying lands, the rights of fishery, the timber, failed to
liquidate Captain Byron’s debts, and in 1786 Gight itself was sold to
Lord Aberdeen for £17,850. Mrs. Byron Gordon found herself, at the end
of eighteen months, stripped of her property, and reduced to the income
derived from £4200, subject to an annuity payable to her grandmother.
She bore the reverse with a composure which shows her to have been a
woman of no ordinary courage. Her letters on the subject are sensible,
not ill-expressed, and, considering the circumstances in which they were
written, give a favourable impression of her character.
The wreck of their fortunes compelled Mrs. Byron Gordon and her husband
to retire to France. At the beginning of 1788 she had returned to
London, and on January 22, 1788, at 16, Holles Street (since numbered
24, and now destroyed), in the back drawing-room of the first floor,
gave birth to her only child, George Gordon, afterwards sixth Lord
Byron. Hanson gives the names of the nurse, Mrs. Mills, the man-midwife,
Mr. Combe, the doctor, Dr. Denman, who attended Mrs. Byron at her
confinement. Dallas was, therefore, mistaken in his supposition that the
poet was born at Dover. The child was baptized in London on February 29,
1788, as is proved by the register of the parish of Marylebone.
Shortly after the birth of her son, Mrs. Byron settled in Aberdeen,
where she lived for upwards of eight years. During her stay there, in
the summer of 1791, her husband died at Valenciennes. In the year 1794,
by the death of his cousin William John Byron (1772-94) from a wound
received at the siege of Calvi, in Corsica, her son became the heir to
his great-uncle, the “wicked Lord Byron” (William, fifth Lord Byron,
1722-98), and a solicitor named Hanson was appointed to protect the
boy’s interests. From Aberdeen Mrs. Byron kept up a correspondence with
her sister-in-law, Frances Leigh (‘née’ Byron), wife of General Charles
Leigh, to whom, in a letter, dated March 27, 1791, she speaks of her son
as “very well, and really a charming boy.” Writing again to Mrs. Leigh,
December 8, 1794, she says,
  “I think myself much obliged to you for being so interested for
  George; you may be sure I would do anything I could for my son, but I
  really don’t see what can be done for him in that case. You say you
  are afraid Lord B. will dispose of the estates that are left, if he
  can; if he has it in his power, nobody can prevent him from selling
  them; if he has not, no one will buy them from him. You know Lord
  Byron. Do you think he will do anything for George, or be at any
  expense to give him a proper education; or, if he wish to do it, is
  his present fortune such a one that he could spare anything out of it?
  You know how poor I am, not that I mean to ask him to do anything for
  him, that is to say, to be of any expense on his account.”
If any application was made to the boy’s great-uncle, it was
unsuccessful. On May 19, 1798, Lord Byron died, and Hanson informed Mrs.
Byron that her son had succeeded to the title and estates. At the end of
the summer of that year, the little Lord Byron, with his mother and the
nurse May Gray, reached Newstead, and, within a few weeks from their
arrival, his first letter was written. His letters to his mother, it may
be observed, are always addressed to “the Honourable Mrs. Byron,” a
title to which she had no claim.
1.–To Mrs. Parker. [1]
  Newstead Abbey, Nov. 8th, 1798.
  Dear Madam,–My Mamma being unable to write herself desires I will let
  you know that the potatoes are now ready and you are welcome to them
  whenever you please.
  She begs you will ask Mrs. Parkyns if she would wish the poney to go
  round by Nottingham or to go home the nearest way as it is now quite
  well but too small to carry me.
  I have sent a young Rabbit which I beg Miss Frances will accept off
  and which I promised to send before. My Mamma desires her best
  compliments to you all in which I join.
  I am, Dear Aunt, yours sincerely,
  I hope you will excuse all blunders as it is the first letter I ever
[Footnote 1: This letter, the first that Byron wrote, was written when
he was ten years and ten months old. It is preserved in the Library of
Trinity College, Cambridge, and a facsimile is given by Elze, in his
‘Life of Lord Byron’.
It is apparently addressed to his aunt, Mrs. Parker. Charlotte Augusta
Byron, daughter of Admiral the Hon. John Byron, married Christopher
Parker (1761-1804), Vice-Admiral 1804, the son of Admiral of the Fleet
Sir Peter Parker, Bart. (1721-1811). Her son, who, on the death of his
grandfather, succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir Peter Parker, second
Bart. (1786-1814), commanded H.M.S. ‘Menelaus’, and was killed in an
attack on a body of American militia encamped near Baltimore. (See
Byron’s “Elegy on the Death of Sir Peter Parker,” and his letter to
Moore, October 7, 1814.) Her daughter Margaret, one of Byron’s early
loves, inspired, as he says, his “first dash into poetry” (see ‘Poems’,
vol. i, p. 5, note 1).]
2.–To his Mother.
  Nottingham, 13 March, 1799.
  Dear Mama,–I am very glad to hear you are well. I am so myself, thank
  God; upon my word I did not expect so long a Letter from you; however
  I will answer it as well as I can. Mrs. Parkyns and the rest are well
  and are much obliged to you for the present. Mr. Rogers [1] could
  attend me every night at a separate hour from the Miss Parkynses, and
  I am astonished you do not acquiesce in this Scheme which would keep
  me in Mind of what I have almost entirely forgot. I recommend this to
  you because, if some plan of this kind is not adopted, I shall be
  called, or rather branded with the name of a dunce, which you know I
  could never bear. I beg you will consider this plan seriously and I
  will lend it all the assistance in my power. I shall be very glad to
  see the Letter you talk of, and I have time just to say I hope every
  body is well at Newstead,
  And remain, your affectionate Son,
  P.S.–Pray let me know when you are to send in the Horses to go to
  Newstead. May [2] desires her Duty and I also expect an answer by the
[Footnote 1: Dummer Rogers, “Teacher of French, English, Latin, and
Mathematicks”, was, according to ‘Notes and Queries’ (4th series, vol.
iii. p. 561), an American loyalist, pensioned by the English Government.
He lived at Hen Cross, Nottingham, when Byron was staying in that city,
partly with Mrs. Parkyns, partly at Mr. Gill’s, in St. James’s Lane, to
be attended by a man named Lavender, “trussmaker to the general
hospital”, who had some local reputation for the treatment of misshapen
limbs. Lavender, in 1814 (‘Nottingham Directory’ for 1814), appears as a
“surgeon”. Rogers, who read parts of Virgil and Cicero with Byron,
represents him as, for his age, a fair scholar. He was often, during his
lessons, in violent pain, from the position in which his foot was kept;
and Rogers one day said to him, “It makes me uncomfortable, my Lord, to
see you sitting there in such pain as I know you must be suffering”.
“Never mind, Mr. Rogers,” answered the boy; “you shall not see any signs
of it in _me_.” Many years after, when in the neighbourhood of
Nottingham, Byron sent a kind message to his old instructor, bidding the
bearer tell him that he could still recite twenty verses of Virgil which
he had read with Rogers when suffering torture all the time.
[Footnote 2: Byron’s nurse, who had accompanied him from Aberdeen (see
p. 10, note 1).]
3.–To John Hanson. [1]
  SIR,–I am not a little disappointed at your Stay, for this last week
  I expected you every hour; but, however, I beg it as a favour that you
  will come up soon from Newstead as the Holidays commence in three
  weeks Time. I congratulate you on Capt. Hanson’s [1] being appointed
  commander of The ‘Brazen’ Sloop of War, and I congratulate myself on
  Lord Portsmouth’s [2] Marriage, hoping his Lady, when he and I meet
  next, will keep him in a little better order. The manner I knew that
  Capt. Hanson was appointed Commander of the Ship before mentioned was
  this. I saw it in the public Paper, and now, since you are going to
  Newstead, I beg if you meet Gray [3] send her a packing as fast as
  possible, and give my Compliments to Mrs. Hanson and to all my
  comrades of the Battalions in and out upon different Stations,
  And remain, your little friend,
  I forgot to tell you how I was. I am at present very well and my foot
  goes but indifferently; I cannot perceive any alteration.
[Footnote 1: John Hanson, of 6, Chancery Lane, a well-known London
solicitor, was introduced to the Byron family by an Aberdeenshire friend
of Mrs. Byron, Mr. Farquhar, a member of Parliament, and a civilian
practising in Doctors’ Commons. The acquaintance began in January, 1788,
with Byron’s birth, for the midwife and the nurse were recommended by
Mrs. Hanson. Six years later, Hanson was employed by Mrs. Byron to watch
the interests of her son, who in 1794 had become heir-presumptive to his
great-uncle. It was Hanson who, in the summer of 1798, communicated the
news of the death of Lord Byron to Mrs. Byron, and with his wife
received her and her son at Newstead. From that time till the close of
the minority, Hanson was intimately associated with Byron, both as a man
of business and a friend. He selected Dr. Glennie’s school for the boy,
persuaded Lord Carlisle to become his guardian, introduced the ward to
Lord Carlisle, and entered him at Harrow. It was at his house in Earl’s
Court that Byron, for five years, spent a considerable part of his
successive holidays. There he made acquaintance with Hanson’s
children–his sons Charles, Hargreaves (his contemporary at Harrow), and
Newton, and his daughter, Mary Anne, who subsequently (March 7, 1814)
married the Earl of Portsmouth, Byron giving her away. This letter was
written by Byron a few weeks after he had gone to school at Dr.
Glennie’s, in Lordship Lane, Dulwich. He remained there from August,
1799, to April, 1801.
In a letter to Mrs. Byron, dated September 1, 1799, Hanson describes Dr.
Glennie’s “Academy,” where he had shortly before left the boy:–
  “I left my entertaining companion with Mr. Glennie last Thursday week,
  and I have since learnt from him that he is very comfortable and likes
  the situation. His schoolfellows are very fine youths, and their
  deportment does very great credit to their Preceptor. I succeeded in
  getting Lord Byron a separate room, and I am persuaded the greatest
  attention will be paid to him. Mr. Glennie is a Scotchman, has
  travelled a great deal, and seems every way qualified for his present
[Footnote 2: Captain James Hanson, R.N., was the brother of John Hanson
to whom the letter is written. Byron was born with a caul, prized by
sailors as a preservative from drowning. The caul was sold by Mrs.
Mills, the nurse who attended Mrs. Byron in January, 1788, to Captain
Hanson. In January, 1800, Captain Hanson, in command of H.M.S. ‘Brazen’,
had captured a French vessel, which he sent to Portsmouth with a prize
crew. On the 26th of the month, while shorthanded, he was caught in a
storm off Newhaven. The ‘Brazen’ foundered, and Captain Hanson with all
his men, except one, were drowned.]
[Footnote 3: In the late autumn of 1799 Lord Portsmouth was staying with
the Hansons before his marriage (November 23, 1799) with Miss Norton,
sister of Lord Grantley. In rough play he pinched Byron’s ear; the boy
picked up a conch shell which was lying on the ground, and hurled it at
Lord Portsmouth’s head, missing it by a hair’s breadth, and smashing the
glass behind. In vain Mrs. Hanson tried to make the peace by saying that
Byron did not mean the missile for Lord Portsmouth. “But I ‘did’ mean
it!” he reiterated; “I will teach a fool of an earl to pinch another
noble’s ear.”]
[Footnote: 4. The following extract from a letter written by Hanson to
Mrs. Byron (September 1, 1799) places the character of Byron’s nurse in
a different light to that which is given in Moore’s ‘Life’:–
  “I assure you, Madam, I should not have taken the liberty to have
  interfered in your domestic Arrangements, had I not thought it
  absolutely necessary to apprize you of the proceedings of your
  Servant, Mrs. Gray; her conduct towards your son while at Nottingham
  was shocking, and I was persuaded you needed but a hint of it to
  dismiss her. Mrs. Parkyns, when I saw her, said something to me about
  her; but when I found from dispassionate persons at Nottingham, it was
  the general Topic of conversation, it would have ill become me to have
  remained silent.
  My honourable little companion, tho’ disposed to retain his feelings,
  could not refrain, from the harsh usage he had received at her hands,
  from complaining to me, and such is his dread of the Woman that I
  really believe he would forego the satisfaction of seeing you if he
  thought he was to meet her again. He told me that she was perpetually
  beating him, and that his bones sometimes ached from it; that she
  brought all sorts of Company of the very lowest Description into his
  apartments; that she was out late at nights, and he was frequently
  left to put himself to bed; that she would take the Chaise-boys into
  the Chaise with her, and stopped at every little Ale-house to drink
  with them. But, Madam, this is not all; she has even—-traduced
  I entertain a very great affection for Lord Byron, and I trust I shall
  not be considered solely in my professional character, but as his
  Friend. I introduced him to my Friends, Lord Grantley and his Brother
  General Norton, who were vastly taken with him, as indeed are every
  one. And I should be mortified in the highest degree to see the
  honourable feelings of my little fellow exposed to insult by the
  inordinate Indiscretions of any Servant. He has Ability and a
  quickness of Conception, and a correct Discrimination that is seldom
  seen in a youth, and he is a fit associate of men, and choice indeed
  must be the Company that is selected for him.”]
4.–To his Mother.
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, Sunday, May 1st, 1803.
  MY DEAR MOTHER,–I received your Letter the other day. And am happy to
  hear you are well. I hope you will find Newstead in as favorable a
  state as you can wish. I wish you would write to Sheldrake to tell him
  to make haste with my shoes. [1]
  I am sorry to say that Mr. Henry Drury [2] has behaved himself to me
  in a manner I neither’can’ nor ‘will bear’. He has seized now an
  opportunity of showing his resentment towards me. To day in church I
  was talking to a Boy who was sitting next me; ‘that’ perhaps was not
  right, but hear what followed. After Church he spoke not a word to me,
  but he took this Boy to his pupil room, where he abused me in a most
  violent manner, called me ‘blackguard’, said he ‘would’ and ‘could’
  have me expelled from the School, and bade me thank his ‘Charity’ that
  ‘prevented’ him; this was the Message he sent me, to which I shall
  return no answer, but submit my case to ‘you’ and those you may think
  ‘fit’ to ‘consult’. Is this fit usage for any body? had I ‘stole’ or
  behaved in the most ‘abominable’ way to him, his language could not
  have been more outrageous. What must the boys think of me to hear such
  a Message ordered to be delivered to me by a ‘Master’? Better let him
  take away my life than ruin my ‘Character’. My Conscience acquits me
  of ever ‘meriting’ expulsion at this School; I have been ‘idle’ and I
  certainly ought not to talk in church, but I have never done a mean
  action at this School to him or ‘any one’. If I had done anything so
  ‘heinous’, why should he allow me to stay at the School? Why should he
  himself be so ‘criminal’ as to overlook faults which merit the
  ‘appellation’ of a ‘blackguard’? If he had had it in his power to have
  me expelled, he would long ago have ‘done’ it; as it is, he has done
  ‘worse’. If I am treated in this Manner, I will not stay at this
  School. I write you that I will not as yet appeal to Dr. Drury; his
  Son’s influence is more than mine and ‘justice’ would be ‘refused’ me.
  Remember I told you, when I ‘left’ you at ‘Bath’, that he would seize
  every means and opportunity of revenge, not for leaving him so much as
  the mortification he suffered, because I begged you to let me leave
  him. If I had been the Blackguard he talks of, why did he not of his
  own accord refuse to keep me as his ‘pupil’? You know Dr. Drury’s
  first letter, in it were these Words: “My son and Lord Byron have had
  some Disagreements; but I hope that his future behaviour will render a
  change of Tutors unnecessary.” Last Term I was here but a short time,
  and though he endeavoured, he could find nothing to abuse me in. Among
  other things I forgot to tell you he said he had a great mind to expel
  the Boy for speaking to me, and that if he ever again spoke to me he
  would expel him. Let him explain his meaning; he abused me, but he
  neither did nor can mention anything bad of me, further than what
  every boy else in the School has done. I fear him not; but let him
  explain his meaning; ’tis all I ask. I beg you will write to Dr. Drury
  to let him know what I have said. He has behaved to me, as also Mr.
  Evans, very kindly. If you do not take notice of this, I will leave
  the School myself; but I am sure ‘you’ will not see me ‘ill treated’;
  better that I should suffer anything than this. I believe you will be
  tired by this time of reading my letter, but, if you love me, you will
  now show it. Pray write me immediately. I shall ever remain, Your
  affectionate Son, BYRON.
  P.S.–Hargreaves Hanson desires his love to you and hopes you are very
  well. I am not in want of any Money so will not ask you for any. God
  bless, bless you.
[Footnote 1: Byron appears to have suffered from what would now be
described as infantile paralysis, which affected the inner muscles of
the right leg and foot, and rendered him permanently lame. Before
leaving London for Aberdeen, Mrs. Byron consulted John Hunter, who, in
correspondence with Dr. Livingstone of Aberdeen, advised her as to the
treatment of her son. Writing, May 31, 1791, to Mrs. Leigh, she says,
“George’s foot turns inward, and it is the right foot; he walks quite on
the side of his foot.” In 1798 the child was placed under the care of
Lavender (see p. 7, note 1) at Nottingham, doubtless on the
recommendation of his aunt. In July, 1799, he was taken to London, in
order to consult Dr. Baillie. From July, 1799, till the end of 1802, he
was attended by Baillie in consultation with Dr. Laurie of 2,
Bartholomew’s Close. Special appliances were made for the boy, under
their superintendence, by a scientific bootmaker named Sheldrake, in the
Strand. In ‘The Lancet’ for 1827-8 (vol. ii. p. 779) Mr. T. Sheldrake
describes “Lord Byron’s case,” giving an illustration of the foot. His
account does not tally, in some respects, with that taken from
contemporary letters, and his sketch represents the left not the right
leg. But the nature and extent of Byron’s lameness have been the subject
of a curious variety of opinion. Lady Blessington, Moore, Gait, the
Contessa Albrizzi, never knew which foot was deformed. Jackson, the
boxer, thought it was the ‘left’ foot. Trelawney says that it proceeded
from a contraction of the back sinews, and that the ‘right’ foot was
most distorted. The lasts from which his shoes were made by Swift, the
Southwell bootmaker, are preserved in the Nottingham Museum, and in both
the foot is perfect in shape. The last pair of shoes modelled on them
were made May 7, 1807. Mrs. Leigh Hunt says that the ‘left’ foot was
shrunken, but was not a club-foot. Stendhal says the ‘right’ foot.
Thorwaldsen indicates the ‘left’ foot. Dr. James Millingen, who
inspected the feet after the poet’s death, says that there was a
malformation of the ‘left’ foot and leg, and that he was born
club-footed. Two surgical boots are in the possession of Mr. Murray,
made for Byron as a child; both are for the ‘right’ foot, ankle, and
leg, and, assuming that they were made to fit the foot, they are too
long and thin for a club-foot. Both at Dulwich and at Harrow, Byron was
frequently seen by Laurie, whom Mrs. Byron paid, as she once complained
in a letter to Laurie, “at the rate of £150 a year.” It is difficult to
see what more could have been done for the boy, and the explanation of
the failure to effect a cure is probably to be found in the following
extracts from two of Laurie’s letters to Mrs. Byron. The first is dated
December 7, 1801:–
  “Agreeable to your desire, I waited on Lord Byron at Harrow, and I
  think it proper to inform you that I found his foot in a much worse
  state than when I last saw it,–the shoe entirely wet through and the
  brace round his ancle quite loose. I much fear his extreme inattention
  will counteract every exertion on my part to make him better. I have
  only to add that with proper care and bandaging, his foot may still be
  greatly recovered; but any delay further than the present vacation
  would render it folly to undertake it.”
The second letter is dated October 2, 1802. In it Laurie complains that
the boy had spent several days in London without seeing him, and adds–
  “I cannot help lamenting he has so little sense of the Benefit he has
  already received as to be so apparently neglectful.”]
[Footnote 2: For Henry Drury (afterwards an intimate friend of Byron)
and his father, the Head-master of Harrow, see p. 41, note 2.
When Byron went to Harrow, in April, 1801, he was placed in Henry
Drury’s house. But in January, 1803, he refused to go back to school
unless he was removed from Drury’s care. He was in consequence placed at
Evans’s house. Dr. Drury, writing to explain the new arrangement, says,
in a letter to Hanson, dated February 4, 1803–
  “The reason why Lord Byron wishes for this change arises from the
  repeated complaints of Mr. Henry Drury respecting his Inattention to
  Business, and his propensity to make others laugh and disregard their
  Employments as much as himself. On this subject I have had many very
  serious conversations with him, and though Mr. H. D. had repeatedly
  requested me to withdraw him from his Tuition, yet, relying on my own
  remonstrances and arguments to rectify his Error, and on his own
  reflection to confirm him in what is right, I was unwilling to accede
  to my son’s wishes. Lord Byron has now made the request himself; I am
  glad it has been made, as he thereby imposes on himself an additional
  responsibility, and encourages me to hope that by this change he
  intends to lay aside all that negligence and those Childish Practices
  which were the cause of former complaints.”
Fresh troubles soon arose, as Byron’s letter indicates. Hanson forwarded
the boy’s complaint to Dr. Drury, from whom he received the following
answer, dated May 15, 1803:–
  “The Perusal of the inclosed has allowed me to inquire into the whole
  Matter, and to relieve your young friend’s Mind from any uneasy
  impression it might have sustained from a hasty word I fairly confess.
  I am sorry it was ever uttered; but certainly it was never intended to
  make so deep a wound as his letter intimates.
  “I may truly say, without any parade of words, that I am deeply
  interested in Lord Byron’s welfare. He possesses, as his letter
  proves, a mind that feels, and that can discriminate reasonably on
  points in which it conceives itself injured. When I look forward to
  the Possibility of the exercise of his Talents hereafter, and his
  supplying the Deficiencies of fortune by the exertion of his abilities
  and by application, I feel particularly hurt to see him idle, and
  negligent, and apparently indifferent to the great object to be
  pursued. This event, and the conversations which have passed between
  us relative to it, will probably awaken in his mind a greater degree
  of emulation, and make him studious of acquiring Distinction among his
  Schoolfellows, as well as of securing to himself the affectionate
  regard of his Instructors.”]
5.–To his Mother.
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, June 23rd, 6th, 8th, 30th, 1803.
  My dear Mother,–I am much obliged to you for the Money you sent me. I
  have already wrote to you several times about writing to Sheldrake: I
  wish you would write to him, or Mr. Hanson to call on him, to tell him
  to make an Instrument for my leg immediately, as I want one, rather. I
  have been placed in a higher form in this School to day, and Dr. Drury
  and I go on very well; write soon, my Dear Mother.
  I remain, your affectionate Son,
6.–To his Mother. [1]
  Southwell, [Sept. 1803].
  MY DEAR MOTHER,–I have sent Mealey [2] to day to you, before William
  came, but now I shall write myself. I _promise_ you, upon my _honour_,
  I will come over tomorrow in the _Afternoon_. I was not wishing to
  resist your _Commands_, and really seriously intended coming over
  tomorrow, ever since I received your last Letter; you know as well as
  I do that it is not your Company I dislike, but the place you reside
  in. I know it is time to go to Harrow. It will make me _unhappy_; but
  I will _obey_. I only desire, entreat, this one day, and on my
  _honour_ I will be over tomorrow in the evening or afternoon. I am
  sorry you disapprove my Companions, who, however, are the first this
  County affords, and my equals in most respects; but I will be
  permitted to chuse for myself. I shall never interfere in your’s and I
  desire you will not molest me in mine. If you grant me this favour,
  and allow me this one day unmolested, you will eternally oblige your
  Unhappy Son,
  I shall attempt to offer no excuse as you do not desire one. I only
  entreat you as a Governor, not as a Mother, to allow me this one day.
  Those that I most love live in this County; therefore in the name of
  Mercy I entreat this one day to take leave, and then I will join you
  again at Southwell to prepare to go to a place where–I will write no
  more; it would only incense you. Adieu. Tomorrow I come.
[Footnote 1: This letter is endorsed by Hanson, “Lord Byron to his
mother, “1803”. In September, 1803, at the end of the summer holidays,
Byron did not return to Harrow. Dr. Drury asked the reason, received no
reply, and, on October 4, applied to Hanson for an explanation. Hanson’s
inquiry drew from Mrs. Byron, on October 30, the following answer, with
which was enclosed the above letter from Byron:–
  “You may well be surprized, and so may Dr. Drury, that Byron is not
  returned to Harrow. But the Truth is, I cannot get him to return to
  school, though I have done all in my power for six weeks past. He has
  no indisposition that I know of, but love, desperate love, the ‘worst’
  of all ‘maladies’ in my opinion. In short, the Boy is distractedly in
  love with Miss Chaworth, and he has not been with me three weeks all
  the time he has been in this county, but spent all his time at
  If my son was of a proper age and the lady ‘disengaged’, it is the
  last of all connexions that I would wish to take place; it has given
  me much uneasiness. To prevent all trouble in future, I am determined
  he shall not come here again till Easter; therefore I beg you will
  find some proper situation for him at the next Holydays. I don’t care
  what I pay. I wish Dr. Drury would keep him.
  I shall go over to Newstead to-morrow and make a ‘last effort’ to get
  him to Town.”
The effort, if made, failed. On November 7, 1803, Mrs. Byron wrote
  “Byron is really so unhappy that I have agreed, much against my
  inclination, to let him remain in this County till after the next
It was not till January, 1804, that Byron returned to Harrow.
Miss Mary Anne Chaworth, the object of Byron’s passion, was then living
with her mother, Mrs. Clarke, at Annesley, near Newstead (see ‘Poems’,
vol. i. p. 189, and note 1). The grand-niece of the Mr. Chaworth who
was killed in a duel by William, fifth Lord Byron, on January 26, 1765
(‘Annual Register’, 1765, pp. 208-212; and ‘State Trials’, vol. xix. pp.
1178-1236), and the heiress of Annesley, she married, in August, 1805,
John Musters, by whom she had a daughter, born in 1806. (See “Well! thou
art happy!” ‘Poems’, vol. i. p. 277; see also, for other allusions to
Mrs. Chaworth Musters, ‘ibid’., pp. 210, 239, 282, 285; and “The Dream”
of July, 1816.) In Byron’s memorandum-book, he describes a visit which
he paid to Matlock with Miss Chaworth’s mother, her stepfather Mr.
Clarke, some friends, “and ‘my’ M. A. C. Alas! why do I say MY? Our
union would have healed feuds in which blood had been shed by our
fathers,–it would have joined lands broad and rich, it would have
joined at least ‘one’ heart, and two persons not ill matched in years
(she is two years my elder) and–and–and–‘what’ has been the
result?” (‘Life’, p. 27).
Mrs. Musters, after an unhappy married life, died in February, 1832, at
Wiverton Hall, near Nottingham.
The connection between the families of Chaworth and Byron came through
the marriage of William, third Lord Byron (died 1695), with Elizabeth
Chaworth (died 1683), daughter of George Chaworth, created (1627)
Viscount Chaworth of Armagh (Thoroton’s ‘Nottinghamshire’, vol. i. p.
[Footnote 2: Owen Mealey, the steward at Newstead.]
7.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron. [1]
  [At 63, Portland Place, London.]
  Burgage Manor, [Thursday], March 22d, 1804.
  Although, My ever Dear Augusta, I have hitherto appeared remiss in
  replying to your kind and affectionate letters; yet I hope you will
  not attribute my neglect to a want of affection, but rather to a
  shyness naturally inherent in my Disposition. I will now endeavour as
  amply as lies in my power to repay your kindness, and for the Future I
  hope you will consider me not only as _a Brother_ but as your warmest
  and most affectionate _Friend_, and if ever Circumstances should
  require it your _protector_. Recollect, My Dearest Sister, that you
  are _the nearest relation_ I have in _the world both by the ties of
  Blood_ and _affection_. If there is anything in which I can serve you,
  you have only to mention it; Trust to your Brother, and be assured he
  will never betray your confidence. When You see my Cousin and future
  Brother George Leigh, [2] tell him that I already consider him as my
  Friend, for whoever is beloved by you, my amiable Sister, will always
  be equally Dear to me.
  I arrived here today at 2 o’clock after a fatiguing Journey, I found
  my Mother perfectly well. She desires to be kindly remembered to you;
  as she is just now Gone out to an assembly, I have taken the first
  opportunity to write to you, I hope she will not return immediately;
  for if she was to take it into her head to peruse my epistle, there is
  one part of it which would produce from her a panegyric on _a friend
  of yours_, not at all agreeable to me, and I fancy, _not particularly
  delightful to you_. If you see Lord Sidney Osborne [3] I beg you will
  remember me to him; I fancy he has almost forgot me by this time, for
  it is rather more than a year Since I had the pleasure of Seeing
  him.–Also remember me to poor old Murray; [4] tell him we will see
  that something is to be done for him, for _while I live he shall never
  be abandoned In his old Age_. Write to me Soon, my Dear Augusta, And
  do not forget to love me, In the meantime, I remain, more than words
  can express, your ever sincere, affectionate
  Brother and Friend,
  P.S. Do not forget to knit the purse you promised me, Adieu my beloved
[Footnote: 1. The Hon. Augusta Byron, Byron’s half-sister (January,
1783-November, 1851), was the daughter of Captain John Byron by his
first wife, Amelia d’Arcy (died 1784), only child of the last Earl of
Holderness, Baroness Conyers in her own right, the divorced wife of
Francis, Marquis of Carmarthen, subsequently fifth Duke of Leeds. After
the return of Captain and Mrs. Byron to London early in 1788, she was
brought up by her grandmother, the Countess of Holderness. When the
latter died, Augusta Byron divided her time between her half-sister,
Lady Mary Osborne, who married, July 16, 1801, Lord Pelham, subsequently
(1805) Earl of Chichester; her half-brother George, who succeeded his
father as sixth Duke of Leeds in 1799; her cousin, the Earl of Carlisle;
and General and Mrs. Harcourt. From their houses her letters during the
period 1803-7 are written. In 1807 she married her first cousin, Colonel
George Leigh of the Tenth Dragoons, the son of General Charles Leigh, by
Frances, daughter of Admiral the Hon. John Byron. By her husband, who
was a friend of the Prince Regent and well known in society, she was the
mother of seven children. Their home was at Newmarket, till, in April,
1818, they were granted apartments in Flag Court, St. James’s Palace,
where she died in November, 1851.
Augusta Byron seems scarcely to have seen her brother between his
infancy and 1802. Lady Holderness and Mrs. Byron were not on friendly
terms, and it was not till the former’s death that any intimacy was
renewed between the brother and sister. Writing on October 18, 1801, to
Augusta Byron, Mrs. Byron says, in allusion to the death of Lady
  “As I wish to bury what is past in _oblivion_, I shall avoid all
  reflections on a person now no more; my opinion of yourself I have
  suspended for some years; the time is now arrived when I shall form a
  very _decided_ one. I take up my pen now, however, to condole with you
  on the melancholy event that has happened, to offer you every
  consolation in my power, to assure you of the inalterable regard and
  friendship of myself and son. We will be extremely happy if ever we
  can be of any service to you, now or at any future period. I take it
  upon me to answer for him; although he knows so little of you, he
  often mentions you to me in the most affectionate manner, indeed the
  goodness of his heart and amiable disposition is such that your being
  his sister, had he never seen you, would be a sufficient claim upon
  him and ensure you every attention in his power to bestow.
  Ah, Augusta, need I assure you that you will ever be dear to me as the
  Daughter of the man I tenderly loved, as the sister of my beloved, my
  darling Boy, and I take God to witness you _once_ was dear to me on
  your own account, and may be so _again_. I still recollect with a
  degree of horror the many _sleepless_ nights, and days of _agony_, I
  have passed by your bedside drowned in tears, while you lay insensible
  and at the gates of death. Your recovery certainly was wonderful, and
  thank God I did my duty. These days you cannot remember, but I never
  will forget them … Your brother is at Harrow School, and, if you
  wish to see him, I have now no desire to keep you asunder.”
From 1802 till Byron’s death, Augusta took in him the interest of an
elder sister. Writing to Hanson (June 17, 1804), she says–
  “Pray write me a line and mention all you hear of my dear Brother: he
  was a most delightful correspondent while he remained in
  Nottinghamshire: but I can’t obtain a single line from Harrow. I was
  much struck with his _general improvement_; it was beyond the
  expectations raised by what you had told me, and his letters gave me
  the most excellent opinion of both his _Head_ and _Heart_.”
In this tone the letters are continued (see extracts p. 39; p. 45,
note 1; and p. 97 [Letter 48], [Foot]note 1 [further down]).
From the end of 1805, with some interruptions, and less regularity, the
correspondence between brother and sister was maintained to the end of
Byron’s life. To Augusta, then Mrs. Leigh, Byron sent a presentation
copy of ‘Childe Harold’, with the inscription:
  “To Augusta, my dearest sister, and my best friend, who has ever loved
  me much better than I deserved, this volume is presented by her
  father’s son and most affectionate brother.”
She was the god-mother of Byron’s daughter Augusta Ada, born December
10, 1815. In January, 1816, when Lady Byron was still with her husband,
she writes of and to Mrs. Leigh:
  “In this at least, I _am_ ‘truth itself,’ when I say that, whatever
  the situation may be, there is no one whose society is dearer to me,
  or can contribute more to my happiness.”
Lady Byron left Byron on January 15, 1816. Writing to Mrs. Leigh from
Kirby Mallory, she speaks of her as her “best comforter,” notices her
absolute unselfishness, and says that Augusta’s presence in Byron’s
house in Piccadilly is her “great comfort” (Lady Byron’s letters to Mrs.
Leigh, January 16 and January 23, 1816, quoted in the ‘Quarterly Review’
for October, 1869, p. 414). Through Mrs. Leigh passed many
communications between Byron and Lady Byron after the separation. To
her, Byron, in 1816 and 1817, wrote the two sets of “Stanzas to
Augusta,” the “Epistle to Augusta,” and the Journal of his journey
through the Alps, “which contains all the germs of ‘Manfred’ (letter to
Murray, August, 1817). She was in his thoughts on the Rhine, and in the
third canto of ‘Childe Harold’:–
  “But one thing want these banks of Rhine,
  Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine.”
To her he was writing a letter at Missolonghi (February 23, 1824), which
he did not live to finish, “My dearest Augusta, I received a few days
ago your and Lady Byron’s report of Ada’s health.” He carried with him
everywhere the pocket Bible which she had given him. “I have a Bible,”
he told Dr. Kennedy (‘Conversations’), “which my sister gave me, who is
an excellent woman, and I read it very often.” His last articulate words
were “My sister–my child.”
Several volumes of Mrs. Leigh’s commonplace books are in existence,
filled with extracts mostly on religious topics. She was, wrote the late
Earl Stanhope, in a letter quoted in the ‘Quarterly Review’ (October,
1869, p. 421), “very fond” of talking about Byron.
  “She was,” he continues, “extremely unprepossessing in her person and
  appearance–more like a nun than anything, and never can have had the
  least pretension to beauty. I thought her shy and sensitive to a fault
  in her mind and character.”
Frances, Lady Shelley, who died in January, 1873, and was intimately
acquainted with Byron and his contemporaries, speaks of her as a
  “I have seen,” she writes
(see ‘Quarterly Review’, October, 1869, p. 421, quoting from
a letter signed E. M. U., which appeared in the ‘Times’ for September
II, 1869),
  “a great deal of Mrs. Leigh (Augusta), having passed some days with
  her and Colonel Leigh, for my husband’s shooting near Newmarket, when
  Lord Byron was in the house, and, as she told me, was writing ‘The
  Corsair’, to my great astonishment, for it was a wretched small house,
  full of her ill-trained children, who were always running up and down
  stairs, and going into ‘uncle’s’ bedroom, where he remained all the
[Footnote 2: See preceding note.]
[Footnote 3: Francis, fifth Duke of Leeds, married, October 14, 1788, as
his second wife, Miss Catherine Anguish, by whom he had two children:
the eldest, a son, Sydney Godolphin Osborne, was born December 16,
[Footnote 4: Joe Murray had been for many years in the employment of
William, fifth Lord Byron. At his master’s death, in 1798, he was
taken into the service of the Duke of Leeds.
  “I saw poor Joseph Murray the other night,” writes Augusta Byron to
  Hanson (June 17, 1804), “who wishes me particularly to apply to Col.
  Leigh, to get him into some City Charity which the Prince of Wales is
  at the head of.
  I cannot understand what he means, nor can any body else, and
  therefore, as he said he was advised by you, I think it better to
  apply to you on the subject. I’m sure Col. Leigh would be happy to
  oblige him; but in general he dislikes _asking favours_ of the
  _Prince_, and this present moment is a bad one to chuse for the
  purpose, as H.R.H. is so much taken up with _public affairs_. I am
  very anxious about poor Joseph, and would almost do anything to serve
  him. I fear he is too old and infirm to go to service again.”
Three years later (March 19, 1807), Augusta Byron writes again
to Hanson:–
  “I have just had a pitiful note from poor old Murray, telling me of
  his dismissal from the Duchess of Leeds; but he says he does not leave
  her till June. I therefore hope something may in the mean time be done
  for him. He requests me to write word of it to my Brother. I shall
  certainly comply with his wishes, and send _two lines_ on that subject
  to Southwell, where I conclude he is.”
Byron made Murray an allowance of £20 a year (see Letter 83), took him,
as soon as he could, into his service, and was careful, as he promises,
to provide that he should not be “abandoned in his old age.” His
affection for Murray is marked by the postscript to the letter to Mrs.
Byron of June 22, 1809 (see also ‘Life’, pp. 74, 121); as also by his
draft will of 1811, in which he leaves Murray £50 a year for life.
8.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [63, Portland Place, London.]
  Southwell, March 26th, 1804.
  I received your affectionate letter, my ever Dear Sister, yesterday
  and I now hasten to comply with your injunction by answering it as
  soon as possible. Not, my Dear Girl, that it can be in the least
  irksome to me to write to you, on the Contrary it will always prove my
  Greatest pleasure, but I am sorry that I am afraid my correspondence
  will not prove the most entertaining, for I have nothing that I can
  relate to you, except my affection for you, which I can never
  sufficiently express, therefore I should tire you, before I had half
  satisfied myself. Ah, How unhappy I have hitherto been in being so
  long separated from so amiable a Sister! but fortune has now
  sufficiently atoned by discovering to me a relation whom I love, a
  Friend in whom I can confide. In both these lights, my Dear Augusta, I
  shall ever look upon you, and I hope you will never find your Brother
  unworthy of your affection and Friendship.
  I am as you may imagine a little dull here; not being on terms of
  intimacy with Lord Grey [1] I avoid Newstead, and my resources of
  amusement are Books, and writing to my Augusta, which, wherever I am,
  will always constitute my Greatest pleasure. I am not reconciled to
  Lord Grey, _and I never will_. He was once my _Greatest Friend_, my
  reasons for ceasing that Friendship are such as I cannot explain, not
  even to you, my Dear Sister, (although were they to be made known to
  any body, you would be the first,) but they will ever remain hidden in
  my own breast.
  They are Good ones, however, for although I am _violent_ I am not
  _capricious_ in my _attachments_. My mother disapproves of my
  quarrelling with him, but if she knew the cause (which she never will
  know,) She would reproach me no more. He Has forfeited all _title to
  my esteem_, but I hold him in too much _contempt_ ever _to hate him_.
  My mother desires to be kindly remembered to you. I shall soon be in
  town to resume my studies at Harrow; I will certainly call upon you in
  my way up. Present my respects to Mrs. Harcourt; [2] I am Glad to hear
  that I am in her Good Graces for I shall always esteem her on account
  of her behaviour to you, my Dear Girl. Pray tell me If you see Lord S.
  Osborne, and how he is; what little I know of him I like very much and
  If we were better acquainted I doubt not I should like him still
  better. Do not forget to tell me how Murray is. As to your Future
  prospects, my Dear Girl, _may they be happy_! I am sure you deserve
  Happiness and if _you_ do not meet with it I shall begin to think it
  is “a bad world we live in.” Write to me soon. I am impatient to hear
  from you. God bless you, My amiable Augusta, I remain,
  Your ever affectionate Brother and Friend,
[Footnote 1: Henry, third Earl of Sussex, died in 1799, when the earldom
lapsed. He was, however, succeeded in the ancient barony of Grey de
Ruthyn by his daughter’s son, Henry Edward, twentieth Baron Grey de
Ruthyn (1780-1810), to whom Newstead was let.
  “I am glad,” writes Mrs. Byron to Hanson, March 10, 1803, “that
  Newstead is well let. I cannot find Lord Grey de Ruthin’s Title in the
  Peerage of England, Ireland, or Scotland. I suppose he is a _new_
Lord Grey de Ruthyn married, in 1809, Anna Maria, daughter of William
Kelham, of Ryton-upon-Dunsmore, Warwick. (See postscript to Byron’s
Letter to his mother, August 11, 1809.) The lease of Newstead terminated
in April, 1808.]
[Footnote 2: Probably the wife of General the Hon. William Harcourt
(1742-1830), who distinguished himself in the War of American
Independence, succeeded his only brother in 1809 as third (and last)
Earl Harcourt, was created a field-marshal in 1821, and died in 1830. He
married, in 1778, Mary, daughter of the Rev. William Danby, and widow of
Thomas Lockhart. She died in 1833.]
9.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [At General Harcourt’s, St. Leonard’s Hill, Windsor, Berkshire.]
  Burgage Manor, April 2d, 1804.
  I received your present, my beloved Augusta, which was very
  acceptable, not that it will be of any use as a token of remembrance,
  No, my affection for you will never permit me to forget you.
  I am afraid, my Dear Girl, that you will be absent when I am in town.
  I cannot exactly say when I return to Harrow, but however it will be
  in a very short time. I hope you were entertained by Sir Wm. Fawcet’s
  funeral on Saturday. [1] Though I should imagine such spectacles rather
  calculated to excite Gloomy ideas. But I believe _your motive was not
  quite of so mournful a cast_.
  You tell me that you are tired of London. I am rather surprised to
  hear that, for I thought the Gaieties of the Metropolis were
  particularly pleasing to _young ladies_. For my part I detest it; the
  smoke and the noise feel particularly unpleasant; but however it is
  preferable to this horrid place, where I am oppressed with _ennui_,
  and have no amusement of any kind, except the conversation of my
  mother, which is sometimes very _edifying_, but not always very
  _agreeable_. There are very few books of any kind that are either
  instructive or amusing, no society but old parsons and old Maids;–I
  shoot a Good deal; but, thank God, I have not so far lost my reason as
  to make shooting my only amusement. There are indeed some of my
  neighbours whose only pleasures consist in field sports, but in other
  respects they are only one degree removed from the brute creation.
  These however I endeavour not to imitate, but I sincerely wish for the
  company of a few friends about my own age to soften the austerity of
  the scene. I am an absolute Hermit; in a short time my Gravity which
  is increased by my solitude will qualify me for an Archbishoprick; I
  really begin to think that I should become a mitre amazingly well. You
  tell me to write to you when I have nothing better to do; I am sure
  writing to you, my Dear Sister, must ever form my Greatest pleasure,
  but especially so, at this time. Your letters and those of one of my
  Harrow friends form my only resources for driving away _dull care_.
  For Godsake write me a letter as long as may fill _twenty sheets_ of
  paper, recollect it is my only pleasure, if you won’t Give me twenty
  sheets, at least send me as long an epistle as you can and as soon as
  possible; there will be time for me to receive one more Letter at
  Southwell, and as soon as I Get to Harrow I will write to you. Excuse
  my not writing more, my Dear Augusta, for I am sure you will be
  sufficiently tired of reading this complaining narrative. God bless
  you, my beloved Sister. Adieu.
  I remain your sincere and affectionate
  Friend and Brother,
  Remember me kindly to Mrs. Harcourt.
[Footnote 1: General the Right Hon. Sir William Fawcett, K.B.
(1728-1804), Colonel of the 3rd Dragoon Guards, Adjutant-General
(1778-1797), and Governor of Chelsea Hospital (1796-1804), died at his
house in Great George Street, Westminster, March 22, 1804. He had served
during the rebellion of 1745, and distinguished himself during the Seven
Years’ War, where he was aide-de-camp first to General Elliot, and
afterwards to the Marquis of Granby. An excellent linguist, he
translated from the French, ‘Reveries: or Memoirs upon the Art of War,
by Field-Marshal Count Saxe’ (1757); and from the German, ‘Regulations
for the Prussian Cavalry’ (1757), ‘Regulations for the Prussian
Infantry’, and ‘The Prussian Tacticks’ (1759). His military and
diplomatic services were commemorated by a magnificent funeral on
Saturday, March 31, 1804. The body was carried through the streets from
Westminster to the chapel of Chelsea Hospital, the Prince Regent, the
Duke of Clarence, and the Duke of Kent following the hearse, and eight
general officers acting as pall-bearers.]
10.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [At General Harcourt’s, St. Leonard’s Hill, Windsor, Berkshire.]
  Burgage Manor, April 9th, 1804.
  A thousand thanks, my dear and Beloved Augusta, for your affectionate
  Letter, and so ready compliance with the request of a peevish and
  fretful Brother; it acted as a cordial on my drooping spirits and for
  a while dispelled the Gloom which envelopes me in this uncomfortable
  place. You see what power your letters have over me, so I hope you
  will be liberal in your epistolary consolation.
  You will address your next letter to Harrow as I set out from
  Southwell on Wednesday, and am sorry that I cannot contrive to be with
  you, as I must resume my studies at Harrow directly. If I speak in
  public at all, it will not be till the latter end of June or the
  beginning of July. You are right in your conjecture for I feel not a
  little nervous in the anticipation _of my Debut_ [1] as _an orator_.
  By the bye, I do not dislike Harrow. I find _ways_ and _means_ to
  amuse _myself very pleasantly_ there; the friend, whose correspondence
  I find so amusing, is an old sporting companion of mine, whose
  recitals of Shooting and Hunting expeditions are amusing to me as
  having often been his companion in them, and I hope to be so still
  My mother Gives a _party_ to night at which the principal _Southwell
  Belles_ will be present, with one of which, although I don’t as yet
  know whom I shall so far _honour, having never seen them_, I intend to
  _fall violently_ in love; it will serve as an amusement _pour passer
  le temps_ and it will at least have the charm of novelty to recommend
  it, then you know in the course of a few weeks I shall be quite _au
  désespoir_, shoot myself and Go out of the world with _éclat_, and my
  History will furnish materials for a pretty little Romance which shall
  be entitled and denominated the loves of Lord B. and the cruel and
  Inconstant Sigismunda Cunegunda Bridgetina, etc., etc., Princess of
  Terra Incognita.
  Don’t you think that I have a very good Knack for _novel writing_? I
  have Just this minute been called away from writing to you by two
  Gentlemen who have given me an invitation to go over to Screveton, a
  village a few miles off, and spend a few days; but however I shall not
  accept it, so you will continue to address your letters to Harrow as
  usual. Write to me as soon as possible and give me a long letter.
  Remember me to Mrs. Harcourt and all who enquire after me. Continue to
  love me and believe me,
  Your truly affectionate Brother and Friend,
  P.S.–My Mother’s love to you, Adieu.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Byron, writing to Hanson, July 24, 1804, says,
  “I was informed by a Gentleman yesterday that he had been at Harrow
  and heard him speaking, and that he acquitted himself uncommonly
Byron’s name occurs in three of the Harrow speech-bills–July 5, 1804;
June 6, 1805; and July 4, 1805. The three bills are printed below:–
1. JULY 5, 1804.
Erskine, Maj.       Cæsar   }                  Ex Sallustio.
Sinclair            Cato    }
Long                C. Canuleius ad Pleb.      Ex Livio.
Molloy, Sr.         The Country Box            Lloyd.
Lord Byron          Latinus }
Leeke               Drances }                  Ex Virgilio.
Peel, Sr.           Turnus  }
Chaplin             Henry the Fifth to his     Shakespear.
Clayton             Micispa ad Jugurtham       Ex Sallustio.
Rowley              Germanicus moriens         Ex Tacito.
Grenside, Sr.       General Wolfe to his       Enfield.
Morant, Sr.         Dido                       Ex Virgilio.
Mr. Calthorpe, Sr.  In Catilinam               Ex Cicerone.
Lloyd, Sr.          The Ghost                  Shakespear.
Mr. Powys           Tiresias                   Ex Horatio.
Sir Thomas Acland   The Boil’d Pig             Wesley.
Leveson Gower       Ad Antonium                Ex Cicerone.
Drury, Max.         Earl of Strafford          Hume.
2. JUNE 6, 1805.
There were no Speeches for May, 1805. Dr. Butler came to Harrow this
year, after the Easter Holiday.–G.B. [1]
Doveton            Canulcius               Ex Livio.
Farrer, Sr.        Medea                   Ex Ovidio.
Long               Caractacus              Mason.
Rogers             Manlius                 Ex Sallustio.
Molloy             Micipsa                 Ex Sallustio.
Lord Byron         Zanga                   Young.
Drury, Sr.         Memmius                 Ex Sallustio.
Hoare              Ajax    }               Ex Ovidio.
East               Ulysses }
Leeke              The Passions: an Ode    Collins.
Calvert, Sr.       Galgacus                Ex Tacito.
Bazett             Catilina ad Consp.      Ex Sallustio.
Franks, Sr.        Antony                  Shakespeare.
Wildman, Majr.     Sat. ix., Lib. i.       Ex Horatio.
Lloyd, Sr.         The Bard: an Ode        Gray.
3. JULY 4, 1805.
Lyon            Piso ad Milites         Ex Tacito.
East            Cato                    Addison.
Saumarez        Drances }               Ex Virgilio, _Æn._ xi
Annesley        Turnus  }
Calvert         Lord Strafford’s        Hume.
Erskine, Sr.    Achilles                Ex Homero, _Il._ xvi
Bazett          York                    Shakespeare.
Harrington      Camillus                Ex Livio.
Leeke           Ode to the Passions     Collins.
Sneyd           Electra                 Ex Sophocle.
Long            Satan’s Soliloquy       Milton, _P.L._, b. iv
Gibson          Brutus }                Ex Lucano.
Drury, Sr.      Cato   }
Lord Byron      Lear                    Shakespeare.
Hoare           Otho ad Milites         Ex Livio.
Wildman         Caractacus              Mason.
Franks          Wolsey                  Shakespeare.
Of Byron’s oratorical powers, Dr. Drury, Head-master of Harrow, formed a
high opinion.
“The upper part of the school,” he writes (see ‘Life’, p. 20), composed
declamations, which, after a revisal by the tutors, were submitted to
the master. To him the authors repeated them, that they might be
improved in manner and action, before their public delivery. I certainly
was much pleased with Lord Byron’s attitude, gesture, and delivery, as
well as with his composition. All who spoke on that day adhered, as
usual, to the letter of their composition, as, in the earlier part of
his delivery, did Lord Byron; but, to my surprise, he suddenly diverged
from the written composition, with a boldness and rapidity sufficient to
alarm me, lest he should fail in memory as to the conclusion. There was
no failure; he came round to the close of his composition without
discovering any impediment and irregularity on the whole. I questioned
him why he had altered his declamation. He declared he had made no
alteration, and did not know, in speaking, that he had deviated from it
one letter. I believed him; and, from a knowledge of his temperament, am
convinced that, fully impressed with the sense and substance of the
subject, he was hurried on to expressions and colourings more striking
than what his pen had expressed.”
  “My qualities,” says Byron, in one of his note-books (quoted by Moore,
  ‘Life’, p. 20), “were much more oratorical and martial than poetical;
  and Dr. Drury, my grand patron (our head-master), had a great notion
  that I should turn out an orator, from my fluency, my turbulence, my
  voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my action. I remember that
  my first declamation astonished him into some unwonted (for he was
  economical of such) and sudden compliments before the declaimers at
  our first rehearsal.”
For his subjects Byron chose passages expressive of vehement passion,
such as Lear’s address to the storm, or the speech of Zanga over the
body of Alonzo, from Young’s tragedy ‘The Revenge’. Zanga’s character
and speech are famous in history from their application to Benjamin
Franklin, in Wedderburn’s speech before the Privy Council (January,
1774) on the Whately Letters (Stanhope’s ‘History of England’, vol. v.
p. 327, ed. 1853):–
  “I forg’d the letter, and dispos’d the picture,
  I hated, I despis’d, and I destroy.”]
[Sub-Footnote A: Note, in Dr. G. Butler’s writing, in the bound volume of
Speech-Bills presented by him to the Harrow School Library.]
11.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  Burgage Manor, August 18th, 1804.
  MY DEAREST AUGUSTA,–I seize this interval of my _amiable_ mother’s
  absence this afternoon, again to inform you, or rather to desire to be
  informed by you, of what is going on. For my own part I can send
  nothing to amuse you, excepting a repetition of my complaints against
  my tormentor, whose _diabolical_ disposition (pardon me for staining
  my paper with so harsh a word) seems to increase with age, and to
  acquire new force with Time. The more I see of her the more my dislike
  augments; nor can I so entirely conquer the appearance of it, as to
  prevent her from perceiving my opinion; this, so far from calming the
  Gale, blows it into a _hurricane_, which threatens to destroy
  everything, till exhausted by its own violence, it is lulled into a
  sullen torpor, which, after a short period, is again roused into fresh
  and revived phrenzy, to me most terrible, and to every other Spectator
  astonishing. She then declares that she plainly sees I hate her, that
  I am leagued with her bitter enemies, viz. Yourself, L’d C[arlisle]
  and Mr. H[anson], and, as I never Dissemble or contradict her, we are
  all _honoured_ with a multiplicity of epithets, too _numerous_, and
  some of them too _gross_, to be repeated. In this society, and in this
  amusing and instructive manner, have I dragged out a weary fortnight,
  and am condemned to pass another or three weeks as happily as the
  former. No captive Negro, or Prisoner of war, ever looked forward to
  their emancipation, and return to Liberty with more Joy, and with more
  lingering expectation, than I do to my escape from this maternal
  bondage, and this accursed place, which is the region of dullness
  itself, and more stupid than the banks of Lethe, though it possesses
  contrary qualities to the river of oblivion, as the detested scenes I
  now witness, make me regret the happier ones already passed, and wish
  their restoration.
  Such Augusta is the happy life I now lead, such my _amusements_. I
  wander about hating everything I behold, and if I remained here a few
  months longer, I should become, what with _envy, spleen and all
  uncharitableness_, a complete _misanthrope_, but notwithstanding this,
  Believe me, Dearest Augusta, ever yours, etc., etc.,
12.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot. [1]
  Burgage Manor, August 29, 1804.
  I received the arms, my dear Miss Pigot, and am very much obliged to
  you for the trouble you have taken. It is impossible I should have any
  fault to find with them. The sight of the drawings gives me great
  pleasure for a double reason,–in the first place, they will ornament
  my books, in the next, they convince me that _you_ have not entirely
  _forgot_ me. I am, however, sorry you do not return sooner–you have
  already been gone an _age_. I perhaps may have taken my departure for
  London before you come back; but, however, I will hope not. Do not
  overlook my watch-riband and purse, as I wish to carry them with me.
  Your note was given me by Harry, [2] at the play, whither I attended
  Miss Leacroft, [3] and Dr. S—-; and now I have sat down to answer it
  before I go to bed. If I am at Southwell when you return,–and I
  sincerely hope you will soon, for I very much regret your absence,–I
  shall be happy to hear you sing my favourite, “The Maid of Lodi.” [4]
  My mother, together with myself, desires to be affectionately
  remembered to Mrs. Pigot, and, believe me, my dear Miss Pigot, I
  remain, your affectionate friend,
  P.S.–If you think proper to send me any answer to this, I shall be
  extremely happy to receive it. Adieu.
  P.S.2d.–As you say you are a novice in the art of knitting, I hope it
  don’t give you too much trouble. Go on _slowly_, but surely. Once
  more, adieu.
[Footnote 1: Elizabeth Bridget Pigot lived with her mother and two
brothers on Southwell Green, in a house opposite Burgage Manor. Miss
Pigot thus describes her first meeting with Byron (‘Life’, p. 32):–
  “The first time I was introduced to him was at a party at his
  mother’s, when he was so shy that she was forced to send for him three
  times before she could persuade him to come into the drawing-room, to
  play with the young people at a round game. He was then a fat, bashful
  boy, with his hair combed straight over his forehead, and extremely
  like a miniature picture that his mother had painted by M. de
  Chambruland. The next morning Mrs. Byron brought him to call at our
  house, when he still continued shy and formal in his manner. The
  conversation turned upon Cheltenham, where we had been staying, the
  amusements there, the plays, etc.; and I mentioned that I had seen the
  character of Gabriel Lackbrain very well performed. His mother getting
  up to go, he accompanied her, making a formal bow, and I, in allusion
  to the play, said, ‘Good-by, Gaby.’ His countenance lighted up, his
  handsome mouth displayed a broad grin, all his shyness vanished, never
  to return, and, upon his mother’s saying, ‘Come, Byron, are you
  ready?’–no, she might go by herself, he would stay and talk a little
  longer; and from that moment he used to come in and go out at all
  hours, as it pleased him, and in our house considered himself
  perfectly at home.”
The character of “Gabriel Lackbrain,” mentioned above, occurs in ‘Life’,
a comedy by F. Reynolds. It was at Byron’s suggestion that Moore, when
preparing the ‘Life’, applied to Miss Pigot for letters. On January 22,
1828, he was taken to call on her and her mother by the Rev. John
  “Their reception of me most cordial and flattering; made me sit in the
  chair which Byron used to sit in, and remarked, as a singularity, that
  this was the poor fellow’s birthday; he would to-day have been forty.
  On parting with Mrs. Pigot, a fine, intelligent old lady, who has been
  bedridden for years, she kissed my hand most affectionately, and said
  that, much as she had always admired me as a poet, it was as the
  friend of Byron she valued and loved me … Her affection, indeed, to
  his memory is unbounded, and she seems unwilling to allow that he had
  a single fault … Miss Pigot in the evening, with his letters, which
  interested me exceedingly; some written when he was quite a boy, and
  the bad spelling and scrambling handwriting delightful; spelling,
  indeed, was a very late accomplishment with him”
(‘Diary of Thomas Moore’, vol. v. p. 249). (See “To Eliza,” ‘Poems’,
vol. i. pp.47-49; see also the lines “To M. S. G.,” ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp.
79, 80; see for the lines which Byron wrote in her copy of Burns,
‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 233, 234.)
Miss Pigot died at Southwell in 1866, her brother John (see letter of
August 9, 1806, p. 100, note 3) in 1871. Her brother Henry, whom Byron
used to call his grandson, died October 28, 1830, a captain in the 23rd
Native Infantry in the service of the East India Company.
The following undated note (1810) from Mrs. Pigot to Mrs. Byron
illustrates the enthusiastic interest with which the Pigots followed
Byron’s career:–
  “Indeed, my dear Mrs. Byron, you have given me a very ‘great treat’ in
  sending me ‘English Bards’ to look at; you know how very highly I
  thought of the ‘first’ edition, and this is certainly much improved;
  indeed, I do not think anybody but Lord Byron could (in these our
  days) have produced such a work, for it has all the fire of ancient
  genius. I have always been accustomed to tell you my thoughts most
  sincerely, and I cannot say that I like that addition to the part
  where ‘Bowles’ is mentioned; it wants that ‘brilliant spirit’ which
  almost invariably accompanies Lord B.’s writings. Maurice, too, and
  his granite weight of leaves, is in truth a heavy comparison. But I
  turn with pleasure from these specks in the sun to notice ‘Vice and
  folly, Greville and Argyle;’ it is ‘most admirable’: the ‘same pen’
  may ‘equal’, but I think it is not in the power of human abilities to
  ‘exceed’ it. As to Lord Carlisle, I think he well deserves the Note
  Lord B. has put in; I am ‘very much’ pleased with it, and the little
  word ‘Amen’ at the end, gives a point ‘indescribably good’. The whole
  of the conclusion is excellent, and the Postscript I think must
  entertain everybody except ‘Jeffrey’. I hope the poor Bear is well; I
  wish you could make him understand that he is ‘immortalized’, for, if
  ‘four-leg’d Bears’ have any vanity, it would certainly delight him.
  Walter Scott, too (I really do not mean to call him a Bear), will be
  highly gratified: the compliment to him is very elegant: in short, I
  look upon it as a most ‘highly finished’ work, and Lord Byron has
  certainly taken the Palm from ‘all our’ Poets…. A good account of
  yourself I assure you will always give the most sincere pleasure to my
  dear Mrs. Byron’s very affectionate friend, Margt. Pigot. Elizabeth
  begs her compts.”]
[Footnote 2: Henry Pigot. (See p. 33, note 1.)]
[Footnote 3: Miss Julia Leacroft, daughter of a neighbour, Mr. John
Leacroft. (See lines “To Lesbia,” ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 41-43.) The
private theatricals in September, 1806 (see p. 117 [Letter 81],
[Foot]note 3 [4]), were held at Mr. Leacroft’s house. Later, Captain
Leacroft expostulated with Byron on his attentions to his sister, and,
according to Moore, threatened to call him out. Byron was ready to meet
him; but afterwards, on consulting Becher, resolved never to go near the
house again.–‘Prose and Verse of Thomas Moore’, edited by Richard Herne
Shepherd (London, 1878), p. 420. (But see Letters 62, 63, 64.) ]
[Footnote 4: By Dibdin, set to music by Shield. (See Moore’s ‘Life’, p.
33.) Byron’s love for simple ballad music lasted throughout his life. As
a boy at Harrow, he was famous for the vigour with which he sang “This
Bottle’s the Sun of our Table” at Mother Barnard’s. He liked the Welsh
air “Mary Anne,” sung by Miss Chaworth; the songs in ‘The Duenna’; “When
Time who steals our Years away,” which he sang with Miss Pigot; or
“Robin Adair,” in which he was accompanied by Miss Hanson on her harp.
  “It is very odd,” he said to Miss Pigot, “I sing much better to your
  playing than to any one else’s.”
  “That is,” she answered, “because I play to your singing.”
Moore (‘Journal and Correspondence’, vol. v. pp. 295, 296), speaking of
“Byron’s chanting method of repeating poetry,” says that “it is the men
who have the worst ears for music that ‘sing’ out poetry in this manner,
having no nice perception of the difference there ought to be between
animated reading and ‘chant’.” Rogers (‘Table-Talk, etc.’, pp. 224, 225)
expresses the same opinion, when he says, “I can discover from a poet’s
versification whether or not he has an ear for music. To instance poets
of the present day:–from Bowles’s and Moore’s, I should know that they
had fine ears for music; from Southey’s, Wordsworth’s, and Byron’s, that
they had no ears for it.”]
13.-To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, Malton, Yorkshire.]
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, October 25th, 1804.
  My dear Augusta,–In compliance with your wishes, as well as gratitude
  for your affectionate letter, I proceed as soon as possible to answer
  it; I am glad to hear that _any body_ gives a good account of me; but
  from the quarter you mention, I should imagine it was exaggerated.
  That you are unhappy, my dear Sister, makes me so also; were it in my
  power to relieve your sorrows you would soon recover your spirits; as
  it is, I sympathize better than you yourself expect. But really, after
  all (pardon me my dear Sister), I feel a little inclined to laugh at
  you, for love, in my humble opinion, is utter nonsense, a mere jargon
  of compliments, romance, and deceit; now, for my part, had I fifty
  mistresses, I should in the course of a fortnight, forget them all,
  and, if by any chance I ever recollected one, should laugh at it as a
  dream, and bless my stars, for delivering me from the hands of the
  little mischievous Blind God. Can’t you drive this Cousin [1] of ours
  out of your pretty little head (for as to _hearts_ I think they are
  out of the question), or if you are so far gone, why don’t you give
  old L’Harpagon [2] (I mean the General) the slip, and take a trip to
  Scotland, you are now pretty near the Borders. Be sure to Remember me
  to my formal Guardy Lord Carlisle, [3] whose magisterial presence I
  have not been into for some years, nor have I any ambition to attain
  so great an honour. As to your favourite Lady Gertrude, I don’t
  remember her; pray, is she handsome? I dare say she is, for although
  they are a _disagreeable, formal, stiff_ Generation, yet they have by
  no means plain _persons_, I remember Lady Cawdor was a sweet, pretty
  woman; pray, does your sentimental Gertrude resemble her? I have heard
  that the duchess of Rutland was handsome also, but we will say nothing
  about her temper, as I hate Scandal.
  Adieu, my pretty Sister, forgive my levity, write soon, and God bless
  I remain, your very affectionate Brother,
  P.S.–I left my mother at Southwell, some time since, in a monstrous
  pet with you for not writing. I am sorry to say the old lady and
  myself don’t agree like lambs in a meadow, but I believe it is all my
  own fault, I am rather too fidgety, which my precise mama objects to,
  we differ, then argue, and to my shame be it spoken fall out a
  _little_, however after a storm comes a calm; what’s become of our
  aunt the amiable antiquated Sophia? [4] is she yet in the land of the
  living, or does she sing psalms with the _Blessed_ in the other world.
  Adieu. I am happy enough and Comfortable here. My friends are not
  numerous, but select; among them I rank as the principal Lord
  Delawarr, [5] who is very amiable and my particular friend; do you
  know the family at all? Lady Delawarr is frequently in town, perhaps
  you may have seen her; if she resembles her son she is the most
  amiable woman in Europe. I have plenty of acquaintances, but I reckon
  them as mere Blanks. Adieu, my dear Augusta.
[Footnote 1: Colonel George Leigh.]
[Footnote 2: General Leigh, father of the colonel. Both Harpagon and
Cléante (‘L’Avare’) wish to marry Mariane; but the miser prefers his
casket to the lady, who therefore marries Cléante. ]
[Footnote 3: Frederick Howard, fifth Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825), was,
on his mother’s side, connected with the Byron family. The Hon. Isabella
Byron (1721-1795), daughter of the fourth Lord Byron, married, in 1742,
Henry, fourth Earl of Carlisle. She subsequently, after the death of
Lord Carlisle (1758), married, as her second husband, Sir William
Musgrave. She was a woman of considerable ability, and apparently, in
later life, of eccentric habits–a “recluse in pride and rags.” She was
the reputed writer of some published poetry, and of ‘Maxims addressed to
Young Ladies’. Some of these maxims might have been of use to her
grand-nephew: “Habituate yourself to that way of life most agreeable to
the person to whom you are united; be content in retirement, or with
society, in town, or country.” Her ‘Answer’ to Mrs. Greville’s ode on
‘Indifference’ has more of the neck-or-nothing temper of the Byrons:–
  “Is that your wish, to lose all sense
  In dull lethargic ease,
  And wrapt in cold indifference,
  But half be pleased or please?
  It never shall be my desire
  To bear a heart unmov’d,
  To feel by halves the gen’rous fire,
  Or be but half belov’d.
  Let me drink deep the dang’rous cup,
  In hopes the prize to gain,
  Nor tamely give the pleasure up
  For fear to share the pain.
  Give me, whatever I possess,
  To know and feel it all;
  When youth and love no more can bless,
  Let death obey my call.”
Lady Carlisle’s son, Frederick, who was educated at Eton and Cambridge,
succeeded his father as fifth Earl of Carlisle, in 1758, when he was ten
years old. After leaving Cambridge, he started on a continental tour
with two Eton friends–Lord FitzWilliam and Charles James Fox. A lively
letter-writer, his correspondence with his friend George Selwyn, while
in Italy, shows him to have been a young man of wit, feeling, and taste.
It is curious to notice that, at Rome, he singles out, like his cousin
in ‘Childe Harold’ or ‘Manfred’, as the most striking objects, the
general aspect of the “marbled wilderness”, the moonlight view of the
amphitheatre, the Laocoon, the Belvedere Apollo, and the group of Niobe
and her daughters. One other taste he shared with Byron–he was a lover
of dogs, and “Rover” was his constant companion abroad.
Lord Carlisle returned to England in 1769. Like Fox, he was a prodigious
dandy. They “once travelled from Paris to Lyons for the express purpose
of buying waistcoats; and during the whole journey they talked of
nothing else” (‘Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers’, pp. 73, 74). Already well
known in London society, Carlisle was a close friend of George Selwyn, a
familiar figure at White’s and Brookes’s, an inveterate gambler, an
adorer of Lady Sarah Bunbury, who, as Lady Sarah Lennox, had won the
heart of George III. The flirtation provoked from Lord Holland an
adaptation of ‘Lydia, dic per omnes’:–
  “Sally, Sally, don’t deny,
  But, for God’s sake, tell me why
  You have flirted so, to spoil
  That once lively youth, Carlisle?
  He used to mount while it was dark;
  Now he lies in bed till noon,
  And, you not meeting in the park,
  Thinks that he gets up too soon,” etc.
In 1770 Lord Carlisle married Lady Margaret Leveson Gower, a beautiful
and charming woman. “Everybody,” writes Lord Holland to George Selwyn
(May 2, 1770), “says it is impossible not to admire Lady Carlisle.” But
matrimony did not at once steady his character. For the next few
years–though in 1773 he published a volume of ‘Poems’–his pursuits
were mainly those of a young man of fashion, and he impoverished himself
at the gaming-table. From 1777 onwards, however, his life took a more
serious turn. In that year he became Treasurer of the Household, and was
sworn a member of the Privy Council. In 1778 he was the chief of the
three commissioners sent out by Lord North to negotiate with the United
States. There he declined a challenge from Lafayette, provoked by
reflections on the French court and nation, which he had issued with his
fellow-commissioners in their political capacity. In 1779 he was
nominated Lord-Lieutenant of Yorkshire, and First Lord of Trade and
Plantations. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland from 1780 to 1782, and
held the post of Lord Privy Seal in the Duke of Portland’s
administration of 1783. Till the outbreak of the French Revolutionary
wars, he was an opponent of Pitt; but after 1792 he consistently
supported the Government.
Carlisle was a collector of pictures, statuary, and works of art. He was
also a writer of verse, tragedies, and pamphlets; but, in literature,
his admirable letters are his best claim to be remembered. One of his
two tragedies, ‘The Father’s Revenge’ (1783), was praised by Walpole,
and received the guarded approval of Dr. Johnson. His published poetry
consisted of an ode on the death of Gray, verses on that of Lord Nelson,
“Lines for the Monument of a favourite Spaniel,” an address to Sir
Joshua Reynolds, and translations from Dante. The first two poems
provoked Richard Tickell to write the ‘Wreath of Fashion’ (1780). “The
following lines,” says Tickell, in his “Advertisement,” were “occasioned
by the Author’s having lately studied, with infinite attention, several
fashionable productions in the ‘Sentimental’ stile…. For example, A
Noble Author has lately published his works, which consist of ‘three’
compositions: ‘one’ an Ode upon the death of Mr. Gray; the two others
upon the death of his Lordship’s ‘Spaniel’.”
  “Here, placid ‘Carlisle’ breathes his gentle line,
  Or haply, gen’rous ‘Hare’, re-echoes thine.
  Soft flows the lay: as when, with tears, He paid
  The last sad honours to his——Spaniel’s shade!
  And lo! he grasps the badge of wit, a wand;
  He waves it thrice and ‘Storer’ is at hand.”
His contemporaries seem to have thought that his poetry, weak though it
was, was indebted to his Eton friends, “the Hare with many friends,” and
Antony Storer. The latter’s name is linked with that of Carlisle in
another satire, ‘Pandolfo Attonito’:–
  “Fall’n though I am, I ne’er shall mourn,
  Like the dark Peer on Storer’s urn,”
where a note refers to “Antony Storer, formerly Member for Morpeth (‘as
some persons’ near Carlisle and Castle Howard ‘may possibly recollect’),
a gentleman well known in the circles of fashion and polite literature.”
Carlisle’s name occurs in many of the satires of the day on literary
subjects. ‘The Shade of Pope’ (ii. 191, 192) says–
  “Carlisle is lost with Gillies in surprize,
  As Lysias charms soft Jersey’s classic eyes;”
and in the ‘Pursuits of Literature’ (Dialogue ii. line 234), a note to
the line–
  “While lyric Carlisle purrs o’er love transformed,”
again associates his name with that of Lady Jersey.
In 1799 Lord Carlisle was persuaded by Hanson to become Byron’s
guardian, in order to facilitate legal proceedings for the recovery of
the Rochdale property, illegally sold by William, fifth Lord Byron. He
was introduced to his ward by Hanson, who took the boy to Grosvenor
Place, to see his guardian and consult Dr. Baillie in July, 1799. He
seemed anxious to befriend the boy; but Byron was eager, as Hanson
notes, to leave the house. When Mrs. Byron, in 1800, was anxious to
remove her son from Dr. Glennie’s care, Carlisle exercised his
authority, and forbade the schoolmaster to give him up to his mother. He
probably, on this occasion, experienced Mrs. Byron’s temper, for Augusta
Byron, writing to Hanson (November 18, 1804), says that he dreaded
“having any concern whatever with Mrs. Byron.” Byron does not seem to
have met his guardian again till January, 1805, when Augusta Byron
writes to Hanson:
  “I hear from Lady Gertrude Howard that Lord Carlisle was ‘very much’
  pleased with my brother, and I am sure, from what he said to me at
  Castle Howard, is disposed to show him all the kindness and attention
  in his power. I know you are so partial to Byron and so much
  interested in all that concerns him, that you will rejoice almost as
  much as I do that his acquaintance with Lord C. is renewed. In the
  mean time it is a great comfort for me to think that he has spent his
  Holydays so comfortably and so much to his wishes. You will easily
  believe that he is a ‘very great favourite of mine’, and I may add the
  more I see and hear of him, the more I ‘must’ love and esteem him.”
It may be doubted whether Carlisle ever saw the dedication of ‘Hours of
Idleness’. Augusta Byron, in a letter to Hanson of February 7, 1807,
  “I return you my Brother’s poems with many Thanks. Mrs. B. has had the
  attention to send me 2 copies. I like some of them very much: but you
  will laugh when I tell you I have never had courage to shew them to
  Lord Carlisle for fear of his disapproving others.”
The years 1806-7, spent at Southwell, as his sister says, “in idleness
and ill humour with the whole World,” were not the most creditable of
Byron’s life, and Carlisle’s efforts to make him return to Cambridge
failed. It is, moreover, certain that in 1809 Carlisle was ill; it is
also probable that at a time when the scandal of Mary Anne Clarke and
the Duke of York threatened to come before the House of Lords, he was
unwilling to connect himself in public with a cousin of whom he knew no
good, and of whose political views he was ignorant. These causes may
have combined to produce the coldly formal letter, in which he told
Byron the course of procedure to be adopted in taking his seat in the
House of Lords, and ignored the young man’s wish that his cousin and
guardian should introduce him. (For Byron’s attack upon Carlisle, and
his subsequent admission of having done him “some wrong,” see ‘English
Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, lines 723-740; and ‘Childe Harold’, Canto
III. stanzas xxix., xxx.)
It is possible that the “paralytic puling” may have been suggested by
the “placid purring” of previous satirists. In March, 1814, his sister
Augusta was trying hard to persuade Byron, as he notes in his Diary,
  “to make it up with Carlisle. I have refused ‘every’ body else, but I
  can’t deny her anything, though I had as leif ‘drink up Eisel–eat a
Lord Carlisle had three daughters: the eldest, Lady Caroline Isabella
Howard, married, in 1789, John, first Lord Cawdor, and died in 1848; the
second, Lady Elizabeth, married, in 1799, John Henry, fifth Duke of
Rutland, and died in 1825; the third, Lady Gertrude, married, in 1806,
William Sloane Stanley, of Paultons, Hants, and died in 1870.]
[Footnote 4: No “Aunt Sophia” appears in the pedigree; but his
grandmother was Sophia Trevanion, who married, in 1748, the Hon. John
Byron, afterwards Admiral Byron. Mrs. Byron knew Dr. Johnson well, and
she and Miss Burney were the only two friends who, as Mrs. Piozzi (then
Mrs. Thrale) thought, might regret her departure from Streatham in 1782
(‘Life and Writings of Mrs. Piozzi’, vol. i. p. 171). “Mrs. Byron, who
really loves me,” says Mrs. Piozzi (‘ibid.’, p. 125), “was disgusted at
Miss Burney’s carriage to me.” In August, 1820, Mrs. Piozzi writes to a
Miss Willoughby, to tell her
  “what wonders Lord Byron is come home to do, for I see his arrival in
  the paper. His grandmother was my intimate friend, a Cornish lady,
  Sophia Trevanion, wife to the Admiral, ‘pour ses péchés’, and we
  called her Mrs. B_i_ron always, after the French fashion”
(‘Life and Writings, etc.’, vol. ii. pp. 456, 457)’ Mrs. Byron
died at Bath in 1790.]
[Footnote 5: Lady Delawarr, widow of John Richard, fourth Earl Delawarr,
whom she married in 1783, died in 1826. Her only son, George John, fifth
earl, succeeded his father in 1795. He went from Harrow to Brasenose
College, Oxford; married, in 1813, Lady Elizabeth Sackville; was Lord
Chamberlain 1858-9; and died in 1869. He was the “Euryalus” of “Childish
Recollections” (see ‘Poems’, vol. i. p. 100; and lines “To George, Earl
of Delawarr,” ‘ibid.’, p. 126).]
14.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  Friday, November 2d, 1804.
  This morning, my dear Augusta, I received your affectionate letter,
  and it reached me at a time when I wanted consolation, not however of
  your kind for I am not yet old enough or Goose enough to be in love;
  no, my sorrows are of a different nature, though more calculated to
  provoke risibility than excite compassion. You must know, Sister of
  mine, that I am the most unlucky wight in Harrow, perhaps in
  Christendom, and am no sooner out of one scrape than into another. And
  to day, this very morning, I had a thundering Jobation from our Good
  Doctor, [1] which deranged my _nervous system_, for at least five
  minutes. But notwithstanding He and I now and then disagree, yet upon
  the whole we are very good friends, for there is so much of the
  Gentleman, so much mildness, and nothing of pedantry in his character,
  that I cannot help liking him, and will remember his instructions with
  gratitude as long as I live. He leaves Harrow soon, _apropos_, so do
  I. This quitting will be a considerable loss to the school. He is the
  best master we ever had, and at the same time respected and feared;
  greatly will he be regretted by all who know him. You tell me you
  don’t know my friend L’d Delawarr; he is considerably younger than me,
  but the most good tempered, amiable, clever fellow in the universe. To
  all which he adds the quality (a good one in the eyes of women) of
  being remarkably handsome, almost too much so for a boy. He is at
  present very low in the school, not owing to his want of ability, but
  to his years. I am nearly at the top of it; by the rules of our
  Seminary he is under my power, but he is too goodnatured ever to
  offend me, and I like him too well ever to exert my authority over
  him. If ever you should meet, and chance to know him, take notice of
  him on my account.
  You say that you shall write to the Dowager Soon; her address is at
  Southwell, _that_ I need hardly inform you. Now, Augusta, I am going
  to tell you a secret, perhaps I shall appear undutiful to you, but,
  believe me, my affection for you is founded on a more firm basis. My
  mother has lately behaved to me in such an eccentric manner, that so
  far from feeling the affection of a Son, it is with difficulty I can
  restrain my dislike. Not that I can complain of want of liberality;
  no, She always supplies me with as much money as I can spend, and more
  than most boys hope for or desire. But with all this she is so hasty,
  so impatient, that I dread the approach of the holidays, more than
  most boys do their return from them. In former days she spoilt me; now
  she is altered to the contrary; for the most trifling thing, she
  upbraids me in a most outrageous manner, and all our disputes have
  been lately heightened by my one with that object of my cordial,
  deliberate detestation, Lord Grey de Ruthyn. She wishes me to explain
  my reasons for disliking him, which I will never do; would I do it to
  any one, be assured you, my dear Augusta, would be the first who would
  know them. She also insists on my being reconciled to him, and once
  she let drop such an odd expression that I was half inclined to
  believe the dowager was in love with him. But I hope not, for he is
  the most disagreeable person (in my opinion) that exists. He called
  once during my last vacation; she threatened, stormed, begged me to
  make it up, “he himself loved me, and wished it;” but my reason was so
  excellent–that neither had effect, nor would I speak or stay in the
  same room, till he took his departure. No doubt this appears odd; but
  was my reason known, which it never will be if I can help it, I should
  be justified in my conduct. Now if I am to be tormented with her and
  him in this style, I cannot submit to it. You, Augusta, are the only
  relation I have who treats me as a friend; if you too desert me, I
  have nobody I can love but Delawarr. If it was not for his sake,
  Harrow would be a desert, and I should dislike staying at it. You
  desire me to burn your epistles; indeed I cannot do that, but I will
  take care that They shall be invisible. If you burn any of mine, I
  shall be _monstrous angry_; take care of them till we meet.
  Delawarr [2] and myself are in a manner connected, for one of our
  forefathers in Charles the 1st’s time married into their family.
  Hartington, [3] whom you enquire after, is on very good terms with me,
  nothing more, he is of a soft milky disposition, and of a happy apathy
  of temper which defies the softer emotions, and is insensible of ill
  treatment; so much for him. Don’t betray me to the Dowager. I should
  like to know your Lady Gertrude, as you and her are so great Friends.
  Adieu, my Sister, write. From
  [Signature, etc., cut out.]
[Footnote 1: The Rev. Joseph Drury, D.D. (1750-1834), educated at
Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge, was appointed an
Assistant-master at Harrow before he was one and twenty. He was
Head-master from 1784 to 1805. In that year he retired, and till his
death in 1834 lived at Cockwood, in Devonshire, where he devoted himself
to farming. The following statement by Dr. Drury illustrates Byron’s
respect for his Head-master (‘Life’, p. 20):–
“After my retreat from Harrow, I received from him two very affectionate
letters. In my occasional visits subsequently to London, when he had
fascinated the public with his productions, I demanded of him, why, as
in ‘duty bound’, he had sent none to me? ‘Because,’ said he, ‘you are
the only man I never wish to read them;’ but in a few moments, he added,
‘What do you think of the ‘Corsair’?'”
Dr. Drury married Louisa Heath, sister of the Rev. Benjamin Heath, his
predecessor in the Head-mastership. They had four children, all of whom
have some connection with Byron’s life. (1) Henry Joseph Drury
(1778-1841), educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge (Fellow),
Assistant-master at Harrow School, married (December 20, 1808) Ann
Caroline Tayler, and had a numerous family. Mrs. Drury’s sister married
the Rev. F. Hodgson (see page 195 [Letter 102], [Foot]note 1). (2)
Benjamin Heath Drury (1782-1835), educated at Eton and King’s College,
Cambridge (Fellow), Assistant-master at Eton. (3) Charles Drury
(1788-1869), educated at Harrow and Queen’s College, Oxford (Fellow).
(4) Louisa Heath Drury (1787-1873) married John Herman Merivale.
Dr. Drury’s brother, Mark Drury, the Lower Master at Harrow, was the
candidate whom Byron supported for the Head-mastership.]
[Footnote 2:  Thomas, third Lord Delawarr, Captain-general of all the
Colonies planted or to be planted in Virginia, died in 1618. His fourth
daughter, Cecilie, widow of Sir Francis Bindlose, married Sir John
Byron, created Lord Byron by Charles I. His fifth daughter, Lucy,
married Sir Robert Byron, brother to Lord Byron. But the first Lord
Byron left no heirs, and the title descended to his brother, Richard
Byron, from whom the poet was descended.]
[Footnote 3: William Spencer, Marquis of Hartington (1790-1858),
succeeded his father as sixth Duke of Devonshire in 1811, and died
unmarried. His sister, Georgiana Dorothy, married, in 1801, Lord
Carlisle’s eldest son.]
15.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  Harrow, Saturday, 11th Novr, 1804.
  I thought, my dear Augusta, [1] that your opinion of my _meek mamma_
  would coincide with mine; Her temper is so variable, and, when
  inflamed, so furious, that I dread our meeting; not but I dare say,
  that I am troublesome enough, but I always endeavour to be as dutiful
  as possible. She is so very strenuous, and so tormenting in her
  entreaties and commands, with regard to my reconciliation, with that
  detestable Lord G. [2] that I suppose she has a penchant for his
  Lordship; but I am confident that he does not return it, for he rather
  dislikes her than otherwise, at least as far as I can judge. But she
  has an excellent opinion of her personal attractions, sinks her age a
  good six years, avers that when I was born she was only eighteen, when
  you, my dear Sister, know as well as I know that she was of age when
  she married my father, and that I was not born for three years
  afterwards. But vanity is the weakness of _your sex_,–and these are
  mere foibles that I have related to you, and, provided she never
  molested me, I should look upon them as follies very excusable in a
  But I am now coming to what must shock you, as much as it does me,
  when she has occasion to lecture me (not very seldom you will think no
  doubt) she does not do it in a manner that commands respect, and in an
  impressive style. No! did she do that, I should amend my faults with
  pleasure, and dread to offend a kind though just mother. But she flies
  into a fit of phrenzy, upbraids me as if I was the most undutiful
  wretch in existence, rakes up the ashes of my _father_, abuses him,
  says I shall be a true Byrrone, which is the worst epithet she can
  invent. Am I to call this woman mother? Because by nature’s law she
  has authority over me, am I to be trampled upon in this manner? am I
  to be goaded with insult, loaded with obloquy, and suffer my feelings
  to be outraged on the most trivial occasions? I owe her respect as a
  Son, But I renounce her as a Friend. What an example does she shew me!
  I hope in God I shall never follow it. I have not told you all, nor
  can I; I respect you as a female, nor, although I ought to confide in
  you as a Sister, will I shock you with the repetition of Scenes, which
  you may judge of by the Sample I have given you, and which to all but
  you are buried in oblivion. Would they were so in my mind! I am afraid
  they never will. And can I, my dear Sister, look up to this mother,
  with that respect, that affection I ought? Am I to be eternally
  subjected to her caprice? I hope not–; indeed a few short years will
  emancipate me from the Shackles I now wear, and then perhaps she will
  govern her passion better than at present.
  You mistake me, if you think I dislike Lord Carlisle; I respect him,
  and might like him did I know him better. For him too my mother has an
  antipathy, why I know not. I am afraid he could be but of little use
  to me, in separating me from her, which she would oppose with all her
  might; but I dare say he would assist me if he could, so I take the
  will for the Deed, and am obliged to him in exactly the same manner as
  if he succeeded in his efforts.
  I am in great hopes, that at Christmas I shall be with Mr. Hanson
  during the vacation, I shall do all I can to avoid a visit to my
  mother wherever she is. It is the first duty of a parent, to impress
  precepts of obedience in their children, but her method is so violent,
  so capricious, that the patience of Job, the versatility of a member
  of the House of Commons could not support it. I revere Dr. Drury much
  more than I do her, yet he is never violent, never outrageous: I dread
  offending him, not however through fear, but the respect I bear him
  makes me unhappy when I am under his displeasure. My mother’s
  precepts, never convey instruction, never fix upon my mind; to be sure
  they are calculated, to inculcate obedience, so are chains, and
  tortures, but though they may restrain for a time, the mind revolts
  from such treatment. Not that Mrs. Byron ever injures my _sacred_
  person. I am rather too old for that, but her words are of that rough
  texture, which offend more than personal ill usage. “A talkative woman
  is like an Adder’s tongue,” so says one of the prophets, but which I
  can’t tell, and very likely you don’t wish to know, but he was a true
  one whoever he was.
  The postage of your letters, My dear Augusta, don’t fall upon me; but
  if they did, it would make no difference, for I am Generally in cash,
  and should think the trifle I paid for your epistles the best laid out
  I ever spent in my life. Write Soon. Remember me to Lord Carlisle,
  and, believe me, I ever am
  Your affectionate Brother and Friend,
[Footnote 1: In consequence of this letter, Augusta Byron wrote as
follows to Hanson, and Byron spent the Christmas holidays of 1804 with
his solicitor:–
  “Castle Howard, Nov. 18, 1804.
  My Dear Sir,–I am afraid you will think I presume almost too much
  upon the kind permission you have so often given me of applying to you
  about my Brother’s concerns. The reason that induces me now to do so
  is his having lately written me several Letters containing the most
  extraordinary accounts of his Mother’s conduct towards him and
  complaints of the uncomfortable Situation he is in during the Holidays
  when with her. All this you will easily imagine has more _vexed_ than
  _surprized_ me. I am quite unhappy about him, and wish I could in any
  way remedy the grievances he confides to me. I wished, as the most
  likely means of doing this, to mention the subject to Lord Carlisle,
  who has always expressed the greatest interest about Byron and also
  shewn me the greatest Kindness. Finding that he did _not object_ to
  it, I yesterday had some conversation with Lord C. on the subject, and
  it is partly by his advice and wishes that I trouble you with this
  Letter. He authorized me to tell you that, if you would allow my
  Brother to spend the next vacation with you (which _he_ seems
  _strongly_ to wish), that it would put it into his power to see more
  of him and shew him more attention than he has hitherto, being
  withheld from doing so from the dread of having any concern whatever
  with Mrs. Byron.
  I need hardly add that it is almost MY first wish that this should be
  accomplished. I am sure you are of my opinion that it is now of the
  greatest consequence to Byron to secure the friendship of Lord C., the
  only relation he has who possesses the _Will_ and _power_ to be of use
  to him. I think the Letters he writes me _quite perfect_ and he does
  not express one sentiment or idea I should wish different; he tells me
  he is soon to leave Harrow, but does not say where he is to go. I
  conclude to Oxford or Cambridge. Pray be so good as to write me a few
  lines on this subject.
  I trust entirely to the interest and friendship you have ever so
  kindly expressed for my Brother, for _my Forgiveness_. Of course you
  will not mention to Mrs. B. having heard from me, as she would only
  accuse me of wishing to estrange her Son from her, which would be very
  far from being the case further than his Happiness and comfort are
  concerned in it. My opinion is that _as_ they cannot agree, they had
  better be separated, for such eternal Scenes of wrangling are enough
  to spoil the very best temper and Disposition in the universe. I shall
  hope to hear from you soon, my dear sir, and remain, Most sincerely
  yours, AUGUSTA BYRON.”]
[Footnote 2: Lord Grey de Ruthyn. (See p. 23, note 1.)]
16.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, Malton, Yorkshire.]
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, Novr., Saturday, 17th, 1804.
  I am glad to hear, My dear Sister, that you like Castle Howard so
  well, I have no doubt what you say is true and that Lord C. is much
  more amiable than he has been represented to me. Never having been
  much with him and always hearing him reviled, it was hardly possible I
  should have conceived a very _great friendship_ for his L’dship. My
  mother, you inform me, commends my _amiable disposition_ and _good
  understanding;_ if she does this to you, it is a great deal more than
  I ever hear myself, for the one or the other is always found fault
  with, and I am told to copy the _excellent pattern_ which I see before
  me in _herself._ You have got an invitation too, you may accept it if
  you please, but if you value your own comfort, and like a pleasant
  situation, I advise you to avoid Southwell.–I thank you, My dear
  Augusta, for your readiness to assist me, and will in some manner
  avail myself of it; I do not however wish to be separated from _her_
  entirely, but not to be so much with her as I hitherto have been, for
  I do believe she likes me; she manifests that in many instances,
  particularly with regard to money, which I never want, and have as
  much as I desire. But her conduct is so strange, her caprices so
  impossible to be complied with, her passions so outrageous, that the
  evil quite overbalances her _agreeable qualities._ Amongst other
  things I forgot to mention a most _ungovernable appetite_ for Scandal,
  which she never can govern, and employs most of her time abroad, in
  displaying the faults, and censuring the foibles, of her acquaintance;
  therefore I do not wonder, that my precious Aunt, comes in for her
  share of encomiums; This however is nothing to what happens when my
  conduct admits of animadversion; “then comes the tug of war.” My whole
  family from the conquest are upbraided! myself abused, and I am told
  that what little accomplishments I possess either in mind or body are
  derived from her and _her alone._
  When I leave Harrow I know not; that depends on her nod; I like it
  very well. The master Dr. Drury, is the most amiable _clergyman_ I
  ever knew; he unites the Gentleman with the Scholar, without
  affectation or pedantry, what little I have learnt I owe to him alone,
  nor is it his fault that it was not more. I shall always remember his
  instructions with Gratitude, and cherish a hope that it may one day be
  in my power to repay the numerous obligations, I am under; to him or
  some of his family.
  Our holidays come on in about a fortnight. I however have not
  mentioned that to my mother, nor do I intend it; but if I can, I shall
  contrive to evade going to Southwell. Depend upon it I will not
  approach her for some time to come if It is in my power to avoid it,
  but she must not know, that it is my wish to be absent. I hope you
  will excuse my sending so short a letter, but the Bell has just rung
  to summon us together. Write Soon, and believe me, Ever your
  affectionate Brother, BYRON.
  I am afraid you will have some difficulty in decyphering my epistles,
  but _that_ I know you will excuse. Adieu. Remember me to Lord
17.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, Malton, Yorkshire.] Harrow-on-the-Hill, Novr. 21st,
  MY DEAREST AUGUSTA,–This morning I received your by no means
  unwelcome epistle, and thinking it demands an immediate answer, once
  more take up my pen to employ it in your service. There is no
  necessity for my mother to know anything of my intentions, till the
  time approaches; and when it does come, Mr. H. has only to write her a
  note saying, that, as I could not accept the invitation he gave me
  last holidays, he imagined I might do it now; to this she surely can
  make no objections; but, if she entertained the slightest idea of my
  making any complaint of her very _lenient_ treatment, the scene that
  would ensue beggars all power of description. You may have some little
  idea of it, from what I have told you, and what you yourself know.
  I wrote to you the other day; but you make no mention of receiving my
  letter in yours of the 18th inst. It is however of little importance,
  containing merely a recapitulation of circumstances which I have
  before detailed at full length.
  To Lord Carlisle make my warmest acknowledgements. I feel more
  gratitude, than my feelings can well express; I am truly obliged to
  him for his endeavours, and am perfectly satisfied with your
  explanation of his reserve, though I was hitherto afraid it might
  proceed from personal dislike. I have some idea that I leave Harrow
  these holidays. The Dr., whose character I gave you in my last, leaves
  the mastership at Easter. Who his successor may be I know not, but he
  will not be a better I am confident. You inform me that you intend to
  visit my mother, then you will have an opportunity of seeing what I
  have described, and hearing a great _deal of Scandal_. She does not
  trouble me much with epistolary communications; when I do receive
  them, they are very concise, and much to the purpose. However I will
  do her the justice to say that she behaves, or rather means, well, and
  is in some respects very kind, though her manners are not the most
  conciliating. She likewise expresses a great deal of affection for
  you, but disapproves your marriage, wishes to know my opinion of it,
  and complains that you are negligent and do not write to her or care
  about her. How far her opinion of your love for her is well grounded,
  you best know. I again request you will return my sincere thanks to
  Lord Carlisle, and for the future I shall consider him as more my
  friend than I have hitherto been taught to think. I have more reasons
  than one, to wish to avoid going to Notts, for there I should be
  obliged to associate with Lord G. whom I detest, his manners being
  unlike those of a Gentleman, and the information to be derived from
  him but little except about shooting, which I do not intend to devote
  my life to. Besides, I have a particular reason for not liking him.
  Pray write to me soon. Adieu, my Dear Augusta.
  I remain, your affectionate Brother, BYRON.
18.-To John Hanson [1].
  Saturday, Dec. 1st, 1804.
  MY DEAR SIR,–Our vacation commences on the 5th of this Month, when I
  propose to myself the pleasure of spending the Holidays at your House,
  if it is not too great an Inconvenience. I tell you fairly, that at
  Southwell I should have nothing in the World to do, but play at cards
  and listen to the edifying Conversation of old Maids, two things which
  do not at all suit my inclinations. In my Mother’s last Letter I find
  that my poney and pointers are not yet procured, and that Lord Grey is
  still at Newstead. The former I should be very dull at such a place as
  Southwell without; the latter is still more disagreeable to be with. I
  presume he goes on in the old way,–quarrelling with the farmers, and
  stretching his judicial powers (he being now in the commission) to the
  utmost, becoming a torment to himself, and a pest to all around
  him.–I am glad you approve of my Gun, feeling myself happy, that it
  has been tried by so _distinguished_ a _Sportsman_.
  I hope your Campaigns against the Partridges and the rest of the
  feathered Tribe have been attended with no serious
  Consequences–_trifling accidents_ such as the top of a few fingers
  and a Thumb, you _Gentlemen_ of the _city_ being used to, of course
  occasion no interruption to your field sports.
  Your Accommodation I have no doubt I shall be perfectly satisfied
  with, only do exterminate that _vile Generation_ of _Bugs_ which
  nearly ate me up the last Time I _sojourned_ at your House. After
  undergoing the Purgatory of Harrow _board_ and _Lodging_ for three
  Months I shall not be _particular_ or exorbitant in my demands.
  Pray give my best Compliments to Mrs. Hanson and the now
  _quilldriving_ Hargreaves [2]. Till I see you, I remain, Yours, etc.,
[Footnote 1: Byron spent the Christmas holidays of 1804-5 with the
Hansons. He gave Hanson to understand that it was his wish to leave the
school, and that Dr. Drury agreed with him in the decision. Hanson,
after consulting Lord Carlisle, wrote to Drury, urging that Byron was
too young to leave the school. Drury’s reply, dated December 29, 1804,
gave a different colour to the matter.
  “Your letter,” he writes, “supposes that Lord Byron was desirous to
  leave school, and that I acquiesced in his Wish: but I must do him the
  Justice to observe that _the wish originated with me._ During his last
  residence at Harrow his conduct gave me much trouble and uneasiness;
  and as two of his Associates were to leave me at Christmas, I
  certainly suggested to him _my wish_ that he might be placed under the
  care of some private Tutor previously to his admission to either of
  the Universities. This I did no less with a view to the forming of his
  mind and manners, than to my own comfort; and I am fully convinced
  that if such a situation can be procured for his Lordship, it will be
  much more advantageous for him than a longer residence at school,
  where his animal spirits and want of judgment may induce him to do
  wrong, whilst his age and person must prevent his Instructors from
  treating him in some respects as a schoolboy. If we part now, we may
  entertain affectionate dispositions towards each other, and his
  Lordship will have left the school with credit; as my dissatisfactions
  were expressed to him only privately, and in such a manner as not to
  affect his public situation in the school.”
Finally, however, Dr. Drury, yielding to the appeal of Lord Carlisle and
Hanson, allowed the boy to return to Harrow, and Byron remained at the
school till July, 1805, the last three months being passed under the
rule of Dr. Butler.]
[Footnote 2: Hargreaves Hanson, second son of John Hanson, had just left
Harrow, and was articled as a pupil in his father’s business. He died in
1811, at the age of 23.]
19.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  6, Chancery Lane, Wednesday, 30th Jany., 1805.
  I have delayed writing to you so long, My dearest Augusta, from
  ignorance of your residence, not knowing whether you _graced_ Castle
  Howard, or Kireton with your _presence._ The instant Mr. H[anson]
  informed me where you was, I prepared to address you, and you have but
  just forestalled my intention. And now, I scarcely know what to begin
  with; I have so many things, to tell you. I wish to God, that we were
  together, for It is impossible that I can confine all I have got to
  say in an epistle, without I was to follow your example, and fill
  eleven pages, as I was informed, by my _proficiency_ in _the art of
  magic,_ that you sometimes send that _number_ to _Lady Gertrude._
  To begin with an article of _grand importance;_ I on Saturday dined
  with Lord Carlisle, and on further acquaintance I like them all very
  much. Amongst other circumstances, I heard of your _boldness_ as a
  _Rider,_ especially one anecdote about your horse carrying you into
  the stable _perforce._ I should have admired amazingly to have seen
  your progress, provided you met with no accident. I hope you recollect
  the circumstance, and know what I allude to; else, you may think that
  I am _soaring_ into the _Regions of Romance._ I wish you to
  corroborate my account in your next, and inform me whether my
  information was correct.
  I think your friend Lady G. is a sweet girl. If your taste in _love_,
  is as good as it is in _friendship_, I shall think you a _very
  discerning little Gentlewoman_. His Lordship too improves upon further
  acquaintance, Her Ladyship I always liked, but of the Junior part of
  the family Frederick [1] is my favourite. I believe with regard to my
  future destination, that I return to Harrow until June, and then I’m
  off for the university. Could I have found Room there, I was to have
  gone immediately.
  I have contrived to pass the holidays with Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, to
  whom I am greatly obliged for their hospitality. You are now within a
  days journey of my _amiable Mama_. If you wish your spirits _raised_,
  or rather _roused_, I would recommend you to pass a week or two with
  her. However I daresay she would behave very well to _you_, for you do
  not know her disposition so well as I do. I return you, my dear Girl,
  a thousand thanks for hinting to Mr. H. and Lord C. my uncomfortable
  situation, I shall always remember it with gratitude, as a most
  _essential service_. I rather think that, if you were any time with my
  mother, she would bore you about your marriage which she _disapproves_
  of, as much for the sake of finding fault as any thing, for that is
  her favourite amusement. At any rate she would be very inquisitive,
  for she was always tormenting me about it, and, if you told her any
  thing, she might very possibly divulge it; I therefore advise you,
  _when you see her_ to say nothing, or as little, about it, as you can
  help. If you make haste, you can answer this _well written_ epistle by
  return of post, for I wish again to hear from you immediately; you
  need not fill _eleven pages, nine_ will be sufficient; but whether it
  contains nine pages or nine lines, it will always be most welcome, my
  beloved Sister, to Your affectionate Brother and Friend, BYRON.
[Footnote 1: The Hon. Frederick Howard, third son of Lord Carlisle, the
“young, gallant Howard” of _Childe Harold_ (Canto III. stanzas xxix,
xxx; see Byron’s note), was killed at Waterloo. “The best of his race,”
says Byron, in a letter to Moore, July 7, 1815.]
20.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [London], Thursday, 4th April, 1805.
  MY DEAREST AUGUSTA,–You certainly have excellent reasons for
  complaint against my want of punctuality in our correspondence; but,
  as it does not proceed from want of affection, but an idle
  disposition, you will, I hope, accept my excuses. I am afraid,
  however, that when I shall take up my pen, you will not be greatly
  _edified_ or _amused_, especially at present, since, I sit down in
  very bad spirits, out of humour with myself, and all the world, except
  _you_. I left Harrow yesterday, and am now at Mr. Hanson’s till Sunday
  morning, when I depart for Nottinghamshire, to pay a visit to my
  _mother_, with whom I shall remain for a week or two, when I return to
  town, and from thence to Harrow, until July, when I take my departure
  for the university, but which I am as yet undecided. Mr. H. Recommends
  Cambridge; Ld. Carlisle allows me to chuse for myself, and I must own
  I prefer Oxford. But, I am not violently bent upon it, and whichever
  is determined upon will meet with my concurrence.–This is the outline
  of my plans for the next 6 months.
  I am Glad that you are Going to pay his _Lordship_ a visit, as I shall
  have an opportunity of seeing you on my return to town, a pleasure,
  which, as I have been long debarred of it, will be doubly felt after
  so long a separation. My visit to the Dowager does not promise me all
  the happiness I could wish; however, it must be gone through, as it is
  some time since I have seen her. It shall be as short as possible. I
  shall expect to find a letter from you, when I come down, as I wish to
  know when you go to town, and how long you remain there. If you stay
  till The middle of next month, you may have an opportunity of hearing
  me speak, as the first day of our _Harrow orations_ occurs in May. My
  friend Delawarr [1], (as you observed) danced with the little
  Princess, nor did I in the least _envy_ him the honour. I presume you
  have heard That Dr. Drury leaves Harrow this Easter, and That, as a
  memorial of our Gratitude for his long services, The scholars
  presented him with plate to the amount of 330 Guineas.
  I hope you will excuse this _Hypocondriac_ epistle, as I never was in
  such low spirits in my life. Adieu, my Dearest Sister, and believe me,
  Your ever affectionate though negligent Brother, BYRON.
[Footnote 1:  On February 25, 1805, their Majesties gave a magnificent
“house-warming” at Windsor Castle.
  “The expenditure,” says the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for 1805 (part
  i. pp. 262-264), “cannot have cost less than £50,000. The floor of the
  ball-room, instead of being chalked, was painted with most fanciful
  and appropriate devices by an eminent artist.” The “little Princess”
  Charlotte of Wales, we are told, left the Castle at half-past nine.]
21.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
  Burgage Manor, Southwell, Notts, 15 April, 1805.
  DEAR HARGREAVES,–As I have been unable to return to Town with your
  father, I must request, that you will take care of my Books, and a
  parcel which I expect from my Taylor’s, and, as I understand you are
  going to pay Farleigh a visit, I would be obliged to you to leave them
  under the care of one of the Clerks, or a Servant, who may inform me
  where to find them. I shall be in Town on Wednesday the 24th at
  furthest, when I shall not hope to see you, or wish it; not but what I
  should be glad of your _entertaining and loquacious Society_, but as I
  think you will be more amused at Farleigh, it would be selfish in me
  to wish that you should forego the pleasures of contemplating _pigs_,
  _poultry_, _pork_, _pease_, and _potatoes_ together, with other Rural
  Delights, for my Company. Much pleasure may you find in your excursion
  and I dare say, when you have exchanged _pleadings_ for _ploughshares_
  and _fleecing clients_ for _feeding flocks_, you will be in no hurry
  to resume your Law Functions.
  Remember me to your Father and Mother and the Juniors, and if you
  should find it convenient to dispatch a note in answer to this
  epistle, it will afford great pleasure to
  Yours very sincerely and affectionately,
  P.S.–It is hardly necessary to inform you that I am heartily tired of
  Southwell, for I am at this minute experiencing those delights which I
  have recapitulated to you and which are more entertaining to be
  _talked_ of at a distance than enjoyed at Home. I allude to the
  Eloquence of a _near relation_ of mine, which is as remarkable as your
22.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
  Burgage Manor, April 20, 1805.
  Dear Hargreaves,–Dr. Butler, [1] our new Master, has thought proper
  to postpone our Meeting till the 8th of May, which obliges me to delay
  my return to Town for one week, so that instead of Wednesday the 24th
  I shall not arrive in London till the 1st of May, on which Day (If I
  live) I shall certainly be in town, where I hope to have the pleasure
  of seeing you. I shall remain with you only a week, as we are all to
  return to the very day, on account of the prolongation of our
  Holidays. However, if you shall previous to that period take a _jaunt_
  into Hants, I beg you will leave my _valuables_, etc., etc., in the
  care of one of the _Gentlemen_ of your office, as that _Razor faced
  Villain_, James, might perhaps take the Liberty of walking off with a
  suit. I have heard several times from Tattersall [2] and it is very
  probable we may see him on my return. I beg you will excuse this short
  epistle as my time is at present rather taken up, and Believe Me,
  Yours very sincerely,
[Footnote 1: The Rev. George Butler (1774-1853), who was Senior Wrangler
(1794), succeeded Dr. Drury as Head-master of Harrow School in April,
1805. He was then Fellow, tutor, and classical lecturer at Sydney Sussex
College, Cambridge. From affection to Dr. Drury, Byron supported the
candidature of his brother, Mark Drury, and avenged himself on Butler
for the defeat of his candidate by the lines on “Pomposus” (see ‘Poems’,
vol. i. pp. 16, 17, “On a Change of Masters,” etc.; and pp. 84-106,
“Childish Recollections”). At a later period he became reconciled to
Butler, who knew the Continent well, was an excellent linguist, and gave
him valuable advice for his foreign tour in 1809-11. Butler resigned the
Head-mastership of Harrow in April, 1824, and retired to a country
living. In 1842 he was appointed to the Deanery of Peterborough, where
he died in 1853.]
[Footnote 2: John Cecil Tattersall entered Harrow in May, 1801. He was
the “Davus” of “Childish Recollections” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 97, 98,
and notes). He went from Harrow to Christ Church, Oxford, took orders,
and died December 8, 1812.]
23.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [The Earl of Carlisle’s, Grosvenor Place, London.] Burgage Manor,
  April 23d, 1805.
  MY DEAREST AUGUSTA,–I presume by this time, that you are safely
  arrived at the Earl’s, at least I _hope_ so; nor shall I feel myself
  perfectly easy, till I have the pleasure of hearing from yourself of
  your safety. I myself shall set out for town this day (Tuesday) week,
  and intend waiting upon you on Thursday at farthest; in the mean time
  I must console myself as well as I can; and I am sure, no unhappy
  mortal ever required much more consolation than I do at present. You
  as well as myself know the _sweet_ and _amiable_ temper of a certain
  personage to whom I am nearly related; of _course_, the pleasure I
  have enjoyed during my vacation, (although it has been greater than I
  expected) yet has not been so _superabundant_ as to make me wish to
  stay a day longer than I can avoid. However, notwithstanding the
  dullness of the place, and certain _unpleasant things_ that occur In a
  family not a hundred miles distant from Southwell, I contrived to pass
  my time in peace, till to day, when unhappily, In a most inadvertent
  manner, I said that Southwell was not _peculiarly_ to my taste; but
  however, I merely expressed this in common conversation, without
  speaking disrespectfully of the _sweet_ town; (which, between you and
  I, I wish was swallowed up by an earthquake, provided my _Eloquent
  mother_ was not in it). No sooner had the unlucky sentence, which I
  believe was prompted by my evil Genius, escaped my lips, than I was
  treated with an Oration in the _ancient style_, which I have often so
  _pathetically_ described to you, unequalled by any thing of _modern_
  or _antique_ date; nay the _Philippics_ against Lord Melville [1] were
  nothing to it; one would really Imagine, to have heard the _Good
  Lady_, that I was a most _treasonable culprit_, but thank St. Peter,
  after undergoing this _Purgatory_ for the last hour, it is at length
  blown over, and I have sat down under these _pleasing impressions_ to
  address you, so that I am afraid my epistle will not be the most
  entertaining. I assure you upon my _honour_, jesting apart, I have
  never been so _scurrilously_, and _violently_ abused by any person, as
  by that woman, whom I think I am to call mother, by that being who
  gave me birth, to whom I ought to look up with veneration and respect,
  but whom I am sorry I cannot love or admire. Within one little hour, I
  have not only heard myself, but have heard my _whole family_, by the
  father’s side, _stigmatized_ in terms that the _blackest malevolence_
  would perhaps shrink from, and that too in words you would be shocked
  to hear. Such, Augusta, such is my mother; _my mother!_ I disclaim her
  from this time, and although I cannot help treating her with respect,
  I cannot reverence, as I ought to do, that parent who by her
  outrageous conduct forfeits all title to filial affection. To you,
  Augusta, I must look up, as my nearest relation, to you I must confide
  what I cannot mention to others, and I am sure you will pity me; but I
  entreat you to keep this a secret, nor expose that unhappy failing of
  this woman, which I must bear with patience. I would be very sorry to
  have it discovered, as I have only one week more, for the present. In
  the mean time you may write to me with the greatest safety, as she
  would not open any of my letters, even from you. I entreat then that
  you will favour me with an answer to this. I hope however to have the
  pleasure of seeing you on the day appointed, but If you could contrive
  any way that I may avoid being asked to dinner by L’d C. I would be
  obliged to you, as I hate strangers. Adieu, my Beloved Sister,
  I remain ever yours,
[Footnote 1: Henry Dundas (1742-1811), created Viscount Melville in
1802, Lord Advocate (1775-83), made himself useful to Lord North’s
Government as a shrewd, hard-working man of business, a ready
speaker–in broad Scotch, and a consummate election agent. For twenty
years he was the right-hand man of Pitt–
  “Too proud from pilfered greatness to descend,
  Too humble not to call Dundas his friend.”
Not only was he Pitt’s political colleague, but in private life his boon
companion. A well-known epigram commemorates in a dialogue their
convivial habits–
  ‘Pitt’.   “I cannot see the Speaker, Hal; can you?”
  ‘Dundas’. “Not see the Speaker, Billy? I see two.”
Melville, for a long series of years, held important political posts. He
was Treasurer of the Navy (1782-1800); member of the Board of Control
for India (1784-1802) and President (1790-1802); Home Secretary
(1791-94); Secretary of War (1794-1801); First Lord of the Admiralty
(1804-5). In 1802 a Commission had been appointed to examine into the
accounts of the naval department for the past twenty years, and, in
consequence of their tenth report, a series of resolutions were moved in
the House of Commons (April, 1805) against Melville. The voting was
even–216 for and 216 against; the resolutions were carried by the
casting vote of Speaker Abbott.
  “Pitt was overcome; his friend was ruined. At the sound of the
  Speaker’s voice, the Prime Minister crushed his hat over his brows to
  hide the tears that poured over his cheeks: he pushed in haste out of
  the House. Some of his opponents, I am ashamed to say, thrust
  themselves near, ‘to see how Billy took it.'”
(Mark Boyd’s ‘Reminiscences of Fifty Years’, p. 404.) Melville, who was
heard at the bar of the House of Commons in his own defence, was
impeached before the House of Lords (June 26, 1805) of high crimes and
misdemeanours. At the close of the proceedings, which began in
Westminster Hall on April 29, 1806, Melville was acquitted on all the
charges. Whitbread took the leading part in the impeachment. See ‘All
the Talents: a Satirical Poem’, by Polypus (E. S. Barrett)–
  “Rough as his porter, bitter as his barm,
  He sacrificed his fame to M–lv–lle’s harm.”
  Dialogue ii.]
24.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [The Earl of Carlisle’s, Grosvenor Place, London.] Burgage Manor,
  Southwell, Friday, April 25th, 1805.
  My dearest Augusta,–Thank God, I believe I shall be in town on
  Wednesday next, and at last relieved from those _agreeable
  amusements_, I described to you in my last. I return you and Lady G.
  many thanks for your _benediction_, nor do I doubt its efficacy as it
  is bestowed by _two such Angelic beings_; but as I am afraid my
  _profane blessing_ would but expedite your road to _Purgatory_,
  instead of _Salvation_, you must be content with my best wishes in
  return, since the _unhallowed adjurations_ of a mere mortal would be
  of no effect. You say, you are sick of the Installation; [1] and that
  L’d C. was not present; I however saw his name in the _Morning Post_,
  as one of the Knights Companions. I indeed expected that _you_ would
  have been present at the Ceremony.
  I have seen this young Roscius [2] several times at the hazard of my
  life, from the _affectionate squeezes_ of the surrounding crowd. I
  think him tolerable in some characters, but by no means equal to the
  ridiculous praises showered upon him by _John Bull_.
  I am afraid that my stay in town ceases after the 10th. I should not
  continue it so long, as we meet on the 8th at Harrow, But, I remain on
  purpose to hear our _Sapient_ and _noble Legislators_ of Both Houses
  debate on the Catholic Question, [3] as I have no doubt there will be
  many _nonsensical_, and some _Clever_ things said on the occasion. I
  am extremely glad that you _sport_ an audience Chamber for the Benefit
  of your _modest_ visitors, amongst whom I have the _honour_ to reckon
  myself: I shall certainly be most happy again to see you,
  notwithstanding my _wise_ and _Good_ mother (who is at this minute
  thundering against Somebody or other below in the Dining Room), has
  interdicted my visiting at his _Lordship’s_ house, with the threat of
  her malediction, in case of disobedience, as she says he has behaved
  very ill to her; the truth of this I much doubt, nor should the orders
  of all the mothers (especially such mothers) in the world, prevent me
  from seeing my Beloved Sister after so long an Absence. I beg you will
  forgive this _well written epistle_, for I write in a great Hurry,
  and, believe me, with the greatest impatience again to behold you,
  Attached Brother and [Friend,
  P.S.–By the bye Lady G. ought not to complain of your writing a
  _decent_ long letter to me, since I remember your _11 Pages_ to her,
  at which I did not make the least complaint, but submitted like a
  _meek Lamb_ to the innovation of my privileges, for nobody _ought_ to
  have had so long an epistle but my _most excellent Self_.
[Footnote 1: On St. George’s Day, April 23, 1805, seven Knights were
installed at Windsor as Knights of the Garter, each in turn being
invested with the surcoat, girdle, and sword. The new Knights were the
Dukes of Rutland and Beaufort; the Marquis of Abercorn; the Earls of
Chesterfield, Pembroke, and Winchilsea; and, by proxy, the Earl of
Lady Louisa Strangways, writing to her sister, Lady Harriet Frampton, on
April 24, 1805 (‘Journal of Mary Frampton’, p. 129), says, “I was full
dressed for seventeen hours yesterday, and sat in one spot for seven,
which is enough to tire any one who enjoyed what was going on, which I
did not. I saw them walk to St. George’s Chapel, which was the best
part, as it did not last long … Their dresses were very magnificent.
The Knights, before they were installed, were in white and silver, like
the old pictures of Henry VIII., and afterwards they had a purple mantle
put on. They had immense plumes of ostrich feathers, with a heron’s
feather in the middle.”]
[Footnote 2: William Henry West Betty (1791-1874), the “Young Roscius,”
made his first appearance on the stage at Belfast, in 1803, in the part
of “Osman,” in Hill’s ‘Zara;’ and on December 1, 1804, at Covent Garden,
as “Selim” disguised as “Achmet,” in Browne’s ‘Barbarossa’. In the
winter season of 1804-5, when he appeared at Covent Garden and Drury
Lane, such crowds collected to see him, that the military were called
out to preserve order. Leslie (‘Autobiographical Recollections’, vol. i.
p. 218) speaks of him as a boy “of handsome features and graceful
manners, with a charming voice.” Fox, who saw him in ‘Hamlet’, said,
“This is finer than Garrick” (‘Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers’, p. 88).
Northcote (‘Conversations’, p. 23) spoke of his acting as “a beautiful
effusion of natural sensibility; and then that graceful play of the
limbs in youth gave such an advantage over every one about him.” “Young
Roscius’s premature powers,” writes Mrs. Piozzi, February 21, 1805,
“attract universal attention, and I suppose that if less than an angel
had told ‘his’ parents that a bulletin of that child’s health should be
necessary to quiet the anxiety of a metropolis for his safety, they
would not have believed the prediction” (‘Life and Writings of Mrs.
Piozzi’, vol. ii. p. 263). In society he was the universal topic of
conversation, and he commanded a salary of £50 a night, at a time when
John Kemble was paid £37 16’s’. a week (‘Life of Frederick Reynolds’,
vol. ii. p. 364).
  “When,” writes Mrs. Byron of her son to Hanson (December 8, 1804), “he
  goes to see the Young Roscius, I hope he will take care of himself in
  the crowd, and not go alone.”
Betty lost his attractiveness with the growth of his beard. Byron’s
opinion of the merits of the youthful prodigy became that of the general
public; but not till the actor had made a large fortune. He retired from
the stage in 1824.]
[Footnote 3: On March 25, 1805, petitions were presented by Lord
Grenville in the House of Lords, and Fox in the House of Commons,
calling the attention of the country to the claims of the Roman
Catholics, and praying their relief from their disabilities, civil,
naval, and military. On Friday, May 10, Lord Grenville moved, in the
Upper House, for a committee of the whole House to consider the
petition. At six o’clock on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, the motion
was negatived by a division of 178 against 49. On Monday, May 13, Fox,
in the Lower House, made a similar motion, which was negatived, at five
o’clock on the morning of Wednesday, May 15, by a division of 336
against 126. Byron, on April 21, 1812, in the second of his three
Parliamentary speeches, supported the relief of the Roman Catholics.]
25.–To John Hanson.
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, 11 May, 1805.
  Dear Sir,–As you promised to cash my Draft on the Day that I left
  your house, and as you was only prevented by the Bankers being shut
  up, I will be very much obliged to you to _give the ready_ to this old
  Girl, Mother Barnard, [1] who will either present herself or send a
  Messenger, as she demurs on its being not payable till the 25th of
  June. Believe me, Sir, by doing this you will greatly oblige
  Yours very truly,
[Footnote: 1. Mother Barnard was the keeper of the “tuck-shop” at
26.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [The Earl of Carlisle’s, Grosvenor Place, London.]
  [Harrow, Wednesday, June 5, 1805.]
  My Dearest Augusta,–At last you have a _decent_ specimen of the
  dowager’s talents for epistles in the _furioso_ style. You are now
  freed from the _shackles_ of her correspondence, and when I revisit
  her, I shall be bored with long stories of your _ingratitude_, etc.,
  etc. She is as I have before declared certainly mad (to say she was in
  her senses, would be condemning her as a Criminal), her conduct is a
  _happy_ compound of derangement and Folly. I had the other day an
  epistle from her; not a word was mentioned about you, but I had some
  of the usual _compliments_ on my own account. I am now about to answer
  her letter, though I shall scarcely have patience, to treat her with
  civility, far less with affection, that was almost over before, and
  this has given the finishing stroke to _filial_, which now gives way
  to _fraternal_ duty. Believe me, dearest Augusta, not ten thousand
  _such_ mothers, or indeed any mothers, Could induce me to give you
  up.–No, No, as the dowager says in that rare epistle which now lies
  before me, “the time has been, but that is past long since,” and
  nothing now can influence your _pretty_ _sort of_ a _brother_ (bad as
  he is) to forget that he is your _Brother_. Our first Speech day will
  be over ere this reaches you, but against the 2d you shall have timely
  notice.–I am glad to hear your illness is not of a Serious nature;
  _young Ladies_ ought not to throw themselves in to the fidgets about a
  trifling delay of 9 or 10 years; age brings experience and when you in
  the flower of youth, between 40 and 50, shall then marry, you will no
  doubt say that I am a _wise man_, and that the later one makes one’s
  self miserable with the matrimonial clog, the better. Adieu, my
  dearest Augusta, I bestow my _patriarchal blessing_ on you and Lady G.
  and remain,
  [Signature cut out.]
27.–To John Hanson.
  Harrow-on-the-Hill, 27 June, 1805.
  Dear Sir,–I will be in Town on Saturday Morning, but it is absolutely
  necessary for me to return to Harrow on Tuesday or Wednesday, as
  Thursday is our 2d Speechday and Butler says he cannot dispense with my
  Presence on that Day. I thank you for your Compliment in the Beginning
  of your Letter, and with the Hope of seeing you and Hargreaves well on
  I remain, yours, etc., etc.,
28.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Address cut out], Tuesday, July 2d, 1805.
  My dearest Augusta,–I am just returned from Cambridge, where I have
  been to enter myself at Trinity College.–Thursday is our Speechday at
  Harrow, and as I forgot to remind you of its approach, previous to our
  first declamation, [1] I have given you _timely_ notice this time. If
  you intend doing me the _honour_ of attending, I would recommend you
  not to come without a Gentleman, as I shall be too much engaged all
  the morning to take care of you, and I should not imagine you would
  admire _stalking_ about by yourself. You had better be there by 12
  o’clock as we begin at 1, and I should like to procure you a good
  place; Harrow is 11 miles from town, it will just make a _comfortable_
  mornings drive for you. I don’t know how you are to come, but for
  _Godsake_ bring as few women with you as possible. I would wish you to
  Write me an answer immediately, that I may know on Thursday morning,
  whether you will drive over or not, and I will arrange my other
  engagements accordingly. I _beg_, _Madam_, you may make your
  appearance in one of his Lordships most _dashing_ carriages, as our
  Harrow _etiquette_, admits of nothing but the most _superb_ vehicles,
  on our Grand _Festivals_. In the mean time, believe me, dearest
  Your affectionate Brother,
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Byron, writing to Hanson (June 25, 1805), says, “The
fame of Byron’s oratory has reached Southwell” (see page 27, note 1).]
29.–To John Hanson.
  Harrow, 8 July, 1805.
  My dear Sir,–I have just received a Letter from my Mother, in which
  she talks of coming to Town about the _commencement_ of our Holidays.
  If she does, it will be impossible for me to call on _my Sister_,
  previous to my leaving it, and at the same time I cannot conceive what
  the Deuce she can want at this season in London. I have written to
  tell her that my Holidays commence on the 6th of August, but however,
  July the 1st is the proper day.–I beg that if you cannot find some
  means to keep her in the Country that you at least will connive at
  this deception which I can palliate, and then I shall be down in the
  country before she knows where I am. My reasons for this are, that I
  do _not wish_ to be detained in Town so uncomfortably as I know I
  shall be if I remain with her; that _I do wish_ to see my Sister; and
  in the next place she can just as well come to Town after my return to
  Notts, as I don’t desire to be dragged about according to her caprice,
  and there are some other causes I think unnecessary to be now
  mentioned. If you will only contrive by settling this business (if it
  is in your power), or if that is impossible, not mention anything
  about the day our Holidays commence, of which you can be easily
  supposed not to be informed. If, I repeat, you can by any means
  prevent this Mother from executing her purposes, believe me, you will
  greatly oblige
  Yours truly,
30.–To Charles O. Gordon. [1]
  Burgage Manor, Southwell, Notts, August 4, 1805.
  Although I am greatly afraid, my Dearest Gordon, that you will not
  receive this epistle till you return from Abergeldie, (as your letter
  stated that you would be at Ledbury on Thursday next) yet, that is not
  my fault, for I have not deferred answering yours a moment, and, as I
  have just now concluded my Journey, my first, and, I trust you will
  believe me when I say, most pleasing occupation will be to write to
  We have played the Eton and were most confoundedly beat; [2] however
  it was some comfort to me that I got 11 notches the 1st Innings and 7
  the 2nd, which was more than any of our side except Brockman & Ipswich
  could contrive to hit. After the match we dined together, and were
  extremely friendly, not a single discordant word was uttered by either
  party. To be sure, we were most of us rather drunk and went together
  to the Haymarket Theatre, where we kicked up a row, As you may
  suppose, when so many Harrovians & Etonians met at one place; I was
  one of seven in a single hackney, 4 Eton and 3 Harrow, and then we all
  got into the same box, and the consequence was that such a devil of a
  noise arose that none of our neighbours could hear a word of the
  drama, at which, not being _highly delighted_, they began to quarrel
  with us, and we nearly came to a _battle royal_. How I got home after
  the play God knows. I hardly recollect, as my brain was so much
  confused by the heat, the row, and the wine I drank, that I could not
  remember in the morning how I found my way to bed.
  The rain was so incessant in the evening that we could hardly get our
  Jarveys, which was the cause of so many being stowed into one. I saw
  young Twilt, your brother, with Malet, and saw also an old
  schoolfellow of mine whom I had not beheld for six years, but he was
  not the one whom you were so good as to enquire after for me, and for
  which I return you my sincere thanks. I set off last night at eight
  o’clock to my mother’s, and am just arrived this afternoon, and have
  not delayed a second in thanking you for so soon fulfilling my request
  that you would correspond with me. My address at Cambridge will be
  Trinity College, but I shall not go there till the 20th of October.
  You may continue to direct your letters here, when I go to Hampshire
  which will not be till you have returned to Harrow. I will send my
  address previous to my departure from my mother’s. I agree with you in
  the hope that we shall continue our correspondence for a long time. I
  trust, my dearest friend, that it will only be interrupted by our
  being some time or other in the same place or under the same roof, as,
  when I have finished my _Classical Labour_, and my minority is
  expired, I shall expect you to be a frequent visitor to Newstead
  Abbey, my seat in this county which is about 12 miles from my mother’s
  house where I now am. There I can show you plenty of hunting, shooting
  and fishing, and be assured no one ever will be more welcome guest
  than yourself–nor is there any one whose correspondence can give me
  more pleasure, or whose friendship yield me greater delight than
  yours, sweet, dearest Charles, believe me, will always be the
  sentiments of
  Yours most affectionately,
[Footnote 1: This and Letter 33 are written to Byron’s Harrow friend,
Charles Gordon, one of his “juniors and favourites,” whom he “spoilt by
indulgence.” Gordon, who was the son of David Gordon of Abergeldie, died
in 1829.]
[Footnote 2: Byron’s reputation as a cricketer rests on this match
between Eton and Harrow. It was played on the old cricket ground in
Dorset Square, August 2, 1805, and ended in a victory for Eton by an
innings and two runs. The score is thus given by Lillywhite, in his
_Cricket Scores and Biographies of Celebrated Cricketers from 1745 to
1826_ (vol. i. pp. 319, 320)–
                      First Innings.    Second Innings.
Lord Ipswich,         b Carter –10    b Heaton –21
T. Farrer, Esq.,      b Carter — 7    c Bradley– 3
T. Drury, Esq.,       b Carter — 0    st Heaton– 6
–Bolton, Esq.,       run out  — 2    b Heaton — 0
C. Lloyd, Esq.,       b Carter — 0    b Carter — 0
A. Shakespeare, Esq., st Heaton– 8    runout   — 5
Lord Byron,           c Barnard– 7    b Carter — 2
Hon. T. Erskine,      b Carter — 4    b Heaton — 8
W. Brockman, Esq.,    b Heaton — 9    b Heaton –10
E. Stanley, Esq.,     not out  — 3    c Canning– 7
–Asheton, Esq.,     b Carter — 3    not out  — 0
                      Byes     — 2    Byes     — 3
                                  —               —
                                   55                 65
–Heaton, Esq.,      b Lloyd      — 0
–Slingsby, Esq.,    b Shakespeare–29
–Carter, Esq.,      b Shakespeare– 3
–Farhill, Esq.,     c Lloyd      — 6
–Canning, Esq.,     c Farrer     –12
–Camplin, Esq.,     b Ipswich    –42
–Bradley, Esq.,     b Lloyd      –16
–Barnard, Esq.,     b Shakespeare– 0
–Barnard, Esq.,     not out      — 3
–Kaye, Esq.,        b Byron      — 7
–Dover, Esq.,       c Bolton     — 4
                      Byes         — 0
At this match Lord Stratford de Redcliffe remembers seeing a
“moody-looking boy” dismissed for a small score. The boy was Byron. But
the moment is not favourable to expression of countenance.
31.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, Malton, Yorkshire.] Burgage Manor, August 6th, 1805.
  Well, my dearest Augusta, here I am, once more situated at my mother’s
  house, which together with its _inmate_ is as _agreeable_ as ever. I
  am at this moment _vis à vis_ and Téte à téte with that amiable
  personage, who is, whilst I am writing, pouring forth complaints
  against your _ingratitude_, giving me many oblique hints that I ought
  not to correspond with you, and concluding with an interdiction that
  if you ever after the expiration of my minority are invited to my
  residence, _she_ will no longer condescend to grace it with her
  _Imperial_ presence. You may figure to yourself, for your amusement,
  my solemn countenance on the occasion, and the _meek Lamblike_
  demeanour of her Ladyship, which, contrasted with my _Saintlike
  visage_, forms a _striking family painting_, whilst in the back
  ground, the portraits of my Great Grandfather and Grandmother,
  suspended in their frames, seem to look with an eye of pity on their
  _unfortunate descendant_, whose _worth_ and _accomplishments_ deserve
  a milder fate.
  I am to remain in this _Garden_ of _Eden_ one month, I do not indeed
  reside at Cambridge till October, but I set out for Hampshire in
  September where I shall be on a visit till the commencement of the
  term. In the mean time, Augusta, your _sympathetic_ correspondence
  must be some alleviation to my sorrows, which however are too
  ludicrous for me to regard them very seriously; but they are _really_
  more _uncomfortable_ than _amusing_.
  I presume you were rather surprised not to see my _consequential_ name
  in the papers [1] amongst the orators of our 2nd speech day, but
  unfortunately some wit who had formerly been at Harrow, suppressed the
  merits of Long [2], Farrer [3] and myself, who were always supposed to
  take the Lead in Harrow eloquence, and by way of a _hoax_ thought
  proper to insert a panegyric on those speakers who were really and
  truly allowed to have rather disgraced than distinguished themselves,
  of course for the _wit_ of the thing, the best were left out and the
  worst inserted, which accounts for the _Gothic omission_ of my
  _superior talents._ Perhaps it was done with a view to weaken our
  vanity, which might be too much raised by the flattering paragraphs
  bestowed on our performance the 1st speechday; be that as it may, we
  were omitted in the account of the 2nd, to the astonishment of all
  Harrow. These are _disappointments_ we _great men_ are liable to, and
  we must learn to bear them with philosophy, especially when they arise
  from attempts at wit. I was indeed very ill at that time, and after I
  had finished my speech was so overcome by the exertion that I was
  obliged to quit the room. I had caught cold by sleeping in damp sheets
  which was the cause of my indisposition. However I am now perfectly
  recovered, and live in hopes of being emancipated from the slavery of
  Burgage manor. But Believe me, Dearest Augusta, whether well or ill,
  I always am your affect. Brother,
[Footnote 1: See page 27, note 1.]
[Footnote 2: Edward Noel Long, son of E. B. Long of Hampton Lodge,
Surrey, the “Cleon” of “Childish Recollections” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp.
101, 102), entered Harrow in April, 1801. He went with Byron to Trinity
College, Cambridge, and till the end of the summer of 1806 was his most
intimate friend.
  “We were,” says Byron, in his Diary (‘Life’, p. 31), “rival swimmers,
  fond of riding, reading, and of conviviality. Our evenings we passed
  in music (he was musical, and played on more than one
  instrument–flute and violoncello), in which I was audience; and I
  think that our chief beverage was soda-water. In the day we rode,
  bathed, and lounged, reading occasionally. I remember our buying, with
  vast alacrity, Moore’s new quarto (in 1806), and reading it together
  in the evenings. … _His_ friendship, and a violent though pure
  passion–which held me at the same period–were the then romance of
  the most romantic period of my life.”
Long was Byron’s companion at Littlehampton in August, 1806. In 1807 he
entered the Guards, served with distinction in the expedition to
Copenhagen, and was drowned early in 1809, “on his passage to Lisbon
with his regiment in the ‘St. George’ transport, which was run foul of
in the night by another transport” (‘Life’, p. 31. See also Byron’s lines
“To Edward Noel Long, Esq.,” ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 184-188).]
[Footnote 3: Thomas Farrer entered Harrow in April, 1801. He played in
Byron’s XI. against Eton, on the ground in Dorset Square, on August 2,
32.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, Malton, Yorkshire.] Burgage Manor, August 10th, 1805.
  I have at last succeeded, my dearest Augusta, in pacifying the
  dowager, and mollifying that _piece_ of _flint_ which the good Lady
  denominates her heart. She now has condescended to send you her
  _love_, although with many comments on the occasion, and many
  compliments to herself. But to me she still continues to be a torment,
  and I doubt not would continue so till the end of my life. However
  this is the last time she ever will have an opportunity, as, when I go
  to college, I shall employ my vacations either in town; or during the
  summer I intend making a tour through the Highlands, and to Visit the
  Hebrides with a party of my friends, whom I have engaged for the
  purpose. This my old preceptor Drury recommended as the most improving
  way of employing my Summer Vacation, and I have now an additional
  reason for following his advice, as I by that means will avoid the
  society of this woman, whose detestable temper destroys every Idea of
  domestic comfort. It is a happy thing that she is my mother and not my
  wife, so that I can rid myself of her when I please, and indeed, if
  she goes on in the style that she has done for this last week that I
  have been with her, I shall quit her before the month I was to drag
  out in her company, is expired, and place myself any where, rather
  than remain with such a vixen. As I am to have a very handsome
  allowance,[1] which does not deprive her of a sixpence, since there is
  an addition made from my fortune by the Chancellor for the purpose, I
  shall be perfectly independent of her, and, as she has long since
  trampled upon, and harrowed up every affectionate tie, It is my
  serious determination never again to visit, or be upon any friendly
  terms with her. This I owe to myself, and to my own comfort, as well
  as Justice to the memory of my nearest relations, who have been most
  shamefully libelled by this female ‘Tisiphom’, a name which your
  ‘Ladyship’ will recollect to have belonged to one of the Furies.
  You need not take the precaution of writing in so enigmatical a style
  in your next, as, bad as the woman is, she would not dare to open any
  letter addressed to me from you. Whenever you can find time to write,
  believe me, your epistles will be productive of the greatest pleasure,
  to your
  Affectionate Brother,
[Footnote 1: During Byron’s schooldays, Mrs. Byron received £500 a year
from the Court of Chancery for his education. When he went to Cambridge,
she gave up this allowance to her son, and the expenditure of a certain
sum was sanctioned by Chancery for furniture, clothes, plate, etc. At
the same time, Mrs. Byron applied for an allowance of £200 a year, but
in 1807 the allowance had not been granted. Her pension, it may be
added, most irregularly paid at all times, was reduced to £200 a year.
Writing to Hanson (September 23, 1805), she says, “I give up the five
hundred a year to my son, and you will supply him with money
accordingly. The two hundred a year addition I shall reserve for myself;
nor can I do with less, as my house will always be a home for my son
whenever he chooses to come to it.”]
33.–To Charles O. Gordon.
  Burgage Manor, August 14, 1805.
  Believe me, my dearest Charles, no letter from you can ever be
  unentertaining or dull, at least to me; on the contrary they will
  always be productive of the highest pleasure as often as you think
  proper to gratify me by your correspondence. My answer to your first
  was addressed to Ledbury; and I fear you will not receive it till you
  return from your tour, which I hope may answer your expectation in
  every respect; I recollect some years ago passing near Abergeldie on
  an excursion through the Highlands, it was at that time a most
  beautiful place.
  I suppose you will soon have a view of the eternal snows that summit
  the top of Lachin y Gair, which towers so magnificently above the rest
  of our _Northern Alps_. I still remember with pleasure the admiration
  which filled my mind, when I first beheld it, and further on the dark
  frowning mountains which rise near Invercauld, together with the
  romantic rocks that overshadow Mar Lodge, a seat of Lord Fife’s, and
  the cataract of the Dee, which dashes down the declivity with
  impetuous violence in the grounds adjoining to the House. All these I
  presume you will soon see, so that it is unnecessary for me to
  expatiate on the subject. I sincerely wish that every happiness may
  attend you in your progress. I have given you an account of our match
  in my epistle to Herefordshire. We unfortunately lost it. I got 11
  notches the first innings and 7 the 2nd, making 18 in all, which was
  more runs than any of our side (except Ipswich) could make. Brockman
  also scored 18. We were very _convivial_ in the evening.[1]
[Footnote 1: Here the letter, which is printed from a copy made by the
Rev. W. Harness (see page 177 [Letter 92], [Foot]note 1), comes to an
34.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
Burgage Manor, August 19th, 1805.
  My Dear Hargreaves,–You may depend upon my Observance of your
  father’s Invitation to Farleigh [1] in September, where I hope we
  shall be the cause of much destruction to the feathered Tribe and
  great Amusement to ourselves. The Lancashire Trial [2] comes on very
  soon, and Mr. Hanson will come down by Nottingham; perhaps, I may then
  have a chance of seeing him; at all events, I shall probably accompany
  him on his way back; as I hope his Health is by this time perfectly
  reestablished, and will not require a journey to Harrowgate. I shall
  not as you justly conjecture have any occasion for my _Chapeau de
  Bras_, as there is nobody in the Neighbourhood who would be worth the
  trouble of wearing it, when I went to their parties. I am uncommonly
  dull at this place, as you may easily imagine, nor do I think I shall
  have much Amusement till the commencement of the shooting season. I
  shall expect (when you next write) an account of your military
  preparations, to repel the Invader of our Isle whenever he makes the
  attempt.–_You_ will doubtless acquire _great Glory_ on the occasion,
  and in expectation of hearing of your Warlike Exploits,
  I remain, yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: Hanson had property at Farleigh, near Basingstoke.]
[Footnote 2: The Rochdale property of the Byron family had been
illegally sold by William, fifth Lord Byron. Proceedings were taken to
recover the property; but fresh points arose at every stage, and
eventually Byron, unable to wait longer, sold Newstead.]
35.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
Burgage Manor.
My Dear Hargeaves,–I would be obliged to you, if you would write to
your father, and enquire–what time it will be most convenient for him
to receive my visit, and I will come to Town immediately to the time
appointed and accompany you to the _Rural Shades_ and _Fertile Fields_
of Hants. You must excuse the laconic Style of my Epistle as this place
is damned dull and I have nothing to relate, but believe me,
Yours truly,
36.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
  Trinity Coll., October 25, 1805.
  Dear Hargreaves,–I presume your father has by this time informed you
  of our safe Arrival here. [1] I can as yet hardly form an Opinion in
  favour, or against the College, but as soon as I am settled you shall
  have an account. I wish you to pack up carefully–& send immediately
  the remainder of my books, and also my _Stocks_ which were left in
  Chancery Lane. _Mon Chapeau de Bras_ take care of till Winter extends
  his Icy Reign and I shall visit the Metropolis. Tell your father that
  I am getting in the furniture he spoke of, but shall defer papering
  and painting till the Recess. The sooner you execute my _commands_ the
  better. Beware of Mr. Terry,
  And believe me, yours faithfully,
  The Bills for Furniture I shall send to Mr. H., your worthy papa,
  according to his _particular Desire_. The Cambridge Coach sets off
  from the White Horse, Fetter Lane.
[Footnote 1: Byron entered Trinity on July 1, 1805; but he did not go
into residence till the following October. His tutors were the Rev.
Thomas Jones (1756-1807), who was Senior Tutor from 1787 till his death
in 1807, and the Rev. George Frederick Tavell (B.A., 1792; M.A., 1795),
to whom Byron alludes in ‘Hints from Horace’, lines 228-230:–
  “Unlucky Tavell! doom’d to daily cares
  By pugilistic pupils, and by bears!”]
37.–To John Hanson.
  Trinity Coll., Oct. 26, 1805.
  Dear Sir,–I will be obliged to you to order me down 4 Dozen of
  Wine–Port, Sherry, Claret, and Madeira, one dozen of each. I have got
  part of my furniture in, and begin to admire a College life. Yesterday
  my appearance in the Hall in my State Robes was _Superb_, but
  uncomfortable to my _Diffidence_. You may order the Saddle, etc., etc.,
  for “Oateater” as soon as you please and I will pay for them.
  I remain, Sir, yours truly,
  P.S.–Give Hargreaves a hint to be expeditious in his sending my
  _Valuables_ which I begin to want. Your Cook had the Impudence to charge
  my Servant 15 Shillings for 5 Days provision which I think is
  exorbitant; but I hear that in _Town_ it is but reasonable. Pray is it
  the custom to allow your Servants 3/6 per Diem, in London? I will thank
  you for Information on the Subject.
38.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, near Malton, Yorkshire.]
  Trin. Coll. [Wednesday], Novr. 6th, 1805.
  My dear Augusta,–As might be supposed I like a College Life
  extremely, especially as I have escaped the Trammels or rather
  _Fetters_ of my domestic Tyrant Mrs. Byron, who continued to plague me
  during my visit in July and September. I am now most pleasantly
  situated in _Super_excellent Rooms, flanked on one side by my Tutor,
  on the other by an old Fellow, both of whom are rather checks upon my
  _vivacity_. I am allowed 500 a year, a Servant and Horse, so Feel as
  independent as a German Prince who coins his own Cash, or a Cherokee
  Chief who coins no Cash at all, but enjoys what is more precious,
  Liberty. I talk in raptures of that _Goddess_ because my amiable Mama
  was so despotic. I am afraid the Specimens I have lately given her of
  my Spirit, and determination to submit to no more unreasonable
  demands, (or the insults which follow a refusal to obey her implicitly
  whether right or wrong,) have given high offence, as I had a most
  _fiery_ Letter from the _Court_ at _Southwell_ on Tuesday, because I
  would not turn off my Servant, (whom I had not the least reason to
  distrust, and who had an excellent Character from his last Master) at
  her suggestion, from some caprice she had taken into her head. [1] I
  sent back to the Epistle, which was couched in _elegant_ terms, a
  severe answer, which so nettled her Ladyship, that after reading it,
  she returned it in a Cover without deigning a Syllable in return.
  The Letter and my answer you shall behold when you next see me, that
  you may judge of the Comparative merits of Each. I shall let her go on
  in the _Heroics_, till she cools, without taking the least notice. Her
  Behaviour to me for the last two Years neither merits my respect, nor
  deserves my affection. I am comfortable here, and having one of the
  best allowances in College, go on Gaily, but not extravagantly. I need
  scarcely inform you that I am not the least obliged to Mrs. B. for it,
  as it comes off my property, and She refused to fit out a single thing
  for me from her own pocket; [2] my Furniture is paid for, & she has
  moreover a handsome addition made to her own income, which I do not in
  the least regret, as I would wish her to be happy, but by _no means_
  to live with me in _person_. The sweets of her society I have already
  drunk to the last dregs, I hope we shall meet on more affectionate
  Terms, or meet no more.
  But why do I say _meet?_ her temper precludes every idea of happiness,
  and therefore in future I shall avoid her _hospitable_ mansion, though
  she has the folly to suppose She is to be mistress of my house when I
  come of [age]. I must apologize to you for the [dullness?] of this
  letter, but to tell you the [truth] [the effects] of last nights
  Claret have no[t gone] out of my head, as I supped with a large party.
  I suppose that Fool Hanson in his _vulgar_ Idiom, by the word Jolly
  did not mean Fat, but High Spirits, for so far from increasing I have
  lost one pound in a fortnight as I find by being regularly weighed.
  Adieu, Dearest Augusta.
  [Signature cut out.]
[NB: Words in square brackets were cut and torn out with the seal.]
[Footnote 1: The servant, Byron’s valet Frank, was accused of obtaining
money on false pretences from a Nottingham tradesman, and Mrs.
Byron informed her son of the charge. Frank was afterwards transported.
(See letter to Lord Clare, February 6, 1807; and letter to
Hanson, April 19, 1807.)]
[Footnote 2: See page 76, note 1.]
39.–To Hargreaves Hanson.
Trinity Coll., Novr. 12th, 1805.
  DEAR HARGREAVES,–Return my Thanks to your father for the _Expedition_
  he has used in filling my _Cellar_.
  He deserves commendation for the _Attention_ he paid to my Request.
  The Time of “Oateater’s” Journey approaches; I presume he means to
  repair his Neglect by Punctuality in this Respect. However, no
  _Trinity Ale_ will be forthcoming, till I have broached the promised
  College improves in every thing but Learning. Nobody here seems to
  look into an Author, ancient or modern, if they can avoid it. The
  Muses, poor Devils, are totally neglected, except by a few Musty old
  _Sophs_ and _Fellows_, who, however agreeable they may be to
  _Minerva_, are perfect Antidotes to the _Graces._ Even I (great as is
  my _inclination_ for Knowledge) am carried away by the Tide, having
  only supped at Home twice since I saw your father, and have more
  engagements on my Hands for a week to come. Still my Tutor and I go on
  extremely well and for the first three weeks of my life I have not
  involved myself in any Scrape of Consequence.
  I have News for you which I bear with _Christian_ Resignation and
  without any _violent Transports_ of _Grief._ My Mother (whose
  diabolical Temper you well know) has taken it into her _Sagacious_
  Head to quarrel with me her _dutiful Son._ She has such a Devil of a
  Disposition, that she cannot be quiet, though there are fourscore
  miles between us, which I wish were lengthened to 400. The Cause too
  frivolous to require taking up your time to read or mine to write. At
  last in answer to a _Furious Epistle_ I returned a _Sarcastick_
  Answer, which so incensed the _Amiable Dowager_ that my Letter was
  sent back without her deigning a Line in the cover. When I next see
  you, you shall behold her Letter and my Answer, which will amuse you
  as they both contain fiery Philippics. I must request you will write
  immediately, that I may be informed when my Servant shall convey
  “Oateater” from London; the 20th was the appointed; but I wish to hear
  further from your father. I hope all the family are in a convalescent
  State. I shall see you at Christmas (if I live) as I propose passing
  the Vacation, which is only a Month, in London.
  Believe me, Mr. Terry, your’s Truly,
40.–To John Hanson.
  Trin. Coll. Cambridge, Novr. 23, 1805.
  Dear Sir,–Your Advice was good but I have not determined whether I
  shall follow it; this Place is the _Devil_ or at least his principal
  residence. They call it the University, but any other Appellation
  would have suited it much better, for Study is the last pursuit of the
  Society; the Master [1] eats, drinks, and sleeps, the Fellows [2]
  _Drink, dispute and pun_; the Employment of the Under graduates you
  will probably conjecture without my description. I sit down to write
  with a Head confused with Dissipation which, tho’ I hate, I cannot
  I have only supped at Home 3 times since my Arrival, and my table is
  constantly covered with invitations, after all I am the most _steady_
  Man in College, nor have I got into many Scrapes, and none of
  consequence. Whenever you appoint a day my Servant shall come up for
  “Oateater,” and as the Time of paying my Bills now approaches, the
  remaining £50 will be very _agreeable_. You need not make any
  deduction as I shall want most of it; I will settle with you for the
  Saddle and Accoutrements _next_ quarter. The Upholsterer’s Bill will
  not be sent in yet as my rooms are to be papered and painted at Xmas
  when I will procure them. No Furniture has been got except what was
  absolutely necessary including some Decanters and Wine Glasses.
  Your Cook certainly deceived you, as I know my Servant was in Town 5
  days, and she stated 4. I have yet had no reason to distrust him, but
  we will examine the affair when I come to Town when I intend lodging
  at Mrs. Massingbird’s. My Mother and I have quarrelled, which I bear
  with the _patience_ of a Philosopher; custom reconciles me to
  In the Hope that Mrs. H. and the _Battalion_ are in good Health.
  I remain, Sir, etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: William Lort Mansel (1753-1820), Master of Trinity
(1798-1820), Bishop of Bristol (1808-1820), was the chief wit of
Cambridge in his day, and the author of many neat epigrams. “I wish,”
said Rogers (_Table-Talk_, etc., p. 60), “somebody would collect all the
Epigrams written by Dr. Mansel; they are remarkably neat and clever.”
Beloe, in _The Sexagenarian_ (vol. i. p. 98), speaks of Mansel as “a
young man remarkable for his personal confidence, for his wit and
humour, and, above all, for his gallantries.” Apparently, on the same
somewhat unreliable authority, he was, as Master, a severe
disciplinarian, and extremely tenacious of his dignity (i. p. 99).]
[Footnote 2: Byron probably refers to Richard Porson (1759-1808),
Professor of Greek (1792-1808). The son of the parish clerk of Bacton
and Earl Ruston, in Norfolk, Porson was entered, by the kindness of
friends, on the foundation of Eton College (1774-1778). At Trinity,
Cambridge, he became a Scholar in 1780, and a Fellow (1782-1792). In
1792, as he could not conscientiously take orders, he vacated his
Fellowship, but was elected Professor of Greek. When Byron was at
Cambridge, Porson’s health and powers were failing. Silent and reserved,
except in the society of his friends, a sloven in his person, he had
probably taken to drink as a cure for sleeplessness. In a note to the
_Pursuits of Literature_ (Dialogue iv. lines 508-516),
  “What,” asks the author, J. T. Mathias, himself a Fellow of Trinity,
  “is mere genius without a regulated life! To show the deformity of
  vice to the rising hopes of the country, the policy of ancient Sparta
  exhibited an inebriated slave.”
Yet Porson’s fine love of truth and genius for textual criticism make
him one of the greatest, if not the greatest, name in British
scholarship. Porson married, in 1795, Mrs. Lunan, sister of Mr. Perry,
the editor of the ‘Morning Chronicle’, for which he frequently wrote. In
the ‘Shade of Alexander Pope’, Mathias again attacks him as “Dogmatic
Bardolph in his nuptial noose.” Porson’s wife died shortly after their
marriage. His controversial method was merciless. Of his ‘Letters to
Archdeacon Travis’, Green (‘Lover of Literature’, p. 213) says that
  “he dandles Travis as a tyger would a fawn: and appears only to
  reserve him alive, for a time, that he may gratify his appetite for
  sport, before he consigns his feeble prey, by a rougher squeeze, to
41.–To John Hanson.
  Trinity College, Cambridge, Novr. 30, 1805.
  Sir,–After the contents of your Epistle, you will probably be less
  surprized at my answer, than I have been at many points of yours; [1]
  never was I more astonished than at the perusal, for I confess I
  expected very different treatment. Your _indirect_ charge of
  Dissipation does not affect me, nor do I fear the strictest inquiry
  into my conduct; neither here nor at _Harrow_ have I disgraced myself,
  the “Metropolis” and the “Cloisters” are alike unconscious of my
  Debauchery, and on the plains of _merry Sherwood_ I have experienced
  _Misery_ alone; in July I visited them for the last time.
  Mrs. Byron and myself are now totally separated, injured by her, I
  sought refuge with Strangers, too late I see my error, for how was
  kindness to be expected from _others_, when denied by a _parent_? In
  you, Sir, I imagined I had found an Instructor; for your advice I
  thank you; the Hospitality of yourself and Mrs. H. on many occasions I
  shall always gratefully remember, for I am not of opinion that even
  present Injustice can cancel past obligations.
  Before I proceed, it will be necessary to say a few words concerning
  Mrs. Byron; you hinted a probability of her appearance at Trinity; the
  instant I hear of her arrival I quit Cambridge, though _Rustication_
  or _Expulsion_ be the consequence. Many a weary week of _torment_ have
  I passed with her, nor have I forgot the insulting _Epithets_ with
  which myself, my _Sister_, my _father_ and my _Family_ have been
  repeatedly reviled.
  To return to you, Sir, though I feel obliged by your Hospitality,
  etc., etc., in the present instance I have been completely deceived.
  When I came down to College, and even previous to that period I
  stipulated that not only my Furniture, but even my Gowns and Books,
  should be paid for that I might set out free from _Debt_. Now with all
  the _Sang Froid_ of your profession you tell me, that not only I shall
  not be permitted to repair my rooms (which was at first agreed to) but
  that I shall not even be indemnified for my present expence. In one
  word, hear my determination. I will _never_ pay for them out of my
  allowance, and the Disgrace will not attach to me but to _those_ by
  whom I have been deceived. Still, Sir, not even the Shadow of
  dishonour shall reflect on _my_ Name, for I will see that the Bills
  are discharged; whether by you or not is to me indifferent, so that
  the men I employ are not the victims of my Imprudence or your
  Duplicity. I have ordered nothing extravagant; every man in College is
  allowed to fit up his rooms; mine are secured to me during my
  residence which will probably be some time, and in rendering them
  decent I am more praiseworthy than culpable. The Money I requested was
  but a secondary consideration; as a _Lawyer_ you were not obliged to
  advance it till due; as a _Friend_ the request might have been
  complied with. When it is required at Xmas I shall expect the demand
  will be answered. In the course of my letter I perhaps have expressed
  more asperity than I intended, it is my nature to feel warmly, nor
  shall any consideration of interest or Fear ever deter me from giving
  vent to my Sentiments, when injured, whether by a Sovereign or a
  I remain, etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: The quarrel arose from Byron misunderstanding a letter from
Hanson on the subject of the allowance made by the Court of Chancery for
his furniture.]
42.–To John Hanson.
  Trin. Coll. Cambridge, Dec. 4, 1805.
  Sir,–In charging you with downright _Duplicity_ I wronged you, nor do
  I hesitate to atone for an Injury which I feel I have committed, or
  add to my Fault by the Vindication of an expression dictated by
  Resentment, an _expression_ which deserves Censure, and demands the
  apology I now offer; for I think that Disposition indeed _mean_ which
  adds Obstinacy to Insult, by attempting the Palliation of unmerited
  Invective from the mistaken principle of disdaining the Avowal of even
  _self convicted_ Error. In regard to the other _Declarations_ my
  Sentiments remain _unaltered;_ the event will shew whether my
  Prediction is false. I know Mrs. Byron too well to imagine that she
  would part with a _Sous_, and if by some _Miracle_ she was prevailed
  upon, the _Details_ of her _Generosity_ in allowing me part of my _own
  property_ would be continually _thundered_ in my ears, or _launched_
  in the _Lightening_ of her letters, so that I had rather encounter the
  Evils of Embarrassment than lie under an obligation to one who would
  continually reproach me with her Benevolence, as if her Charity had
  been extended to a _Stranger_ to the Detriment of her own Fortune. My
  opinion is perhaps harsh for a Son, but it is justified by experience,
  it is confirmed by _Facts_, it was generated by oppression, it has
  been nourished by Injury. To you, Sir, I attach no Blame. I am too
  much indebted to your kindness to retain my anger for a length of
  Time, that _Kindness_ which, by a forcible contrast, has taught me to
  spurn the _Ties_ of _Blood_ unless strengthened by proper and gentle
  Treatment. I declare upon my honor that the Horror of entering Mrs.
  Byron’s House has of late years been so implanted in my Soul, that I
  dreaded the approach of the Vacations as the _Harbingers_ of _Misery_.
  My letters to my Sister, written during my residence at Southwell,
  would prove my Assertion. With my kind remembrances to Mrs. H. and
  I remain, Sir, yours truly,
43.–To John Hanson.
  Trin. Coll. Cambridge, Dec. 13, 1805.
  DEAR SIR,–I return you my Thanks for the remaining £50 which came in
  extremely _apropos_, and on my visit to Town about the 19th will give
  you a regular receipt. In your Extenuation of Mrs. Byron’s Conduct you
  use as a _plea_, that, by her being my Mother, greater allowance ought
  to be made for those _little_ Traits in her Disposition, so much more
  _energetic_ than _elegant_. I am afraid, (however good your intention)
  that you have added to rather than diminished my Dislike, for
  independent of the moral Obligations she is under to _protect,
  cherish_, and _instruct_ her _offspring_, what can be expected of that
  Man’s heart and understanding who has continually (from Childhood to
  Maturity) beheld so pernicious an Example? His nearest relation is the
  first person he is taught to revere as his Guide and Instructor; the
  perversion of Temper before him leads to a corruption of his own, and
  when that is depraved, vice quickly becomes habitual, and, though
  timely Severity may sometimes be necessary & justifiable, surely a
  peevish harassing System of Torment is by no means commendable, & when
  that is interrupted by ridiculous Indulgence, the only purpose
  answered is to soften the feelings for a moment which are soon after
  to be doubly wounded by the recal of accustomed Harshness. I will now
  give this disagreeable Subject to the _Winds_. I conclude by observing
  that I am the more confirmed in my opinion of the Futility of Natural
  Ties, unless supported not only by Attachment but _affectionate_ and
  _prudent_ Behaviour.
  Tell Mrs. H. that the predicted alteration in my Manners and Habits
  has not taken place. I am still the Schoolboy and as great a _Rattle_
  as ever, and between ourselves College is not the place to improve
  either Morals or Income.
  I am, Sir, yours truly,
44.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [[Cas]tle Howard, [ne]ar Malton, Yorkshire.]
  16, Piccadilly, [Thursday], Decr. 26th, 1805.
  My dearest Augusta,–By the Date of my Letter you will perceive that I
  have taken up my Residence in the metropolis, where I presume we shall
  behold you in the latter end of January. I sincerely hope you will
  make your appearance at that Time, as I have some subjects to discuss
  with you, which I do not wish to communicate in my Epistle.
  The Dowager has thought proper to solicit a reconciliation which in
  some measure I have agreed to; still there is a coolness which I do
  not feel inclined to _thaw_, as terms of Civility are the only
  resource against her impertinent and unjust proceedings with which you
  are already acquainted.
  Town is not very full and the weather has been so unpropitious that I
  have not been able to make use of my Horses above twice since my
  arrival. I hope your everlasting negotiation with the Father of your
  _Intended_ is near a conclusion in _some_ manner; if you do not hurry
  a little, you will be verging into the “_Vale of Years_,” and, though
  you may be blest with Sons and daughters, you will never live to see
  your _Grandchildren_.
  When convenient, favour me with an Answer and believe me,
  [Signature cut out.]
45.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howar[d], neat Malto[n], Yorkshire.] 16, Piccadilly, [Friday],
  Decr. 27th, 1805.
  My Dear Augusta,–You will doubtless be surprised to see a second
  epistle so close upon the arrival of the first, (especially as it is
  not my custom) but the Business I mentioned rather mysteriously in my
  last compels me again to proceed. But before I disclose it, I must
  require the most inviolable Secrecy, for if ever I find that it has
  transpired, all confidence, all Friendship between us has concluded. I
  do not mean this exordium as a threat to induce you to comply with my
  request but merely (whether you accede or not) to keep it a Secret.
  And although your compliance would essentially oblige me, yet, believe
  me, my esteem will not be diminished by your Refusal; nor shall I
  suffer a complaint to escape. The Affair is briefly thus; like all
  other young men just let loose, and especially one as I am, freed from
  the worse than bondage of my maternal home, I have been extravagant,
  and consequently am in want of Money. You will probably now imagine
  that I am going to apply to you for some. No, if you would offer me
  thousands, I declare solemnly that I would without hesitation refuse,
  nor would I accept them were I in danger of Starvation. All I expect
  or wish is, that you will be joint Security with me for a few Hundreds
  a person (one of the money lending tribe) has offered to advance in
  case I can bring forward any collateral guarantee that he will not be
  a loser, the reason of this requisition is my being a Minor, and might
  refuse to discharge a debt contracted in my non-age. If I live till
  the period of my minority expires, you cannot doubt my paying, as I
  have property to the amount of 100 times the sum I am about to raise;
  if, as I think rather probable, a pistol or a Fever cuts short the
  thread of my existence, you will receive half the _Dross_ saved since
  I was ten years old, and can be no great loser by discharging a debt
  of 7 or £800 from as many thousands. It is far from my Breast to exact
  any promise from you that would be detrimental, or tend to lower me in
  your opinion. If you suppose this leads to either of those
  consequences, forgive my impertinence and bury it in oblivion. I have
  many Friends, most of them in the same predicament with myself; to
  those who are not, I am too proud to apply, for I hate obligation; my
  Relations you know I _detest_; who then is there that I can address on
  the subject but yourself? to you therefore I appeal, and if I am
  disappointed, at least let me not be tormented by the advice of
  Guardians, and let silence rule your Resolution. I know you will think
  me foolish, if not criminal; but tell me so yourself, and do not
  rehearse my failings to others, no, not even to that proud Grandee the
  Earl, who, whatever his qualities may be, is certainly not amiable,
  and that Chattering puppy Hanson would make still less allowance for
  the foibles of a Boy. I am now trying the experiment, whether a woman
  can retain a secret; let me not be deceived. If you have the least
  doubt of my integrity, or that you run too great a Risk, do not
  hesitate in your refusal. Adieu. I expect an answer with impatience,
  believe me, whether you accede or not,
  [Signature cut out.]
  P.S.–I apologize for the numerous errors probably enveloped in this
  cover; the temper of my mind at present, and the hurry I have written
  in, must plead for pardon. Adieu.
46.–To the Hon. Augusta Byron.
  [Castle Howard, near Malton, Yorkshire.]
  16, Piccadilly, [Tuesday], January 7th, 1805.
  [In another hand]–6.
  My dearest Augusta,–Your efforts to reanimate my sinking spirits
  will, I am afraid, fail in their effect, for my melancholy proceeds
  from a very different cause to that which you assign, as, my nerves
  were always of the strongest texture.–I will not however pretend to
  say I possess that _Gaieté de Coeur_ which formerly distinguished me,
  but as the diminution of it arises from what you could not alleviate,
  and might possibly be painful, you will excuse the Disclosure. Suffice
  it to know, that it cannot spring from Indisposition, as my Health was
  never more firmly established than now, nor from the subject on which
  I lately wrote, as that is in a promising Train, and even were it
  otherwise, the Failure would not lead to Despair. You know me too well
  to think it is _Love_; & I have had no quarrel or dissention with
  Friend or enemy, you may therefore be easy, since no unpleasant
  consequence will be produced from the present Sombre cast of my
  Temper. I fear the Business will not be concluded before your arrival
  in Town, when we will settle it together, as by the 20th these _sordid
  Bloodsuckers_ who have agreed to furnish the Sum, will have drawn up
  the Bond. Believe me, my dearest Sister, it never entered in to my
  head, that you either could or would propose to antic[ipate] my
  application to others, by a P[resent from?] yourself; I and I only
  will be [injured] by my own extravagance, nor would I have wished you
  to take the least concern, had any other means been open for
  extrication. As it is, I hope you will excuse my Impertinence, or if
  you feel an inclination to retreat, do not let affection for me
  counterbalance prudence.
  [Signature cut out.]
[Footnote 1: Words in square brackets accidentally torn off the edge of
the paper, and conjecturally supplied.]
47.–To his Mother.
  16, Piccadilly, Febry. 26, 1806.
  Dear Mother,–Notwithstanding your sage and economical advice I have
  paid my _Harrow_ Debts, as I can better afford to wait for the Money
  than the poor Devils who were my creditors. I have also discharged my
  college Bills amounting to £231,–£75 of which I shall trouble Hanson
  to repay, being for Furniture, and as my allowance is £500 per annum,
  I do not chuse to lose the overplus as it makes only £125 per Quarter.
  I happen to have a few hundreds in ready Cash by me, [1] so I have
  paid the accounts; but I find it inconvenient to remain at College,
  not for the expence, as I could live on my allowance (only I am
  naturally extravagant); however the mode of going on does not suit my
  constitution. Improvement at an English University to a Man of Rank
  is, you know, impossible, and the very Idea _ridiculous_. Now I
  sincerely desire to finish my Education and, having been sometime at
  Cambridge, the Credit of the University is as much attached to my
  Name, as if I had pursued my Studies _there_ for a Century; but,
  believe me, it is nothing more than a Name, which is already acquired.
  I can now leave it with Honour, as I have paid everything, & wish to
  pass a couple of years abroad, where I am certain of employing my time
  to far more advantage and at much less expence, than at our English
  Seminaries. ‘Tis true I cannot enter France; but Germany and the
  Courts of Berlin, Vienna & Petersburg are still open, I shall lay the
  Plan before Hanson & Lord C. I presume you will all agree, and if you
  do not, I will, if possible, get away without your Consent, though I
  should admire it more in the regular manner & with a Tutor of your
  furnishing. This is my project, at present I wish _you_ to be silent
  to Hanson about it. Let me have your Answer. I intend remaining in
  Town a Month longer, when perhaps I shall bring my Horses and myself
  down to your residence in that _execrable_ Kennel. I hope you have
  engaged a Man Servant, else it will be impossible for me to visit you,
  since my Servant must attend chiefly to his horses; at the same Time
  you must cut an indifferent Figure with only maids in your habitation.
  I remain, your’s,
[Footnote 1:
  “The Bills,” writes Mrs. Byron to Hanson (January 11, 1806), “are
  coming in thick upon me to double the amount I expected; he went and
  ordered just what he pleased here, at Nottingham, and in London.
  However, it is of no use to say anything about it, and I beg you will
  take no notice. I am determined to have everything clear within the
  year, if possible.”
Again she writes (March 1, 1806):
  “I beg you will not mention to my son, having heard from me, but try
  to get out of him his reason for wishing to leave England, and where
  he got the money. I much fear he has fallen into bad hands, not only
  in regard to Money Matters, but in other respects. My idea is that he
  has inveigled himself with some woman that he wishes to get rid of and
  finds it difficult. But whatever it is, he must be got out of it.”
Again (March 4, 1806):
  “That Boy will be the death of me, and drive me mad! I never will
  consent to his going Abroad. Where can he get Hundreds? Has he got
  into the hands of Moneylenders? He has no feeling, no Heart. This I
  have long known; he has behaved as ill as possible to me for years
  back. This bitter Truth I can no longer conceal: it is wrung from me
  by _heart-rending agony_. I am well rewarded. I came to
  Nottinghamshire to please him, and now he hates it. He knows that I am
  doing everything in my power to pay his Debts, and he writes to me
  about hiring servants!”
Once more (April 24, 1806):
  “Lord Byron has given £31 10s. to Pitt’s statue. He has also bought a
  Carriage, which he says was intended for me, which I _refused_ to
  accept of, being in hopes it would stop his having one.”]
48.–To John Hanson.
  16, Piccadilly, March 3, 1806.
  Sir,–I called at your House in Chancery Lane yesterday Evening, as I
  expected you would have been in Town, but was disappointed. If
  convenient, I should be glad to see you on Wednesday Morning about one
  o’Clock, as I wish for your advice on some Business. On Saturday one
  of my Horses threw me; I was stunned for a short time, but soon
  recovered and suffered no material _Injury_; the accident happened on
  the Harrow Road. I have paid Jones’s Bill amounting to £231.4.5 of
  which I expect to be reimbursed £75 for Furniture. I have got his
  Bankers’ receipt and the account ready for your Inspection. I now owe
  nothing at Cambridge; but shall not return this Term, [1] as I have
  been extremely _unwell_, and at the same time can stay where I am at
  much less Expence and _equal Improvement_. I wish to consult you on
  several Subjects and expect you will pay me a visit on Wednesday; in
  the mean time,
  I remain, yours, etc., BYRON.
[Footnote 1: Lectures began on February 5, 1806, as is stated on the
College bills, sent in by Mr. Jones, the Senior Tutor of Trinity. But
Byron preferred to remain in London. Augusta Byron writes to Hanson
(March 7, 1806)—-
  “I trouble you again in consequence of some conversation I had last
  night with Lord Carlisle about my Brother. He expressed himself to me
  as kindly on that subject as on all others, and though he says it may
  not be productive of any good, and that he may be only _able to join
  his lamentations_ with yours, he should like to talk to you and try if
  anything can be done. I was much surprized and vexed to see my Brother
  a week ago at the Play, as I think he ought to be employing his time
  more profitably at Cambridge.”]
49.–To John Hanson.
16, Piccadilly, near Park Lane, 10th March, 1806.
  SIR,–As in all probability you will not make your appearance tomorrow
  I must disclose by Letter the Business I intended to have discussed at
  our interview.–We know each other sufficiently to render Apology
  unnecessary. I shall therefore without further Prelude proceed to the
  Subject in Question. You are not ignorant, that I have lately lived at
  considerable Expence, to support which my allotted Income by the
  ‘sapient’ Court of Chancery is inadequate.–I confess I have
  borrowed a trifling sum and now wish to raise £500 to discharge some
  Debts I have contracted; my approaching Quarter will bring me £200 due
  from my Allowance, and if you can procure me the other £300 at a
  moderate Interest, it will save 100 per cent I must pay my _Israelite_
  for the same purpose.–You see by this I have an _excellent_ Idea of
  Oeconomy even in my Extravagance by being willing to pay as little
  Money as possible, for the Cash must be disbursed _somewhere_ or
  _somehow_, and if you decline (as in prudence I tell you fairly you
  ought), the _Tribe_ of _Levi_ will be my _dernier resort_. However I
  thought proper to make this Experiment with very slender hopes of
  success indeed, since Recourse to the _Law_ is at best a _desperate_
  effort. I have now laid open my affairs to you without Disguise and
  Stated the Facts as they appear, declining all Comments, or the use of
  any Sophistry to palliate my application, or urge my request. All I
  desire is a speedy Answer, whether successful or not.
  Believe me, yours truly, BYRON.
50.–To John Hanson.
  16, Piccadilly, 25th March, 1806.
  SIR,–Your last Letter, as I expected, contained much advice, but no
  Money. I could have excused the former unaccompanied by the latter,
  since any one thinks himself capable of giving that, but very few
  chuse to own themselves competent to the other. I do not now write to
  urge a 2nd Request, one Denial is sufficient. I only require what is
  my right. This is Lady Day. £125 is due for my last Quarter, and £75
  for my expenditure in Furniture at Cambridge and I will thank you to
  The Court of Chancery may perhaps put in Force your Threat. I have
  always understood it formed a Sanction for legal plunderers to
  protract the Decision of Justice from year to year, till weary of
  spoil it at length condescended to give Sentence, but I never yet
  understood even its unhallowed Hands preyed upon the Orphan it was
  bound to protect. Be it so, only let me have your answer.
  I remain, etc., etc., BYRON.
51.–To Henry Angelo. [1]
  Trinity College, Cambridge, May 16, 1806.
  SIR,–You cannot be more indignant, at the insolent and unmerited
  conduct of Mr. Mortlock, [2] than those who authorised you to request
  his permission. However we do not yet despair of gaining our point,
  and every effort shall be made to remove the obstacles, which at
  present prevent the execution of our project. I yesterday waited on
  the Master of this College, [3] who, having a personal dispute with the
  Mayor, declined interfering, but recommended an application to the
  Vice Chancellor, whose authority is paramount in the University. I
  shall communicate this to Lord Altamount,[4] and we will endeavour to
  bend the obstinacy of the _upstart_ magistrate, who seems to be
  equally deficient in justice and common civility. On my arrival in
  town, which will take place in a few days, you will see me at Albany
  Buildings, when we will discuss the subject further. Present my
  remembrance to the Messrs. Angelo, junior, and believe me, we will yet
  _humble_ this _impertinent bourgeois_.
  I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
[Footnote 1: Henry Angelo, the famous fencing-master, was at the head of
his profession for nearly forty years. His position was recognized at
least as early as 1787, when he published _The School of Fencing_, and
fenced, with the Chevalier de St. George and other celebrities, before
the Prince of Wales at Carlton House. In 1806 he was travelling down
every other week to Cambridge, as he states in his _Pic Nic_ (1837), to
visit his pupils. He had made Byron’s acquaintance at Harrow by teaching
him to fence, and in later years had many bouts with him with the foils,
single-sticks, and Highland broadsword. His _Reminiscences_ (1830),
together with his _Pic Nic_, contain numerous anecdotes of Byron, to
whom he seems to have been sincerely attached. In 1806 he had several
rooms in London for the use of his pupils. One of these was at 13, Bond
Street, which he shared with Gentleman Jackson, the pugilist and
ex-champion. In Cruikshank’s picture of the room (Pierce Egan’s _Life in
London_, p. 254), two fencers have unmasked and stopped their bout to
see Jackson spar with Corinthian Tom. Angelo contributed an article on
fencing to Sir John Sinclair’s _Code of Health and Longevity_, vol. ii.
p. 163.
Angelo, who retired from London in 1821, and lived near Bath, was in
1806 at the height of his reputation. An old Etonian (1767), he knew
every one in London; had dined at the same table with the Prince of
Wales, acted with Lord Barrymore, sung comic songs with Dibdin, punned
with Bannister and Colman, fished at Benham on the invitation of the
Margravine of Anspach, played the flute to Lady Melfort’s accompaniment
on the piano, and claimed his share of the table-talk at the Keep Line
Club. Nearly every celebrity of the day, from Lord Sidmouth and Lord
Liverpool to Kean and Macready, was his pupil.]
[Footnote 2: Mr. Mortlock, the Mayor of Cambridge, is thus mentioned in
a letter from S. T. Coleridge to Southey, dated September 26, 1794: “All
last night I was obliged to listen to the damned chatter of “Mortlock,
our mayor, a fellow that would certainly be a pantisocrat “were his head
and heart as highly illuminated as his face. In the tropical latitude of
this fellow’s nose was I obliged to fry” (_Letters of S. T. Coleridge_
(1895), vol. i. p. 87).]
[Footnote 3: William Lort Mansel, Master of Trinity, and Bishop of
Bristol. (See page 84 [Letter 40], [Foot]note 1.)]
[Footnote 4: Howe Peter Browne, Lord Altamont (1788-1845), of Jesus
College, succeeded his father in 1809 as second Marquis of Sligo. Byron
spent some time with him at Athens in 1810. Lord Sligo’s letter on the
origin of the ‘Giaour’ is quoted by Moore (‘Life’, p. 178). (See also
page 289 [Letter 144], [Foot]note 1 [3].)]
52.–To John M. B. Pigot. [1]
  16, Piccadilly, August 9, 1806.
  MY DEAR PIGOT,–Many thanks for your amusing narrative of the last
  proceedings of my amiable Alecto, who now begins to feel the effects
  of her folly. I have just received a penitential epistle, to which,
  apprehensive of pursuit, I have despatched a moderate answer, with a
  _kind_ of promise to return in a fortnight;–this, however (_entre
  nous_), I never mean to fulfil. Her soft warblings must have delighted
  her auditors, her higher notes being particularly musical, and on a
  calm moonlight evening would be heard to great advantage. Had I been
  present as a spectator, nothing would have pleased me more; but to
  have come forward as one of the _dramatis personae_–St. Dominic
  defend me from such a scene! Seriously, your mother has laid me under
  great obligations, and you, with the rest of your family, merit my
  warmest thanks for your kind connivance at my escape from “Mrs. Byron
  Oh! for the pen of Ariosto to rehearse, in epic, the scolding of that
  momentous eve,–or rather, let me invoke the shade of Dante to inspire
  me, for none but the author of the Inferno could properly preside over
  such an attempt. But, perhaps, where the pen might fail, the pencil
  would succeed. What a group!–Mrs. B. the principal figure; you
  cramming your ears with cotton, as the only antidote to total
  deafness; Mrs.—-in vain endeavouring to mitigate the wrath of the
  lioness robbed of her whelp; and last, though not least, Elizabeth and
  _Wousky_,–wonderful to relate!–both deprived of their parts of
  speech, and bringing up the rear in mute astonishment. How did S. B.
  receive the intelligence? How many _puns_ did he utter on so
  _facetious_ an event? In your next inform me on this point, and what
  excuse you made to A. You are probably, by this time, tired of
  deciphering this hieroglyphical letter;–like Tony Lumpkin, you will
  pronounce mine to be “a damned up and down hand.” All Southwell,
  without doubt, is involved in amazement. _Apropos_, how does my
  blue-eyed nun, the fair—-? Is she “_robed in sable garb of woe?_”
  Here I remain at least a week or ten days; previous to my departure
  you shall receive my address, but what it will be I have not
  determined. My lodgings must be kept secret from Mrs. B. You may
  present my compliments to her, and say any attempt to pursue me will
  fail, as I have taken measures to retreat immediately to Portsmouth,
  on the first intimation of her removal from Southwell. You may add, I
  have proceeded to a friend’s house in the country, there to remain a
  I have now _blotted_ (I must not say written) a complete double
  letter, and in return shall expect a _monstrous budget_. Without
  doubt, the dames of Southwell reprobate the pernicious example I have
  shown, and tremble lest their _babes_ should disobey their mandates,
  and quit, in dudgeon, their mammas on any grievance. Adieu. When you
  begin your next, drop the “lordship,” and put “Byron” in its place.
  Believe me yours, etc.,
[Footnote 1: J. M. B. Pigot, eldest brother of Miss E. B. Pigot (see
Letter of August 29, 1804, page 32, note 1). To him Byron addressed
his “Reply” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 53-56) and verses “To the Sighing
Strephon” (‘Ibid’., pp. 63-66). In 1805-6 Pigot was studying medicine at
Edinburgh, and in his vacations saw much of Byron. He died at
Ruddington, Notts., November 26, 1871, aged 86. It would appear that
Byron had, with the connivance of the Pigots, escaped to London, after a
quarrel with his mother; but the caution to keep his lodgings secret
gives a theatrical air to the letter, as the rooms, kept by Mrs.
Massingberd, were originally taken by Mrs. Byron, and often occupied by
her, and she was at the time corresponding with Hanson about her son’s
debt to Mrs. Massingberd, who seems to have been both landlady and
money-lender to Byron.]
53.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  London, August 10, 1806.
  MY DEAR BRIDGET,–As I have already troubled your brother with more
  than he will find pleasure in deciphering, you are the next to whom I
  shall assign the employment of perusing this second epistle. You will
  perceive from my first, that no idea of Mrs. B.’s arrival had
  disturbed me at the time it was written; _not_ so the present, since
  the appearance of a note from the _illustrious cause_ of my _sudden
  decampment_ has driven the “natural ruby from my cheeks,” and
  completely blanched my woebegone countenance. This gunpowder
  intimation of her arrival (confound her activity!) breathes less of
  terror and dismay than you will probably imagine, from the volcanic
  temperament of her ladyship; and concludes with the comfortable
  assurance of _present motion_ being prevented by the fatigue of her
  journey, for which my _blessings_ are due to the rough roads and
  restive quadrupeds of his Majesty’s highways. As I have not the
  smallest inclination to be chased round the country, I shall e’en make
  a merit of necessity; and since, like Macbeth, “they’ve tied me to the
  stake, I cannot fly,” I shall imitate that valorous tyrant, and
  bear-like fight the “course,” all escape being precluded. I can now
  engage with less disadvantage, having drawn the enemy from her
  intrenchments, though, like the _prototype_ to whom I have compared
  myself, with an excellent chance of being knocked on the head.
  However, “lay on Macduff”, and “damned be he who first cries, Hold,
  I shall remain in town for, at least, a week, and expect to hear from
  _you_ before its expiration. I presume the printer has brought you the
  offspring of my _poetic mania_. [1] Remember in the first line to read
  “_loud_ the winds whistle,” instead of “round,” which that blockhead
  Ridge had inserted by mistake, and makes nonsense of the whole stanza.
  Addio!–Now to encounter my _Hydra_.
  Yours ever.
[Footnote 1: Byron’s first volume of verse was now in the press. The
line to which he alludes is the first line of the poem, “On Leaving
Newstead Abbey” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 1-4). It now runs–
  “Through thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle.”
(For the bibliography of his early poems, see ‘Poems’, vol. i.,
Bibliographical Note; and vol. vi., Appendix.) The first collection
(‘Fugitive Pieces’, printed by S. and J. Ridge, Newark, 4to, 1806) was
destroyed, with the exception of two copies, by the advice of the Rev.
J. T. Becher (see page 182 [Letter 94], [Foot]note 1 [2]). The second
collection (‘Poems on Various Occasions’, printed by S. and J. Ridge,
Newark, 12mo, 1807) was published anonymously. It is to this edition
that Letters 60, 61, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, refer.
In the summer of 1807, ‘Poems on Various Occasions’ was superseded by
the third collection, called ‘Hours of Idleness’ (printed by S. and J.
Ridge, Newark, 12mo, 1807), published with the author’s name. To this
edition Letters 76 and 78 refer. ‘Hours of Idleness’ was reviewed by
Lord Brougham (‘Notes from a Diary’, by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, vol. ii.
p. 189) in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ for January, 1808.
The fourth and final collection, entitled ‘Poems Original and
Translated’ (printed by S. and J. Ridge, Newark, 12mo, 1808), was
dedicated to the Earl of Carlisle.
54.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  London, Sunday, midnight, August 10, 1806.
  Dear Pigot,–This _astonishing_ packet will, doubtless, amaze you; but
  having an idle hour this evening, I wrote the enclosed stanzas, [2]
  which I request you will deliver to Ridge, to be printed _separate_
  from my other compositions, as you will perceive them to be improper
  for the perusal of ladies; of course, none of the females of your
  family must see them. I offer 1000 apologies for the trouble I have
  given you in this and other instances.
  Yours truly.
[Footnote 1: These are probably some silly lines “To Mary,” written in
the erotic style of Moore’s early verse. To the same Mary, of whom
nothing is known, are addressed the lines “To Mary, on receiving her
Picture” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 32, 33).]
55.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  Piccadilly, August 16, 1806.
  I cannot exactly say with Caesar, “Veni, vidi, vici:” however, the
  most important part of his laconic account of success applies to my
  present situation; for, though Mrs. Byron took the _trouble_ of
  “_coming_,” and “_seeing_,” yet your humble servant proved the
  _victor_. After an obstinate engagement of some hours, in which we
  suffered considerable damage, from the quickness of the enemy’s fire,
  they at length retired in confusion, leaving behind the artillery,
  field equipage, and some prisoners: their defeat is decisive for the
  present campaign. To speak more intelligibly, Mrs. B. returns
  immediately, but I proceed, with all my laurels, to Worthing, on the
  Sussex coast; to which place you will address (to be left at the post
  office) your next epistle. By the enclosure of a second _gingle of
  rhyme_, you will probably conceive my muse to be _vastly prolific_;
  her inserted production was brought forth a few years ago, and found
  by accident on Thursday among some old papers. I have recopied it,
  and, adding the proper date, request that it may be printed with the
  rest of the family. I thought your sentiments on the last bantling
  would coincide with mine, but it was impossible to give it any other
  garb, being founded on _facts_. My stay at Worthing will not exceed
  three weeks, and you may _possibly_ behold me again at Southwell the
  middle of September.
  Will you desire Ridge to suspend the printing of my poems till he
  hears further from me, as I have determined to give them a new form
  entirely? This prohibition does not extend to the two last pieces I
  have sent with my letters to you. You will excuse the _dull vanity_ of
  this epistle, as my brain is a _chaos_ of absurd images, and full of
  business, preparations, and projects.
  I shall expect an answer with impatience;–believe me, there is
  nothing at this moment could give me greater delight than your letter.
56.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  London, August 18, 1806.
  I am just on the point of setting off for Worthing, and write merely
  to request you will send that _idle scoundrel Charles_ with my horses
  immediately; tell him I am excessively provoked he has not made his
  appearance before, or written to inform me of the cause of his delay,
  particularly as I supplied him with money for his journey. On _no_
  pretext is he to postpone his _march_ one day longer; and if, in
  obedience to the caprices of Mrs. B. (who, I presume, is again
  spreading desolation through her little monarchy), he thinks proper to
  disregard my positive orders, I shall not, in future, consider him as
  my servant. He must bring the surgeon’s bill with him, which I will
  discharge immediately on receiving it. Nor can I conceive the reason
  of his not acquainting Frank with the state of my unfortunate
  quadrupeds. Dear Pigot, forgive this _petulant_ effusion, and
  attribute it to the idle conduct of that _precious_ rascal, who,
  instead of obeying my injunctions, is sauntering through the streets
  of that _political Pandemonium_, Nottingham. Present my remembrance to
  your family and the Leacrofts, and believe me, etc.
  P.S.–I delegate to _you_ the unpleasant task of despatching him on
  his journey–Mrs. B.’s orders to the contrary are not to be attended
  to: he is to proceed first to London, and then to Worthing, without
  delay. Every thing I have _left_ must be sent to London. My _Poetics
  you_ will _pack up_ for the same place, and not even reserve a copy
  for yourself and sister, as I am about to give them an _entire new
  form_: when they are complete, you shall have the _first fruits_. Mrs.
  B. on no account is to _see_ or touch them. Adieu.
57.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  Little Hampton, August 26, 1806.
  I this morning received your epistle, which I was obliged to send for
  to Worthing, whence I have removed to this place, on the same coast,
  about eight miles distant from the former. You will probably not be
  displeased with this letter, when it informs you that I am £30,000
  richer than I was at our parting, having just received intelligence
  from my lawyer that a cause has been gained at Lancaster assizes, [1]
  which will be worth that sum by the time I come of age. Mrs. B. is,
  doubtless, acquainted of this acquisition, though not apprised of its
  exact _value_, of which she had better be ignorant; for her behaviour
  under any sudden piece of favourable intelligence, is, if possible,
  more ridiculous than her detestable conduct on the most trifling
  circumstances of an unpleasant nature. You may give my compliments to
  her, and say that her detaining my servant’s things shall only
  lengthen my absence: for unless they are immediately despatched to 16,
  Piccadilly, together with those which have been so long delayed,
  belonging to myself, she shall never again behold my _radiant
  countenance_ illuminating her gloomy mansion. If they are sent, I may
  probably appear in less than two years from the date of my present
  Metrical compliment is an ample reward for my strains: you are one of
  the few votaries of Apollo who unite the sciences over which that
  deity presides. I wish you to send my poems to my lodgings in London
  immediately, as I have several alterations and some additions to make;
  _every_ copy must be sent, as I am about to _amend_ them, and you
  shall soon behold them in all their glory. I hope you have kept them
  from that upas tree, that antidote to the arts, Mrs. B. _Entre nous_,
  –you may expect to see me soon. Adieu.
  Yours ever.
[Footnote 1: Byron was disappointed in his expectations. Fresh legal
difficulties arose, and Newstead had to be sold before they were settled
(see page 78 [Letter 34], [Foot]note 2).]
58.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot. [1]
  My Dear Bridget,–I have only just dismounted from my _Pegasus_, which
  has prevented me from descending to _plain prose_ in an epistle of
  greater length to your _fair_ self. You regretted, in a former letter,
  that my poems were not more extensive; I now for your satisfaction
  announce that I have nearly doubled them, partly by the discovery of
  some I conceived to be lost, and partly by some new productions. We
  shall meet on Wednesday next; till then, believe me,
  Yours affectionately,
  P.S.–Your brother John is seized with a poetic mania, and is now
  rhyming away at the rate of three lines _per hour_–so much for
  _inspiration_! Adieu!
[Footnote 1: This letter was written about September, 1806, from
Harrogate, where Byron had gone with John Pigot. It forms the conclusion
of a longer letter, written by Pigot to his sister, from which Moore
quotes (‘Life’, p. 37) the following passage:–
  “Harrowgate is still extremely full; Wednesday (to-day) is our
  ball-night, and I meditate going into the room for an hour, although I
  am by no means fond of strange faces. Lord B., you know, is even more
  shy than myself; but for an hour this evening I will shake it off….
  How do our theatricals proceed? Lord Byron can say ‘all’ his part, and
  I ‘most’ of mine. He certainly acts it inimitably. Lord B. is now
  ‘poetising’, and, since he has been here, has written some very pretty
  verses [‘To a Beautiful Quaker,’ see ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 38-41]. He
  is very good in trying to amuse me as much as possible, but it is not
  in my nature to be happy without either female society or study….
  There are many pleasant rides about here, which I have taken in
  company with Bo’swain, who, with Brighton, is universally admired.
  ‘You’ must read this to Mrs. B., as it is a little ‘Tony Lumpkinish’.
  Lord B. desires some space left: therefore, with respect to all the
  comedians ‘elect’, believe me,” etc., etc.
(For the theatricals to which Mr. Pigot alludes, see page 117 [Letter
65], [Foot]note 3 [4].) Brighton, it may be added, was one of Byron’s
horses; the other was called Sultan. Bo’swain was the dog to which Byron
addressed the well-known epitaph (see ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 280, 281, and
note 1).
Moore also quotes Pigot’s recollections of the visit to Harrogate
(‘Life’, pp. 37, 38).
  “We, I remember, went in Lord Byron’s own carriage, with post-horses;
  and he sent his groom with two saddle-horses, and a beautifully
  formed, very ferocious, bull-mastiff, called Nelson, to meet us there.
  Boatswain went by the side of his valet Frank on the box, with us.
  “The bull-dog, Nelson, always wore a muzzle, and was occasionally sent
  for into our private room, when the muzzle was taken off, much to my
  annoyance, and he and his master amused themselves with throwing the
  room into disorder. There was always a jealous feud between this
  Nelson and Boatswain; and whenever he latter came into the room while
  the former was there, they instantly seized each other; and then,
  Byron, myself, Frank, and all the waiters that could be found, were
  vigorously engaged in parting them,–which was in general only
  effected by thrusting poker and tongs into the mouths of each. But,
  one day, Nelson unfortunately escaped out of the room without his
  muzzle, and going into the stable-yard fastened upon the throat of a
  horse from which he could not be disengaged. The stable-boys ran in
  alarm to find Frank, who taking one of his Lord’s Wogdon’s pistols,
  always kept loaded in his room, shot poor Nelson through the head, to
  the great regret of Byron.
  “We were at the Crown Inn, at Low Harrowgate. We always dined in the
  public room, but retired very soon after dinner to our private one;
  for Byron was no more a friend to drinking than myself. We lived
  retired, and made few acquaintance; for he was naturally shy, ‘very’
  shy; which people who did not know him mistook for pride. While at
  Harrowgate he accidentally met with Professor Hailstone from
  Cambridge, and appeared much delighted to see him. The professor was
  at Upper Harrowgate: we called upon him one evening to take him to the
  theatre, I think,–and Lord Byron sent his carriage for him, another
  time, to a ball at the Granby. This desire to show attention to one of
  the professors of his college is a proof that, though he might choose
  to satirise the mode of education in the university, and to abuse the
  antiquated regulations and restrictions to which undergraduates are
  subjected, he had yet a due discrimination in his respect for the
  individuals who belonged to it. I have always, indeed, heard him speak
  in high terms of praise of Hailstone, as well as of his master, Bishop
  Mansel, of Trinity College, and of others whose names I have now
  “Few people understood Byron; but I know that he had naturally a kind
  and feeling heart, and that there was not a single spark of malice in
  his composition.”
Professor Hailstone was Woodwardian Professor of Geology (1788-1818).
(For Bishop Mansel, see page 84, note 1.)]
59.–To John Hanson. [1]
  Southwell, Dec. 7th, 1806.
  Sir,–A Letter to Mrs. Byron has just arrived which states, from what
  “you have _heard_ of the Tenor of my Letters,” you will not put up
  with Insult. I presume this means (for I will not be positive on what
  is rather ambiguously expressed) that some offence to you has been
  conveyed in the above mentioned Epistles. If you will peruse the
  papers in question, you will discover that the _person_ insulted is
  not _yourself_, or any one of your “_Connections_.” On Mr. B.’s
  apology, I have expressed my opinion in a Letter to your Son, if any
  Misrepresentation has taken place, it must be those “Connections” to
  whom I am to pay such Deference, & whose conduct to me has deserved
  such _ample respect_. I must now beg leave to observe in turn, that I
  am by no means disposed to bear Insult, &, be the consequences what
  they may, I will always declare, in plain and explicit Terms, my
  Grievance, nor will I overlook the slightest Mark of disrespect, &
  silently brood over affronts from a mean and interested dread of
  Injury to my person or property. The former I have Strength and
  resolution to protect; the latter is too trifling by its Loss to
  occasion a moments Uneasiness.
  Though not conversant with the methodical & dilatory arrangements of
  Law or Business, I know enough of Justice to direct my conduct by the
  principles of Equity, nor can I reconcile the “Insolence of office” to
  her regulations or forget in an Instant a poignant Affront.
  But enough of this Dispute. You will perceive my Sentiments on the
  Subject, in my correspondence with Mr. B. and Mr. H. Junior. In future
  to prevent a repetition and altercation I shall advise; but as, even
  then, some Demur may take place, I wish to be informed, if the
  equitable Court of Chancery, whose paternal care of their Ward can
  never be sufficiently commended, have determined, in the great Flow of
  parental Affection, to withhold their beneficent Support, till I
  return to “Alma Mater” (i.e.) Cambridge. Your Information on this
  point will oblige, as a College life is neither conducive to my
  Improvement, nor suitable to my Inclination. As to the reverse of the
  Rochdale Trial, I received the News of Success without confidence or
  exultation; I now sustain the Loss without repining. My Expectations
  from _Law_ were never very sanguine.
  I remain, yr very obedt. sert.,
[Footnote 1: Hanson’s partner, Birch, the “Mr. B.” of the letter, seems
to have irritated Byron by withholding the income allotted to him by the
Court of Chancery for his education at Cambridge. The attempt to compel
his return to Trinity by cutting off the supplies, failed. He did not
appear again at Cambridge till the summer term of 1807.]
60.–To J. Ridge.
  Dorant’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, Jany. 12, 1807.
  Mr. Ridge,–I understand from some of my friends, that several of the
  papers are in the habit of publishing extracts from my volume,
  particularly the _Morning Herald_. I cannot say for my own part I have
  observed this, but I am assured it is so. The thing is of no
  consequence to me, except that I dislike it. But it is to you, and as
  publisher you should put a stop to it. The _Morning Herald_ is the
  paper; of course you cannot address any other, as I am sure I have
  seen nothing of the kind in mine. You will act upon this as you think
  proper, and proceed with the 2d. Edition as you please. I am in no
  hurry, and I still think you were _premature_ in undertaking it.
  Etc., etc.,
  P.S.–Present a copy of the _Antijacobin_ therein to Mrs. Byron.
61.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  Southwell, Jan. 13, 1807.
  I ought to begin with _sundry_ apologies, for my own negligence, but
  the variety of my avocations in _prose_ and _verse_ must plead my
  excuse. With this epistle you will receive a volume of all my
  _Juvenilia_, published since your departure: it is of considerably
  greater size than the _copy_ in your possession, which I beg you will
  destroy, as the present is much more complete. That _unlucky_ poem to
  my poor Mary [1] has been the cause of some animadversion from _ladies
  in years_. I have not printed it in this collection, in consequence of
  my being pronounced a most _profligate sinner_, in short, a “_young
  Moore_,” [2] by——, your—-friend. I believe, in general, they
  have been favourably received, and surely the age of their author will
  preclude _severe_ criticism. The adventures of my life from sixteen to
  nineteen, and the dissipation into which I have been thrown in London,
  have given a voluptuous tint to my ideas; but the occasions which
  called forth my muse could hardly admit any other colouring. This
  volume is _vastly_ correct and miraculously chaste. Apropos, talking
  of love, …
  If you can find leisure to answer this farrago of unconnected
  nonsense, you need not doubt what gratification will accrue from your
  reply to yours ever, etc.
[Footnote 1: See page 104 [Letter 53], [Foot]note 2 [1].]
[Footnote 2: Thomas Moore (1779-1852) had already published ‘Anacreon’
(1800), ‘The Poetical Works of the late Thomas Little’ (1801), and
‘Odes, Epistles, and other Poems’ (1806). In all, especially in the
second, the poetry was of an erotic character.
  “So heartily,” said Rogers (‘Table-Talk, etc.’, pp. 281, 282), “has
  Moore repented of having published ‘Little’s Poems’, that I have seen
  him shed tears–tears of deep contrition–when we were talking of
  them. Young ladies read his ‘Lalla Rookh’ without being aware (I
  presume) of the grossness of ‘The Veiled Prophet’. These lines by Mr.
  Sneyd are amusing enough–
    “”Lalla Rookh’
    Is a naughty book
    By Tommy Moore,
    Who has written four,
    Each warmer
    Than the former.
    So the most recent
    Is the least decent.'”]
62.–To Captain John Leacroft. [1]
  January 31, 1807.
  Sir,–Upon serious reflection on the conversation we last night held,
  I am concerned to say, that the only effectual method to crash the
  animadversions of officious malevolence, is by my declining all future
  intercourse with those whom my acquaintance has unintentionally
  injured. At the same time I must observe that I do not form this
  resolution from any resentment at your representation, which was
  temperate and gentlemanly, but from a thorough conviction that the
  desirable end can be attained by no other line of conduct.
  I beg leave to return my thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Leacroft, for the
  attention and hospitality I have always experienced, of which I shall
  ever retain a grateful remembrance.
  So much to them; with your permission, I must add a few words for
  myself. You will be sensible, that a coolness between families,
  hitherto remarkable for their intimacy, cannot remain unobserved in a
  town, whose inhabitants are notorious for officious curiosity; that
  the causes for our separation will be mis-represented I have little
  doubt; if, therefore, I discover that such misrepresentation does take
  place, I shall call upon you, to unite with myself in making a serious
  example of those _men_, be they _who_ they may, that dare to cast an
  aspersion on the character I am sacrificing my own comfort to protect.
  If, on the other hand, they imagine, that my conduct is the
  consequence of intimidation, from my conference with you, I must
  require a further explanation of what passed between us on the
  subject, as, however careful I am of your Sister’s honour, I am
  equally tenacious of my own.
  I do not wish this to be misconstrued into any desire to quarrel; it
  is what I shall endeavour to avoid; but, as a young man very lately
  entered into the world, I feel compelled to state, that I can permit
  no suspicion to be attached to my name with impunity.
  I have the honour to remain,
  Your very obedient Servant,
[Footnote 1: This and the two following letters refer to a quarrel
between Byron and the Leacroft family, which arose from his attentions
to Miss Julia Leacroft. Moore’s statement, that Captain Leacroft, the
lady’s brother (see page 34 [Letter 12], [foot]note 3), sent a challenge
to Byron, who was at first inclined to accept it, is inaccurate. But it
is possible that Byron was acting on the advice of the Rev. J. T.
Becher, when he decided, in order to prevent misunderstanding, to break
off his acquaintance with the Leacrofts absolutely.]
63.–To Captain John Leacroft.
  February 4th, 1807.
  Sir,–I have just received your note, which conveys all that can be
  said on the subject. I can easily conceive your feelings must have
  been irritated in the course of the affair. I am sorry that I have
  been the unintentional cause of so disagreeable a business. The line
  of conduct, however painful to myself, which I have adopted, is the
  only effectual method to prevent the remarks of a _meddling world_. I
  therefore again take my leave for the last time. I repeat, that,
  though the intercourse, from which I have derived so many hours of
  happiness, is for ever interrupted, the remembrance can never be
  effaced from the bosom of
  Your very obedient Servant,
64.–To Captain John Leacroft.
February 4th, 1807.
Sir,–I am concerned to be obliged again to trouble you, as I had hoped
that our conversations had terminated amicably. Your good Father, it
seems, has desired otherwise; he has just sent a most _agreeable_
epistle, in which I am honoured with the appellations of _unfeeling_ and
ungrateful. But as the consequences of all this must ultimately fall on
you and myself, I merely write this to apprise you that the dispute is
not of my seeking, and that, if we must cut each other’s throats to
please our relations, you will do me the justice to say it is from no
_personal_ animosity between us, or from any insult on my part, that
such _disagreeable_ events (for I am not so much enamoured of quarrels
as to call them _pleasant_) have arisen.
I remain, your’s, etc.,
65.-To the Earl of Clare. [1]
  Southwell, Notts, February 6, 1807.
  My Dearest Clare,–Were I to make all the apologies necessary to atone
  for my late negligence, you would justly say you had received a
  petition instead of a letter, as it would be filled with prayers for
  forgiveness; but instead of this, I will acknowledge my _sins_ at
  once, and I trust to your friendship and generosity rather than to my
  own excuses. Though my health is not perfectly re-established, I am
  out of all danger, and have recovered every thing but my spirits,
  which are subject to depression. You will be astonished to hear I have
  lately written to Delawarr, [2] for the purpose of explaining (as far
  as possible without involving some _old friends_ of mine in the
  business) the cause of my behaviour to him during my last residence at
  Harrow (nearly two years ago), which you will recollect was rather
  “_en cavalier_.” Since that period, I have discovered he was treated
  with injustice both by those who misrepresented his conduct, and by me
  in consequence of their suggestions. I have therefore made all the
  reparation in my power, by apologizing for my mistake, though with
  very faint hopes of success; indeed I never expected any answer, but
  desired one for form’s sake; _that_ has not yet arrived, and most
  probably never will. However, I have _eased_ my own _conscience_ by
  the atonement, which is humiliating enough to one of my disposition;
  yet I could not have slept satisfied with the reflection of having,
  _even unintentionally_, injured any individual. I have done all that
  could be done to repair the injury, and there the affair must end.
  Whether we renew our intimacy or not is of very trivial consequence.
  My time has lately been much occupied with very different pursuits. I
  have been _transporting_ a servant, [3] who cheated me,–rather a
  disagreeable event;–performing in private theatricals;
  [4]–publishing a volume of poems (at the request of my friends, for
  their perusal);–making love,–and taking physic. The two last
  amusements have not had the best effect in the world; for my
  attentions have been divided amongst so many fair damsels, and the
  drugs I swallow are of such variety in their composition, that between
  Venus and Æsculapius I am harassed to death. However, I have still
  leisure to devote some hours to the recollections of past, regretted
  friendships, and in the interval to take the advantage of the moment,
  to assure you how much I am, and ever will be, my dearest Clare,
  Your truly attached and sincere
[Footnote 1: John Fitzgibbon (1792-1851), son of the first Earl of
Clare, by his wife Anne Whaley, succeeded his father as second Earl in
January, 1802. A schoolfellow of Byron’s at Harrow, he was the “Lycus”
of “Childish Recollections,” and one of his dearest friends. Clare,
after leaving Harrow, went to a private tutor, the Rev. Mr. Smith, at
Woodnesborough, near Sandwich. There he formed so close a friendship
with Lord John Russell as to provoke Byron’s jealousy (‘Life’, p. 21).
Clare was at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1812); Byron at Trinity,
Cambridge. They rarely met after leaving Harrow. Their meeting on the
road between Imola and Bologna in 1821,
  “annihilated for a moment,” says Byron (see ‘Life’, p. 540; ‘Detached
  Thoughts’, November 5, 1821), “all the years between the present time
  and the days of Harrow. We were but five minutes together, and on the
  public road; but I hardly recollect an hour of my existence which
  could be weighed against them. Of all I have ever known, he has always
  been the least altered in everything from the excellent qualities and
  kind affections which attached me to him so strongly at school. I
  should hardly have thought it possible for society (or the world, as
  it is called) to leave a being with so little of the leaven of bad
  passions. I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I
  have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance.”
Lord Clare was Governor of Bombay from 1830 to 1834.]
[Footnote 2: See page 41 [Letter 14], note 1 [Footnote 5].]
[Footnote 3: See page 81 [Letter 38], [Foot]note 1.]
[Footnote 4: In the theatricals, which took place at Southwell in the
autumn of 1806, Byron was the chief mover. A letter received by Mr.
Pigot, quoted by Moore (‘Life’, p. 38), shows how eagerly his return
from Harrogate was expected:–
  “Tell Lord Byron that, if any accident should retard his return, his
  mother desires he will write to her, as she shall be ‘miserable’ if he
  does not arrive the day he fixes. Mr. W. B. has written a card to Mrs.
  H. to offer for the character of ‘Henry Woodville,’–Mr. and Mrs.—-
  not approving of their son’s taking a part in the play: but I believe
  he will persist in it. Mr. G. W. says, that sooner than the party
  should be disappointed, ‘he’ will take any part,–sing–dance–in
  short, do any thing to oblige. Till Lord Byron returns, nothing can be
  done; and positively he must not be later than Tuesday or Wednesday.”
A full account of the theatricals is given in a manuscript written by
Miss Bristoe, one of the performers. Two plays were represented, (1)
Cumberland’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and (2) Allingham’s ‘Weathercock’. The
following were the respective casts:–
(1) ‘Penruddock’, Lord Byron.
    ‘Sir David Daw’, Mr. C. Becher.
    ‘Woodville’, Captain Lightfoot.
    ‘Sydenham’, Mr. Pigot.
    ‘Henry Woodville’, Mr. H. Houson.
    ‘Mrs. Woodville’, Miss Bristoe.
    ‘Emily Tempest’, Miss J. Leacroft
    ‘Dame Dunckley’, Miss Leacroft.
    ‘Weazel’, Mr. G. Wylde.
    ‘Jenkins’, Mr. G. Heathcote.
(2) ‘Tristram Fickle’, Lord Byron.
    ‘Old Fickle’, Mr. Pigot.
    ‘Briefwit’, Captain Lightfoot.
    ‘Sneer’, Mr. R. Leacroft.
    ‘Variella’, Miss Bristoe.
    ‘Ready’, Miss Leacroft.
    ‘Gardener’, Mr. C. Becher.
    ‘Barber’, Mr. G. Wylde.
Between the two plays, a member of the Southwell choir sang “The Death
of Abercrombie.” The brave General, attended by two aides-de-camp, all
three in the costume of the Southwell volunteers, appeared on the stage,
and the General, sinking into the outstretched arms of his two friends,
warbled out his dying words in a style which convulsed Byron with
The play itself nearly came to an untimely conclusion. Captain Lightfoot
screwed his failing courage to the sticking point by several glasses of
wine, with the result that, being a very abstemious man, he became
tipsy. But “restoratives were administered,” and he went through his
part with credit. Byron, who was the star of the company, repeatedly
brought down the house by his acting.
(For Byron’s Prologue to ‘The Wheel of Fortune’, see ‘Poems’, vol. i.
pp. 45, 46.) Moore’s account of the epilogue, written by the Rev. J. T.
Becher, and spoken by Byron, is erroneous. Only one word gave any
opportunity for mimicry. It occurs in the lines–
“Tempest becalmed forgets his blust’ring rage,
He calls Dame Dunckley ‘sister’ off the stage.”
In pronouncing the word “sister,” Byron “took off exactly the voice and
manner of Mr. R. Leacroft.”]
66.–To Mrs. Hanson.
  Southwell, Feb. 8, 1807.
  Dear Madam,–Having understood from Mrs. Byron that Mr. Hanson is in a
  very indifferent State of Health, I have taken the Liberty of
  addressing you on the Subject.
  Though the _Governor_ & _I_ have lately not been on the _best_ of
  _Terms_, yet I should be extremely sorry to learn he was in Danger,
  and I trust _he_ and _I_ will live to have many more _Squabbles_ in
  _this world_, before we _finally make peace_ in the next. If therefore
  you can favor me with any _salutary_ Intelligence of the _aforesaid_
  Gentleman, believe me, nothing will be more acceptable to
  Yours very truly,
  P.S.–Remember me to all the family now in _Garrison_, particularly my
  old Friend Harriet.
67.–To William Bankes. [1]
  Southwell, March 6, 1807.
  Dear Bankes,–Your critique is valuable for many reasons: in the first
  place, it is the only one in which flattery has borne so slight a
  part; in the _next_, I am _cloyed_ with insipid compliments. I have a
  better opinion of your judgment and ability than your _feelings_.
  Accept my most sincere thanks for your kind decision, not less
  welcome, because totally unexpected. With regard to a more exact
  estimate, I need not remind you how few of the _best poems_, in our
  language, will stand the test of _minute_ or _verbal_ criticism: it
  can, therefore, hardly be expected the effusions of a boy (and most of
  these pieces have been produced at an early period) can derive much
  merit either from the subject or composition. Many of them were
  written under great depression of spirits, and during severe
  indisposition:–hence the gloomy turn of the ideas. We coincide in
  opinion that the “_poësies érotiques_” are the most exceptionable;
  they were, however, grateful to the _deities_, on whose altars they
  were offered–more I seek not.
  The portrait of Pomposus [2] was drawn at Harrow, after a _long
  sitting_; this accounts for the resemblance, or rather the
  _caricatura_. He is _your_ friend, he _never was mine_–for both our
  sakes I shall be silent on this head. The _collegiate_ rhymes [3] are
  not personal–one of the notes may appear so, but could not be
  omitted. I have little doubt they will be deservedly abused–a just
  punishment for my unfilial treatment of so excellent an Alma Mater. I
  sent you no copy, lest _we_ should be placed in the situation of _Gil
  Blas_ and the _Archbishop_ of Grenada; [4] though running some hazard
  from the experiment, I wished your _verdict_ to be unbiassed. Had my
  “_Libellus_” been presented previous to your letter, it would have
  appeared a species of bribe to purchase compliment. I feel no
  hesitation in saying, I was more anxious to hear your critique,
  however severe, than the praises of the _million_. On the same day I
  was honoured with the encomiums of _Mackenzie_, the celebrated author
  of the _Man of Feeling_ [5] Whether _his_ approbation or _yours_
  elated me most, I cannot decide.
  You will receive my _Juvenilia_,–at least all yet published. I have a
  large volume in manuscript, which may in part appear hereafter; at
  present I have neither time nor inclination to prepare it for the
  press. In the spring I shall return to Trinity, to dismantle my rooms,
  and bid you a final adieu. The _Cam_ will not be much increased by my
  _tears_ on the occasion. Your further remarks, however _caustic_ or
  bitter, to a palate vitiated with the _sweets of adulation_, will be
  of service. Johnson has shown us _that no poetry_ is perfect; but to
  correct mine would be an Herculean labour. In fact I never looked
  beyond the moment of composition, and published merely at the request
  of my friends. Notwithstanding so much has been said concerning the
  “Genus irritabile vatum,” we shall never quarrel on the
  subject–poetic fame is by no means the “acme” of my wishes.–Adieu.
  Yours ever,
[Footnote 1: William John Bankes, of Kingston Lacy, Dorsetshire, was
Byron’s friend, possibly at Harrow, though his name does not occur in
the school lists, certainly at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1808).
He represented Truro from 1810 to 1812, when he left England on his
Eastern travels. At Philæ he discovered an obelisk, the geometrical
elevation and inscriptions of which he published in 1820. In Mesopotamia
he encountered John Silk Buckingham, whom he afterwards charged with
making use of his notes in his ‘Travels’, a statement, found to be
libellous, which (October 19, 1826) cost Bankes £400 in damages. He also
travelled with Giovanni Finati, a native of Ferrara, who, under the
assumed name of Mahomet, made the campaigns against the Wahabees for the
recovery of Mecca and Medina. Finati’s Italian ‘Narrative’ was
translated by Bankes, to whom it is dedicated by his “attached and
faithful servant Hadjee Mahomet,” and published in 1830. In 1822 Bankes
was elected M.P. for Cambridge University, but lost his seat to Sir J.
Copley in 1826. At a bye-election in 1827, he was again unsuccessful.
His candidature gave occasion to Macaulay’s squib, which appeared in the
‘Times’ for May 14, 1827, ‘A Country Clergyman’s Trip to Cambridge’.
  “A letter–and free–bring it here:
    I have no correspondent who franks.
  No! Yes! Can it be? Why, my dear,
    ‘Tis our glorious, our Protestant Bankes.
  ‘Dear Sir as I know your desire
    That the Church should receive due protection,
  I humbly presume to require
    Your aid at the Cambridge election,'”etc., etc.
Bankes subsequently represented Marlborough (1829-1832) and Dorsetshire
(1833-1834). He was Byron’s “collegiate pastor, and master and patron,”
“ruled the roast” at Trinity, “or, rather, the ‘roasting’, and was
father of all mischief” (Byron to Murray, October 12, 1820). “William
Bankes,” Byron told Lady Blessington (‘Conversations’, p. 172), “is
another of my early friends. He is very clever, very original, and has
a fund of information: he is also very good-natured, but he is not much
of a flatterer.” Bankes died at Venice in 1855.]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Butler, Head-master of Harrow. (See page 58 [Letter
22],[Foot]note 1.)]
[Footnote 3: “Thoughts suggested by a College Examination” (‘Poems’,
vol. i. pp. 28-31); and “Granta, A Medley” (‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 56-62).]
[Footnote 4: Alluding to ‘Gil Blas’, bk. vii. chap, iv., where Gil Blas
ventures to criticize the Archbishop’s work, and is dismissed for his
  “Adieu, monsieur Gil Blas; Je vous souhaite toutes sortes de
  prosperités, avec un peu plus de goût.”]
[Footnote 5: The praise was worth having. Henry Mackenzie (1745-1831)
was not only the author of the lackadaisical ‘Man of Feeling’, but in
real life a shrewd, hard-headed man. As a novelist, he wrote ‘The Man of
Feeling’ (1771), ‘The Man of Honour’ (1773), and ‘Julia de Roubigne’
(1777). As a playwright, he produced four plays, none of which
succeeded. As an essayist, he contributed to the ‘Mirror’ (1779-80) and
the ‘Lounger’ (1785-86). As a political writer, he supported Pitt, and
was rewarded by the comptrollership of taxes. An original member of the
Royal Society of Edinburgh, many of his papers appear in its
‘Transactions’. In Edinburgh society he was “the life of the company,” a
connecting link on the literary side between David Hume, Walter Scott,
and Lord Cockburn, and in all matters of sport a fund of anecdotes and
68.–To William Bankes. [1]
  For my own part, I have suffered severely in the decease of my two
  greatest friends, the only beings I ever loved (females excepted); I
  am therefore a solitary animal, miserable enough, and so perfectly a
  citizen of the world, that whether I pass my days in Great Britain or
  Kamschatka, is to me a matter of perfect indifference. I cannot evince
  greater respect for your alteration than by immediately adopting
  it–this shall be done in the next edition. I am sorry your remarks
  are not more frequent, as I am certain they would be equally
  beneficial. Since my last, I have received two critical opinions from
  Edinburgh, both too flattering for me to detail. One is from Lord
  Woodhouselee, [2] at the head of the Scotch literati, and a most
  _voluminous_ writer (his last work is a _Life_ of Lord Kaimes); the
  other from Mackenzie, who sent his decision a second time, more at
  length. I am not personally acquainted with either of these gentlemen,
  nor ever requested their sentiments on the subject: their praise is
  voluntary, and transmitted through the medium of a friend, at whose
  house they read the productions.
  Contrary to my former intention, I am now preparing a volume for the
  public at large: my amatory pieces will be exchanged, and others
  substituted in their place. The whole will be considerably enlarged,
  and appear the latter end of May. This is a hazardous experiment; but
  want of better employment, the encouragement I have met with, and my
  own vanity, induce me to stand the test, though not without _sundry
  palpitations_. The book will circulate fast enough in this country
  from mere curiosity; what I prin—-…
  [letter incomplete]
[Footnote 1:  This fragment refers, like the previous letter, to Byron’s
volume of verse, ‘Poems on Various Occasions’.]
[Footnote 2: Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, one of the
Senators of the College of Justice in Scotland, and a friend of Robert
Burns. Besides the ‘Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Hon. Henry
Home of Kames’ (1807), he published ‘Elements of General History’
(1801), ‘Essay on the Principles of Translation’, etc. He died in 1813.
His ‘Universal History’, in six vols., appeared in 1834.]
69.–To—-Falkner. [1]
  Sir,–The volume of little pieces which accompanies this, would have
  been presented before, had I not been apprehensive that Miss Falkner’s
  indisposition might render some trifles unwelcome. There are some
  errors of the printer which I have not had time to correct in the
  collection: you have it thus, with “all its imperfections on its
  head,” a heavy weight, when joined with the faults of its author. Such
  _Juvenilia_, as they can claim no great degree of approbation, I may
  venture to hope, will also escape the severity of uncalled for, though
  perhaps _not_ undeserved, criticism.
  They were written on many and various occasions, and are now published
  merely for the perusal of a friendly circle. Believe me, sir, if they
  afford the slightest amusement to yourself and the rest of my _social_
  readers, I shall have gathered all the _bays_ I ever wish to adorn the
  head of yours very truly,
P.S.–I hope Miss F. is in a state of recovery.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Byron’s landlord at Burgage Manor.]
70.–To John Hanson.
  [Farleigh House, Basingstoke, Hants.]
  Southwell, April 2nd, 1807.
  Dear Sir,–Before I proceed in Reply to the other parts of your
  Epistle, allow me to congratulate you on the _Accession_ of _Dignity_
  and _profit_, which will doubtless accrue, from your official
  You was fortunate in obtaining Possession at so critical a period;
  your Patrons “exeunt omnes.” [1] I trust they will soon supersede the
  Cyphers, their successors. The Reestablishment of your Health is
  another happy event, and, though _secondary_ in my _Statement_, is by
  no means so in my _Wishes_. As to our Feuds, they are purely
  _official_, the natural consequence of our relative Situations, but as
  little connected with _personal animosity_, as the _Florid
  Declamations_ of _parliamentary_ Demagogues. I return you my thanks
  for your favorable opinion of my muse; I have lately been honoured
  with many very flattering literary critiques, from men of high
  Reputation in the Sciences, particularly Lord Woodhouselee and Henry
  Mackenzie, both _Scots_ and of great Eminence as Authors themselves. I
  have received also some most favorable Testimonies from _Cambridge_.
  This you will _marvel_ at, as indeed I did myself. Encouraged by these
  and several other Encomiums, I am about to publish a Volume at large;
  this will be very different from the present; the amatory effusions,
  not to be wondered at from the _dissipated_ Life I have led, will be
  cut out, and others substituted. I coincide with you in opinion that
  the _Poet_ yields to the _orator_; but as nothing can be done in the
  latter capacity till the Expiration of my _Minority_, the former
  occupies my present attention, and both _ancients_ and _moderns_ have
  declared that the two pursuits are so nearly similar as to require in
  a great measure the same Talents, and he who excels in the one, would
  on application succeed in the other. Lyttleton, Glover, and Young (who
  was a celebrated Preacher and a Bard) are instances of the kind.
  _Sheridan & Fox_ also; _these_ are _great Names_. I may imitate, I can
  never equal them.
  You speak of the _Charms_ of Southwell; the _Place_ I _abhor_. The
  Fact is I remain here because I can appear no where else, being
  _completely done_ up. _Wine_ and _Women_ have _dished_ your _humble
  Servant_, not a _Sou_ to be _had_; all _over_; condemned to exist (I
  cannot say live) at this _Crater_ of Dullness till my _Lease_ of
  _Infancy_ expires. To appear at Cambridge is impossible; no money even
  to pay my College expences. You will be surprized to hear I am grown
  _very thin_; however it is the _Fact_, so much so, that the people
  here think I am _going_. I have lost 18 LB in my weight, that is one
  Stone & 4 pounds since January, this was ascertained last Wednesday,
  on account of a _Bet_ with an acquaintance. However don’t be alarmed;
  I have taken every means to accomplish the end, by violent exercise
  and Fasting, as I found myself too plump. I shall continue my
  Exertions, having no other amusement; I wear _seven_ Waistcoats and a
  great Coat, run, and play at cricket in this Dress, till quite
  exhausted by excessive perspiration, use the Hip Bath daily; eat only
  a quarter of a pound of Butcher’s Meat in 24 hours, no Suppers or
  Breakfast, only one Meal a Day; drink no malt liquor, but a little
  Wine, and take Physic occasionally. By these means my _Ribs_ display
  Skin of no great Thickness, & my Clothes have been taken in nearly
  _half a yard_. Do you believe me now?
  Adieu. Remembrance to Spouse and the Acorns.
  Yours ever,
[Footnote 1: In March, 1807, George III demanded from the Coalition
Ministry a written pledge that they would propose no further concessions
to the Roman Catholics. They refused to give it, and the Tories, with
the Duke of Portland as their nominal head, were recalled to the
71.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  Southwell, April, 1807.
  My Dear Pigot,–Allow me to congratulate you on the success of your
  first examination–“_Courage_, mon ami.” The title of Doctor will do
  wonders with the damsels. I shall most probably be in Essex or London
  when you arrive at this damned place, where I am detained by the
  publication of my _rhymes_.
  Adieu.–Believe me,
  Yours very truly,
  P.S.–Since we met, I have reduced myself by violent exercise, _much_
  physic, and _hot_ bathing, from 14 stone 6 lb. to 12 stone 7 lb. In
  all I have lost 27 pounds. [1] Bravo!–what say you?
[Footnote 1: The following extract is taken from a ledger in the
possession of Messrs. Merry, of St. James’s Street, S.W.:–
“1806–January 4.   Lord Byron (boots, no hat)  13 stone 12 lbs
1807–July 8.      Lord Byron (shoes)          10 stone 13 lbs
1807–July 23.     Lord Byron (shoes)          11 stone  0 lbs
1807–August 13.   Lord Byron (shoes)          10 stone 11-1/2 lbs
1808–May 27.      Lord Byron (shoes)          11 stone  1 lbs
1809–June 10.     Lord Byron (shoes)          11 stone  5-3/4 lbs
1811–July 15.     Lord Byron (shoes)           9 stone 11-1/2 lbs”]
72.–To John Hanson.
  [6, Chancery Lane, Temple Bar, London.]
  Southwell, 19 April, 1807.
  Sir,–My last was an Epistle “_entre nous_;” _this_ is a _Letter_ of
  _Business_, Of course the _formalities_ of _official communication_
  must be attended to. From lying under pecuniary difficulties, I shall
  draw for the Quarter due the 25th June, in a short Time. You will
  recollect I was to receive £100 for the Expence of Furniture, etc., at
  Cambridge. I placed in your possession accounts to amount and then I
  have received £70, for which I believe you have my Receipt. This extra
  £25 or £30 (though the Bills are long ago discharged from my own
  purse) I should not have troubled you for, had not my present
  Situation rendered even that Trifle of some Consequence. I have
  therefore to request that my Draft for £150, instead of £125 the
  simple Quarter, may be honoured, but think it necessary to apprize you
  previous to its appearance, and indeed to request an early Answer, as
  I had one Draft returned by Mistake from your _House_, some Months
  past. I have no Inclination to be placed in a similar Dilemma.
  I lent Mrs. B. _£60_ last year; of this I have never received a Sou and
  in all probability never shall. I do not mention the circumstance as
  any Reproach on that worthy and lamblike Dame, [1] but merely to show
  you how affairs stand. ‘Tis true myself and two Servants lodge in the
  House, but my Horses, etc., and their expences are defrayed by your
  humble Sert. I quit Cambridge in July, and shall have considerable
  payments to make at that period; for this purpose I must sell my
  _Steeds_. I paid Jones in January £150, £38 to my Stable Keeper, £21
  to my wine Merchant, £20 to a _Lawyer_ for the prosecution of a
  Scoundrel, a late Servant. In short I have done all I can, but am now
  completely _done_ up.
  Your answer will oblige
  Yours, etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Byron, on the other hand, tells a different story.
  “Lord Byron,” she writes to Hanson (March 19, 1807), “has now been
  with me seven months, with two Men Servants, for which I have never
  received one farthing, as he requires the five hundred a year for
  himself. Therefore it is impossible I can keep him and them out of my
  small income of four hundred a year,–two in Scotland [Mrs. Gordon of
  Gight (see Chapter I. p. 4) was dead], and the pension is now reduced
  to two hundred a year. But if the Court allows the additional two
  hundred, I shall be perfectly satisfied.
  “I do not know what to say about Byron’s returning to Cambridge. When
  he was there, I believe he did nothing but drink, gamble, and spend
A month later (April 29, 1807), she consults Hanson about raising £1000
by a loan from Mrs. Parkyns on her security.
  “Byron from their last letter gave up all hopes of getting the money,
  and behaved very well on the occasion, and proposed selling his Horses
  and plans of OEconomy that I much fear will be laid aside if the Money
  is procured. My only motive for wishing it was to keep him clear of
  the Jews; but at present he does not seem at all disposed to have
  anything to do with them, even if he is disappointed in this resource.
  I wish to act for the best: but God knows what is for the best.”
Eventually money was provided on Mrs. Byron’s security (see Letters of
March 6 [Letter 117] and April 26 [Letter 121], 1809), and he resided at
Trinity for a few days at the end of the May term, 1807.
73.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  June 11, 1807.
  Dear Queen Bess,–_Savage_ ought to be _immortal_:–though not a
  _thorough-bred bull-dog_, he is the finest puppy I ever _saw_, and
  will answer much better; in his great and manifold kindness he has
  already bitten my fingers, and disturbed the _gravity_ of old
  Boatswain, who is _grievously discomposed_. I wish to be informed what
  he _costs_, his _expenses_, etc., etc., that I may indemnify Mr.
  G—-. My thanks are _all_ I can give for the trouble he has taken,
  make a _long speech_, and conclude it with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. [1] I am out
  of practice, so _deputize_ you as a legate,–_ambassador_ would not do
  in a matter concerning the _Pope_, which I presume this must, as the
  _whole_ turns upon a _Bull_.
  P.S.–I write in bed.
[Footnote 1: He here alludes to an odd fancy or trick of his own;
–whenever he was at a loss for something to say, he used always to
gabble over “1 2 3 4 5 6 7” (Moore).]
74.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  Cambridge, June 30, 1807.
  “Better late than never, Pal,” [1] is a saying of which you know the
  origin, and as it is applicable on the present occasion, you will
  excuse its conspicuous place in the front of my epistle. I am almost
  superannuated here. My old friends (with the exception of a very few)
  all departed, and I am preparing to follow them, but remain till
  Monday to be present at three _Oratorios_, two _Concerts_, a _Fair_,
  and a Ball. I find I am not only _thinner_ but _taller_ by an inch
  since my last visit. I was obliged to tell every body my _name_,
  nobody having the least recollection of my _visage_, or person. Even
  the hero of _my Cornelian_ [2] (who is now sitting _vis-à-vis_ reading
  a volume of my _Poetics_) passed me in Trinity walks without
  recognising me in the least, and was thunderstruck at the alteration
  which had taken place in my countenance, etc., etc. Some say I look
  _better_, others _worse_, but all agree I am _thinner_,–more I do not
  require. I have lost two pounds in my weight since I left your
  _cursed_, _detestable_, and _abhorred_ abode of _scandal_, where,
  excepting yourself and John Becher, [3] I care not if the whole race
  were consigned to the _Pit of Acheron_, which I would visit in person
  rather than contaminate my _sandals_ with the polluted dust of
  Southwell. _Seriously_, unless obliged by the _emptiness_ of my purse
  to revisit Mrs. B., you will see me no more.
  On Monday I depart for London. I quit Cambridge with little regret,
  because our _set_ are _vanished_, and my _musical protégé_ before
  mentioned has left the choir, and is stationed in a mercantile house
  of considerable eminence in the metropolis. You may have heard me
  observe he is exactly to an hour two years younger than myself. I
  found him grown considerably, and as you will suppose, very glad to
  see his former _Patron_. He is nearly my height, very _thin_, very
  fair complexion, dark eyes, and light locks. My opinion of his mind
  you already know;–I hope I shall never have occasion to change it.
  Every body here conceives me to be an _invalid_. The University at
  present is very gay from the fètes of divers kinds. I supped out last
  night, but eat (or ate) nothing, sipped a bottle of claret, went to
  bed at two, and rose at eight. I have commenced early rising, and find
  it agrees with me. The Masters and the Fellows all very _polite_, but
  look a little _askance_–don’t much admire _lampoons_ [4]–truth
  always disagreeable.
  Write, and tell me how the inhabitants of your _Menagerie_ go _on_,
  and if my publication goes _off_ well: do the quadrupeds _growl_?
  Apropos, my bull-dog is deceased–“Flesh both of cur and man is
  grass.” Address your answer to Cambridge. If I am gone, it will be
  forwarded. Sad news just arrived–Russians beat [5]–a bad set, eat
  nothing but _oil_, consequently must melt before a _hard fire_. I get
  awkward in my academic habiliments for want of practice. Got up in a
  window to hear the oratorio at St. Mary’s, popped down in the middle
  of the _Messiah_, tore a _woeful_ rent in the back of my best black
  silk gown, and damaged an egregious pair of breeches. Mem.–never
  tumble from a church window during service. Adieu, dear—-! do
  not remember me to any body:–to _forget_ and be forgotten by the
  people of Southwell is all I aspire to.
[Footnote 1: The allusion is to the farce _Better Late than Never_
(attributed to Miles Peter Andrews, but really, according to Reynolds
(_Life_, vol. ii. pp. 79, 80), by himself, Topham, and Andrews), in
which Pallet, an artist, is a prominent character. It was played at
Drury Lane for the first time October 17, 1790, with Kemble as “Saville”
and Mrs. Jordan as “Augusta.”]
[Footnote 2: “The hero of _my Cornelian_” was a Cambridge chorister
named Edleston, whose life, as Harness has recorded in a MS. note, Byron
saved from drowning. This began their acquaintance. (See Byron’s lines
on “The Cornelian,” _Poems_, vol. i. 66-67.) Edleston died of
consumption in May, 1811. Byron, writing to Mrs. Pigot, gives the
following account of his death:–
  “Cambridge, Oct. 28, 1811.
  Dear Madam,–I am about to write to you on a silly subject, and yet I
  cannot well do otherwise. You may remember a _cornelian_, which some
  years ago I consigned to Miss Pigot, indeed _gave_ to her, and now I
  am going to make the most selfish and rude of requests. The person who
  gave it to me, when I was very young, is _dead_, and though a long
  time has elapsed since we met, as it was the only memorial I possessed
  of that person (in whom I was very much interested), it has acquired a
  value by this event I could have wished it never to have borne in my
  eyes. If, therefore, Miss Pigot should have preserved it, I must,
  under these circumstances, beg her to excuse my requesting it to be
  transmitted to me at No. 8, St. James’s Street, London, and I will
  replace it by something she may remember me by equally well. As she
  was always so kind as to feel interested in the fate of him that
  formed the subject of our conversation, you may tell her that the
  giver of that cornelian died in May last of a consumption, at the age
  of twenty-one, making the sixth, within four months, of friends and
  relatives that I have lost between May and the end of August.
  “Believe me, dear Madam, yours very sincerely,
  “P.S.–I go to London to-morrow.”
The cornelian heart was, of course, returned, and Lord Byron, at the
same time, reminded that he had left it with Miss Pigot as a deposit,
_not_ a gift (Moore).]
[Footnote 3: See page 182 [Letter 94], [Foot]note 1 [2].]
[Footnote 4: See “Thoughts suggested by a College Examination” (_Poems_,
vol. i. pp. 28-31), also “Granta: a Medley” (_Poems_, vol. i. pp.
[Footnote 5: The Battle of Friedland, June 15, 1807. This is almost the
first allusion that Byron makes to the war.]
75.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  Trin. Coll. Camb. July 5, 1807.
  Since my last letter I have determined to reside _another year_ at
  Granta, as my rooms, etc., etc., are finished in great style, several
  old friends come up again, and many new acquaintances made;
  consequently my inclination leads me forward, and I shall return to
  college in October if still _alive_. My life here has been one
  continued routine of dissipation–out at different places every day,
  engaged to more dinners, etc., etc., than my _stay_ would permit me to
  fulfil. At this moment I write with a bottle of claret in my _head_
  and _tears_ in my _eyes_; for I have just parted with my “_Cornelian_”
  who spent the evening with me. As it was our last interview, I
  postponed my engagement to devote the hours of the _Sabbath_ to
  friendship:–Edleston and I have separated for the present, and my
  mind is a chaos of hope and sorrow. To-morrow I set out for London:
  you will address your answer to “Gordon’s Hotel, Albemarle Street,”
  where I _sojourn_ during my visit to the metropolis.
  I rejoice to hear you are interested in my _protégé_; he has been my
  _almost constant_ associate since October, 1805, when I entered
  Trinity College. His _voice_ first attracted my attention, his
  _countenance_ fixed it, and his _manners_ attached me to him for ever.
  He departs for a _mercantile house_ in _town_ in October, and we shall
  probably not meet till the expiration of my minority, when I shall
  leave to his decision either entering as a _partner_ through my
  interest, or residing with me altogether. Of course he would in his
  present frame of mind prefer the _latter_, but he may alter his
  opinion previous to that period;–however, he shall have his choice.
  I certainly love him more than any human being, and neither time nor
  distance have had the least effect on my (in general) changeable
  disposition. In short, we shall, put _Lady E. Butler_ and _Miss
  Ponsonby_ [1] to the blush, _Pylades_ and _Orestes_ out of
  countenance, and want nothing but a catastrophe like _Nisus_ and
  _Euryalus_, to give _Jonathan_ and _David_ the “go by.” He certainly
  is perhaps more attached to _me_ than even I am in return. During the
  whole of my residence at Cambridge we met every day, summer and
  winter, without passing _one_ tiresome moment, and separated each time
  with increasing reluctance. I hope you will one day see us together.
  He is the only being I esteem, though I _like_ many.
  The Marquis of Tavistock [2] was down the other day; I supped with him
  at his tutor’s–entirely a Whig party. The opposition muster strong
  here now, and Lord Hartington, the Duke of Leinster, etc., etc., are
  to join us in October, so every thing will be _splendid_. The _music_
  is all over at present. Met with another “_accidency_”–upset a
  butter-boat in the lap of a lady–look’d very _blue_–_spectators_
  grinned–“curse ’em!” Apropos, sorry to say, been _drunk_ every day,
  and not quite _sober_ yet–however, touch no meat, nothing but fish,
  soup, and vegetables, consequently it does me no harm–sad dogs all
  the _Cantabs_. Mem.–_we mean_ to reform next January. This place is a
  _monotony of endless variety_–like it–hate Southwell. Has Ridge sold
  well? or do the ancients demur? What ladies have bought?
  Saw a girl at St. Mary’s the image of Anne—-, [3] thought it was
  her–all in the wrong–the lady stared, so did I–I _blushed_, so did
  _not_ the lady,–sad thing–wish women had _more modesty_. Talking of
  women, puts me in mind of my terrier Fanny–how is she? Got a
  headache, must go to bed, up early in the morning to travel. My
  _protégé_ breakfasts with me; parting spoils my appetite–excepting
  from Southwell. Mem. _I hate Southwell_.
  Yours, etc.
[Footnote 1: Lady Eleanor Butler (c. 1745-1829), sister of the
seventeenth Earl of Ormonde, and Sarah Ponsonby (circ. 1755-1831),
cousin of the Earl of Bessborough, were the two “Ladies of the Vale,” or
“Ladies of Llangollen.” About the year 1779 they settled in a cottage at
Plasnewydd, in the Vale of Llangollen, where they lived, with their
maidservant, Mary Caryll, for upwards of half a century. They are
buried, with their servant, in the churchyard of Plasnewydd, under a
triangular pyramid. Though they had withdrawn from the world, they
watched its proceedings with the keenest interest.
  “If,” writes Mrs. Piozzi, from Brynbella, July 9, 1796, “Mr. Bunbury’s
  ‘Little Gray Man’ is printed, do send it hither; the ladies at
  Llangollen are dying for it. They like those old Scandinavian tales
  and the imitations of them exceedingly; and tell me about the prince
  and princess of ‘this’ loyal country, one province of which alone had
  disgraced itself”
(‘Life and Writings of Mrs. Piozzi’, vol. ii. p. 234). Nor did they
despise the theatre. Charles Mathews (‘Memoirs’, vol. iii. pp. 150,
151), writing from Oswestry, September 4, 1820, says,
  “The dear inseparable inimitables, Lady Butler and Miss Ponsonby, were
  in the boxes here on Friday. They came twelve miles from Llangollen,
  and returned, as they never sleep from home. Oh, such curiosities! I
  was nearly convulsed…. As they are seated, there is not one point to
  distinguish them from men; the dressing and powdering of the hair;
  their well-starched neckcloths; the upper part of their habits, which
  they always wear, even at a dinner-party, made precisely like men’s
  coats; and regular black beaver men’s hats. They looked exactly like
  two respectable superannuated old clergymen…. I was highly
  flattered, as they never were in the theatre before.”
Among the many people who visited them in their retreat, and have left
descriptions of them, are Madame de Genlis, De Quincey, Prince
Pückler-Muskau. Their friendships were sung by Sotheby and Anne Seward,
and their cottage was depicted by Pennant.
  “It is very singular,” writes John Murray, August 24, 1829, to his son
  (‘Memoir of John Murray’, vol. ii. p. 304),
  “that the ladies, intending to ‘retire’ from the world, absolutely
  brought all the world to visit them, for after a few years of
  seclusion their strange story was the universal subject of
  conversation, and there has been no person of rank, talent, and
  importance in any way who did not procure introductions to them.”
[Footnote 2: Lord Tavistock’s experience at Cambridge resembled that of
Byron. He had received only a “pretended education,” and the Duke of
Bedford had come to the conclusion that “nothing was learned at English
Universities.” “Tavistock left Cambridge in May,” Lord J. Russell notes
in his Diary for 1808, “having been there in supposition two years”
(Walpole’s ‘Life of Lord John Russell’, vol. i. pp. 44 and 35).]
[Footnote 3: Probably Miss Anne Houson, daughter of the Rev. Henry
Houson of Southwell. She married the Rev. Luke Jackson, died December
25, 1821, and is buried at Hucknall Torkard. (For verses addressed to
her, see ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 70-2, 244-45, 246-47, 251-52, 253.)]
76.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  Gordon’s Hotel, July 13, 1807.
  You write most excellent epistles–a fig for other correspondents,
  with their nonsensical apologies for “_knowing nought about it_”–you
  send me a delightful budget. I am here in a perpetual vortex of
  dissipation (very pleasant for all that), and, strange to tell, I get
  thinner, being now below eleven stone considerably. Stay in town a
  _month_, perhaps six weeks, trip into Essex, and then, as a favour,
  _irradiate_ Southwell for three days with the light of my countenance;
  but nothing shall ever make me _reside_ there again. I positively
  return to Cambridge in October; we are to be uncommonly gay, or in
  truth I should _cut_ the University. An extraordinary circumstance
  occurred to me at Cambridge; a girl so very like—-made her
  appearance, that nothing but the most _minute inspection_ could have
  undeceived me. I wish I had asked if _she_ had ever been at H—-
  What the devil would Ridge have? is not fifty in a fortnight, before
  the advertisements, a sufficient sale? [1] I hear many of the London
  booksellers have them, and Crosby [2] has sent copies to the principal
  watering places. Are they liked or not in Southwell? … I wish
  Boatswain had _swallowed_ Damon! How is Bran? by the immortal gods,
  Bran ought to be a _Count_ of the _Holy Roman Empire_.
  The intelligence of London cannot be interesting to you, who have
  rusticated all your life–the annals of routs riots, balls and
  boxing-matches, cards and crim. cons., parliamentary discussion,
  political details, masquerades, mechanics, Argyle Street Institution
  and aquatic races, love and lotteries, Brookes’s and Buonaparte,
  opera-singers and oratorios, wine, women, wax-work, and weathercocks,
  can’t accord with your _insulated_ ideas of decorum and other _silly
  expressions_ not inserted in _our vocabulary_.
  Oh! Southwell, Southwell, how I rejoice to have left thee, and how I
  curse the heavy hours I dragged along, for so many months, among the
  Mohawks who inhabit your kraals!–However, one thing I do not regret,
  which is having _pared off_ a sufficient quantity of flesh to enable
  me to slip into “an eel-skin,” and vie with the _slim_ beaux of modern
  times; though I am sorry to say, it seems to be the mode amongst
  _gentlemen_ to grow _fat_, and I am told I am at least fourteen pound
  below the fashion. However, I _decrease_ instead of enlarging, which
  is extraordinary, as _violent_ exercise in London is impracticable;
  but I attribute the _phenomenon_ to our _evening squeezes_ at public
  and private parties. I heard from Ridge this morning (the 14th, my
  letter was begun yesterday): he says the poems go on as well as can be
  wished; the seventy-five sent to town are circulated, and a demand for
  fifty more complied with, the day he dated his epistle, though the
  advertisements are not yet half published. Adieu.
  P.S.–Lord Carlisle, on receiving my poems, sent, before he opened the
  book, a tolerably handsome letter:[1]–I have not heard from him
  since. His opinions I neither know nor care about: if he is the least
  insolent, I shall enrol him with _Butler_ and the other worthies. He
  is in Yorkshire, poor man! and very ill! He said he had not had time
  to read the contents, but thought it necessary to acknowledge the
  receipt of the volume immediately. Perhaps the Earl “_bears no brother
  near the throne”–if so_, I will make his _sceptre_ totter _in his
[Footnote 1: This is probably the third collection of early verse,
‘Hours of Idleness’, the first collection published with Byron’s name
(see page 104 [Letter 53], [Foot]note 1).]
[Footnote 2: B. Crosby & Co., of Stationers’ Court, were the London
agents of Ridge, the Newark bookseller. Crosby was also the publisher of
a magazine called ‘Monthly Literary Recreations’, in which (July, 1807)
appeared a highly laudatory notice of ‘Hours of Idleness’, and Byron’s
review of Wordsworth’s ‘Poems’ (2 vols. 1807. See Appendix I.), and his
“Stanzas to Jessy” (see ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 234-236). These lines were
enclosed with the following letter, addressed to “Mr. Crosby,
Stationers’ Court:”–
  “July 21, 1807.
  Sir,–I have sent according to my promise some Stanzas for
  ‘Literary Recreations’. The insertion I leave to the option of the
  Editors. They have never appeared before. I should wish to
  know whether they are admitted or not, and when the work will
  appear, as I am desirous of a copy.
  Etc., etc.,
  P.S.–Send your answer when convenient.”]
[Footnote 3:
  “My Dear Lord,–Your letter of yesterday found me an invalid, and
  unable to do justice to your poems by a dilligent [‘sic’] perusal of
  them. In the meantime I take the first occasion to thank you for
  sending them to me, and to express a sincere satisfaction in finding
  you employ your leisure in such occupations. Be not disconcerted if
  the reception of your works should not be that you may have a right to
  look for from the public. Persevere, whatever that reception may be,
  and tho’ the Public maybe found very fastidious, … you will stand
  better with the world than others who only pursue their studies in
  Bond St. or at Tatershall’s.
  Believe me to be, yours most sincerely,
  July 8th, 1807.”]
77.–To John Hanson.
  July 20th, 1807.
  Sir,–Your proposal to make Mrs. Byron my _Treasurer_ is very kind,
  but does not meet with my approbation. Mrs. Byron has already made
  more _free_ with my _funds_ than suits my convenience & I do not chuse
  to expose her to the Danger of Temptation.
  Things will therefore stand as they are; the remedy would be worse
  than the Disease.
  I wish you would order your Drafts payable to me and not Mrs. B. This
  is worse than Hannibal Higgins; [1] who the Devil could suppose that
  any Body would have mistaken him for a _real personage?_ & what
  earthly consequence could it be whether the Blank in the Draft was
  filled up with _Wilkins, Tomkyns, Simkins, Wiggins, Spriggins,
  Jiggins_, or _Higgins?_ If I had put in _James Johnson_ you would not
  have demurred, & why object to Hannibal Higgins? particularly after
  his _respectable Endorsements_. As to Business, I make no pretensions
  to a Knowledge of any thing but a Greek Grammer or a Racing Calendar;
  but if the _Quintessence_ of information on that head consists in
  unnecessary & unpleasant delays, explanations, rebuffs, retorts,
  repartees, & recriminations, the House of H.& B. stands pre-eminent in
  the profession, as from the Bottom of his Soul testifies
  Yours, etc., etc.,
  P.S–Will you dine with me on Sunday Tête a Tête at six o’clock? I
  should be happy to see you before, but my Engagements will not permit
  me, as on Wednesday I go to the House. I shall have Hargreaves & his
  Brother on some day after you; I don’t like to annoy Children with the
  _formal_ Faces of _legal_ papas.
[Footnote 1: The point of the allusion is that Byron had endorsed one of
Hanson’s drafts with the name of “Hannibal Higgins,” and had been
solemnly warned of the consequences of so tampering with the dignity of
the law.]
78.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  August 2, 1807.
  London begins to disgorge its contents–town is empty–consequently I
  can scribble at leisure, as occupations are less numerous. In a
  fortnight I shall depart to fulfil a country engagement; but expect
  two epistles from you previous to that period. Ridge does not proceed
  rapidly in Notts–very possible. In town things wear a more promising
  aspect, and a man whose works are praised by _reviewers_, admired by
  _duchesses_, and sold by every bookseller of the metropolis, does not
  dedicate much consideration to _rustic readers_. I have now a review
  before me, entitled _Literary Recreations_ [1] where my _hardship_ is
  applauded far beyond my deserts. I know nothing of the critic, but
  think _him_ a very discerning gentleman, and _myself_ a devilish
  _clever_ fellow. His critique pleases me particularly, because it is
  of great length, and a proper quantum of censure is administered, just
  to give an agreeable _relish_ to the praise. You know I hate insipid,
  unqualified, common-place compliment. If you would wish to see it,
  order the 13th Number of _Literary Recreations_ for the last month. I
  assure you I have not the most distant idea of the writer of the
  article–it is printed in a periodical publication–and though I have
  written a paper (a review of Wordsworth), which appears in the same
  work, I am ignorant of every other person concerned in it–even the
  editor, whose name I have not heard. My cousin, Lord Alexander Gordon,
  who resided in the same hotel, told me his mother, her Grace of
  Gordon, [2] requested he would introduce my _Poetical_ Lordship to her
  _Highness_, as she had bought my volume, admired it exceedingly, in
  common with the rest of the fashionable world, and wished to claim her
  relationship with the author. I was unluckily engaged on an excursion
  for some days afterwards; and, as the Duchess was on the eve of
  departing for Scotland, I have postponed my introduction till the
  winter, when I shall favour the lady, _whose taste I shall not
  dispute_, with my most sublime and edifying conversation. She is now
  in the Highlands, and Alexander took his departure, a few days ago,
  for the same _blessed_ seat of “_dark rolling winds_.”
  Crosby, my London publisher, has disposed of his second importation,
  and has sent to Ridge for a _third_–at least so he says. In every
  bookseller’s window I see my _own name_, and _say nothing_, but enjoy
  my fame in secret. My last reviewer kindly requests me to alter my
  determination of writing no more: and “A Friend to the Cause of
  Literature” begs I will _gratify_ the _public_ with some new work “at
  no very distant period.” Who would not be a bard?–that is to say, if
  all critics would be so polite. However, the others will pay me off, I
  doubt not, for this _gentle_ encouragement. If so, have at ’em? By the
  by, I have written at my intervals of leisure, after two in the
  morning, 380 lines in blank verse, of Bosworth Field. I have luckily
  got Hutton’s account. [3] I shall extend the poem to eight or ten
  books, and shall have finished it in a year. Whether it will be
  published or not must depend on circumstances. So much for _egotism!_
  My _laurels_ have turned my brain, but the _cooling acids_ of
  forthcoming criticism will probably restore me to _modesty_.
  Southwell is a damned place–I have done with it–at least in all
  probability; excepting yourself, I esteem no one within its precincts.
  You were my only _rational_ companion; and in plain truth, I had more
  respect for you than the whole _bevy_, with whose foibles I amused
  myself in compliance with their prevailing propensities. You gave
  yourself more trouble with me and my manuscripts than a thousand
  _dolls_ would have done.
  Believe me, I have not forgotten your good nature in _this circle_ of
  _sin_, and one day I trust I shall be able to evince my gratitude.
  Yours, etc.
  P.S.–Remember me to Dr. P.
[Footnote 1: See page 137 [Letter 76], [Foot]note 2.]
[Footnote 2: The Duchess of Gordon (1748-1812), ‘née’ Jean Maxwell of
Monreith, daughter of Sir W. Maxwell, Bart., married in 1767 the Duke of
Gordon. The most successful matchmaker of the age, she married three of
her daughters to three dukes–Manchester, Richmond, and Bedford. A
fourth daughter was Lady Mandalina Sinclair, afterwards, by a second
marriage, Lady Mandalina Palmer. A fifth was married to Lord Cornwallis
(see the extraordinary story told in the ‘Recollections of Samuel
Rogers’, pp. 145-146). According to Wraxall (‘Posthumous Memoirs’, vol.
ii. p. 319), she schemed to secure Pitt for her daughter Lady Charlotte,
and Eugène Beauharnais for Lady Georgiana, afterwards Duchess of
Bedford. Cyrus Redding (‘Memoirs of William Beckford’, vol. ii. pp.
337-339) describes her attack upon the owner of Fonthill, where she
stayed upwards of a week, magnificently entertained, without once seeing
the wary master of the house.
She was also the social leader of the Tories, and her house in Pall
Mall, rented from the Duke of Buckingham, was the meeting-place of the
party. Malcontents accused her of using her power tyrannically:–
  “Not Gordon’s broad and brawny Grace,
  The last new Woman in the Place
  With more contempt could blast.”
  ‘Pandolfo Attonito’ (1800).
Lord Alexander Gordon died in 1808.]
[Footnote 3: William Hutton (1723-1815), a Birmingham bookseller, who
took to literature and became a voluminous writer of poems, and of
topographical works which still have their value. In his ‘Trip to Redcar
and Coatham’ (Preface, p. vi.) he says,
  “I took up my pen at the advanced age of fifty-six … I drove the
  quill thirty years, during which time I wrote and published thirty
‘The Battle of Bosworth Field’ was published in 1788. A new edition,
with additions by John Nichols, appeared in 1813. Byron’s poem was never
79.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  London, August 11, 1807.
  On Sunday next I set off for the Highlands. [1] A friend of mine
  accompanies me in my carriage to Edinburgh. There we shall leave it,
  and proceed in a _tandem_ (a species of open carriage) though the
  western passes to Inverary, where we shall purchase _shelties_, to
  enable us to view places inaccessible to _vehicular conveyances_. On
  the coast we shall hire a vessel, and visit the most remarkable of the
  Hebrides; and, if we have time and favourable weather, mean to sail as
  far as Iceland, only 300 miles from the northern extremity of
  Caledonia, to peep at _Hecla_. This last intention you will keep a
  secret, as my nice _mamma_ would imagine I was on a Voyage of
  _Discovery_, and raised the accustomed _maternal warwhoop_.
  Last week I swam in the Thames from Lambeth through the two bridges,
  Westminster and Blackfriars, a distance, including the different turns
  and tracks made on the way, of three miles! [2] You see I am in
  excellent training in case of a _squall_ at sea. I mean to collect all
  the Erse traditions, poems, etc., etc., and translate, or expand the
  subject to fill a volume, which may appear next spring under the
  denomination of _”The Highland “Harp”_ or some title equally
  _picturesque_. Of Bosworth Field, one book is finished, another just
  began. It will be a work of three or four years, and most probably
  never _conclude_. What would you say to some stanzas on Mount Hecla?
  they would be written at least with _fire_. How is the immortal Bran?
  and the Phoenix of canine quadrupeds, Boatswain? I have lately
  purchased a thorough-bred bull-dog, worthy to be the coadjutor of the
  aforesaid celestials–his name is _Smut!_
    “Bear it, ye breezes, on your _balmy_ wings.”
  Write to me before I set off, I conjure you, by the fifth rib of your
  grandfather. Ridge goes on well with the books–I thought that worthy
  had not done much in the country. In town they have been very
  successful; Carpenter (Moore’s publisher) told me a few days ago they
  sold all their’s immediately, and had several enquiries made since,
  which, from the books being gone, they could not supply. The Duke of
  York, the Marchioness of Headfort, the Duchess of Gordon, etc., etc.,
  were among the purchasers; and Crosby says the circulation will be
  still more extensive in the winter, the summer season being very bad
  for a sale, as most people are absent from London. However, they have
  gone off extremely well altogether. I shall pass very near you on my
  journey through Newark, but cannot approach. Don’t tell this to Mrs.
  B, who supposes I travel a different road. If you have a letter, order
  it to be left at Ridge’s shop, where I shall call, or the post-office,
  Newark, about six or eight in the evening. If your brother would ride
  over, I should be devilish glad to see him–he can return the same
  night, or sup with us and go home the next morning–the Kingston Arms
  is my inn. Adieu.
  Yours ever,
[Footnote 1: This projected trip to the Highlands, mentioned in his
letter to Augusta Byron of August 30, 1805, seems to have become a joke
among Byron’s friends. Moore quotes (‘Life’, p. 56) a letter written by
Miss Pigot to her brother:
  “How can you ask if Lord B. is going to visit the Highlands in the
  summer? Why, don’t _you_ know that he never knows his own mind
  for ten minutes together? I tell him he is as fickle as the winds, and
  as uncertain as the waves.”]
[Footnote 2:
  “The first time I saw Lord Byron,” says Leigh Hunt (‘Lord Byron and
  his Contemporaries’, p. 1), “he was rehearsing the part of Leander,
  under the auspices of Mr. Jackson the prize-fighter. It was in the
  river Thames, before he went to Greece. I had been bathing, and was
  standing on the floating machine adjusting my clothes, when I noticed
  a respectable-looking manly person who was eyeing something at a
  distance. This was Mr. Jackson waiting for his pupil. The latter was
  swimming with somebody for a wager.”
On this occasion, however, Hunt only saw “his Lordship’s head bob up and
down in the water, like a “buoy.”]
80.–To John Hanson.
  Dorant’s Hotel, October 19th, 1807.
  Dear Hanson,–I will thank you to disburse the quarter due as soon as
  possible, for I am at this moment contemplating with woeful visage,
  one _solitary Guinea, two bad sixpences_ and a shilling, being _all_
  the _cash_ at present in possession of
  Yours very truly,
81.–To Elizabeth Bridget Pigot.
  Trinity College, Cambridge, October 26, 1807.
  My Dear Elizabeth,–Fatigued with sitting up till four in the morning
  for the last two days at hazard, I take up my pen to inquire how your
  highness and the rest of my female acquaintance at the seat of
  archiepiscopal grandeur go on. I know I deserve a scolding for my
  negligence in not writing more frequently; but racing up and down the
  country for these last three months, how was it possible to fulfil the
  duties of a correspondent? Fixed at last for six weeks, I write, as
  _thin_ as ever (not having gained an ounce since my reduction), and
  rather in better humour;–but, after all, Southwell was a detestable
  residence. Thank St. Dominica, I have done with it: I have been twice
  within eight miles of it, but could not prevail on myself to
  _suffocate_ in its heavy atmosphere. This place is wretched enough–a
  villainous chaos of din and drunkenness, nothing but hazard and
  burgundy, hunting, mathematics, and Newmarket, riot and racing. Yet it
  is a paradise compared with the eternal dulness of Southwell. Oh! the
  misery of doing nothing but make _love, enemies_, and _verses_.
  Next January (but this is _entre nous only_, and pray let it be so, or
  my maternal persecutor will be throwing her tomahawk at any of my
  curious projects,) I am going to _sea_ for four or five months, with
  my cousin Captain Bettesworth, [1] who commands the _Tartar_, the
  finest frigate in the navy. I have seen most scenes, and wish to look
  at a naval life. We are going probably to the Mediterranean, or to the
  West Indies, or–to the devil; and if there is a possibility of taking
  me to the latter, Bettesworth will do it; for he has received four and
  twenty wounds in different places, and at this moment possesses a
  letter from the late Lord Nelson, stating Bettesworth as the only
  officer in the navy who had more wounds than himself.
  I have got a new friend, the finest in the world, a _tame bear_. [2]
  When I brought him here, they asked me what I meant to do with him,
  and my reply was, “he should _sit for a fellowship._” Sherard will
  explain the meaning of the sentence, if it is ambiguous. This answer
  delighted them not. We have several parties here, and this evening a
  large assortment of jockeys, gamblers, boxers, authors, parsons, and
  poets, sup with me,–a precious mixture, but they go on well together;
  and for me, I am a _spice_ of every thing except a jockey; by the bye,
  I was dismounted again the other day.
  Thank your brother in my name for his treatise. I have written 214
  pages of a novel–one poem of 380 lines, [3] to be published (without
  my name) in a few weeks, with notes,–560 lines of Bosworth Field, and
  250 lines of another poem in rhyme, besides half a dozen smaller
  pieces. The poem to be published is a Satire. _Apropos_, I have been
  praised to the skies in the _Critical Review_, [4] and abused greatly
  in another publication. [5] So much the better, they tell me, for the
  sale of the book: it keeps up controversy, and prevents it being
  forgotten. Besides, the first men of all ages have had their share,
  nor do the humblest escape;–so I bear it like a philosopher. It is
  odd two opposite critiques came out on the same day, and out of five
  pages of abuse, my censor only quotes _two lines_ from different
  poems, in support of his opinion. Now, the proper way to _cut up_, is
  to quote long passages, and make them appear absurd, because simple
  allegation is no proof. On the other hand, there are seven pages of
  praise, and more than _my modesty_ will allow said on the subject.
  P.S.–Write, write, write!!!
[Footnote 1: George Edmund Byron Bettesworth (1780-1808), as lieutenant
of the ‘Centaur’, was wounded (1804) in the capture of the ‘Curieux’. In
command of the latter vessel he captured the ‘Dame Ernouf’ (1805), and
was again wounded. He was made a post-captain in the latter year, when
he brought home despatches from Nelson at Antigua, announcing
Villeneuve’s return to Europe. He was killed off Bergen in 1808, while
in command of the ‘Tartar’. Captain Bettesworth, whose father assumed
the name of Bettesworth in addition to that of Trevanion, married, in
1807, Lady Alethea Grey, daughter of Earl Grey. Through his grandmother,
Sophia Trevanion, Byron was Captain Bettesworth’s cousin.]
[Footnote 2: See ‘Poems’, vol. i. p. 406. ]
[Footnote 3: This poem, printed in book form, but not published, under
the title of ‘British Bards’, is the foundation of ‘English Bards, and
Scotch Reviewers’. The MS. is in the possession of Mr. Murray.]
[Footnote 4: For September, 1807. In noticing the Elegy on Newstead
Abbey, the writer says, “We could not but hail, with something of
prophetic rapture, the hope conveyed in the closing stanza:–
  “‘Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine,
  Thee to irradiate with meridian ray.'”]
[Footnote 5: The first number of ‘The Satirist: A Monthly Meteor’
(October, 1807).]
82.–To J. Ridge.
  Trinity College, Cambridge, November 20, 1807.
  Sir,–I am happy to hear every thing goes on so well, and I presume
  you will soon commence, though I am still of opinion the first Edition
  had better be entirely sold, before you risk the printing of a second.
  As Curly recommends fine wove Foolscap, let it be used, and I will
  order a design in London for a plate, my own portrait would perhaps be
  best, but as that would take up so long a time in completing we will
  substitute probably a view of Harrow, [1] or Newstead in its stead.
  You will omit the poems mentioned below:
    Stanzas on a view of Harrow.
    To a Quaker.
    The First Kiss of Love.
    College Examinations.
    Lines to the Rev. J. T. Becher.
  To be inserted, not exactly in the place, but in different parts of
  the volume, I will send you five poems never yet published. Two of
  tolerable length, at least much longer than any of the above, which
  are ordered to be omitted.
  Mention in your answer when you would like to receive the manuscripts
  that they may be sent. By the bye, I must have the proofs of the
  Manuscripts sent to Cambridge as they occur; the proofs from the
  printed copy you can manage with care, if Mr. Becher will assist you.
  Attend to the list of _Errata_, that we may not have a _Second
  Edition_ of them also.
  The Preface we have done with, perhaps I may send an Advertisement, a
  dedication shall be forthcoming in due Season.
  You will send a proof of the first Sheet for Inspection, and soon too,
  for I am about to set out for London next week. If I remain there any
  time, I shall apprize you where to send the Manuscript Proofs.
  Do you think the others will be sold before the next are ready, what
  says Curly? remember I have advised you not to risk it a second time,
  and it is not too late to retract. However, you must abide by your own
  Etc., etc.,
  P.S.–You will print from the Copy I sent you with the alterations,
  pray attend to these, and be careful of mistakes. In my last I gave
  you directions concerning the Title page and Mottoes.
[Footnote 1: A view of Harrow was given.]
83.–To John Hanson.
  Trin. Coll., Cambridge, Dec. 2nd, 1807.
  My Dear Sir,–I hope to take my New Years Day dinner with you _en
  famille_. Tell Hargreaves I will bring his Blackstones, and shall have
  no objection to see my Daniel’s _Field Sports_, if they have not
  escaped his recollection.–I certainly wish the expiration of my
  minority as much as you do, though for a reason more nearly affecting
  my magisterial person at this moment, namely, the want of twenty
  pounds, for no spendthrift peer, or unlucky poet, was ever less
  indebted to _Cash_ than George Gordon is at present, or is more likely
  to continue in the same predicament.–My present quarter due on the
  25th was drawn long ago, and I must be obliged to you for the loan of
  twenty on my next, to be deducted when the whole becomes tangible,
  that is, probably, some months after it is exhausted. Reserve Murray’s
  quarter, [1] of course, and I shall have just 100 _!_. to receive at
  Easter, but if the risk of my demand is too great, inform me, that I
  may if possible convert my Title into cash, though I am afraid twenty
  pounds will be too much to ask as Times go, if I were an Earl … but
  a Barony must fetch ten, perhaps fifteen, and that is something when
  we have not as many pence. Your answer will oblige
  Yours very truly,
  P.S.–Remember me to Mrs. H. in particular, and the family in general.
[Footnote 1: Joe Murray. (See page 21 [Letter 7], [Foot]note 3 [4].)]
84.–To John Murray. [1]
  Ravenna, 9bre 19, 1820.
  What you said of the late Charles Skinner Matthews [2] has set me to
  my recollections; but I have not been able to turn up any thing which
  would do for the purposed Memoir of his brother,–even if he had
  previously done enough during his life to sanction the introduction of
  anecdotes so merely personal. He was, however, a very extraordinary
  man, and would have been a great one. No one ever succeeded in a more
  surpassing degree than he did as far as he went. He was indolent, too;
  but whenever he stripped, he overthrew all antagonists. His conquests
  will be found registered at Cambridge, particularly his _Downing_ one,
  which was hotly and highly contested, and yet easily _won_. Hobhouse
  was his most intimate friend, and can tell you more of him than any
  man. William Bankes [3] also a great deal. I myself recollect more of
  his oddities than of his academical qualities, for we lived most
  together at a very idle period of _my_ life. When I went up to
  Trinity, in 1805, at the age of seventeen and a half, I was miserable
  and untoward to a degree. I was wretched at leaving Harrow, to which I
  had become attached during the two last years of my stay there;
  wretched at going to Cambridge instead of Oxford (there were no rooms
  vacant at Christchurch); wretched from some private domestic
  circumstances of different kinds, and consequently about as unsocial
  as a wolf taken from the troop. So that, although I knew Matthews, and
  met him often _then_ at Bankes’s, (who was my collegiate pastor, and
  master, and patron,) and at Rhode’s, Milnes’s, Price’s, Dick’s,
  Macnamara’s, Farrell’s, Gally Knight’s, and others of that _set_ of
  contemporaries, yet I was neither intimate with him nor with any one
  else, except my old schoolfellow Edward Long [4] (with whom I used to
  pass the day in riding and swimming), and William Bankes, who was
  good-naturedly tolerant of my ferocities.
  It was not till 1807, after I had been upwards of a year away from
  Cambridge, to which I had returned again to _reside_ for my degree,
  that I became one of Matthews’s familiars, by means of Hobhouse, [5]
  who, after hating me for two years, because I wore a _white hat_, and
  a _grey_ coat, and rode a _grey_ horse (as he says himself), took me
  into his good graces because I had written some poetry. I had always
  lived a good deal, and got drunk occasionally, in their company–but
  now we became really friends in a morning. Matthews, however, was not
  at this period resident in College. I met _him_ chiefly in London, and
  at uncertain periods at Cambridge. Hobhouse, in the mean time, did
  great things: he founded the Cambridge “Whig Club” (which he seems to
  have forgotten), and the “Amicable Society,” which was dissolved in
  consequence of the members constantly quarrelling, and made himself
  very popular with “us youth,” and no less formidable to all tutors,
  professors, and heads of Colleges. William Bankes was gone; while he
  stayed, he ruled the roast–or rather the _roasting_–and was father
  of all mischiefs.
  Matthews and I, meeting in London, and elsewhere, became great
  cronies. He was not good tempered–nor am I–but with a little tact
  his temper was manageable, and I thought him so superior a man, that I
  was willing to sacrifice something to his humours, which were often,
  at the same time, amusing and provoking. What became of his _papers_
  (and he certainly had many), at the time of his death, was never
  known. I mention this by the way, fearing to skip it over, and _as_ he
  _wrote_ remarkably well, both in Latin and English. We went down to
  Newstead together, [6] where I had got a famous cellar, and _Monks’_
  dresses from a masquerade warehouse. We were a company of some seven
  or eight, with an occasional neighbour or so for visiters, and used to
  sit up late in our friars’ dresses, drinking burgundy, claret,
  champagne, and what not, out of the _skull-cup_, and all sorts of
  glasses, and buffooning all round the house, in our conventual
  garments. [7] Matthews always denominated me “the Abbot,” and never
  called me by any other name in his good humours, to the day of his
  death. The harmony of these our symposia was somewhat interrupted, a
  few days after our assembling, by Matthews’s threatening to throw
  Hobhouse out of a _window_, in consequence of I know not what commerce
  of jokes ending in this epigram. Hobhouse came to me and said, that
  “his respect and regard for me as host would not permit him to call
  out any of my guests, and that he should go to town next morning.” He
  did. It was in vain that I represented to him that the window was not
  high, and that the turf under it was particularly soft. Away he went.
  Matthews and myself had travelled down from London together, talking
  all the way incessantly upon one single topic. When we got to
  Loughborough, I know not what chasm had made us diverge for a moment
  to some other subject, at which he was indignant. “Come,” said he,
  “don’t let us break through–let us go on as we began, to our
  journey’s end;” and so he continued, and was as entertaining as ever
  to the very end. He had previously occupied, during my year’s absence
  from Cambridge, my rooms in Trinity, with the furniture; and Jones,
  [8] the tutor, in his odd way, had said, on putting him in,
    “Mr. Matthews, I recommend to your attention not to damage any of
    the moveables, for Lord Byron, Sir, is a young man of _tumultuous
  Matthews was delighted with this; and whenever anybody came to visit
  him, begged them to handle the very door with caution; and used to
  repeat Jones’s admonition in his tone and manner. There was a large
  mirror in the room, on which he remarked, “that he thought his friends
  were grown uncommonly assiduous in coming to _see him_, but he soon
  discovered that they only came to _see themselves_.” Jones’s phrase of
  “_tumultuous passions_” and the whole scene, had put him into such
  good humour, that I verily believe that I owed to it a portion of his
  good graces.
  When at Newstead, somebody by accident rubbed against one of his white
  silk stockings, one day before dinner; of course the gentleman
    “Sir,” answered Matthews, “it may be all very well for you, who have
    a great many silk stockings, to dirty other people’s; but to me, who
    have only this _one pair_, which I have put on in honour of the
    Abbot here, no apology can compensate for such carelessness;
    besides, the expense of washing.”
  He had the same sort of droll sardonic way about every thing. A wild
  Irishman, named Farrell, one evening began to say something at a large
  supper at Cambridge, Matthews roared out “Silence!” and then, pointing
  to Farrell, cried out, in the words of the oracle, “Orson is endowed
  with reason.” You may easily suppose that Orson lost what reason he
  had acquired, on hearing this compliment. When Hobhouse published his
  volume of poems, the _Miscellany_ (which Matthews would call the
  “_Miss-sell-any_”), all that could be drawn from him was, that the
  preface was “extremely like _Walsh_.” Hobhouse thought this at first a
  compliment; but we never could make out what it was, [9] for all we
  know of _Walsh_ is his Ode to King William, [10] and Pope’s epithet of
  “_knowing Walsh_.” [11] When the Newstead party broke up for London,
  Hobhouse and Matthews, who were the greatest friends possible, agreed,
  for a whim, to _walk together_ to town. They quarrelled by the way,
  and actually walked the latter half of the journey, occasionally
  passing and repassing, without speaking. When Matthews had got to
  Highgate, he had spent all his money but three-pence halfpenny, and
  determined to spend that also in a pint of beer, which I believe he
  was drinking before a public-house, as Hobhouse passed him (still
  without speaking) for the last time on their route. They were
  reconciled in London again.
  One of Matthews’s passions was “the fancy;” and he sparred uncommonly
  well. But he always got beaten in rows, or combats with the bare fist.
  In swimming, too, he swam well; but with _effort_ and _labour_, and
  _too high_ out of the water; so that Scrope Davies [1] and myself, of
  whom he was therein somewhat emulous, always told him that he would be
  drowned if ever he came to a difficult pass in the water. He was so;
  but surely Scrope and myself would have been most heartily glad that
          “the Dean had lived,
    And our prediction proved a lie.”
  His head was uncommonly handsome, very like what _Pope’s_ was in his
  His voice, and laugh, and features, are strongly resembled by his
  brother Henry’s, if Henry be _he_ of _King’s College_. His passion for
  boxing was so great, that he actually wanted me to match him with
  Dogherty [13] (whom I had backed and made the match for against Tom
  Belcher [14]), and I saw them spar together at my own lodgings with
  the gloves on. As he was bent upon it, I would have backed Dogherty to
  please him, but the match went off. It was of course to have been a
  private fight, in a private room.
  On one occasion, being too late to go home and dress, he was equipped
  by a friend (Mr. Baillie, I believe,) in a magnificently fashionable
  and somewhat exaggerated shirt and neckcloth. He proceeded to the
  Opera, and took his station in Fop’s Alley. During the interval
  between the opera and the ballet, an acquaintance took his station by
  him and saluted him:
    “Come round,” said Matthews, “come round.”
    “Why should I come round?” said the other; “you have only to turn
    your head–I am close by you.”
    “That is exactly what I cannot do,” said Matthews; “don’t you see
    the state I am in?”
  pointing to his buckram shirt collar and inflexible cravat,–and there
  he stood with his head always in the same perpendicular position
  during the whole spectacle.
  One evening, after dining together, as we were going to the Opera, I
  happened to have a spare Opera ticket (as subscriber to a box), and
  presented it to Matthews.
    “Now, sir,” said he to Hobhouse afterwards, “this I call _courteous_
    in the Abbot–another man would never have thought that I might do
    better with half a guinea than throw it to a door-keeper;–but here
    is a man not only asks me to dinner, but gives me a ticket for the
  These were only his oddities, for no man was more liberal, or more
  honourable in all his doings and dealings, than Matthews. He gave
  Hobhouse and me, before we set out for Constantinople, a most splendid
  entertainment, to which we did ample justice. One of his fancies was
  dining at all sorts of out-of-the-way places. Somebody popped upon him
  in I know not what coffee-house in the Strand–and what do you think
  was the attraction? Why, that he paid a shilling (I think) to _dine
  with his hat on_. This he called his “_hat_ house,” and used to boast
  of the comfort of being covered at meal times.
  When Sir Henry Smith [15] was expelled from Cambridge for a row with a
  tradesman named “Hiron,” Matthews solaced himself with shouting under
  Hiron’s windows every evening,
    “Ah me! what perils do environ
    The man who meddles with _hot Hiron_.”
  He was also of that band of profane scoffers who, under the auspices
  of—-, used to rouse Lort Mansel (late Bishop of Bristol) from his
  slumbers in the lodge of Trinity; and when he appeared at the window
  foaming with wrath, and crying out, “I know you, gentlemen, I know
  you!” were wont to reply, “We beseech thee to hear us, good
  Lort!”–“Good Lort deliver us!” (Lort was his Christian name.) As he
  was very free in his speculations upon all kinds of subjects, although
  by no means either dissolute or intemperate in his conduct, and as I
  was no less independent, our conversation and correspondence used to
  alarm our friend Hobhouse to a considerable degree.
  You must be almost tired of my packets, which will have cost a mint of
  Salute Gifford and all my friends.
  Yours, etc.
[Footnote 1: This letter, though written twelve years later, belongs to
the Cambridge period of Byron’s life. It is therefore introduced here.
(For John Murray, see [Foot]note [1] to letter to R. C. Dallas [Letter
167] of August 21, 1811.)]
[Footnote 2: Charles Skinner Matthews was known at Eton as Matthews
‘major’, his ‘minor’ being his brother Henry, the author of ‘The Diary
of an Invalid’, afterwards a Judge in the Supreme Court of Ceylon, who
died in 1828. They were the sons of John Matthews of Belmont,
Herefordshire, M.P. for that county (1802-6). C. S. Matthews became a
Scholar of Trinity, Cambridge; Ninth Wrangler in 1805; First Members’
Prizeman in 1807; Fellow of Downing in 1808. He was drowned in the Cam
in August, 1811. He at the time contemplated standing as Member for the
University of Cambridge. For a description of the accident, see letter
from Henry Drury to Francis Hodgson (‘Life of the Rev. Francis Hodgson’,
vol. i. pp. 182-185). In the note to ‘Childe Harold’, Canto I. stanza
xci., Byron speaks of Matthews:
  “I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles
  Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not
  too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the
  attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than
  those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently
  established his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his
  softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too
  well to envy his superiority.”]
[Footnote 3: See page 120 [Letter 67], [Foot]note 1.]
[Footnote 4: See page 73 [Letter 31], [Foot]note 2.]
[Footnote 5: See page 163 [Letter 83], note 1 [5].]
[Footnote 6: Of this visit to Newstead, Matthews wrote the following
account to his sister:–
  “London, May 22, 1809.
  “My Dear—-,–I must begin with giving you a few particulars of the
  singular place which I have lately quitted.
  Newstead Abbey is situate 136 miles from London,–four on this side
  Mansfield. It is so fine a piece of antiquity, that I should think
  there must be a description, and, perhaps, a picture of it in Grose.
  The ancestors of its present owner came into possession of it at the
  time of the dissolution of the monasteries,–but the building itself
  is of a much earlier date. Though sadly fallen to decay, it is still
  completely an _abbey_, and most part of it is still standing in the
  same state as when it was first built. There are two tiers of
  cloisters, with a variety of cells and rooms about them, which, though
  not inhabited, nor in an inhabitable state, might easily be made so;
  and many of the original rooms, amongst which is a fine stone hall,
  are still in use. Of the abbey church only one end remains; and the
  old kitchen, with a long range of apartments, is reduced to a heap of
  rubbish. Leading from the abbey to the modern part of the habitation
  is a noble room, seventy feet in length, and twenty-three in breadth;
  but every part of the house displays neglect and decay, save those
  which the present Lord has lately fitted up.
  The house and gardens are entirely surrounded by a wall with
  battlements. In front is a large lake, bordered here and there with
  castellated buildings, the chief of which stands on an eminence at the
  further extremity of it. Fancy all this surrounded with bleak and
  barren hills, with scarce a tree to be seen for miles, except a
  solitary clump or two, and you will have some idea of Newstead. For
  the late Lord, being at enmity with his son, to whom the estate was
  secured by entail, resolved, out of spite to the same, that the estate
  should descend to him in as miserable a plight as he could possibly
  reduce it to; for which cause, he took no care of the mansion, and
  fell to lopping of every tree he could lay his hands on, so furiously,
  that he reduced immense tracts of woodland country to the desolate
  state I have just described. However, his son died before him, so that
  all his rage was thrown away.
  So much for the place, concerning which I have thrown together these
  few particulars, meaning my account to be, like the place itself,
  without any order or connection. But if the place itself appear rather
  strange to you, the ways of the inhabitants will not appear much less
  so. Ascend, then, with me the hall steps, that I may introduce you to
  my Lord and his visitants. But have a care how you proceed; be mindful
  to go there in broad daylight, and with your eyes about you. For,
  should you make any blunder,–should you go to the right of the hall
  steps, you are laid hold of by a bear; and should you go to the left,
  your case is still worse, for you run full against a wolf!–Nor, when
  you have attained the door, is your danger over; for the hall being
  decayed, and therefore standing in need of repair, a bevy of inmates
  are very probably banging at one end of it with their pistols; so that
  if you enter without giving loud notice of your approach, you have
  only escaped the wolf and the bear to expire by the pistol-shots of
  the merry monks of Newstead.
  Our party consisted of Lord Byron and four others, and was, now and
  then, increased by the presence of a neighbouring parson. As for our
  way of living, the order of the day was generally this:–for
  breakfast we had no set hour, but each suited his own convenience,
 –everything remaining on the table till the whole party had done;
  though had one wished to breakfast at the early hour of ten, one would
  have been rather lucky to find any of the servants up. Our average
  hour of rising was one. I, who generally got up between eleven and
  twelve, was always,–even when an invalid,–the first of the party,
  and was esteemed a prodigy of early rising. It was frequently past two
  before the breakfast party broke up. Then, for the amusements of the
  morning, there was reading, fencing, single-stick, or shuttle-cock, in
  the great room; practising with pistols in the hall;
  walking–riding–cricket–sailing on the lake, playing with the bear,
  or teasing the wolf. Between seven and eight we dined; and our evening
  lasted from that time till one, two, or three in the morning. The
  evening diversions may be easily conceived.
  I must not omit the custom of handing round, after dinner, on the
  removal of the cloth, a human skull filled with burgundy. After
  revelling on choice viands, and the finest wines of France, we
  adjourned to tea, where we amused ourselves with reading, or improving
  conversation,–each, according to his fancy,–and, after sandwiches,
  etc., retired to rest. A set of monkish dresses, which had been
  provided, with all the proper apparatus of crosses, beads, tonsures,
   etc., often gave a variety to our appearance, and to our pursuits.
  You may easily imagine how chagrined I was at being ill nearly the
  first half of the time I was there. But I was led into a very
  different reflection from that of Dr. Swift, who left Pope’s house
  without ceremony, and afterwards informed him, by letter, that it was
  impossible for two sick friends to live together; for I found my
  shivering and invalid frame so perpetually annoyed by the thoughtless
  and tumultuous health of every one about me, that I heartily wished
  every soul in the house to be as ill as myself.
  “The journey back I performed on foot, together with another of the
  guests. We walked about twenty-five miles a day; but were a week on
  the road, from being detained by the rain. So here I close my account
  of an expedition which has somewhat extended my knowledge of this
  country. And where do you think I am going next? To
  Constantinople!–at least, such an excursion has been proposed to me.
  Lord B. and another friend of mine are going thither next month, and
  have asked me to join the party; but it seems to be but a wild scheme,
  and requires twice thinking upon.
  “Addio, my dear I., yours very affectionately, C. S. MATTHEWS.”]
[Footnote 7: A joke, related by Hobhouse, reminds us of the youth of the
party. In the Long Gallery at Newstead was placed a stone coffin,
from which, as he passed down the Gallery at night, he heard a
groan proceeding. On going nearer, a cowled figure rose from the
coffin and blew out the candle. It was Matthews.]
[Footnote 8: The Rev. Thomas Jones. (See page 79 [Letter 36], [Foot]note 1.)]
[Footnote 9: The only thing remarkable about Walsh’s preface is that
Dr. Johnson praises it as “very judicious,” but is, at the same time,
silent respecting the poems to which it is prefixed (Moore).]
[Footnote 10: No “Ode” under this title is to be found in Walsh’s Poems.
Byron had, no doubt, in mind _The Golden Age Restored_–a composition in
which, says Dr. Johnson, “there was something of humour, while the facts
were recent; but it now strikes no longer.”]
[Footnote 11:
  “—-Granville the polite,
  And _knowing Walsh_, would tell me I could write.”
“About fifteen,” says Pope, “I got acquainted with Mr. Walsh. He used to
encourage me much, and tell me, that there was one way left of
excelling: for though we had several great poets, we never had any one
great poet that was correct; and he desired me to make that my study and
aim” (Spence’s _Anecdotes_, edit. 1820, p. 280).]
[Footnote 12: See page 165 [Letter 86], [Foot]note 2.]
[Footnote 13: Dan Dogherty, Irish champion (1806-11), came into notice as
a pugilist in 1806. He was beaten by Belcher in April, 1808, near
the Rubbing House on Epsom Downs, and again on the Curragh
of Kildare, in 1813, in thirty-five minutes, after twenty-six rounds.]
[Footnote 14: Tom Belcher (1783-1854), younger brother of Jem Belcher
the champion, fought and won his first fight in London, in 1804, against
Warr. The fight took place in Tothill Fields, Westminster. Twice beaten
by Dutch Sam (Elias Samuel), in 1806 and 1807, he never held the
championship, which a man of his height (5 ft. 9 ins.) and weight (10
st. 12 lbs.) could scarcely hope to win. But he repeatedly established
the superiority of art over strength, and was one of the most popular
and respectable pugilists of the day. Under his management the Castle
Tavern at Holborn, in which he succeeded Gregson (page 207 [Letter 108],
[Foot]note 1 [2]), was the head-quarters of pugilism.]
[Footnote 15: Sir Henry Smyth, Baronet, of Trinity Hall, A.M. 1805, was
found between eleven and twelve at night, on May 11, 1805, “inciting to a
disturbance” at the shop of a Mrs. Thrower on Market Hill. Other members
of the University seem to have been equally guilty. The sentence of the
Vice-Chancellor and Heads was “that he be suspended from his degree and
banished from the University.” The others were admonished only; so it
was clearly considered that Smyth was the ring-leader.]
85.–To Henry Drury. [1]
  Dorant’s Hotel, Jan. 13, 1808.
  My Dear Sir,–Though the stupidity of my servants, or the porter of
  the house, in not showing you up stairs (where I should have joined
  you directly), prevented me the pleasure of seeing you yesterday, I
  hoped to meet you at some public place in the evening. However, my
  stars decreed otherwise, as they generally do, when I have any favour
  to request of them. I think you would have been surprised at my
  figure, for, since our last meeting, I am reduced four stone in
  weight. I then weighed fourteen stone seven pound, and now only _ten
  stone and a half_. I have disposed of my _superfluities_ by means of
  hard exercise and abstinence.
  Should your Harrow engagements allow you to visit town between this
  and February, I shall be most happy to see you in Albemarle Street. If
  I am not so fortunate, I shall endeavour to join you for an afternoon
  at Harrow, though, I fear, your cellar will by no means contribute to
  my cure. As for my worthy preceptor, Dr. B., [2] our encounter would
  by no means prevent the _mutual endearments_ he and I were wont to
  lavish on each other. We have only spoken once since my departure from
  Harrow in 1805, and then he politely told Tatersall [3] I was not a
  proper associate for his pupils. This was long before my strictures in
  verse; but, in plain _prose_, had I been some years older, I should
  have held my tongue on his perfections. But, being laid on my back,
  when that schoolboy thing was written–or rather dictated–expecting
  to rise no more, my physician having taken his sixteenth fee, and I
  his prescription, I could not quit this earth without leaving a
  memento of my constant attachment to Butler in gratitude for his
  manifold good offices.
  I meant to have been down in July; but thinking my appearance,
  immediately after the publication, would be construed into an insult,
  I directed my steps elsewhere. Besides, I heard that some of the boys
  had got hold of my _Libellus_, contrary to my wishes certainly, for I
  never transmitted a single copy till October, when I gave one to a
  boy, since gone, after repeated importunities. You will, I trust,
  pardon this egotism. As you had touched on the subject I thought some
  explanation necessary. Defence I shall not attempt, _Hic murus aheneus
  esto, nil conscire sibi_–and “so on” (as Lord Baltimore [4] said on
  his trial for a rape)–I have been so long at Trinity as to forget the
  conclusion of the line; but though I cannot finish my quotation, I
  will my letter, and entreat you to believe me, gratefully and
  affectionately, etc.
  P.S.–I will not lay a tax on your time by requiring an answer, lest
  you say, as Butler said to Tatersall (when I had written his reverence
  an impudent epistle on the expression before mentioned), viz. “that I
  wanted to draw him into a correspondence.”
[Footnote 1: See page 12 [Letter 4], [Foot]note 1 [2]; and page 41
[Letter 14], [Foot] note 2 [1].]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Butler, Head-master of Harrow (see page 58 [Letter 22],
[Foot]note 1).]
[Footnote 3: See page 59 [Letter 22], [Foot]note 1 [2].]
[Footnote 4: Francis Calvert, seventh Lord Baltimore (1731-1771), was
charged with decoying a young milliner, named Sarah Woodcock, to his
house, and with rape. On February 12, 1768, he was committed for trial
at the Spring assizes, was tried at Kingston, March 26, 1768, and
acquitted. The story is the subject of a romance, ‘Injured Innocence; or
the Rape of Sarah Woodcock;’ A Tale, by S. J., Esq., of Magdalen
College, Oxford. New York (no date).
  “I thank God,” Lord Baltimore is reported to have said, “that I have
  had firmness and resolution to meet my accusers face to face, and
  provoke an enquiry into my conduct, ‘Hic murus aheneus esto, nil
  conscire sibi'”
(‘Ann. Register’ for 1768, p. 234). His body lay in state at Exeter
Change, previous to its interment at Epsom (Leigh Hunt’s ‘The Town’,
edit. 1893, p. 191).]
86.–To John Cam Hobhouse. [1]
  Newstead Abbey, Notts, January 16, 1808.
  My Dear Hobhouse,–I do not know how the _dens_-descended Davies [2]
  came to mention his having received a copy of my epistle to you, but I
  addressed him and you on the same evening, and being much incensed at
  the account I had received from Wallace, I communicated the contents
  to the Birdmore, though without any of that malice wherewith you
  charge me. I shall leave my card at Batts, and hope to see you in your
  progress to the North.
  I have lately discovered Scrope’s genealogy to be ennobled by a
  collateral tie with the Beardmore, Chirurgeon and Dentist to Royalty,
  and that the town of Southwell contains cousins of Scrope’s, who
  disowned them (I grieve to speak it) on visiting that city in my
  How I found this out I will disclose, the first time “we three meet
  again.” But why did he conceal his lineage? “Ah, my dear H., it was
  _cruel_, it was _insulting_, it was _unnecessary_.”
  I have (notwithstanding your kind invitation to Wallace) been alone
  since the 8th of December; nothing of moment has occurred since our
  anniversary row. I shall be in London on the 19th; there are to be
  oxen roasted and sheep boiled on the 22nd, with ale and uproar for the
  mobility; a feast is also providing for the tenantry. For my own part,
  I shall know as little of the matter as a corpse of the funeral
  solemnized in its honour.
  A letter addressed to Reddish’s will find me. I still intend
  publishing the _Bards_, but I have altered a good deal of the “Body of
  the Book,” added and interpolated, with some excisions; your lines
  still stand, [3] and in all there will appear 624 lines.
  I should like much to see your Essay upon Entrails: is there any
  honorary token of silver gilt? any cups, or pounds sterling attached
  to the prize, besides glory? I expect to see you with a medal
  suspended from your button-hole, like a Croix de St. Louis.
  Fletcher’s father is deceased, and has left his son tway cottages,
  value ten pounds per annum. I know not how it is, but Fletch., though
  only the third brother, conceives himself entitled to all the estates
  of the defunct, and I have recommended him to a lawyer, who, I fear,
  will triumph in the spoils of this ancient family. A Birthday Ode has
  been addressed to me by a country schoolmaster, in which I am likened
  to the Sun, or Sol, as he classically saith; the people of Newstead
  are compared to Laplanders. I am said to be a Baron, and a Byron, the
  truth of which is indisputable. Feronia is again to reign (she must
  have some woods to govern first), but it is altogether a very pleasant
  performance, and the author is as superior to Pye, as George Gordon to
  George Guelph. To be sure some of the lines are too short, but then,
  to make amends, the Alexandrines have from fifteen to seventeen
  syllables, so we may call them Alexandrines the great.
  I shall be glad to hear from you, and beg you to believe me,
  Yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869), created in 1851 Baron
Broughton de Gyfford, was the eldest son of Mr. Benjamin Hobhouse,
created a baronet in 1812, and M.P. (from 1797 to 1818) successively for
Bletchingley, Grampound, and Hindon. From a school at Bristol, John Cam
Hobhouse was sent to Westminster, and thence to Trinity, Cambridge,
where he won (1808) the Hulsean Prize for an essay on “Sacrifices,” and
made acquaintance with Byron, as related in Letter 84. In 1809 he
published a poetical miscellany, consisting of sixty-five pieces, under
the title of ‘Imitations and Translations from the Ancient and Modern
Classics, together with original Poems never before published’ (London,
1809, 8vo). (For Byron’s nine contributions, see ‘Poems’, vol. i.,
Bibliographical Note.) In 1809-10 he was Byron’s travelling companion
abroad (see ‘A Journey through Albania, etc.’ London, 1813, 4to).
In 1813 he travelled with Douglas Kinnaird in Sweden, Germany, Austria,
and Italy; in 1814 he was at Paris with the allied armies; and in April,
1815, was there again till the second Napoleonic war broke out,
returning to witness the second restoration of the Bourbons (see his
‘Letters–written by an Englishman resident in Paris, etc.’ Anon.,
London, 1816, 2 vols., 8vo). During 1814 he was much with Byron in
London. He notes going with him to Drury Lane, and being introduced with
him to Kean (May 19); dining with him at Lord Tavistock’s (June 4);
dining with him at Douglas Kinnaird’s, to meet Kean (December 14). He
was Byron’s best man at his marriage at Seaham (January 2, 1815), and it
was to him that the bride said, “If I am not happy, it will be my own
fault.” He was the last person who shook hands with Byron on Dover pier,
when the latter left England in 1816. Later in the same year he was with
him at the Villa Diodati, on the Lake of Geneva, and travelled with him
to Venice. To him Byron dedicated ‘The Siege of Corinth’, In the next
year he was again with Byron in the Villa La Mira on the banks of the
Brenta, and at Venice, where he prepared the commentary on the fourth
canto of ‘Childe Harold’, which Byron dedicated to him. Part of the
notes were published separately (‘Historical Illustrations, etc.’
London, 1818, 8vo). In 1818 Hobhouse stood for Westminster, but was
defeated by George Lamb, the representative of the official Whigs. He
was an original member of “The Rota Club,” afterwards known as
“Harrington’s,” to which Michael Bruce, Douglas Kinnaird, Scrope Davies,
and others belonged, and which Byron, writing from Italy, expressed a
wish to join. He had now embarked on political life. His pamphlet, ‘A
Defence of the People’ (1819), was followed in the same year by ‘A
Trifling Mistake’, which was declared by the House of Commons to be a
breach of privilege. In consequence, he was committed to Newgate. The
death of George III., and the dissolution of Parliament, set him free.
He contested Westminster, won the seat with Sir Francis Burdett as his
colleague, and represented it for thirteen years. He took the part of
Queen Caroline against the Government. At the Queen’s funeral (August 7,
1821) he attended the procession which escorted her body (August 13)
from Brandenburg House to Harwich, and saw the coffin placed upon the
His political career was long, independent, useful, and distinguished,
and he specially associated himself with such questions as the
shortening of the hours for infant labour, the opening up of
metropolitan vestries, and the subject of parliamentary reform. In 1832
he was made a Privy Councillor, and became Secretary at War in Lord
Grey’s Ministry. This post, finding himself unable to effect essential
reforms at the War Office, he exchanged for that of Secretary for
Ireland (1833); but he resigned both his office and his seat a few weeks
later, being opposed to the Government on a question of taxation. In
1834 he joined Lord Melbourne’s Government as First Commissioner of
Woods and Forests, with a seat in the Cabinet. In Lord Melbourne’s
second administration, and again in Lord J. Russell’s Government of
1846, he was President of the Board of Control. On his retirement from
public life, in 1852, he received high recognition of his official
services from the Queen, who conferred on him the Grand Cross of the
Bath and a peerage. Hobhouse was present at Her Majesty’s first Council,
and is said to have originated the phrase, “Her Majesty’s Opposition.”
In 1822 he travelled in Italy (see ‘Italy: Remarks made in Several
Visits from the Year 1816 to 1834′, London, 1859, 2 vols., 8vo). There,
on September 20, at Pisa, he for the last time saw Byron, whose parting
words were, “Hobhouse, you should never have come, or you should never
go.” In July, 1824, when Byron’s body was brought home, he boarded the
‘Florida’ in Sandgate Creek, and took charge of the funeral ceremonies
from Westminster Stairs to the interment at Hucknall Torkard. He
prepared an article for the ‘Quarterly Review’, exposing the absurdities
of Medwin’s ‘Conversations’ and of Dallas’s ‘Recollections’; but, owing
to difficulties with Southey, it was not published. It was the substance
of this article which afterwards appeared in the ‘Westminster Review’ in
1825. In 1830 he wrote, but, by Lord Holland’s advice, withheld, a
refutation of the charges made against the dead poet as to his
separation from Lady Byron. He has, however, left on record that it was
not fear which induced Byron to agree to the separation, but that, on
the contrary, he was ready to “go into court.”
The staunchest of Byron’s friends, Hobhouse was also the most sensible
and candid. As such Byron valued him. Talking to Lady Blessington at
Genoa, in 1823, he said (‘Conversations’, p. 93) that Hobhouse was
  “the most impartial, or perhaps,” added he, “‘unpartial’, of my
  friends; he always told me my faults, but I must do him the justice to
  add, that he told them to ‘me’, and not to others.”
On another occasion he said (p. 172),
  “If friendship, as most people imagine, consists in telling one
  truth–unvarnished, unadorned truth–he is indeed a friend: yet, hang
  it, I must be candid, and say I have had many other, and more
  agreeable, proofs of Hobhouse’s friendship than the truths he always
  told me; but the fact is, I wanted him to sugar them over a little
  with flattery, as nurses do the physic given to children; and he never
  would, and therefore I have never felt quite content with him, though,
  ‘au fond’, I respect him the more for his candour, while I respect
  myself very much less for my weakness in disliking it.”]
[Footnote 2: Scrope Berdmore Davies (1783-1852), born at Horsley, in
Gloucestershire, was educated at Eton, and King’s College, Cambridge,
where he was admitted a Scholar in July, 1802, and a Fellow in July,
1805. In 1803 he was awarded by the Provost of Eton the Belham
Scholarship, given to those Scholars of King’s who had behaved well at
Eton, and held it till 1816. A witty companion, with “a dry caustic
manner, and an irresistible stammer” (‘Life of Rev, F. Hodgson’, vol. i.
p. 204), Davies was, during the Regency and afterwards, a popular member
of fashionable society. A daring gambler and shrewd calculator, he at
one time won heavily at the gaming-tables. On June 10, 1814, as he told
Hobhouse, he won £6065 at Watier’s Club at Macao. Captain Cronow, in his
‘Reminiscences’ (ed. 1860, vol. i. pp. 93-96), sketches him among
“Golden Ball” Hughes, “King” Allen, and other dandies. But luck turned
against him, and he retired, poverty-stricken and almost dependent upon
his Fellowship, to Paris, where he died, May 23, 1852. It was supposed
he had for many years occupied himself with writing his recollections of
his friends. But the notes, if they were ever written, have disappeared.
Byron, who hated obligations, as he himself says, counted Davies as a
friend, though not on the same plane as Hobhouse. He borrowed from
Davies £4800 before he left England in 1809, repaid him in 1814, and
dedicated to him his ‘Parisina’. In his ‘MS. Journal’ (‘Life’, pp. 129,
130) he says,
  “One of the cleverest men I ever knew, in conversation, was Scrope
  Berdmore Davies. Hobhouse is also very good in that line, though it is
  of less consequence to a man who has other ways of showing his talents
  than in company. Scrope was always ready, and often witty–Hobhouse
  was witty, but not always so ready, being more diffident.”
Byron appointed him one of the executors of his will of 1811. In his
‘Journal’ for March 28, 1814 (‘Life’, p. 234), occurs this entry:
  “Yesterday, dined tête à tête at the Cocoa with Scrope Davies–sat
  from six till midnight–drank between us one bottle of champagne and
  six of claret, neither of which wines ever affect me. Offered to take
  Scrope home in my carriage; but he was tipsy and pious, and I was
  obliged to leave him on his knees praying to I know not what purpose
  or pagod. No headach, nor sickness, that night, nor to-day. Got up, if
  anything, earlier than usual–sparred with Jackson ‘ad sudorem’, and
  have been much better in health than for many days. I have heard
  nothing more from Scrope.”
Scrope Davies visited Byron at the Villa Diodati, in 1816, and brought
back with him ‘Childe Harold’, canto iii. On his return he gave evidence
in the case of ‘Byron v. Johnson’, before the Lord Chancellor, November
28, 1816, when an injunction was obtained to restrain Johnson from
publishing a volume containing ‘Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
to the Holy Land’, and other works, which he professed to have bought
from Byron for £500.
According to Gronow (‘Reminiscences’, vol. i. p. 153, 154), Scrope
Davies, asked to give his private opinion of Byron, said that he
considered him
  “very agreeable and clever, but vain, overbearing, suspicious, and
  jealous. Byron hated Palmerston, but liked Peel, and thought that the
  whole world ought to be constantly employed in admiring his poetry and
[Footnote 3: For Hobhouse’s lines on Bowles, see ‘English Bards, etc.’,
line 384, and note.]
87.–To Robert Charles Dallas. [1]
  Dorant’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, Jan. 20, 1808.
  Sir,–Your letter was not received till this morning, I presume from
  being addressed to me in Notts., where I have not resided since last
  June; and as the date is the 6th, you will excuse the delay of my
  If the little volume you mention has given pleasure to the author of
  _Percival_ and _Aubrey_, I am sufficiently repaid by his praise.
  Though our periodical censors have been uncommonly lenient, I confess
  a tribute from a man of acknowledged genius is still more flattering.
  But I am afraid I should forfeit all claim to candour, if I did not
  decline such praise as I do not deserve; and this is, I am sorry to
  say, the case in the present instance.
  My compositions speak for themselves, and must stand or fall by their
  own worth or demerit: _thus far_ I feel highly gratified by your
  favourable opinion. But my pretensions to virtue are unluckily so few,
  that though I should be happy to merit, I cannot accept, your applause
  in that respect. One passage in your letter struck me forcibly: you
  mention the two Lords Lyttleton [2] in the manner they respectively
  deserve, and will be surprised to hear the person who is now
  addressing you has been frequently compared to the _latter_. I know I
  am injuring myself in your esteem by this avowal, but the circumstance
  was so remarkable from your observation, that I cannot help relating
  the fact. The events of my short life have been of so singular a
  nature, that, though the pride commonly called honour has, and I trust
  ever will, prevent me from disgracing my name by a mean or cowardly
  action, I have been already held up as the votary of licentiousness,
  and the disciple of infidelity. How far justice may have dictated this
  accusation, I cannot pretend to say; but, like the _gentleman_ to whom
  my religious friends, in the warmth of their charity, have already
  devoted me, I am made worse than I really am. However, to quit myself
  (the worst theme I could pitch upon), and return to my poems, I cannot
  sufficiently express my thanks, and I hope I shall some day have an
  opportunity of rendering them in person. A second edition is now in
  the press, with some additions and considerable omissions; you will
  allow me to present you with a copy. The ‘Critical’, [3] ‘Monthly’,
  [4] and ‘Anti-Jacobin [5] Reviews’ have been very indulgent; but the
  ‘Eclectic’ [6] has pronounced a furious Philippic, not against the
  _book_ but the _author_, where you will find all I have mentioned
  asserted by a reverend divine who wrote the critique.
  Your name and connection with our family have been long known to me,
  and I hope your person will be not less so: you will find me an
  excellent compound of a “Brainless” and a “Stanhope.” [7] I am afraid
  you will hardly be able to read this, for my hand is almost as bad as
  my character; but you will find me, as legibly as possible,
  Your obliged and obedient servant,
[Footnote 1: Robert Charles Dallas (1754-1842), born in Jamaica and
educated in Scotland, read law at the Inner Temple. About 1775 he
returned to Jamaica to look after his property and take up a lucrative
appointment. Three years later he returned to England, married, and took
his wife back with him to the West Indies. His wife’s health compelled
him to return to Europe, and he lived for some time in France. At the
outbreak of the Revolution he emigrated to America; but finally settled
down to literary work in England. His first publication (1797) was
_Miscellaneous Writings consisting of Poems; Lucretia, a Tragedy; and
Moral Essays, with a Vocabulary of the Passions_. He translated a number
of French books bearing on the French Revolution, by Bertrand de
Moleville, Mallet du Pan, Hue, and Joseph Weber; also a work on
Volcanoes by the Abbé Ordinaire, and an historical novel by Madame de
Genlis, _The Siege of Rochelle_. He wrote a number of novels, among them
_Percival, or Nature Vindicated_ (1801); _Aubrey: a Novel_ (1804); _The
Morlands; Tales illustrative of the Simple and Surprising_ (1805); _The
Knights; Tales illustrative of the Marvellous_ (1808). Later (1819 and
1823) he published two volumes of poems. He says (preface to _Percival_,
p. ix.) that his object is “to improve the heart, as well as to please
the fancy, and to be the auxiliary of the Divine and the Moralist.” He
is one of the writers, others being “Gleaner” Pratt and Lord Carlisle,
“whose writings” (_Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Percival
Stockdale_, 1809, vol. i. Preface, p. xvi.) “dart through the general
fog of our literary dulness.” Stockdale further says of him that he was
“a man of a most affectionate and virtuous mind. He has had the moral
honour, in several novels, to exert his talents, which were worthy of
their glorious cause, in the service of good conduct and religion.”
Dallas’s sister, Henrietta Charlotte, married George Anson Byron, the
son of Admiral the Hon. John Byron, and was therefore Byron’s aunt by
marriage. On the score of this connection, Dallas introduced himself to
Byron by complimenting him, in a letter dated January 6, 1808, on his
_Hours of Idleness_. A well-meaning, self-satisfied, dull, industrious
man, he gave Byron excellent moral advice, to which the latter responded
as the _fanfaron de ses vices_, evidently with great amusement to
himself. _English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers_ was brought out under
Dallas’s auspices, as well as _Childe Harold_ and _The Corsair_, the
profits of which Byron made over to him. Dallas distrusted his own
literary judgment in the matter of Byron’s verse, and consulted Walter
Wright, the author of Horæ Ioniæ, about the prospects of ‘Childe
  “I have told him,” said Wright, “that I have no doubt this will
  succeed. Lord Byron had offered him before some translations from
  Horace, which I told him would never sell, and he did not take them”
(‘Diary of H. Crabb Robinson’, vol. i. pp. 29, 30).
The connection between Dallas and Byron practically ended in 1814. The
publication of Dallas’s ‘Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron from
the Year 1808 to the end of 1814′ was stopped by a decree obtained by
Byron’s executors, in the Court of Chancery, August 23, 1824. But the
book was published by the writer’s son, the Rev. A. R. C. Dallas.]
[Footnote 2: Byron refers to the following passage in Dallas’s letter of
January 6, 1808:
  “A spirit that brings to my mind another noble author, who was not
  only a fine poet, orator, and historian, but one of the closest
  reasoners we have on the truth of that religion, of which forgiveness
  is a prominent principle: the great and the good Lord Lyttelton, whose
  fame will never die. His son, to whom he had transmitted genius but
  not virtue, sparkled for a moment, and went out like a falling star,
  and with him the title became extinct. He was the victim of inordinate
  passions, and he will be heard of in this world only by those who read
  the English Peerage”
(‘Correspondence of Lord Byron’, p. 20, the suppressed edition).
Dallas was, of course, aware that Byron’s predecessor in the title,
William, fifth Lord Byron, was known as the “wicked Lord Byron.” George,
first Lord Lyttelton (1709-1773), to whom Pope refers (‘Imitations of
Horace’, bk. i. Ep. i. 1. 30) as
  “Still true to virtue, and as warm as true,”
was a voluminous writer in prose and verse, but owed his political
importance to his family connection with Chatham, Temple, and George
Grenville. Horace Walpole calls him a “wise moppet” (‘Letters’, vol. ii.
p. 28, ed. Cunningham), and repeatedly sneers at his dulness. His son
Thomas, second Lord Lyttelton (1744-1779), the “wicked Lord Lyttelton,”
appears in W. Combe’s ‘Diaboliad’ as the
                          “Peer of words,
  Well known,–and honour’d in the House of Lords,–
  Whose Eloquence all Parallel defies!”
who claims the throne of Hell as the worst of living men. His ‘Poems by
a Young Nobleman lately deceased’ (published in 1780, after his death)
may have helped Dallas in his allusion. He was the hero and the victim
of the famous ghost story which Dr. Johnson was “willing to believe.”]
[Footnote 3: ‘The Critical Review’ (3rd series, vol. xii. pp. 47-53)
specially praises lines “On Leaving Newstead Abbey” and “Childish
[Footnote 4: In ‘Monthly Literary Recreations’ (July, 1807, pp. 67-71),
“Childish Recollections” and “The Tear” are particularly commended.
  “As friends to the cause of literature, we have thought proper not to
  disguise our opinion of his powers, that we might alter his
  determination, and lead him once more to the Castalian fount.”]
[Footnote 5: ‘The Anti-Jacobin Review’ (December, 1807, pp. 407, 408)
says that the poems
  “exhibit strong proofs of genius, accompanied by a lively but
  chastened imagination, a classical taste, and a benevolent heart.”]
[Footnote 6: _The Eclectic Review_ (vol. iii. part ii. pp. 989-993)
begins its review thus:
  “The notice we take of this publication regards the author rather than
  the book; the book is a collection of juvenile pieces, some of very
  moderate merit, and others of very questionable morality; but the
  author is a _nobleman_!”]
[Footnote 7: Characters in the novel called _Percival_.]
88.–To Robert Charles Dallas.
  Dorant’s, January 21, 1808.
  Sir,–Whenever leisure and inclination permit me the pleasure of a
  visit, I shall feel truly gratified in a personal acquaintance with
  one whose mind has been long known to me in his writings.
  You are so far correct in your conjecture, that I am a member of the
  University of Cambridge, where I shall take my degree of A.M. this
  term; but were reasoning, eloquence, or virtue, the objects of my
  search, Granta is not their metropolis, nor is the place of her
  situation an “El Dorado,” far less an Utopia. The intellects of her
  children are as stagnant as her Cam, and their pursuits limited to the
  church–not of Christ, but of the nearest benefice.
  As to my reading, I believe I may aver, without hyperbole, it has been
  tolerably extensive in the historical department; so that few nations
  exist, or have existed, with whose records I am not in some degree
  acquainted, from Herodotus down to Gibbon. Of the classics, I know
  about as much as most school-boys after a discipline of thirteen
  years; of the law of the land as much as enables me to keep “within
  the statute”–to use the poacher’s vocabulary. I did study the “Spirit
  of Laws” [1] and the Law of Nations; but when I saw the latter
  violated every month, I gave up my attempts at so useless an
  accomplishment:–of geography, I have seen more land on maps than I
  should wish to traverse on foot;–of mathematics, enough to give me
  the headach without clearing the part affected;–of philosophy,
  astronomy, and metaphysics, more than I can comprehend; and of common
  sense so little, that I mean to leave a Byronian prize at each of our
  “Almæ Matres” for the first discovery,–though I rather fear that of
  the longitude will precede it.
  I once thought myself a philosopher, and talked nonsense with great
  decorum: I defied pain, and preached up equanimity. For some time this
  did very well, for no one was in _pain_ for me but my friends, and
  none lost their patience but my hearers. At last, a fall from my horse
  convinced me bodily suffering was an evil; and the worst of an
  argument overset my maxims and my temper at the same moment: so I
  quitted Zeno for Aristippus, and conceive that pleasure constitutes
  the [Greek (transliterated): to kalon].
  In morality, I prefer Confucius to the Ten Commandments, and Socrates
  to St. Paul (though the two latter agree in their opinion of
  marriage). In religion, I favour the Catholic emancipation, but do not
  acknowledge the Pope; and I have refused to take the sacrament,
  because I do not think eating bread or drinking wine from the hand of
  an earthly vicar will make me an inheritor of heaven. I hold virtue,
  in general, or the virtues severally, to be only in the disposition,
  each a _feeling_, not a principle. I believe truth the prime attribute
  of the Deity, and death an eternal sleep, at least of the body. You
  have here a brief compendium of the sentiments of the _wicked_ George,
  Lord Byron; and, till I get a new suit, you will perceive I am badly
  I remain yours, etc.,
[Footnote 1: In Byron’s “List of historical writers whose works I have
perused in different languages” (‘Life’, pp. 46, 47), occurs the name of
Montesquieu. It is to his ‘Esprit des Lois’ that Byron refers.]
89.–To John Hanson.
  Dorant’s, January 25th, 1808.
  Sir,–The picture I have drawn of my finances is unfortunately a true
  one, and I find the colours may be heightened but not improved by
  time.–I have inclosed the receipt, and return my thanks for the loan,
  which shall be repaid the first opportunity. In the concluding part of
  my last I gave my reasons for not troubling you with my society at
  present, but when I can either communicate or receive pleasure, I
  shall not be long absent.
  Yrs., etc.,
  P.S.–I have received a letter from Whitehead, of course you know the
  contents, and must act as you think proper.
90.–To John Hanson.
  Dorant’s, January 25th, 1808.
  Dear Sir,–Some time ago I gave Mitchell the sadler [_sic_] a letter
  for you, requesting his bill might be paid from the Balance of the
  Quarter you obliged me by advancing. If he has received this you will
  further oblige me by paying what remains, I believe somewhere about
  five pounds, if so much.
  You will confer a favour upon me by the loan of twenty. I will
  endeavour to repay it next week, as I have immediate occasion for that
  sum, and I should not require it of you could I obtain it elsewhere.
  I am now in my one and twentieth year, and cannot command as many
  pounds. To Cambridge I cannot go without paying my bills, and at
  present I could as soon compass the National Debt; in London I must
  not remain, nor shall I, when I can procure a trifle to take me out of
  it. Home I have none; and if there was a possibility of getting out of
  the Country, I would gladly avail myself of it. But even that is
  denied me, my Debts amount to three thousand, three hundred to Jews,
  eight hundred to Mrs. B. of Nottingham, to coachmaker and other
  tradesmen a thousand more, and these must be much increased, before
  they are lessened.
  Such is the prospect before me, which is by no means brightened by
  ill-health. I would have called on you, but I have neither spirits to
  enliven myself or others, or inclination to bring a gloomy face to
  spoil a group of happy ones. I remain,
  Your obliged and obedt. sert.,
  P.S.–Your answer to the former part will oblige, as I shall be
  reduced to a most unpleasant dilemma if it does not arrive.
91.–To James De Bathe. [1]
  Dorant’s Hotel, February 2d, 1808.
  My Dear De Bathe,–Last Night I saw your Father and Brother, the
  former I have not the pleasure of knowing, but the latter informed me
  _you_ came to Town on _Saturday_ and returned _yesterday_.
  I have received a pressing Invitation from Henry Drury to pay him a
  visit; in his Letter he mentions a very old _Friend_ of yours, who
  told him he would join my party, if I could inform him on what day I
  meant to go over. This Friend you will readily conclude to be a Lord
  _B_.; but not the one who now addresses you. Shall I bring him to you?
  and insure a welcome for myself which perhaps might not otherwise be
  the case. This will not be for a Fortnight to come. I am waiting for
  Long, who is now at Chatham, when he arrives we shall probably drive
  down and dine with Drury.
  I confess Harrow has lost most of its charms for me. I do not know if
  Delawarr is still there; but, with the exception of yourself and the
  Earl, I shall find myself among Strangers. Long has a Brother at
  Butler’s, and all his predilections remain in full force; mine are
  weakened, if not destroyed, and though I can safely say, I never knew
  a Friend out of Harrow, I question whether I have one left in it. You
  leave Harrow in July; may I ask what is your future Destination?
  In January _1809_ I shall be twenty one & in the Spring of the same
  year proceed abroad, not on the usual Tour, but a route of a more
  extensive Description. What say you? are you disposed for a view of
  the Peloponnesus and a voyage through the Archipelago? I am merely in
  jest with regard to you, but very serious with regard to my own
  Intention which is fixed on the _Pilgrimage_, unless some political
  view or accident induce me to postpone it. Adieu! if you have Leisure,
  I shall be as happy to hear from you, as I would have been to have
  _seen_ you. Believe me,
  Yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: Sir James Wynne De Bathe (1792-1828) succeeded his father
as second baronet, February 22, 1808. “Clare, Dorset, Charles Gordon, De
Bathe, Claridge, and John Wingfield, were my juniors and favourites,
whom I spoilt by indulgence” (‘Life’, p. 21). De Bathe’s name does not
appear in the Harrow School lists. A Captain De Bathe interested himself
in the case of Medora Leigh in 1843 (see Charles Mackay’s ‘Medora
Leigh’, pp. 92, 93, and elsewhere in the volume).]
92.–To William Harness. [1]
  Dorant’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, Feb. II, 1808.
  My Dear Harness,–As I had no opportunity of returning my verbal
  thanks, I trust you will accept my written acknowledgments for the
  compliment you were pleased to pay some production of my unlucky muse
  last November,–I am induced to do this not less from the pleasure I
  feel in the praise of an old schoolfellow, than from justice to you,
  for I had heard the story with some slight variations. Indeed, when we
  met this morning, Wingfield [2] had not undeceived me; but he will
  tell you that I displayed no resentment in mentioning what I had
  heard, though I was not sorry to discover the truth. Perhaps you
  hardly recollect, some years ago, a short, though, for the time, a
  warm friendship between us. Why it was not of longer duration I know
  not. I have still a gift of yours in my possession, that must always
  prevent me from forgetting it. I also remember being favoured with the
  perusal of many of your compositions, and several other circumstances
  very pleasant in their day, which I will not force upon your memory,
  but entreat you to believe me, with much regret at their short
  continuance, and a hope they are not irrevocable,
  Yours very sincerely, etc.,
[Footnote 1: William Harness (1790-1869), son of Dr. J. Harness,
Commissioner of the Transport Board, was educated at Harrow and Christ’s
College, Cambridge. Ordained in 1812, he was, from 1823 to 1826, Curate
at Hampstead.
  “I could quiz you heartily,” writes Mrs. Franklin to Miss Mitford
  (September 6, 1824), “for having told me in three successive letters
  of Mr. Harness’s chapel at Hampstead. I understand he now lives a very
  retired life”
(‘The Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford’, vol. i. p. 61). From 1826 to
1844 he was Incumbent of Regent Square Chapel; Minister of Brompton
Chapel (1844-47); Perpetual Curate (1849-69) of All Saints’,
Knightsbridge, which he built from subscriptions raised by himself. He
is described by Crabb Robinson (‘Diary’, vol. iii. p. 212) as
  “a clergyman with Oxford propensities, and a worshipper of the heathen
  Muses as well as of the Christian Graces;”
and again (iii. 326), as
  “a man of taste, of High Church principles and liberal in spirit.”
Miss Mitford (‘The Friendships of Mary Russell Mitford’, vol. ii. p.
289) writes that
  “he has neither Catholic nor Puseyite tendencies,–only it is a large
  and liberal mind like Bishop Stanley’s, believing good men and good
  Christians may exist among Papists, and will be as safe there as if
  they were Protestants.”
Again (vol. ii. p. 295) she says of him:
  “Besides his varied accomplishments, and his admirable goodness and
  kindness, he has all sorts of amusing peculiarities. With a temper
  never known to fail, an indulgence the largest, a tenderness as of a
  woman, he has the habit of talking like a cynic! and with more
  learning, ancient and modern, and a wider grasp of literature than
  almost any one I know, professes to read nothing and care for nothing
  but ‘Shakespeare and the Bible.’ He is the finest reader of both that
  I ever heard. His preaching, which has been so much admired, is too
  rapid, but his reading the prayers is perfection. The best parish
  priest in London, and the truest Christian.”
Miss Mitford’s praise may be exaggerated; but she had known Harness for
a lifetime.
Harness edited ‘Shakespeare’ (1825, 8 vols.), as well as ‘Massinger’
(1830) and ‘Ford’ (1831); wrote for the ‘Quarterly’ and ‘Blackwood’; and
published a number of sermons, including ‘The Wrath of Cain’, ‘A Boyle
Lecture’ (1822). He wrote ‘The Life of Mary Russell Mitford’ (1870), in
collaboration with the Rev. A. G. L’Estrange, whose ‘Life of the Rev. W.
Harness’ is the chief authority for his career.
His friendship with Byron began at Harrow (‘Life’, pp. 23, 24), where
Byron, who was older than Harness, took pity upon his lameness and
weakness, and protected him from the bullies of the school. At a later
period they became estranged, as is shown by the following letter from
Byron to Harness (‘Life’, pp. 24, 25):–
  “We both seem perfectly to recollect, with a mixture of pleasure and
  regret, the hours we once passed together, and I assure you, most
  sincerely, they are numbered among the happiest of my brief chronicle
  of enjoyment. I am now ‘getting into years’, that is to say, I was
  ‘twenty’ a month ago, and another year will send me into the world to
  run my career of folly with the rest. I was then just fourteen,–you
  were almost the first of my Harrow friends, certainly the ‘first’ in
  my esteem, if not in date; but an absence from Harrow for some time,
  shortly after, and new connections on your side, and the difference in
  our conduct (an advantage decidedly in your favour) from that
  turbulent and riotous disposition of mine, which impelled me into
  every species of mischief,–all these circumstances combined to
  destroy an intimacy, which affection urged me to continue, and memory
  compels me to regret. But there is not a circumstance attending that
  period, hardly a sentence we exchanged, which is not impressed on my
  mind at this moment. I need not say more,–this assurance alone must
  convince you, had I considered them as trivial, they would have been
  less indelible. How well I recollect the perusal of your ‘first
  flights’! There is another circumstance you do not know;–the ‘first
  lines’ I ever attempted at Harrow were addressed to ‘you’. You were to
  have seen them; but Sinclair had the copy in his possession when we
  went home;–and, on our return, we were ‘strangers’. They were
  destroyed, and certainly no great loss; but you will perceive from
  this circumstance my opinions at an age when we cannot be hypocrites.
  I have dwelt longer on this theme than I intended, and I shall now
  conclude with what I ought to have begun. We were once friends,–nay,
  we have always been so, for our separation was the effect of chance,
  not of dissension. I do not know how far our destinations in life may
  throw us together, but if opportunity and inclination allow you to
  waste a thought on such a hare-brained being as myself, you will find
  me at least sincere, and not so bigoted to my faults as to involve
  others in the consequences. Will you sometimes write to me? I do not
  ask it often; and, if we meet, let us be what we ‘should’ be, and what
  we ‘were’.”
The following is Harness’s own account of the circumstances in which
Letter 92 was written:–
  “A coolness afterwards arose, which Byron alludes to in the first of
  the accompanying letters, and we never spoke during the last year of
  his remaining at school, nor till after the publication of his ‘Hours
  of Idleness’. Lord Byron was then at Cambridge; I, in one of the upper
  forms, at Harrow. In an English theme I happened to quote from the
  volume, and mention it with praise. It was reported to Byron that I
  had, on the contrary, spoken slightingly of his work and of himself,
  for the purpose of conciliating the favour of Dr. Butler, the master,
  who had been severely satirised in one of the poems. Wingfield, who
  was afterwards Lord Powerscourt, a mutual friend of Byron and myself,
  disabused him of the error into which he had been led, and this was
  the occasion of the first letter of the collection. Our intimacy was
  renewed, and continued from that time till his going abroad. Whatever
  faults Lord Byron might have had towards others, to myself he was
  always uniformly affectionate. I have many slights and neglects
  towards him to reproach myself with; but I cannot call to mind a
  single instance of caprice or unkindness, in the whole course of our
  friendship, to allege against him.”
In December, 1811, Harness paid Byron a visit at Newstead, the only
other guest being Francis Hodgson, who, like Harness, was not then
ordained. He thus describes the visit (‘Life of the Rev. Francis
Hodgson’, vol. i. pp. 219-221):–
  “When Byron returned, with the MS. of the first two cantos of ‘Childe
  Harold’ in his portmanteau, I paid him a visit at Newstead. It was
  winter–dark, dreary weather–the snow upon the ground; and a
  straggling, gloomy, depressive, partially inhabited place the Abbey
  was. Those rooms, however, which had been fitted up for residence were
  so comfortably appointed, glowing with crimson hangings, and cheerful
  with capacious fires, that one soon lost the melancholy feeling of
  being domiciled in the wing of an extensive ruin. Many tales are
  related or fabled of the orgies which, in the poet’s early youth, had
  made clamorous these ancient halls of the Byrons. I can only say that
  nothing in the shape of riot or excess occurred when I was there. The
  only other visitor was Dr. Hodgson, the translator of ‘Juvenal’, and
  nothing could be more quiet and regular than the course of our days.
  Byron was retouching, as the sheets passed through the press, the
  stanzas of ‘Childe Harold’. Hodgson was at work in getting out the
  ensuing number of the ‘Monthly Review’, of which he was principal
  editor. I was reading for my degree. When we met, our general talk was
  of poets and poetry–of who could or who could not write; but it
  occasionally rose into very serious discussions on religion. Byron,
  from his early education in Scotland, had been taught to identify the
  principles of Christianity with the extreme dogmas of Calvinism. His
  mind had thus imbibed a most miserable prejudice, which appeared to be
  the only obstacle to his hearty acceptance of the Gospel. Of this
  error we were most anxious to disabuse him. The chief weight of the
  argument rested with Hodgson, who was older, a good deal, than myself.
  I cannot even now–at a distance of more than fifty years–recall
  those conversations without a deep feeling of admiration for the
  judicious zeal and affectionate earnestness (often speaking with tears
  in his eyes) which Dr. Hodgson evinced in his advocacy of the truth.
  The only difference, except perhaps in the subjects talked about,
  between our life at Newstead Abbey and that of the great families
  around us, was the hours we kept. It was, as I have said, winter, and
  the days were cold; and, as nothing tempted us to rise early, we got
  up late. This flung the routine of the day rather backward, and we did
  not go early to bed. My visit to Newstead lasted about three weeks,
  when I returned to Cambridge to take my degree.”
To Harness Byron intended to dedicate ‘Childe Harold’, but feared to do
so, “lest it should injure him in his profession.”]
[Footnote 2: Three Wingfields, sons of Lord Powerscourt, entered Harrow
in February, 1801. The Hon. Richard Wingfield succeeded his father as
fifth Viscount Powerscourt in 1809, and died in 1823. Edward became a
clergyman and died of cholera in 1825; John, Byron’s friend, the
“Alonzo” of “Childish Recollections” entered the Coldstream Guards, and
died of fever at Coimbra, May 14, 1811.
  “Of all human beings, I was perhaps at one time most attached to poor
  Wingfield, who died at Coimbra, 1811, before I returned to England”
(‘Life’, p. 21). To his memory Byron wrote the lines in ‘Childe Harold’,
Canto I. stanza xci.]
93.–To J. Ridge.
  [Mr. Ridge, Newark.]
  Dorant’s Hotel, February 21st, 1808.
  Mr. Ridge,–Something has occurred which will make considerable
  alteration in my new volume. You must _go back_ and _cut out_ the
  whole _poem_ of ‘Childish Recollections’. [1] Of course you will be
  surprized at this, and perhaps displeased, but it must be _done_. I
  cannot help its detaining you a _month_ longer, but there will be
  enough in the volume without it, and as I am now reconciled to Dr.
  Butler I cannot allow my satire to appear against him, nor can I alter
  that part relating to him without spoiling the whole. You will
  therefore omit the whole poem. Send me an _immediate_ answer to this
  letter but _obey_ the directions. It is better that my reputation
  should suffer as a poet by the omission than as a man of honour by the
  Etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: For “Childish Recollections,” see ‘Poems’, vol.i. p.101. A
previous letter, written to Ridge from Dorant’s Hotel, January 9, 1808,
illustrates the rapidity with which Byron’s moods changed. In this case,
the lines on “Euryalus” (Lord Delawarr: see page 41 [Letter 13],
[Foot]note 1 [5]) were to be omitted:–
  “Mr. Ridge,–In Childish Recollections omit the whole character of
  ‘Euryalus’, and insert instead the lines to ‘Florio’ as a part of the
  poem, and send me a proof in due course.
  “Etc. etc.,
  “P.S.–The first line of the passage to be omitted begins ‘Shall fair
  Euryalus,’ etc., and ends at ‘Toil for more;’ omit the _whole_.”]
94.–To the Rev. John Becher. [1]
  Dorant’s Hotel, Feb. 26, 1808.
  MY DEAR BECHER,–Now for Apollo. I am happy that you still retain your
  predilection, and that the public allow me some share of praise. I am
  of so much importance that a most violent attack is preparing for me
  in the next number of the ‘Edinburgh Review’. [2] This I had from the
  authority of a friend who has seen the proof and manuscript of the
  critique. You know the system of the Edinburgh gentlemen is universal
  attack. They praise none; and neither the public nor the author
  expects praise from them. It is, however, something to be noticed, as
  they profess to pass judgment only on works requiring the public
  attention. You will see this when it comes out;–it is, I understand,
  of the most unmerciful description; but I am aware of it, and hope
  ‘you’ will not be hurt by its severity.
  Tell Mrs. Byron not to be out of humour with them, and to prepare her
  mind for the greatest hostility on their part. It will do no injury
  whatever, and I trust her mind will not be ruffled. They defeat their
  object by indiscriminate abuse, and they never praise except the
  partisans of Lord Holland and Co. [3] It is nothing to be abused when
  Southey, Moore, Lauderdale, Strangford, and Payne Knight, share the
  same fate. [4]
  I am sorry–but “Childish Recollections” must be suppressed during
  this edition. I have altered, at your suggestion, the _obnoxious
  allusions_ in the sixth stanza of my last ode.
  And now, my dear Becher, I must return my best acknowledgments for the
  interest you have taken in me and my poetical bantlings, and I shall
  ever be proud to show how much I esteem the _advice_ and the
  Believe me, most truly, etc.
[Footnote 1: The Rev. John Thomas Becher (1770-1848), educated at
Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, was appointed Vicar of Rumpton,
Notts., and Midsomer Norton, 1801; Prebendary of Southwell in 1818; and
chairman of Newark Quarter Sessions in 1816. In all matters relating to
the condition of the poor he made himself an acknowledged authority. He
was the originator of a house of correction, a Friendly Society, and a
workhouse at Southwell. He was one of the “supervisors” appointed to
organize the Milbank Penitentiary, which was opened in June, 1816. On
Friendly Societies he published three works (1824, 1825, and 1826), in
which, ‘inter alia’, he sought to prove that labourers, paying sixpence
a week from the time they were twenty, could secure not only sick-pay,
but an annuity of five shillings a week at the age of sixty-five. His
‘Anti-Pauper System’ (1828) pointed to indoor relief as the true cure to
pauperism. It was by Becher’s advice that Byron destroyed his ‘Fugitive
Pieces’. No one who has read the silly verses which Becher condemned,
can doubt that the counsel was wise (see Byron’s Lines to Becher,
‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 112-114, 114-116, 247-251). The following are the
lines in which Becher expostulated with Byron on the mischievous
tendency of his verses:–
  “Say, Byron! why compel me to deplore
  Talents designed for choice poetic lore,
  Deigning to varnish scenes, that shun the day,
  With guilty lustre, and with amorous lay?
  Forbear to taint the Virgin’s spotless mind,
  In Power though mighty, be in Mercy kind,
  Bid the chaste Muse diffuse her hallowed light,
  So shall thy Page enkindle pure delight,
  Enhance thy native worth, and proudly twine,
  With Britain’s Honors, those that are divine.”
[Footnote 2: See, for the Review itself, Appendix II.
  “As an author,” writes Byron to Hobhouse, February 27, 1808, “I am cut
  to atoms by the E—–‘Review;’ it is just out, and has completely
  demolished my little fabric of fame. This is rather scurvy treatment
  for a Whig Review; but politics and poetry are different things, and I
  am no adept in either. I therefore submit in silence.”
Among the less sentimental effects of this Review upon Byron’s mind, he
used to mention that, on the day he read it, he drank three bottles of
claret to his own share after dinner; that nothing, however, relieved
him till he had given vent to his indignation in rhyme, and that “after
the first twenty lines, he felt himself considerably better” (Moore,
‘Life’, p. 69).
  “I was sitting with Charles Lamb,” H. Crabb Robinson told De Morgan,
  “when Wordsworth came in, with fume in his countenance and the
  ‘Edinburgh Review’ in his hand.
    ‘I have no patience with these Reviewers,’ he said; ‘here is a young
    man, a lord, and a minor, it appears, who publishes a little volume
    of poetry; and these fellows attack him, as if no one may write
    poetry unless he lives in a garret. The young man will do something,
    if he goes on.’
  When I became acquainted with Lady Byron, I told her this story, and
  she said,
    ‘Ah! if Byron had known that, he would never have attacked
    Wordsworth. He once went out to dinner where Wordsworth was to be;
    when he came home, I said,
      “Well, how did the young poet get on with the old one?”
      “To tell you the truth,” said he, “I had but one feeling from the
      beginning of the visit to the end–‘reverence!'”‘”
(‘Diary,’ iii. 488.)]
[Footnote 3: That is to say, the ‘Edinburgh Review’ praised only Whigs.
Henry Richard Vassall Fox, third Lord Holland (1773-1840), the “nephew
of Fox, and friend of Grey,” married, in 1797, Elizabeth Vassall, the
divorced wife of Sir Godfrey Webster. He held the office of Lord Privy
Seal in the Ministry of All the Talents (October, 1806, to March, 1807).
During the long exclusion of the Whigs from office (1807-32), when there
seemed as little chance of a Whig Administration as of “a thaw in Nova
Zembla,” Holland, in the House of Lords, supported Catholic
Emancipation, advocated the emancipation of slaves, opposed the
detention of Napoleon as a prisoner of war, and moved the abolition of
capital punishment for minor offences. From November, 1830, to his
death, with brief intervals, he was Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster, in the administrations of Lord Grey and of Lord Melbourne.
Outside the House he kept the party together by his great social gifts.
An admirable talker, ‘raconteur’, and mimic, with a wit’s relish for
wit, the charm of his good temper was irresistible.
  “In my whole experience of our race,” said Lord Brougham, “I never saw
  such a temper, nor anything that at all resembled it”
(‘Statesmen of the Time of George III.’, ed. 1843, 3rd series, p. 341).
Greville speaks of
  “his imperturbable temper, unflagging vivacity and spirit, his
  inexhaustible fund of anecdote, extensive information, sprightly wit”
(‘Memoirs’, iii. 446). Leslie, in his ‘Autobiographical Recollections’
(vol. i. p. 100), adds the tribute that
  “he was, without any exception, the very best-tempered man I have ever
Lord John Russell (preface to vol. vi. of the ‘Life of Thomas Moore’)
says that
  “he won without seeming to court, instructed without seeming to teach,
  and he amused without labouring to be witty.”
George Ticknor (‘Life’, vol. i. p. 264)
  “never met a man who so disarms opposition in discussion, as I have
  often seen him, without yielding an iota, merely by the unpretending
  simplicity and sincerity of his manner.”
Sydney Smith (‘Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith’, chap. x. p. 187)
considered that his
  “career was one great, incessant, and unrewarded effort to resist
  oppression, promote justice, and restrain the abuse of power. He had
  an invincible hatred of tyranny and oppression, and the most ardent
  love of public happiness and attachment to public rights.”
A lover of art, a scholar, a linguist, he wrote memoirs, satires, and
verses, collected materials for a life of his uncle, Charles James Fox,
and translated both from the Spanish and Italian. His ‘Account of the
Life and Writings of Lope Felix de Vega Carpio’ (1806) was reviewed
favourably by the ‘Edinburgh Review’ for October, 1806. Byron attacked
him in ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’ (lines 540-559, and
‘notes’), on the supposition that Lord Holland had instigated the
article in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ on ‘Hours of Idleness’ (January,
1808). In 1812, learning his mistake, and hearing from Rogers that Lord
and Lady Holland desired the satire to be withdrawn, he gave orders that
the whole impression should be burned (see ‘Introduction to English
Sards, and Scotch Reviewers, Poems,’ vol. i. p. 294). In his ‘Journal’
(November 17, 1813) he writes,
  “I have had a most kind letter from Lord Holland on ‘The Bride of
  Abydos,’ which he likes, and so does Lady H. This is very good-natured
  in both, from whom I do not deserve any quarter. Yet I ‘did’ think at
  the time, that my cause of enmity proceeded from Holland House, and am
  glad I was wrong, and wish I had not been in such a hurry with that
  confounded Satire, of which I would suppress even the memory; but
  people, now they can’t get it, make a fuss, I verily believe out of
[Footnote 4: In the early numbers of the ‘Edinburgh Review’ reviews were
published of Southey’s ‘Thalaba’ and ‘Madoc;’ of Moore’s ‘Odes of
Anacreon’ and ‘Poems;’ of Lord Lauderdale’s ‘Inquiry into the Nature and
Origin of Public Wealth;’ of Lord Strangford’s ‘Translations from
Camoëns;’ of Payne Knight’s ‘Principles of Taste.’]
95.–To the Rev. John Becher.
  Dorant’s, March 28, 1808.
  I have lately received a copy of the new edition from Ridge, and it is
  high time for me to return my best thanks to you for the trouble you
  have taken in the superintendence. This I do most sincerely, and only
  regret that Ridge has not seconded you as I could wish,–at least, in
  the bindings, paper, etc., of the copy he sent to me. Perhaps those
  for the public may be more respectable in such articles.
  You have seen the ‘Edinburgh Review’, of course. I regret that Mrs.
  Byron is so much annoyed. For my own part, these “paper bullets of the
  brain” have only taught me to stand fire; and, as I have been lucky
  enough upon the whole, my repose and appetite are not discomposed.
  Pratt, [1] the gleaner, author, poet, etc., etc., addressed a long
  rhyming epistle to me on the subject, by way of consolation; but it
  was not well done, so I do not send it, though the name of the man
  might make it go down. The E. Rs. have not performed their task well;
  at least the literati tell me this; and I think _I_ could write a more
  sarcastic critique on _myself_ than any yet published. For instance,
  instead of the remark,–ill-natured enough, but not keen,–about
  Macpherson, I (quoad reviewers) could have said, “Alas, this imitation
  only proves the assertion of Dr. Johnson, that many men, women, and
  _children_, could write such poetry as Ossian’s.” [2]
  I am _thin_ and in exercise. During the spring or summer I trust we
  shall meet. I hear Lord Ruthyn leaves Newstead in April. As soon as he
  quits it for ever, I wish much you would take a ride over, survey the
  mansion, and give me your candid opinion on the most advisable mode of
  proceeding with regard to the _house_. _Entre nous_, I am cursedly
  dipped; my debts, _every_ thing inclusive, will be nine or ten
  thousand before I am twenty-one. But I have reason to think my
  property will turn out better than general expectation may conceive.
  Of Newstead I have little hope or care; but Hanson, my agent,
  intimated my Lancashire property was worth three Newsteads. I believe
  we have it hollow; though the defendants are protracting the
  surrender, if possible, till after my majority, for the purpose of
  forming some arrangement with me, thinking I shall probably prefer a
  sum in hand to a reversion. Newstead I may _sell_;–perhaps I will
  not,–though of that more anon. I will come down in May or June.
  Yours most truly, etc.
[Footnote 1: Samuel Jackson Pratt (1749-1814), actor, itinerant
lecturer, poet of the Cruscan school, tragedian, and novelist, published
a large number of volumes. His ‘Gleanings’ in England, Holland, Wales,
and Westphalia attained some reputation. His ‘Sympathy, a Poem’ (1788)
passed through several editions. His stage-name, as well as his ‘nom de
plume’, was Courtney Melmoth. He was the discoverer and patron of the
cobbler-poet, Blacket (see also ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’,
line 319, note 2).]
[Footnote 2: “Dr. Johnson’s reply to the friend who asked him if any man
‘living’ could have written such a book, is well known: ‘Yes, sir; many
men, many women, and many children.’ I inquired of him myself if this
story was authentic, and he said it was” (Mrs. Piozzi, ‘Johnsoniana’, p.
96.–To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.
  [Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, Cambridge.]
  Dorant’s, [Tuesday], April 26th, 1808.
  My dear Augusta,–I regret being compelled to trouble you again, but
  it is necessary I should request you will inform Col. Leigh, if the
  P’s consent is not obtained in a few days, it will be of little
  service to Mr. Wallace, who is ordered to join the 17th in ten days,
  the Regiment is stationed in the East Indies, and, as he has already
  served there nine years, he is unwilling to return. I shall feel
  particularly obliged by Col. Leigh’s interference, as I think from his
  influence the Prince’s consent might be obtained. I am not much in the
  habit of asking favours, or pressing exertion, but, on this occasion,
  my wish to save Wallace must plead my excuse.
  I have been introduced to Julia Byron [1] by Trevannion at the Opera;
  she is pretty, but I do not admire her; there is too much Byron in her
  countenance, I hear she is clever, a very great defect in a woman, who
  becomes conceited in course; altogether I have not much inclination to
  improve the acquaintance.
  I have seen my old friend George, [1] who will prove the best of the
  family, and will one day be Lord B. I do not much care how soon.
  Pray name my nephew after his uncle; it must be a nephew, (I _won’t_
  have a _niece,_) I will make him my _heir,_ for I shall never marry,
  unless I am ruined, and then his _inheritance_ would not be great.
  George will have the title and his _laurels;_ my property, (if any is
  left in five years time,) I can leave to whom I please, and your son
  shall be the legatee. Adieu.
  Yours ever,
[Footnote 1: George Anson Byron, R.N. (1758-1793), second son of Admiral
the Hon. John Byron, by his wife Sophia Trevanion, and brother of
Byron’s father, married Henrietta Charlotte Dallas, by whom he had a
son, George, who was at this time in the Royal Navy, and in 1824
succeeded as seventh Lord Byron; and a daughter, Julia Byron, who
married, in 1817, the Rev. Robert Heath. Of his cousin George, Byron
writes in his ‘Journal’ for November 30, 1813 (‘Life,’ p. 209):
  “I like George much more than most people like their heirs. He is a
  fine fellow, and every inch a sailor.”
Again on December 1, 1813, he says,
  “I hope he will be an admiral, and, perhaps, Lord Byron into the
  bargain. If he would but marry, I would engage never to marry myself,
  or cut him out of the heirship.”
George Anson Byron and his wife both died in 1793.]
97.–To the Rev. John Becher.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Sept. 14, 1808.
  My dear Becher,–I am much obliged to you for your inquiries, and
  shall profit by them accordingly. I am going to get up a play here;
  the hall will constitute a most admirable theatre. I have settled the
  ‘dram. pers.,’ and can do without ladies, as I have some young friends
  who will make tolerable substitutes for females, and we only want
  three male characters, beside Mr. Hobhouse and myself, for the play we
  have fixed on, which will be the ‘Revenge.’ [1] Pray direct Nicholson
  the carpenter to come over to me immediately, and inform me what day
  you will dine and pass the night here.
  Believe me, etc.
[Footnote 1: Young’s tragedy (1721), from which one of Byron’s Harrow
speeches in the character of “Zanga” was taken (see page 27 [Letter 10],
[Foot]note 1).]
98.–To John Jackson. [1]
  N. A., Notts., September 18, 1808.
  Dear Jack,–I wish you would inform me what has been done by Jekyll,
  at No. 40, Sloane Square, concerning the pony I returned as unsound.
  I have also to request you will call on Louch at Brompton, and inquire
  what the devil he meant by sending such an insolent letter to me at
  Brighton; and at the same time tell him I by no means can comply with
  the charge he has made for things pretended to be damaged.
  Ambrose behaved most scandalously about the pony. You may tell Jekyll
  if he does not refund the money, I shall put the affair into my
  lawyer’s hands. Five and twenty guineas is a sound price for a pony,
  and by God, if it costs me five hundred pounds, I will make an example
  of Mr. Jekyll, and that immediately, unless the cash is returned.
  Believe me, dear Jack, etc.
[Footnote 1: John Jackson (1769-1845), better known as “Gentleman”
Jackson, was champion of England from 1795 to 1803. His three fights
were against Fewterel (1788), George Ingleston (1789), and Mendoza
(1795). In his fight at Ingatestone with “George the Brewer,” he slipped
on the wet stage, and, falling, dislocated his ankle and broke his leg.
His fight with Mendoza at Hornchurch, Essex, was decided in nine rounds.
At the end of the third round “the odds rose two to one on Mendoza.” In
the fifth, Jackson “seized hold of his opponent by the hair, and served
him out in that defenceless state till he fell to the ground.” The fight
was practically over, and the odds at once turned in favour of Jackson,
who thenceforward had matters all his own way. Even if Mendoza had worn
a wig, he probably would have succumbed to Jackson, who was a more
powerful man with a longer reach, and as scientific, though not so
ornamental, a boxer. In 1803 Jackson retired from the ring.
  “I can see him now” (‘Pugilistica,’ vol. i. 98), “as I saw him in ’84,
  walking down Holborn Hill towards Smithfield. He had on a scarlet coat
  worked in gold at the button-holes, ruffles, and frill of fine lace, a
  small white stock, no collar (they were not then invented), a looped
  hat with a broad black band, buff knee-breeches, and long silk
  strings, striped white silk stockings, pumps, and paste buckles; his
  waistcoat was pale blue satin, sprigged with white. It was impossible
  to look on his fine ample chest, his noble shoulders, his waist, (if
  anything too small,) his large, but not too large hips, … his limbs,
  his balustrade calf and beautifully turned, but not over delicate
  ankle, his firm foot, and peculiarly small hand, without thinking that
  nature had sent him on earth as a model. On he went at a good five
  miles and a half an hour, the envy of all men, and the admiration of
  all women.”
His rooms at 13, Bond Street, became the head-quarters of the Pugilistic
Club, with whose initials, P.C., the ropes and stakes at prize-rings
were marked (see page 99 [Letter 51], [Foot]note 1; and Pierce Egan’s
‘Life in London,’ pp. 252-254). From 1803 to 1824, when he retired from
the profession, he was, as Pierce Egan says of him (p. 254), unrivalled
as “a teacher of the Art of ‘self-defence.'” His character stood high.
“From the highest to the lowest person in the Sporting World, his
‘decision’ is law.”
  “This gentleman,” says Moore, in a note to ‘Tom Crib’s Memorial to
  Congress’ (p. 13), “as he well deserves to be called, from the
  correctness of his conduct and the peculiar urbanity of his manners,
  forms that useful link between the amateurs and the professors of
  pugilism, which, when broken, it will be difficult, if not wholly
  impossible, to replace.”
He was Byron’s guest at Cambridge, Newstead, and Brighton; received from
him many letters; and is described by him, in a note to ‘Don Juan’
(Canto XI. stanza xix.), as “my old friend and corporeal pastor and
master.” Jackson’s monument in Brompton Cemetery, a couchant lion and a
mourning athlete, was subscribed for “by several noblemen and gentlemen,
to record their admiration of one whose excellence of heart and
incorruptible worth endeared him to all who knew him.”]
99.–To John Jackson.
  N. A., Notts., October 4, 1808.
  You will make as good a bargain as possible with this Master Jekyll,
  if he is not a gentleman. If he is a _gentleman_, inform me, for I
  shall take very different steps. If he is not, you must get what you
  can of the money, for I have too much business on hand at present to
  commence an action. Besides, Ambrose is the man who ought to
  refund,–but I have done with him. You can settle with L. out of the
  balance, and dispose of the bidets, etc., as you best can.
  I should be very glad to see you here; but the house is filled with
  workmen, and undergoing a thorough repair. I hope, however, to be more
  fortunate before many months have elapsed.
  If you see Bold Webster, [1] remember me to him, and tell him I have
  to regret Sydney, who has perished, I fear, in my rabbit warren, for
  we have seen nothing of him for the last fortnight. Adieu. [2]
  Believe me, etc.
[Footnote 1: Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1788-1836).]
[Footnote 2: A third letter to Jackson, written from Newstead, December
12, 1808, runs as follows:–
  “My Dear Jack,–You will get the greyhound from the owner at any
  price, and as many more of the same breed (male or female) as you can
  “Tell D’Egville his dress shall be returned–I am obliged to him for
  the pattern. I am sorry you should have so much trouble, but I was not
  aware of the difficulty of procuring the animals in question. I
  shall have finished part of my mansion in a few weeks, and, if you can
  pay me a visit at Christmas, I shall be very glad to see you.
  Believe me, etc.”
In a bill, for 1808, sent in to Byron by Messrs. Finn and Johnson,
tailors, of Nottingham, appears the following item: “Masquerade Jackett
with belt and rich Turban, £11:9:6.” This is probably the dress made
from d’Egville’s pattern.
James d’Egville learned dancing from Gaetano Vestris, well known at the
Court of Frederick the Great, and from Gardel, the Court teacher of
Marie Antoinette. He, his brother Louis, and his sister Madame Michau,
were the most famous teachers of the day in England. The real name of
the family was Hervey; that of d’Egville was assumed for professional
purposes. James d’Egville enjoyed a great reputation, both as an actor
and a dancer, in Paris and London. He was Acting-Manager and Director of
the King’s Theatre (October, 1807, to January, 1808), but was dismissed,
owing to a disagreement between the managers, in the course of which he
was accused of French proclivities and republican principles (see
Waters’s ‘Opera-Glass’, pp. 133-145). A man of taste and cultivation, he
produced some musical extravaganzas and ballets; ‘e.g. Don Quichotte ou
les Noces de Gamache, L’Elèvement d’Adonis, The Rape of Dejanira’, etc.
A coloured print, in the possession of his great-nephew, Mr. Louis
d’Egville, represents him, with Deshayes, in one of his most successful
appearances, the ballet-pantomime of ‘Achille et Deidamie’. He was an
enthusiastic sportsman.]
100.–To his Mother.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts, October 7, 1808.
  Dear Madam,–I have no beds for the Hansons or any body else at
  present. The Hansons sleep at Mansfield. I do not know that I resemble
  Jean Jacques Rousseau. [1] I have no ambition to be like so
  illustrious a madman–but this I know, that I shall live in my own
  manner, and as much alone as possible. When my rooms are ready I shall
  be glad to see you: at present it would be improper, and uncomfortable
  to both parties. You can hardly object to my rendering my mansion
  habitable, notwithstanding my departure for Persia in March (or May at
  farthest), since _you_ will be _tenant_ till my return; and in case of
  any accident (for I have already arranged my will to be drawn up the
  moment I am twenty-one), I have taken care you shall have the house
  and manor for _life_, besides a sufficient income. So you see my
  improvements are not entirely selfish. As I have a friend here, we
  will go to the Infirmary Ball on the 12th; we will drink tea with Mrs.
  Byron [2] at eight o’clock, and expect to see you at the ball. If that
  lady will allow us a couple of rooms to dress in, we shall be highly
  obliged:–if we are at the ball by ten or eleven, it will be time
  enough, and we shall return to Newstead about three or four. Adieu.
  Believe me, yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: In Byron’s ‘Detached Thoughts’, quoted by Moore (‘Life’, p.
72), he thus refers to the comparison with Rousseau:–
  “My mother, before I was twenty, would have it that I was like
  Rousseau, and Madame de Stael used to say so too in 1813, and the
  ‘Edinburgh Review’ has something of the sort in its critique on the
  fourth canto of ‘Childe Harold’. I can’t see any point of
  resemblance:–he wrote prose, I verse: he was of the people; I of the
  aristocracy: he was a philosopher; I am none: he published his first
  work at forty; I mine at eighteen: his first essay brought him
  universal applause; mine the contrary: he married his housekeeper; I
  could not keep house with my wife: he thought all the world in a plot
  against him; my little world seems to think me in a plot against it,
  if I may judge by their abuse in print and coterie: he liked botany; I
  like flowers, herbs, and trees, but know nothing of their pedigrees:
  he wrote music; I limit my knowledge of it to what I catch by _ear_–I
  never could learn any thing by _study_, not even a _language_–it was
  all by rote and ear, and memory: he had a _bad_ memory; I _had_, at
  least, an excellent one (ask Hodgson the poet–a good judge, for he
  has an astonishing one): he wrote with hesitation and care; I with
  rapidity, and rarely with pains: _he_ could never ride, nor swim, nor
  ‘was cunning of fence;’ _I_ am an excellent swimmer, a decent, though
  not at all a dashing, rider, (having staved in a rib at eighteen, in
  the course of scampering,) and was sufficient of fence, particularly
  of the Highland broadsword,–not a bad boxer, when I could keep my
  temper, which was difficult, but which I strove to do ever since I
  knocked down Mr. Purling, and put his knee-pan out (with the gloves
  on), in Angelo’s and Jackson’s rooms in 1806, during the sparring,
  –and I was, besides, a very fair cricketer,–one of the Harrow
  eleven, when we played against Eton in 1805. Besides, Rousseau’s way
  of life, his country, his manners, his whole character, were so very
  different, that I am at a loss to conceive how such a comparison could
  have arisen, as it has done three several times, and all in rather a
  remarkable manner. I forgot to say that _he_ was also short-sighted,
  and that hitherto my eyes have been the contrary, to such a degree
  that, in the largest theatre of Bologna, I distinguished and read some
  busts and inscriptions, painted near the stage, from a box so distant
  and so _darkly_ lighted, that none of the company (composed of young
  and very bright-eyed people, some of them in the same box,) could make
  out a letter, and thought it was a trick, though I had never been in
  that theatre before.
  “Altogether, I think myself justified in thinking the comparison not
  well founded. I don’t say this out of pique, for Rousseau was a great
  man; and the thing, if true, were flattering enough;–but I have no
  idea of being pleased with the chimera.”]
[Footnote 2: The Hon. Mrs. George Byron, ‘née’ Frances Levett, Byron’s
great-aunt, widow of the Hon. George Byron, fourth brother of William,
fifth Lord Byron.]
101.–To his Mother.
  Newstead Abbey, November 2, 1808.
  DEAR MOTHER,–If you please, we will forget the things you mention. I
  have no desire to remember them. When my rooms are finished, I shall
  be happy to see you; as I tell but the truth, you will not suspect me
  of evasion. I am furnishing the house more for you than myself, and I
  shall establish you in it before I sail for India, which I expect to
  do in March, if nothing particularly obstructive occurs. I am now
  fitting up the _green_ drawing-room; the red for a bed-room, and the
  rooms over as sleeping-rooms. They will be soon completed;–at least
  I hope so.
  I wish you would inquire of Major Watson (who is an old Indian) what
  things will be necessary to provide for my voyage. I have already
  procured a friend to write to the Arabic Professor at Cambridge, [1]
  for some information I am anxious to procure. I can easily get letters
  from government to the ambassadors, consuls, etc., and also to the
  governors at Calcutta and Madras. I shall place my property and my
  will in the hands of trustees till my return, and I mean to appoint
  you one. From Hanson I have heard nothing–when I do, you shall have
  the particulars.
  After all, you must own my project is not a bad one. If I do not
  travel now, I never shall, and all men should one day or other. I have
  at present no connections to keep me at home; no wife, or unprovided
  sisters, brothers, etc. I shall take care of you, and when I return I
  may possibly become a politician. A few years’ knowledge of other
  countries than our own will not incapacitate me for that part. If we
  see no nation but our own, we do not give mankind a fair chance;–it
  is from _experience_, not books, we ought to judge of them. There is
  nothing like inspection, and trusting to our own senses.
  Yours, etc.
[Footnote 1: The Rev. John Palmer, Fellow of St. John’s, Adam’s
Professor of Arabic (1804-19).]
102.–To Francis Hodgson. [1]
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Nov. 3, 1808.
  My Dear Hodgson,–I expected to have heard ere this the event of your
  interview with the mysterious Mr. Haynes, my volunteer correspondent;
  however, as I had no business to trouble you with the adjustment of my
  concerns with that illustrious stranger, I have no right to complain
  of your silence.
  You have of course seen Drury, [2] in all the pleasing palpitations of
  anticipated wedlock. Well! he has still something to look forward to,
  and his present extacies are certainly enviable. “Peace be with him
  and with his spirit,” and his flesh also, at least just now …
  Hobhouse and your humble are still here. Hobhouse hunts, etc., and I
  do nothing; we dined the other day with a neighbouring Esquire (not
  Collet of Staines), and regretted your absence, as the Bouquet of
  Staines was scarcely to be compared to our last “feast of reason.” You
  know, laughing is the sign of a rational animal; so says Dr. Smollett.
  I think so, too, but unluckily my spirits don’t always keep pace with
  my opinions. I had not so much scope for risibility the other day as I
  could have wished, for I was seated near a woman, to whom, when a boy,
  I was as much attached as boys generally are, and more than a man
  should be. [3] I knew this before I went, and was determined to be
  valiant, and converse with _sang froid_; but instead I forgot my
  valour and my nonchalance, and never opened my lips even to laugh, far
  less to speak, and the lady was almost as absurd as myself, which made
  both the object of more observation than if we had conducted ourselves
  with easy indifference. You will think all this great nonsense; if you
  had seen it, you would have thought it still more ridiculous. What
  fools we are! We cry for a plaything, which, like children, we are
  never satisfied with till we break open, though like them we cannot
  get rid of it by putting it in the fire.
  I have tried for Gifford’s _Epistle to Pindar_,[4] and the bookseller
  says the copies were cut up for _waste paper_; if you can procure me a
  copy I shall be much obliged. Adieu!
  Believe me, my dear Sir, yours ever sincerely,
[Footnote 1: Francis Hodgson (1781-1852), educated at Eton (1794-99) and
at King’s College, Cambridge, Scholar (1799), Fellow (1802), hesitated
between literature and the bar as his profession. For three years he was
a private tutor, for one (1806) a master at Eton. In 1807 he became a
resident tutor at King’s. It was not till 1812 that he decided to take
orders. Two years later he married Miss Tayler, a sister of Mrs. Henry
Drury, and took a country curacy. In 1816 he was given the Eton living
of Bakewell, in Derbyshire, became Archdeacon of Derby in 1836, and in
1840 Provost of Eton. At Eton he died December 29, 1852.
Hodgson’s literary facility was extraordinary. He rhymed with an ease
which almost rivals that of Byron, and from 1807 to 1818 he poured out
quantities of verse, English and Latin, original and translated, besides
writing articles for the ‘Quarterly’, the ‘Monthly’, and the ‘Critical’
Reviews. He published his ‘Translation of Juvenal’ in 1807, in which he
was assisted by Drury and Merivale; ‘Lady Jane Grey’, a Tale; and other
Poems (1809); ‘Sir Edgar, a Tale’ (1810); ‘Leaves of Laurel’ (1812);
‘Charlemagne, an Epic Poem’ (1815), translated from the original of
Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, by S. Butler and Francis Hodgson;
‘The Friends, a Poem in Four Books; Mythology for Versification’ (1831);
‘A Charge, as Archdeacon of Derby’ (1837); ‘Sermons’ (1846); and other
His acquaintance with Byron began in 1807, when Byron was meditating
‘British Bards’, and Hodgson, provoked by a review of his ‘Juvenal’ in
the ‘Edinburgh Review’, was composing his ‘Gentle Alterative prepared
for the Reviewers’, which appears on pp. 56, 57 of ‘Lady Jane Grey’.
There are some curious points of resemblance between the two poems,
though Hodgson’s lines can hardly be compared for force and sting to
‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’. Like Byron (see ‘English Bards,
etc’., line 513, note 7), he makes merry over the blunder of the
‘Edinburgh’ reviewer, who, in an article on Payne Knight’s ‘Principles
of Taste’, severely criticized some Greek lines which he attributed to
Knight, but which, in fact, were by Pindar:–
  “And when he frown’d on Kn–‘s erroneous Greek,
  Bad him in Pindar’s page that error seek.”
Like Byron also, he attributes the blunder to Hallam, and speaks of
“Hallam’s baffled art.” The article was written by Lord Holland’s
physician, Dr. Allen, who, according to Sydney Smith, had “the creed of
a philosopher and the legs of a clergyman.” Like Byron also (see
‘English Bards, etc’., line 820), he appeals to Gifford, who was an old
family friend, to return to the fray:–
  “Oh! for that voice, whose cadence loud and strong
  Drove Delia Crusca from the field of song–
  And with a force that guiltier fools should feel,
  Rack’d a vain butterfly on Satire’s wheel.”
In a note appended to the words in his satire–“Like clowns detest
nobility”–he refers to the ‘Edinburgh’s’ treatment of Byron’s verse.
The link thus established between Byron and Hodgson grew stronger for
the next few years. Hodgson suppressed Moore’s challenge to the author
of ‘English Bards’; was Byron’s guest at Newstead (see page 179 [Letter
92], in [Foot]note [further down]); pleaded with him on the subject of
religion; translated his lines, “I would I were a careless child,” into
Latin verse (‘Lady Jane Grey’, p. 94); addressed him in poetry, as, for
instance, in the “Lines to a Friend going abroad” (‘Sir Edgar’, p. 173).
Byron, on his side, seems to have been sincerely attached to Hodgson, to
whom he left, by his first will (1811), one-third of his personal goods,
and in 1813 gave £1000 to enable him to marry. Hodgson corresponded with
Mrs. Leigh and with Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady Byron, endeavoured to
heal the breach between husband and wife, and was one of the mourners at
Hucknall Torkard Church.
In Haydon’s ‘Table-Talk’ (vol. ii. pp. 367-8) is recorded a conversation
with Hobhouse on the subject of Hodgson. Haydon’s account of Hobhouse’s
words is confused; but he definitely asserts that Hodgson’s life was
dissipated, and insinuates that he perverted Byron’s character. Part of
the explanation is probably this: Hodgson’s friend, the Rev. Robert
Bland, kept a mistress, described as a woman of great personal and
mental attraction. He asked Hodgson, during his absence on the
Continent, to visit the lady and send him frequent news of her. Hodgson
did so, with the result that, at Bland’s return, the lady refused to see
him. When Byron came back from his Eastern tour, he received a frantic
letter from Bland, telling him that Hodgson had stolen her love. To this
Byron refers in his letter to Harness, December 15, 1811, and probably
told an embellished story to Hobhouse. But Hodgson himself warmly
repudiated the charge; and there is no reason to think that his version
of the affair is not the truth.]
[Footnote 2: The Rev. Henry Drury married, December 20, 1808, Ann
Caroline, daughter of Archdale Wilson Tayler, of Boreham Wood, Herts.
Their five sons were all educated at Harrow: Henry, Archdeacon of Wilts
and editor of ‘Arundines Cami’ (1841); Byron, Vice-Admiral R.N.;
Benjamin Heath, Vice-President of Caius College, Cambridge; Heber,
Colonel in the Madras Army; Charles Curtis, General of the Bengal Staff
Corps (see also page 41 [Letter 14], [Foot]note 2 [1]).]
[Footnote 3: Mrs. Chaworth Musters (see Byron’s lines, “Well! thou art
happy,” ‘Poems’, vol. i. pp. 277-279).]
[Footnote 4: William Gifford (1756-1826), a self-taught scholar, first a
ploughboy, then boy on board a Brixham coaster, afterwards shoemaker’s
apprentice, was sent by friends to Exeter College, Oxford (1779-81). In
the ‘Baviad’ (1794) and the ‘Maeviad’ (1795) he attacked many of the
smaller writers of the day, who were either silly, like the Delia
Cruscan school, or discreditable, like Williams, who wrote as “Anthony
Pasquin.” In his ‘Epistle to Peter Pindar’ (1800) he succeeds in laying
bare the true character of John Wolcot. As editor of the ‘Anti-Jacobin,
or Weekly Examiner’ (November, 1797, to July, 1798), he supported the
political views of Canning and his friends. As editor of the ‘Quarterly
Review’, from its foundation (February, 1809) to his resignation in
September, 1824, he did yeoman’s service to sound literature by his good
sense and adherence to the best models. It was a period when all
criticism was narrow, and, to some degree, warped by political
prejudice. In these respects, Gifford’s work may not have risen
above–it certainly did not fall below–the highest standard of
contemporary criticism. His editions of ‘Massinger’ (1805), which
superseded that of Monck Mason and Davies (1765), of ‘Ben Jonson’
(1816), of ‘Ford’ (1827), are valuable. To his translation of ‘Juvenal’
(1802) is prefixed his autobiography. His translation of ‘Persius’
appeared in 1821. To Gifford, Byron usually paid the utmost deference.
  “Any suggestion of yours, even if it were conveyed,” he writes to him,
  in 1813, “in the less tender text of the ‘Baviad,’ or a Monk Mason
  note to Massinger, would be obeyed.”
See also his letter (September 7, 1811), in which he calls Gifford his
“Magnus Apollo,” and values his praise above the gems of Samarcand.
  “He was,” says Sir Walter Scott (‘Diary,’ January 18, 1827), “a little
  man, dumpled up together, and so ill-made as to seem almost deformed,
  but with a singular expression of talent in his countenance.”
Byron was attracted to Gifford, partly by his devotion to the classical
models of literature, partly by the outspoken frankness of his literary
criticism, partly also, perhaps, by his physical deformity.
103.–To John Hanson.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., November 18th, 1808.
  Dear Sir,–I am truly glad to hear your health is reinstated. As for
  my affairs I am sure you will do your best, and, though I should be
  glad to get rid of my Lancashire property for an equivalent in money,
  I shall not take any steps of that nature without good advice and
  mature consideration.
  I am (as I have already told you) going abroad in the spring; for this
  I have many reasons. In the first place, I wish to study India and
  Asiatic policy and manners. I am young, tolerably vigorous, abstemious
  in my way of living; I have no pleasure in fashionable dissipation,
  and I am determined to take a wider field than is customary with
  travellers. If I return, my judgment will be more mature, and I shall
  still be young enough for politics. With regard to expence, travelling
  through the East is rather inconvenient than expensive: it is not like
  the tour of Europe, you undergo hardship, but incur little hazard of
  spending money. If I live here I must have my house in town, a
  separate house for Mrs. Byron; I must keep horses, etc., etc. When I
  go abroad I place Mrs. Byron at Newstead (there is one great expence
  saved), I have no horses to keep. A voyage to India will take me six
  months, and if I had a dozen attendants cannot cost me five hundred
  pounds; and you will agree with me that a like term of months in
  England would lead me into four times that expenditure. I have written
  to Government for letters and permission of the Company, so you see I
  am _serious._
  You honour my debts; they amount to perhaps twelve thousand pounds,
  and I shall require perhaps three or four thousand at setting out,
  with credit on a Bengal agent. This you must manage for me. If my
  resources are not adequate to the supply I must _sell_, but _not
  Newstead._ I will at least transmit that to the next Lord. My debts
  must be paid, if possible, in February. I shall leave my affairs to
  the care of _trustees_, of whom, with your acquiescence, I shall _name
  you_ one, Mr. Parker another, and two more, on whom I am not yet
  Pray let me hear from you soon. Remember me to Mrs. Hanson, whom I
  hope to see on her return. Present my best respects to the young lady,
  and believe me, etc.,
104.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Nov. 27, 1808.
  My Dear Sir,–Boatswain [1] is to be buried in a vault waiting for
  myself. I have also written an epitaph, which I would send, were it
  not for two reasons: one is, that it is too long for a letter; and the
  other, that I hope you will some day read it on the spot where it will
  be engraved.
  You discomfort me with the intelligence of the real orthodoxy of the
  Arch-fiend’s name, [2] but alas! it must stand with me at present; if
  ever I have an opportunity of correcting, I shall liken him to
  Geoffrey of Monmouth, a noted liar in his way, and perhaps a more
  correct prototype than the Carnifex of James II.
  I do not think the composition of your poem “a sufficing reason” for
  not keeping your promise of a Christmas visit. Why not come? I will
  never disturb you in your moments of inspiration; and if you wish to
  collect any materials for the _scenery_?,[3] Hardwicke (where Mary was
  confined for several years) is not eight miles distant, and,
  independent of the interest you must take in it as her vindicator, is
  a most beautiful and venerable object of curiosity. I shall take it
  very ill if you do not come; my mansion is improving in comfort, and,
  when you require solitude, I shall have an apartment devoted to the
  purpose of receiving your poetical reveries.
  I have heard from our Drury; he says little of the Row, which I
  regret: indeed I would have sacrificed much to have contributed in any
  way (as a schoolboy) to its consummation; but Butler survives, and
  thirteen boys have been expelled in vain. Davies is not here, but
  Hobhouse hunts as usual, and your humble servant “drags at each remove
  a lengthened chain.” I have heard from his Grace of Portland [4] on
  the subject of my expedition: he talks of difficulties; by the gods!
  if he throws any in my way I will next session ring such a peal in his
    That he shall wish the fiery
    Dane Had rather been his guest again. [5]
  You do not tell me if Gifford is really my commentator: it is too good
  to be true, for I know nothing would gratify my vanity so much as the
  reality; even the idea is too precious to part with.
  I shall expect you here; let me have no more excuses. Hobhouse desires
  his best remembrance. We are now lingering over our evening potations.
  I have extended my letter further than I ought, and beg you will
  excuse it; on the opposite page I send you some stanzas [6] I wrote
  off on being questioned by a former flame as to my motives for
  quitting this country. You are the first reader. Hobhouse hates
  everything of the kind, therefore I do not show them to him. Adieu!
  Believe me, yours very sincerely,
[Footnote 1: Boatswain, the Newfoundland dog, died November 18, 1808.
(For Byron’s inscriptions in prose and verse, see ‘Poems’, vol. i. p.
[Footnote 2: Byron at first thought that Jeffrey, the editor of the
‘Edinburgh Review’, spelt his name in the same way as the Judge Jeffreys
of the Bloody Assizes. He probably writes “orthodoxy” for “orthography”
as a joke. (See the lines quoted from ‘British Bards’ in notes to
‘English. Bards, etc.’, line 439, note 2.)]
[Footnote 3: It is stated that Hodgson was writing a poem on Mary Queen
of Scots (‘Life of Rev. Francis Hodgson’, vol. i. p. 107). No such poem
was apparently ever published. In Hodgson’s ‘Lady Jane Grey’, Queen Mary
of England plays a part; hence, possibly, the mistake.]
[Footnote 4: Byron asked the Duke of Portland to procure him “permission
from the E.I. Directors to pass through their settlements.” The duke
replied, in effect, that Byron trespassed on his time and patience. So
Byron at least took his answer (see ‘English Bards, and Scotch
Reviewers,’ line 1016 and note 2).]
[Footnote 5: ‘Marmion’, Canto II. stanza xxxi.]
[Footnote 6: See stanzas “To a Lady on being asked my Reason for
Quitting England in the Spring” (‘Poems’, vol. i. p. 282).]
105.–To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.
  [Ld. Chichester’s, Stratton Street, London.]
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., [Wednesday], Novr. 30th, 1808.
  My Dearest Augusta,–I return you my best thanks for making me an
  uncle, and forgive the sex this time; but the next _must_ be a nephew.
  You will be happy to hear my Lancashire property is likely to prove
  extremely valuable; indeed my pecuniary affairs are altogether far
  superior to my expectations or any other person’s. If I would _sell_,
  my income would probably be six thousand per annum; but I will not
  part at least with Newstead, or indeed with the other, which is of a
  nature to increase in value yearly. I am living here _alone_, which
  suits my inclinations better than society of any kind. Mrs. Byron I
  have shaken off for two years, and I shall not resume her yoke in
  future, I am afraid my disposition will suffer in your estimation; but
  I never can forgive that woman, or breathe in comfort under the same
  I am a very unlucky fellow, for I think I had naturally not a bad
  heart; but it has been so bent, twisted, and trampled on, that it has
  now become as hard as a Highlander’s heelpiece.
  I do not know that much alteration has taken place in my person,
  except that I am grown much thinner, and somewhat taller! I saw Col.
  Leigh at Brighton in July, where I should have been glad to have seen
  you; I only know your husband by sight, though I am acquainted with
  many of the Tenth. Indeed my relations are those whom I know the
  least, and in most instances, I am not very anxious to improve the
  acquaintance. I hope you are quite recovered, I shall be in town in
  January to take my seat, and will call, if convenient; let me hear
  from you before.
  [Signature cut off, and over the page is, in Mrs. Leigh’s writing,
  this endorsement: “Sent to Miss Alderson to go to Germany, May 29th,
106.–To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.
  [Ld. Chichester’s, Stratton Street, London.]
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Decr. 14th, 1808.
  My Dearest Augusta,–When I stated in my last, that my intercourse
  with the world had hardened my heart, I did not mean from any
  matrimonial disappointment, no, I have been guilty of many
  absurdities, but I hope in God I shall always escape that worst of
  evils, Marriage. I have no doubt there are exceptions, and of course
  include you amongst them, but you will recollect, that “_exceptions
  only prove the Rule_.”
  I live here much in my own manner, that is, _alone_, for I could not
  bear the company of my best friend, above a month; there is such a
  sameness in mankind upon the whole, and they grow so much more
  disgusting every day, that, were it not for a portion of Ambition, and
  a conviction that in times like the present we ought to perform our
  respective duties, I should live here all my life, in unvaried
  Solitude. I have been visited by all our Nobility and Gentry; but I
  return no visits. Joseph Murray is at the head of my household, poor
  honest fellow! I should be a great Brute, if I had not provided for
  him in the manner most congenial to his own feelings, and to mine. I
  have several horses, and a considerable establishment, but I am not
  addicted to hunting or shooting. I hate all field sports, though a few
  years since I was a tolerable adept in the _polite_ arts of
  Foxhunting, Hawking, Boxing, etc., etc. My Library is rather
  extensive, (and as you perhaps know) I am a mighty Scribbler; I
  flatter myself I have made some improvements in Newstead, and, as I am
  independent, I am happy, as far as any person unfortunate enough to be
  born into this world, can be said to be so.
  I shall be glad to hear from you when convenient, and beg you to
  believe me,
  Very sincerely yours,
107.–To John Hanson.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Dec. 17, 1808.
  My Dear Sir,–I regret the contents of your letter as I think we shall
  be thrown on our backs from the delay. I do not know if our best
  method would not be to compromise if possible, as you know the state
  of my affairs will not be much bettered by a protracted and possibly
  unsuccessful litigation. However, I am and have been so much in the
  dark during the whole transaction that I am not a competent judge of
  the most expedient measures. I suppose it will end in my marrying a
  _Golden Dolly_ [1] or blowing my brains out; it does not much matter
  which, the remedies are nearly alike. I shall be glad to hear from you
  further on the business. I suppose now it will be still more difficult
  to come to any terms. Have you seen Mrs. Massingberd, and have you
  arranged my Israelitish accounts? Pray remember me to Mrs. Hanson, to
  Harriet, and all the family, female and male.
  Believe me also, yours very sincerely,
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Byron also advised his marriage with an heiress. The
following passage is taken from her letter to Hanson, January 30, 1809:–
  “I was sorry I could not see you here. Byron told me he intended to
  put his servants on Board Wages at Newstead. I was very sorry to hear
  of the great expence the Newstead _fête_ would put him to. I can see
  nothing but the Road to Ruin in all this, which grieves me to the
  heart and makes me still worse than I would otherwise be (unless,
  indeed, Coal Mines turn to Gold Mines), or that he mends his fortune
  in the old and usual way by marrying a Woman with two or three hundred
  thousand pounds. I have no doubt of his being a great speaker and a
  celebrated public character, and _all_ that; but that _won’t add_ to
  his fortune, but bring on more expenses on him, and there is nothing
  to be had in this country to make a man rich in his line of life.”
In another letter to Hanson, dated March 4, 1809, she returns to the
same subject:–
  “I have had a very dismal letter from my son, informing me that he is
  _ruined_. He wishes to borrow my money. This I shall be very ready to
  oblige him in, on such security as you approve. As it is my _all_,
  this is very necessary, and I am sure he would not wish to have it on
  any other terms. It cannot be paid up, however, under six months’
  notice. I wish he would take the debt of a thousand pounds, that I
  have been security for, on himself, and pay about eighty pounds he
  owes here.
  I wish to God he would exert himself and retrieve his affairs. He
  must marry a Woman of _fortune_ this spring; love matches is all
  nonsense. Let him make use of the Talents God has given him. He is an
  English Peer, and has all the privileges of that situation. What is
  this about proving his grandfather’s marriage? I thought it had been
  in Lancashire. If it was not, it surely easily can be proved. Is
  nothing going forward concerning the Rochdale Property? I am sure, if
  I was Lord Byron, I would sell no estates to pay Jews; I only would
  pay what was lawful. Pray answer the note immediately, and answer all
  my questions concerning lending the money, the Rochdale property, and
  why B. don’t or can’t take his seat, which is very hard, and very
  I am, Dear Sir, yours sincerely,
  C. G. BYRON.”]
108.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., Dec. 17, 1808.
  My Dear Hodgson,–I have just received your letter, and one from B.
  Drury, [1] which I would send, were it not too bulky to despatch
  within a sheet of paper; but I must impart the contents and consign
  the answer to your care. In the first place, I cannot address the
  answer to him, because the epistle is without date or direction; and
  in the next, the contents are so singular that I can scarce believe my
  optics, “which are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth
  all the rest.”
  A few weeks ago, I wrote to our friend Harry Drury of facetious
  memory, to request he would prevail on his brother at Eton to receive
  the son of a citizen in London well known unto me as a pupil; the
  family having been particularly polite during the short time I was
  with them, induced me to this application. “Now mark what follows,” as
  somebody or Southey sublimely saith: on this day, the 17th December,
  arrives an epistle signed B. Drury, containing not the smallest
  reference to tuition or _in_tuition, but a _petition_ for _Robert
  Gregson_, [2] of pugilistic notoriety, now in bondage for certain
  paltry pounds sterling, and liable to take up his everlasting abode in
  Banco Regis. Had this letter been from any of my _lay_ acquaintance,
  or, in short, from anyone but the gentleman whose signature it bears,
  I should have marvelled not. If Drury is serious, I congratulate
  pugilism on the acquisition of such a patron, and shall be happy to
  advance any sum necessary for the liberation of the captive Gregson;
  but I certainly hope to be certified from you or some reputable
  housekeeper of the fact, before I write to Drury on the subject. When
  I say the _fact_, I mean of the _letter_ being written by _Drury_, not
  having any doubt as to the authenticity of the statement. The letter
  is now before me, and I keep it for your perusal. When I hear from you
  I shall address my answer to him, under _your care_; for as it is now
  the vacation at Eton, and the letter is without _time_ or _place_, I
  cannot venture to consign my sentiments on so _momentous_ a _concern_
  to chance.
  To you, my dear Hodgson, I have not much to say. If you can make it
  convenient or pleasant to trust yourself here, be assured it will be
  both to me.
[Footnote 1: Benjamin Heath Drury (1782-1835), second son of the
Headmaster of Harrow (see page 41 [Letter 14], [Foot]note 2 [1]), was a
Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and Assistant-master at Eton.
Gronow (‘Reminiscences’, vol. i. pp. 209 and 233) says that Drury was
“passionately devoted to theatricals,” and, with his friend Knapp,
frequently drove up to London after school-hours to sup with Edmund Kean
and Arnold at Drury Lane or the Hummums in Covent Garden. On one
occasion they took with them Lord Eldon’s son, then a school-boy at
Eton. After supper the party were “run in” by the watchmen, and bailed
out at Bow Street by the Lord Chancellor’s secretary.]
[Footnote 2: Bob Gregson (1778-1824), the big-boned, burly landlord of
the Castle, Holborn, known as “Bob’s Chop-house,” was a familiar figure
in the sporting world. When captain of the Liverpool and Wigan Packet,
he established his reputation in Lancashire as a fighter. He stood 6
feet 1-1/2 inches in height, and weighed 15 stone 6 pounds. But, in
spite of the eulogies of Pierce Egan–a low-caste Irishman, who was
first a compositor, then a comedian, and afterwards a newspaper reporter
(see Grantley Berkeley’s ‘My Life and Recollections’, vol. i. pp. 107,
108)–Gregson had no science, and depended only on his strength,
courage, and endurance. He was beaten by Gully at Six Mile Bottom in
1807, and again in 1808 at Markyate Street; also by Tom Cribb at Moulsey
Hurst in 1808 (‘Pugilistica’, vol. i. pp. 237-241). Failing as landlord
of the Castle, he set up a school of boxing at Dublin, where he
afterwards kept “the Punch House,” in Moor Street. He died at Liverpool
in 1824. According to Egan (‘Boxiana’, vol. i. pp. 357, 358), Gregson
“united Pugilism with Poetry.” On this claim he adopted the letters
“P.P.” after his name. Egan gives some of his doggerel among “Prime
Chaunts for the Fancy” (‘ibid’., p. 358). Moore, in ‘Tom Crib’s Memorial
to Congress’, attributes to him his “Lines to Miss Grace Maddox” (pp.
75-77); “Ya-Hip, my Hearties!” (pp. 80-83); and “The Annual Pill” (pp.
109.–To John Hanson.
  Newstead Abbey, Jan. 15th, 1809.
  My Dear Sir,–I am much obliged by your kind invitation, but I wish
  you, if possible, to be here on the 22nd. [1] Your presence will be of
  great service, everything is prepared for your reception exactly as if
  I remained, and I think Hargreaves will be gratified by the appearance
  of the place, and the humours of the day. I shall on the first
  opportunity pay my respects to your family, and though I will not
  trespass on your hospitality on the 22nd, my obligation is not less
  for your agreeable offer, which on any other occasion would be
  immediately accepted, but I wish you much to be present at the
  festivities, and I hope you will add Charles to the party. Consider,
  as the Courtier says in the tragedy of _Tom Thumb_ [2]–
    “This is a day; your Majesties may boast of it,
    And since it never can come o’er, ’tis fit you make the most of it.”
  I shall take my seat as soon as circumstances will admit. I have not
  yet chosen my side in politics, nor shall I hastily commit myself with
  professions, or pledge my support to any men or measures, but though I
  shall not run headlong into opposition, I will studiously avoid a
  connection with ministry. I cannot say that my opinion is strongly in
  favour of either party; [3] on the one side we have the late
  underlings of Pitt, possessing all his ill fortune, without his
  talents; this may render their failure more excusable, but will not
  diminish the public contempt; on the other, we have the ill-assorted
  fragments of a worn-out minority; Mr. Windham with his coat _twice_
  turned, and my Lord Grenville who perhaps has more sense than he can
  make good use of; between the two and the shuttlecock of both, a
  Sidmouth, and the general _football_ Sir F. Burdett, kicked at by all,
  and owned by none.
  I shall stand aloof, speak what I think, but not often, nor too soon.
  I will preserve my independence, if possible, but if involved with a
  party, I will take care not to be the _last_ or _least_ in the ranks.
  As to _patriotism_, the word is obsolete, perhaps improperly, so, for
  all men in the Country are patriots, knowing that their own existence
  must stand or fall with the Constitution, yet everybody thinks he
  could alter it for the better, and govern a people, who are in fact
  easily governed, but always claim the privilege of grumbling. So much
  for Politics, of which I at present know little and care less; bye and
  bye, I shall use the senatorial privilege of talking, and indeed in
  such times, and in such a crew, it must be difficult to hold one’s
  Believe me, etc.,
[Footnote 1: Byron’s coming of age was celebrated at Newstead on January
22, 1809.]
[Footnote 2: See O’Hara’s acting version of Fielding’s _Tom Thumb the
Great_, act i. sc. I–
  “_Doodle_. A Day we never saw before;
              A Day of fun and drollery.
  _Noodle_.    That you may say,
             Their Majesties may boast of it;
             And since it never can come more,
               ‘Tis fit they make the most of it.”]
[Footnote 3: Lord Grenville (1759-1834) became First Lord of the
Treasury; Lord Sidmouth, Lord Privy Seal; and William Windham, Secretary
for War, in February, 1806. They, with Fox and his friends, formed the
administration of “All the Talents,” which in March, 1807, fell over the
Roman Catholic question. They were succeeded by the Duke of Portland’s
Ministry, which included the “late underlings of Pitt,”–Perceval,
Canning, Dundas, etc. “Weathercock” Windham, in the Ministry of “All the
Talents,” was responsible for the conduct of a war which, as leader of
the so-called “New Opposition,” he had vigorously opposed. Sir Francis
Burdett’s zeal for Parliamentary Reform involved him in hostility to
both Whigs and Tories, who had combined to exclude him from Parliament
after his election for Middlesex (1802-6). In 1807 he had been elected
for Westminster.]
110.–To R. C. Dallas.
  Reddish’s Hotel, Jan. 25, 1809.
  My Dear Sir,–My only reason for not adopting your lines is because
  they are _your_ lines. [1] You will recollect that Lady Wortley
  Montague said to Pope: “No touching, for the good will be given to
  you, and the bad attributed to me.” I am determined it shall be all my
  own, except such alterations as may be absolutely required; but I am
  much obliged by the trouble you have taken, and your good opinion.
  The couplet on Lord C. [2] may be scratched out and the following
    Roscommon! Sheffield! with your spirits fled,
    No future laurels deck a noble head.
    Nor e’en a hackney’d Muse will deign to smile
    On minor Byron, nor mature Carlisle.
  This will answer the purpose of concealment. Now for some couplets on
  Mr. Crabbe, [3] which you may place after “Gifford, Sotheby, M’Niel:”
    There be who say, in these enlightened days,
    That splendid lies are all the Poet’s praise;
    That strained invention, ever on the wing,
    Alone impels the modern Bard to sing.
    ‘Tis true that all who rhyme, nay, all who write,
    Shrink from that fatal word to genius, trite:
    Yet Truth will sometimes lend her noblest fires,
    And decorate the verse herself inspires.
    This fact in Virtue’s name let Crabbe attest;
    Though Nature’s sternest painter, yet the best.
  I am sorry to differ with you with regard to the title, [4] but I mean
  to retain it with this addition: _The British [the word “British” is
  struck through] English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_; and if we call it
  a _Satire_, it will obviate the objection, as the Bards also were
  Welch. Your title is too humorous;–and as I know a little of—-, I
  wish not to embroil myself with him, though I do not commend his
  treatment of—-. I shall be glad to hear from you or see you, and beg
  you to believe me,
  Yours very sincerely,
[Footnote 1: Dallas (January 24, 1809) takes “the liberty of sending you
some two dozen lines,” etc.]
[Footnote 2: The couplet on Lord Carlisle, as it stood in ‘British Bards’,
  “On one alone Apollo deigns to smile,
  And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle.”
(See ‘English Bards, etc.’, lines 723, ‘et seqq.’; see also line 927,
note 2. For Lord Carlisle, see page 36, note 2.)]
[Footnote 3: For “Gifford, Sotheby, Macneil,” see ‘English Bards, etc’.,
line 818, and ‘notes’. Dallas had written (January 24, 1809),
  “I am sorry you have not found a place among the genuine sons of
  Apollo for Crabbe, who, in spite of something bordering on servility
  in his dedication, may surely rank with some you have admitted to his
(see ‘English Bards, etc’., lines 849-858).]
[Footnote 4: Dallas suggested as a title, ‘The Parish Poor of
111.–To R. C. Dallas.
  February 7, 1809.
  My Dear Sir,–Suppose we have this couplet–
    Though sweet the sound, disdain a borrow’d tone,
    Resign Achaia’s lyre, and strike your own: [1]
    Though soft the echo, scorn a borrow’d tone,
    Resign Achaia’s lyre, and strike your own.
  So much for your admonition; but my note of notes, my solitary pun,
  [2] must not be given up–no, rather
    “Let mightiest of all the beasts of chace
    That roam in woody Caledon”
  come against me; my annotation must stand.
  We shall never sell a thousand; then why print so many? Did you receive
  my yesterday’s note? I am troubling you, but I am apprehensive some of
  the lines are omitted by your young amanuensis, to whom, however, I am
  infinitely obliged.
  Believe me, yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: Dallas (February 6, 1809) objected to the rhyme in the
  “Translation’s servile work at length disown,
  And quit Achaia’s Muse to court your own.”
(For the corrected couplet, see ‘English Bards, etc’., lines 889, 890.)]
[Footnote 2: See ‘English Bards, etc.’, line 1016, note 2.]
112.–To R. C. Dallas.
  February 11, 1809.
  I wish you to call, if possible, as I have some alterations to suggest
  as to the part about Brougham. [1]
[Footnote 1: See ‘ibid.’, line 524, note 2.]
113.–To R. C. Dallas.
  February 12, 1809.
  Excuse the trouble, but I have added two lines which are necessary to
  complete the poetical character of Lord Carlisle. [1]
    ……….in his age
    His scenes alone had damn’d our singing stage;
    But Managers for once cried, “hold, enough!”
    Nor drugg’d their audience with the tragic stuff!
  Yours, etc.,
[Footnote 1: See ‘ibid.’, lines 733-736. Another letter, written
February 15, 1809, runs as follows:–
  “I wish you much to call on me, about _One_, not later, if convenient,
  as I have   some thirty or forty lines for addition.
  Believe me, etc.,
114.–To R. C. Dallas.
  February 16, 1809.
  _Ecce iterum Crispinus!_–I send you some lines to be placed after
  “Gifford, Sotheby, M’Niel.” [1] Pray call tomorrow any time before
  two, and
  Believe me, etc.,
  P.S.–Print soon, or I shall overflow with more rhyme.
[Footnote 1: See ‘English Bards, etc.’, lines 819-830.]
115.–To R. C. Dallas.
  February 19, 1809.
  I enclose some lines to be inserted, the first six after “Lords too
  are bards,” etc., or rather immediately following the line:
    “Ah! who would take their titles with their rhymes.”
  The four next will wind up the panegyric on Lord Carlisle, and come
  after “tragic stuff.” [1]
  Yours truly.
    In these our times with daily wonders big,
    A letter’d Peer is like a letter’d Pig:
    Both know their alphabet, but who from thence
    Infers that Peers or Pigs have manly sense?
    Still less that such should woo the graceful Nine?
    Parnassus was not made for Lords and Swine.
    Roscommon, Sheffield, etc., etc.
    … tragic stuff.
    Yet at their judgment let his Lordship laugh,
    And case his volumes in congenial calf:
    Yes, doff that covering where morocco shines,
    “And hang a calf-skin on those recreant” lines.
[Footnote 1: See ‘ibid.’, lines 736-740.]
116.–To R. C. Dallas.
    February 22, 1809.
    A cut at the opera.–_Ecce signum_! from last night’s observation,
    and inuendos against the Society for the Suppression of Vice. [1]
    The lines will come well in after the couplets concerning Naldi and
    Catalani! [2]
    Yours truly,
[Footnote 1: See ‘English Bards, etc.’, lines 618-631, note 1, for the
“cut at the opera.” The piece which provoked the outburst was ‘I
Villegiatori Rezzani’, at the King’s Theatre, February 21, 1809.
Guiseppe Naldi (1770-1820) made his ‘début’ in London, at the King’s
Theatre, in April, 1806. (For further details, see ‘English Bards,
etc.’, line 613, note 2.) Angelica Catalani, born at Sinigaglia, in
1779, or, according to some authorities, 1785, came out at Venice, in an
opera by Nasolini. She sang in many capitals of Europe, married at
Lisbon a French officer named Vallabrègue, and came to London in
October, 1806. The salary paid her was a cause of the O. P. riots at
Covent Garden in 1809, when one of the cries was, “No foreigners! No
Catalani!” A series of caricatures, one set by Isaac Cruikshank, and
several medals, commemorate the riots. Madame Catalani died at Paris in
[Footnote 2: See ‘English Bards, etc.’, lines 632-637.]
117.–To his Mother.
  8, St. James’s Street, March 6, 1809.
  Dear Mother,–My last letter was written under great depression of
  spirits from poor Falkland’s death, [1] who has left without a
  shilling four children and his wife. I have been endeavouring to
  assist them, which, God knows, I cannot do as I could wish, for my own
  embarrassments and the many claims upon me from other quarters.
  What you say is all very true: come what may, _Newstead_ and I _stand_
  or fall together. I have now lived on the spot, I have fixed my heart
  upon it, and no pressure, present or future, shall induce me to barter
  the last vestige of our inheritance. I have that pride within me which
  will enable me to support difficulties. I can endure privations; but
  could I obtain in exchange for Newstead Abbey the first fortune in the
  country, I would reject the proposition. Set your mind at ease on that
  score; Mr. Hanson talks like a man of business on the subject,–I feel
  like a man of honour, and I will not sell Newstead.
  I shall get my seat [2] on the return of the affidavits from Carhais,
  in Cornwall, and will do something in the House soon: I must dash, or
  it is all over. My Satire must be kept secret for a _month_; after
  that you may say what you please on the subject. Lord Carlisle has
  used me infamously, and refused to state any particulars of my family
  to the Chancellor. I have _lashed_ him in my rhymes, and perhaps his
  lordship may regret not being more conciliatory. They tell me it will
  have a sale; I hope so, for the bookseller has behaved well, as far as
  publishing well goes.
  Believe me, etc.
  P.S.–You shall have a mortgage on one of the farms. [3]
[Footnote 1: Captain Charles John Cary, R.N., succeeded his brother
Thomas in 1796 as ninth Lord Falkland. He married, in 1803, Miss Anton,
the daughter of a West India merchant. He had been recently dismissed
from his ship “on account of some irregularities arising from too free a
circulation of the bottle.” But he had received a promise of being
reinstated, and, in high spirits at the prospect, dined one evening in
March, 1809, at Stevens’s Coffeehouse, in Bond Street. There he applied
to Mr. Powell an offensive nickname. “He lost his life for a joke, and
one too he did not make himself” (Medwin, ‘Conversations’, ed. 1825, p.
66). A challenge resulted. The parties met on Goldar’s Green, and
Falkland, mortally wounded, died two days later in Powell’s house in
Devonshire Place, on March 7, 1809. (‘Annual Register’, vol. li. pp.
449, 450.) For a more detailed account, see ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for
March, 1809. Both accounts give March 7 as the date of Falkland’s death.
A posthumous child was born to Lady Falkland. Byron stood godfather, and
gave £500 at the christening.
[Footnote 2: Byron took his seat in the House of Lords, March 13, 1809.
The delay was caused by the difficulty of proving the marriage of
Admiral the Hon. John Byron with Miss Sophia Trevanion in the private
chapel of Carhais. Probably Carlisle neither possessed nor withheld any
[Footnote 3: Byron had borrowed £1000 for his return to Cambridge in
1807: £200 from Messrs. Wylde and Co., bankers, of Southwell; and the
remainder from the Misses Parkyns, and his great-aunt, the Hon. Mrs.
George Byron. For this debt his mother made herself liable. No mortgage
was given (see page 221 [Letter 121], [Foot]note 2 [1]).]
118.–To William Harness.
  8, St. James’s Street, March 18, 1809.
  There was no necessity for your excuses: if you have time and
  inclination to write, “for what we receive, the Lord make us
  thankful,”–if I do not hear from you, I console myself with the idea
  that you are much more agreeably employed.
  I send down to you by this post a certain Satire lately published, and
  in return for the three and sixpence expenditure upon it, only beg
  that if you should guess the author, you will keep his name secret; at
  least for the present. London is full of the Duke’s business. [1] The
  Commons have been at it these last three nights, and are not yet come
  to a decision. I do not know if the affair will be brought before our
  House, unless in the shape of an impeachment. If it makes its
  appearance in a debatable form, I believe I shall be tempted to say
  something on the subject.–I am glad to hear you like Cambridge:
  firstly, because, to know that you are happy is pleasant to one who
  wishes you all possible sublunary enjoyment; and, secondly, I admire
  the morality of the sentiment. _Alma Mater_ was to me _injusta
  noverca_; and the old beldam only gave me my M.A. degree because she
  could not avoid it. [2]–You know what a farce a noble Cantab. must
  I am going abroad, if possible, in the spring, and before I depart I
  am collecting the pictures of my most intimate school-fellows; I have
  already a few, and shall want yours, or my cabinet will be incomplete.
  I have employed one of the first miniature painters [3] of the day to
  take them, of course, at my own expense, as I never allow my
  acquaintance to incur the least expenditure to gratify a whim of mine.
  To mention this may seem indelicate; but when I tell you a friend of
  ours first refused to sit, under the idea that he was to disburse on
  the occasion, you will see that it is necessary to state these
  preliminaries to prevent the recurrence of any similar mistake. I
  shall see you in time, and will carry you to the ‘limner’. It
  will be a tax on your patience for a week; but pray excuse it, as it
  is possible the resemblance may be the sole trace I shall be able to
  preserve of our past friendship and acquaintance. Just now it seems
  foolish enough; but in a few years, when some of us are dead, and
  others are separated by inevitable circumstances, it will be a kind of
  satisfaction to retain in these images of the living the idea of our
  former selves, and, to contemplate, in the resemblances of the dead,
  all that remains of judgment, feeling, and a host of passions. But all
  this will be dull enough for you, and so good night; and, to end my
  chapter, or rather my homily,
  Believe me, my dear H., yours most affectionately,
[Footnote 1: This was the inquiry into the charges made by Colonel
Gwyllym Wardle, M.P. for Okehampton (1807-12), against the Duke of York
and his mistress, Mary Ann Clarke. The inquiry began January 27, 1809,
and ended March 20, 1809, with the duke’s resignation, the Commons
having previously (March 17) acquitted him of “personal connivance and
The case has passed into literature. Wardle, the valorous Dowler, and
Lowten, Mr. Perker’s clerk, had all figured in the trial before they
played their parts in ‘Pickwick’. Wardle, who was a colonel of the Welsh
Fusiliers (“Wynne’s Lambs”) had fought at Vinegar Hill. After losing his
seat, he took a farm between Tunbridge Wells and Rochester, from which
he fled to escape his creditors, and died at Florence, November 30,
1834, aged seventy-two.]
[Footnote 2: Byron took his M.A. degree, July 4, 1808. In another letter
to Harness, dated February, 1809, he says,
  “I do not know how you and Alma Mater agree. I was but an untoward
  child myself, and I believe the good lady and her brat were equally
  rejoiced when I was weaned, and if I obtained her benediction at
  parting, it was, at best, equivocal.”]
[Footnote 3: George Sanders (1774-1846) painted miniatures, made
watercolour copies of continental master-pieces, and afterwards became a
portrait-painter in oils. He painted several portraits of Byron, two of
which have been often engraved.]
119.–To William Bankes.
  Twelve o’clock, Friday night.
  My Dear Bankes,–I have just received your note; believe me I regret
  most sincerely that I was not fortunate enough to see it before, as I
  need not repeat to you that your conversation for half an hour would
  have been much more agreeable to me than gambling [1] or drinking, or
  any other fashionable mode of passing an evening abroad or at home.–I
  really am very sorry that I went out previous to the arrival of your
  despatch: in future pray let me hear from you before six, and whatever
  my engagements may be, I will always postpone them.–Believe me, with
  that deference which I have always from my childhood paid to your
  _talents_, and with somewhat a better opinion of your heart than I
  have hitherto entertained,
  Yours ever, etc.
[Footnote 1:
  “I learn with delight,” writes Hobhouse from Cambridge, May 12, 1808,
  “from Scrope Davies, that you have totally given up dice. To be sure
  you must give it up; for you to be seen every night in the very vilest
  company in town–could anything be more shocking, anything more unfit?
  I speak feelingly on this occasion, ‘non ignara mali miseris, &c’. I
  know of nothing that should bribe me to be present once more at such
  horrible scenes. Perhaps ’tis as well that we are both acquainted with
  the extent of the evil, that we may be the more earnest in abstaining
  from it. You shall henceforth be ‘Diis animosus hostis’.”
Moore quotes (‘Life’, p. 86) the following extract from Byron’s
  “I have a notion that gamblers are as happy as many people, being
  always _excited_. Women, wine, fame, the table,–even ambition,
  _sate_ now and then; but every turn of the card and cast of the
  dice keeps the gamester alive: besides, one can game ten times longer
  than one can do any thing else. I was very fond of it when young, that
  is to say, of hazard, for I hate all _card_ games,–even faro.
  When macco (or whatever they spell it) was introduced, I gave up the
  whole thing, for I loved and missed the _rattle_ and _dash_
  of the box and dice, and the glorious uncertainty, not only of good
  luck or bad luck, but of _any luck at all_, as one had sometimes
  to throw _often_ to decide at all. I have thrown as many as
  fourteen mains running, and carried off all the cash upon the table
  occasionally; but I had no coolness, or judgment, or calculation. It
  was the delight of the thing that pleased me. Upon the whole, I left
  off in time, without being much a winner or loser. Since
  one-and-twenty years of age I played but little, and then never above
  a hundred, or two, or three.”]
120.–To R. C. Dallas.
  April 25, 1809.
  Dear Sir,–I am just arrived at Batt’s Hotel, Jermyn Street, St.
  James’s, from Newstead, and shall be very glad to see you when
  convenient or agreeable. Hobhouse is on his way up to town, full of
  printing resolution, [1] and proof against criticism.–Believe me,
  with great sincerity,
  Yours truly,
[Footnote 1: See page 163 [Letter 86], [Foot]note 1. Hobhouse’s
miscellany was published in 1809, under the title of ‘Imitations and
Translations from the Antient and Modern Classics: Together with
Original Poems never before published’.]
121.–To John Hanson.
  Batt’s Hotel, Jermyn Street, April 26th, 1809.
  DEAR SIR,–I wish to know before I make my final effort elsewhere, if
  you can or cannot assist me in raising a sum of money on fair and
  equitable terms and immediately. [1] I called twice this morning, and
  beg you will favour me with an answer when convenient. I hope all your
  family are well. I should like to see them together before my
  The Court of Chancery it seems will not pay the money, of which indeed
  I do not know the precise amount; the Duke of Portland will not pay
  his debt, and with the Rochdale property nothing is done.–My debts
  are daily increasing, and it is with difficulty I can command a
  shilling. As soon as possible I shall get quit of this country, but I
  wish to do justice to my creditors (though I do not like their
  importunity), and particularly to my securities, for their annuities
  must be paid off soon, or the interest will swallow up everything.
  Come what may, in every shape and in any shape, I can meet ruin, but I
  will never sell Newstead; the Abbey and I shall stand or fall
  together, and, were my head as grey and defenceless as the Arch of the
  Priory, I would abide by this resolution. The whole of my wishes are
  summed up in this; procure me, either of my own or borrowed of others,
  three thousand pounds, and place two in Hammersley’s hands for letters
  of credit at Constantinople; if possible sell Rochdale in my absence,
  pay off these annuities and my debts, and with the little that remains
  do as you will, but allow me to depart from this cursed country, and I
  promise to turn Mussulman, rather than return to it. Believe me to be,
  Yours truly, BYRON.
  P.S.–Is my will finished? I should like to sign it while I have
  anything to leave.
[Footnote 1: Money was obtained, partly by means of a life insurance
effected with the Provident Institution. The medical report, signed by
Benjamin Hutchinson, F.R.C.S., London, states that Hutchinson had
attended Byron for the last four or five years; that he was, when last
seen by Hutchinson, in very good health; that he never was afflicted
with any serious malady; that he was sober and temperate; that he
“sometimes used much exercise, and at others was of a studious and
sedentary turn;” and thus concludes: “I do believe that he possesses an
unimpaired, healthy constitution, and I am not aware of any circumstance
which may be considered as tending to shorten his life.”
Mrs. Byron (April 9, 1809) begs Hanson to see that Byron gave some
security for the thousand pounds for which she was bound. She adds:
“There is some Trades People at Nottingham that will be completely
ruined if he does not pay them, which I would not have happen for the
whole world.”  No security seems to have been given, and the tradesmen
remained unpaid. Mrs. Byron’s death was doubtless accelerated by anxiety
from these causes.]
122.-To the Rev. R. Lowe. [1]
  8, St. James Street, May 15, 1809.
  MY DEAR SIR,–I have just been informed that a report is circulating
  in Notts of an intention on my part to sell Newstead, which is rather
  unfortunate, as I have just tied the property up in such a manner as
  to prevent the practicability, even if my inclination led me to
  dispose of it. But as such a report may render my tenants
  uncomfortable, I will feel very much obliged if you will be good
  enough to contradict the rumour, should it come to your ears, on my
  authority. I rather conjecture it has arisen from the sale of some
  copyholds of mine in Norfolk. [2] I sail for Gibraltar in June, and
  thence to Malta when, of course, you shall have the promised detail. I
  saw your friend Thornhill last night, who spoke of you as a friend
  ought to do. Excuse this trouble, and believe me to be, with great
  Yours affectionately, BYRON.
[Footnote 1. The Rev. Robert Lowe was some years older than Byron, and
had known him intimately at Southwell in his early youth. Miss Pigot was
a cousin of Mr. Lowe, as was also the Rev. J. T. Becher of Southwell.
Mrs. Chaworth Musters, who contributed this letter to ‘The Life and
Letters of Viscount Sherbrooke’ (vol. i. p. 46), adds that her
grandfather was, naturally, excessively annoyed at having been made the
mouthpiece of an untruth, and that the coolness which arose in
consequence lasted up to the end of Byron’s life. There can, however, be
no doubt that Byron made the statement in all sincerity.]
[Footnote 2: At Wymondham.]
123.–To his Mother.
  Falmouth, June 22, 1809.
  DEAR MOTHER,–I am about to sail in a few days; probably before this
  reaches you. Fletcher begged so hard, that I have continued him in my
  service. If he does not behave well abroad, I will send him back in a
  _transport_. I have a German servant (who has been with Mr. Wilbraham
  in Persia before, and was strongly recommended to me by Dr. Butler, of
  Harrow), Robert and William; [1] they constitute my whole suite. I
  have letters in plenty:–you shall hear from me at the different ports
  I touch upon; but you must not be alarmed if my letters miscarry. The
  Continent is in a fine state–an insurrection has broken out at Paris,
  and the Austrians are beating Buonaparte–the Tyrolese have risen.
  There is a picture of me in oil, to be sent down to Newstead soon. [2]
  –I wish the Miss Pigots had something better to do than carry my
  miniatures to Nottingham to copy. Now they have done it, you may ask
  them to copy the others, which are greater favourites than my own. As
  to money matters, I am ruined–at least till Rochdale is sold; and if
  that does not turn out well, I shall enter into the Austrian or
  Russian service–perhaps the Turkish, if I like their manners. The
  world is all before me, and I leave England without regret, and
  without a wish to revisit any thing it contains, except _yourself_,
  and your present residence.
  Believe me, yours ever sincerely.
  P.S.–Pray tell Mr. Rushton his son is well, and doing well; so is
  Murray, [3] indeed better than I ever saw him; he will be back in
  about a month. I ought to add the leaving Murray to my few regrets, as
  his age perhaps will prevent my seeing him again. Robert I take with
  me; I like him, because, like myself, he seems a friendless animal.
[Footnote 1: Robert Rushton and William Fletcher, the “little page” and
“staunch yeoman” of Childe Harold’s “Good Night,” Canto I. stanza xiii.]
[Footnote 2: By George Sanders.]
[Footnote 3: “Joe” Murray was sent back from Gibraltar, and with him
returned the homesick Robert Rushton.
124.–To the Rev. Henry Drury.
  Falmouth, June 28, 1809.
  MY DEAR DRURY,–We sail to-morrow in the Lisbon packet, having been
  detained till now by the lack of wind, and other necessaries. These
  being at last procured, by this time tomorrow evening we shall be
  embarked on the vide vorld of vaters, vor all the vorld like Robinson
  Crusoe. The Malta vessel not sailing for some weeks, we have
  determined to go by way of Lisbon, and, as my servants term it, to see
  “that there “‘Portingale'”–thence to Cadiz and Gibraltar, and so on
  our old route to Malta and Constantinople, if so be that Captain Kidd,
  our gallant, or rather gallows, commander, understands plain sailing
  and Mercator, and takes us on a voyage all according to the chart.
  Will you tell Dr. Butler that I have taken the treasure of a servant,
  Friese, the native of Prussia Proper, into my service from his
  recommendation? He has been all among the Worshippers of Fire in
  Persia, and has seen Persepolis and all that.
  Hobhouse has made woundy preparations for a book on his return; 100
  pens, two gallons of Japan Ink, and several volumes of best blank, is
  no bad provision for a discerning public. I have laid down my pen, but
  have promised to contribute a chapter on the state of morals, and a
  further treatise on the same to be intituled “…, ‘Simplified,… or
  Proved to be Praiseworthy from Ancient Authors and Modern Practice.'”
  Hobhouse further hopes to indemnify himself in Turkey for a life of
  exemplary chastity at home. Pray buy his ‘Missellingany’, as the
  Printer’s Devil calls it. I suppose it is in print by this time.
  Providence has interposed in our favour with a fair wind to carry us
  out of its reach, or he would have hired a Faqui to translate it into
  the Turcoman lingo.
    “The cock is crowing,
    I must be going,
    And can no more.”
  ‘Ghost of Gaffer Thumb’. [1]
  Adieu.–Believe me, etc., etc.
[Footnote 1: In Fielding’s burlesque tragedy, ‘The Tragedy of Tragedies;
or the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great'(1730), occur the lines–
  “Arthur, beware; I must this moment hence,
  Not frighted by your voice, but by the cock’s.”
The burlesque was altered by Kane O’Hara, and published as performed at
the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, in 1805. In this prompt-book version (act
i.) appear the lines quoted by Byron.
       “‘Ghost’. Grizzle’s Rebellion,
                 What need I tell you on?
                  Or by a red cow
                 Tom Thumb devoured?
  (‘cock crows’) Hark the cock crowing!
                 I must be going:
                  I can no more {‘vanishes’}.”]
125.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Falmouth, June 25, 1809.
  MY DEAR HODGSON,–Before this reaches you, Hobhouse, two officers’
  wives, three children, two waiting-maids, ditto subalterns for the
  troops, three Portuguese esquires and domestics, in all nineteen
  souls, will have sailed in the Lisbon packet, with the noble Captain
  Kidd, a gallant commander as ever smuggled an anker of right Nantz.
  We are going to Lisbon first, because the Malta packet has sailed,
  d’ye see?–from Lisbon to Gibraltar, Malta, Constantinople, and “all
  that,” as Orator Henley said, when he put the Church, and “all that,”
  in danger. [1]
  This town of Falmouth, as you will partly conjecture, is no great ways
  from the sea. It is defended on the sea-side by tway castles, St. Maws
  and Pendennis, extremely well calculated for annoying every body
  except an enemy. St. Maws is garrisoned by an able-bodied person of
  fourscore, a widower. He has the whole command and sole management of
  six most unmanageable pieces of ordnance, admirably adapted for the
  destruction of Pendennis, a like tower of strength on the opposite
  side of the Channel. We have seen St. Maws, but Pendennis they will
  not let us behold, save at a distance, because Hobhouse and I are
  suspected of having already taken St. Maws by a coup de main.
  The town contains many Quakers and salt fish–the oysters have a taste
  of copper, owing to the soil of a mining country–the women (blessed
  be the Corporation therefor!) are flogged at the cart’s tail when they
  pick and steal, as happened to one of the fair sex yesterday noon. She
  was pertinacious in her behaviour, and damned the mayor.
  This is all I know of Falmouth. Nothing occurred of note in our way
  down, except that on Hartford Bridge we changed horses at an inn,
  where the great—-, Beckford, [2] sojourned for the night. We tried
  in vain to see the martyr of prejudice, but could not. What we thought
  singular, though you perhaps will not, was that Ld Courtney [3]
  travelled the same night on the same road, only one stage _behind_ him.
  Hodgson, remember me to the Drury, and remember me to yourself when
  drunk. I am not worth a sober thought. Look to my satire at
  Cawthorn’s, Cockspur Street, and look to the ‘Miscellany’ of the
  Hobhouse. It has pleased Providence to interfere in behalf of a
  suffering public by giving him a sprained wrist, so that he cannot
  write, and there is a cessation of ink-shed.
  I don’t know when I can write again, because it depends on that
  experienced navigator, Captain Kidd, and the “stormy winds that
  (don’t) blow” at this season. I leave England without regret–I shall
  return to it without pleasure. I am like Adam, the first convict
  sentenced to transportation, but I have no Eve, and have eaten no
  apple but what was sour as a crab;–and thus ends my first chapter.
  Adieu. [4]
  Yours, etc.
[Footnote 1: Henley, in one of his publications entitled ‘Oratory
Transactions’, engaged
  “to execute singly what would sprain a dozen of modern doctors of the
  tribe of Issachar–to write, read, and study twelve hours a day, and
  yet appear as untouched by the yoke as if he never wore it–to teach
  in one year what schools or universities teach in five;” and he
  furthermore pledged himself to persevere in his bold scheme until he
  had “put the church,–and all that–, in danger.”
[Footnote 2: William Beckford (1760-1844), son of Chatham’s friend who
was twice Lord Mayor of London, at the age of eleven succeeded it is
said, to a million of ready money and a hundred thousand a year. Before
he was seventeen he wrote his ‘Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary
Painters’, designed as a satire on the ‘Vies des Peintres Flamands’,
(‘Memoirs of William Beckford’, by Cyrus Redding, vol. i. p. 96.) His
travels (1777-82) in Switzerland, the Low Countries, and Italy are
described in his ‘Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents, in a series of
letters from various parts of Europe’, published anonymously in 1783,
and reprinted, with additions and omissions, in 1834 and 1840. In the
previous year he had written ‘Vathek’ in French, in “three days and two
nights,” without, as he says, taking off his clothes; “the severe
application made me very ill.” This statement, if made by Beckford, as
Redding implies, is untrue. Evidence exists to prove that ‘Vathek’ was a
careful and elaborate composition. The book was published with his name
in 1787; but a translation, made and printed without his leave, had
already (1784) appeared, and was often mistaken for the original. In
1783 he married Lady Margaret Gordon, with whom he lived in Switzerland
till her death in 1786. One of his two daughters–he had no son–became
Mrs. Orde, the other the Duchess of Hamilton. From 1787 to 1791, and
again from 1794 to 1796, he visited Portugal and Spain, and to this
period belong his ‘Sketches of Spain and Portugal’ (1834), and his
‘Recollections of an Excursion to the ‘Monasteries of Alobaca and
Batalha’ (1835). Between his two visits to Portugal, on the last of
which he occupied the retreat at Cintra celebrated by Byron (‘Childe
Harold’, Canto I. stanzas xviii.-xxii.), he saw the destruction of the
Bastille, bought Gibbon’s library at Lausanne (in 1796), and, shutting
himself up in it “for six weeks, from early in the morning until night,
only now and then taking “a ride,” read himself “nearly blind” (Cyrus
Redding’s “Recollections of the Author of Vathek,” ‘New Monthly
Magazine’, vol. lxxi. p. 307). He also wrote two burlesque novels, to
ridicule, it is said, those written by his sister, Mrs. Henry: ‘Azemia;
a Descriptive and Sentimental Novel. By Jacquetta Agneta Mariana Jenks
of Bellgrove Priory in Wales’ (1796); and ‘Modern Novel-Writing, or the
Elegant Enthusiast. By the Rt. Hon. Lady Harriet Marlow'(1797). He
represented Wells from 1784 to 1790, and Hindon from 1806 to 1820; but
took no part in political life. He was now settled at Fonthill
(1796-1822), absorbed in collecting books, pictures, and engravings,
laying out the grounds, indulging his architectural extravagances, and
shutting himself and his palace out from the world by a gigantic wall.
When Rogers visited him at Fonthill, and arrived at the gate, he was
told that neither his servant nor his horses could be admitted, but that
Mr. Beckford’s attendants and horses would be at his service
(‘Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers’, p. 217). Beckford
had been taught music by Mozart, and Rogers says (‘ibid’.) that “in the
evening Beckford would amuse us by reading one of his unpublished works;
or he would extemporize on the pianoforte, producing the most novel and
charming melodies.”
In 1822 his gigantic fortune had dwindled; he was in embarrassed
circumstances; Fonthill and most of its contents were sold, and Beckford
settled in Lansdowne Terrace, Bath, where he still collected books and
works of art, laid out the grounds, and built the tower on Lansdowne
Hill, which are now the property of the city. At Bath he died in 1844.
‘Vathek’ is a masterpiece, which, as an Eastern tale, is unrivalled in
European literature.
  “For correctness of costume,” says Byron, in one of his diaries,
  “beauty of description, and power of imagination, it far surpasses all
  European imitations; and bears such marks of originality, that those
  who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to
  be a translation. As an Eastern tale, even ‘Rasselas’ must bow before
  it: his ‘Happy Valley’ will not bear a comparison with the Hall of
Beckford’s letters are, in their way, equally masterpieces, and, like
‘Vathek’, have the appearance of being struck off without labour.
Reprinted, as their writer says (Preface to the edition of 1840),
because “some justly admired Authors… condescended to glean a few
stray thoughts from these letters,” they suggest, in some respects,
comparison with Byron’s own work. There is the same prodigality of
power, the same simple nervous style, the same vein of melancholy, the
same cynical contempt for mankind. In both writers there is a passionate
feeling for the grander aspects of nature, though Beckford was also
thrilled, as Byron was not, by the beauties of art. In both there are
similar inconsistencies and incongruities of temperament, and the same
vein of reckless self-indulgence appears to run by the side of nobler
enthusiasms. In both there is a taste for Oriental magnificence, which,
in Beckford, was to some degree corrected by his artistic perceptions.
Both, finally, described not so much the objects they saw, as the
impression which those objects produced on themselves, and thus steeped
their pictures, clear and vivid though they are, in an atmosphere of
their own personality.]
[Footnote 3: William, third Viscount Courtenay, died unmarried in 1835,
and with him the viscountcy became extinct. In 1831 he proved before
Parliament his title to the earldom of Devon, which passed at his death
to a cousin, William, tenth Earl of Devon (1777-1859).]
[Footnote 4: In this letter the following verses were enclosed:–
“Falmouth Roads, June 30, 1809.
    “Huzza! Hodgson, we are going,
      Our embargo’s off at last;
    Favourable breezes blowing
      Bend the canvass o’er the mast.
  From aloft the signal’s streaming,
    Hark! the farewell gun is fired,
  Women screeching, tars blaspheming,
    Tell us that our time’s expired.
      Here’s a rascal
      Come to task all,
    Prying from the Custom-house;
      Trunks unpacking,
      Cases cracking,
    Not a corner for a mouse
  ‘Scapes unsearch’d amid the racket,
  Ere we sail on board the Packet.
  Now our boatmen quit their mooring,
    And all hands must ply the oar;
  Baggage from the quay is lowering,
    We’re impatient–push from shore.
  ‘Have a care! that case holds liquor–
    Stop the boat–I’m sick–oh Lord!’
  ‘Sick, ma’am, damme, you’ll be sicker
    Ere you’ve been an hour on board.’
      Thus are screaming
      Men and women,
    Gemmen, ladies, servants, Jacks;
      Here entangling,
      All are wrangling,
    Stuck together close as wax.
  Such the general noise and racket,
  Ere we reach the Lisbon Packet.
  Now we’ve reach’d her, lo! the captain,
    Gallant Kidd, commands the crew;
  Passengers their berths are clapt in,
    Some to grumble, some to spew.
  ‘Hey day! call you that a cabin?
    Why ’tis hardly three feet square;
  Not enough to stow Queen Mab in–
    Who the deuce can harbour there?’
      ‘Who, sir? plenty–
      Nobles twenty–
    Did at once my vessel fill’–
  ‘Did they? Jesus,
      How you squeeze us!
    Would to God they did so still:
  Then I’d ‘scape the heat and racket,
  Of the good ship, Lisbon Packet.’
  Fletcher! Murray! Bob! where are you?
    Stretch’d along the deck like logs–
  Bear a hand, you jolly tar you!
    Here’s a rope’s end for the dogs.
  Hobhouse muttering fearful curses,
    As the hatchway down he rolls;
  Now his breakfast, now his verses,
    Vomits forth–and damns our souls.
      ‘Here’s a stanza
      On Braganza–
    Help!’–‘A couplet?’–‘No, a cup
      Of warm water.’–
      ‘What’s the matter?’
    ‘Zounds! my liver’s coming up;
  I shall not survive the racket
  Of this brutal Lisbon Packet.’
  Now at length we’re off for Turkey,
    Lord knows when we shall come back!
  Breezes foul and tempests murky
    May unship us in a crack.
  But, since life at most a jest is,
    As philosophers allow,
  Still to laugh by far the best is,
    Then laugh on–as I do now.
      Laugh at all things,
      Great and small things,
    Sick or well, at sea or shore;
      While we’re quaffing,
      Let’s have laughing–
    Who the devil cares for more?–
  Some good wine! and who would lack it,
  Ev’n on board the Lisbon Packet?
126.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Lisbon, July 16, 1809.
  Thus far have we pursued our route, and seen all sorts of marvellous
  sights, palaces, convents, etc.;–which, being to be heard in my
  friend Hobhouse’s forthcoming Book of Travels, I shall not anticipate
  by smuggling any account whatsoever to you in a private and
  clandestine manner. I must just observe, that the village of Cintra in
  Estremadura is the most beautiful, perhaps, in the world.
  I am very happy here, because I loves oranges, and talks bad Latin to
  the monks, who understand it, as it is like their own,–and I goes
  into society (with my pocket-pistols), and I swims in the Tagus all
  across at once, and I rides on an ass or a mule, and swears
  Portuguese, and have got a diarrhoea and bites from the mosquitoes.
  But what of that? Comfort must not be expected by folks that go a
  When the Portuguese are pertinacious, I say ‘Carracho!’–the great
  oath of the grandees, that very well supplies the place of
  “Damme,”–and, when dissatisfied with my neighbour, I pronounce him
  ‘Ambra di merdo’. With these two phrases, and a third, ‘Avra louro’,
  which signifieth “Get an ass,” I am universally understood to be a
  person of degree and a master of languages. How merrily we lives that
  travellers be!–if we had food and raiment. But, in sober sadness, any
  thing is better than England, and I am infinitely amused with my
  pilgrimage as far as it has gone.
  To-morrow we start to ride post near 400 miles as far as Gibraltar,
  where we embark for Melita and Byzantium. A letter to Malta will find
  me, or to be forwarded, if I am absent. Pray embrace the Drury and
  Dwyer, and all the Ephesians you encounter. I am writing with Butler’s
  donative pencil, which makes my bad hand worse. Excuse illegibility.
  Hodgson! send me the news, and the deaths and defeats and capital
  crimes and the misfortunes of one’s friends; and let us hear of
  literary matters, and the controversies and the criticisms. All this
  will be pleasant–‘Suave mari magno’, etc. Talking of that, I have
  been sea-sick, and sick of the sea. Adieu.
  Yours faithfully, etc.
127.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Gibraltar, August 6, 1809.
  I have just arrived at this place after a journey through Portugal,
  and a part of Spain, of nearly 500 miles. We left Lisbon and travelled
  on horseback to Seville and Cadiz, and thence in the ‘Hyperion’
  frigate to Gibraltar. The horses are excellent–we rode seventy miles
  a day. Eggs and wine, and hard beds, are all the accommodation we
  found, and, in such torrid weather, quite enough. My health is better
  than in England.
  Seville is a fine town, and the Sierra Morena, part of which we
  crossed, a very sufficient mountain; but damn description, it is
  always disgusting. Cadiz, sweet Cadiz! [1]–it is the first spot in
  the creation. The beauty of its streets and mansions is only excelled
  by the loveliness of its inhabitants. For, with all national
  prejudice, I must confess the women of Cadiz are as far superior to
  the English women in beauty as the Spaniards are inferior to the
  English in every quality that dignifies the name of man. Just as I
  began to know the principal persons of the city, I was obliged to
  You will not expect a long letter after my riding so far “on hollow
  pampered jades of Asia.” Talking of Asia puts me in mind of Africa,
  which is within five miles of my present residence. I am going over
  before I go on to Constantinople.
  Cadiz is a complete Cythera. Many of the grandees who have left Madrid
  during the troubles reside there, and I do believe it is the prettiest
  and cleanest town in Europe. London is filthy in the comparison. The
  Spanish women are all alike, their education the same. The wife of a
  duke is, in information, as the wife of a peasant,–the wife of
  peasant, in manner, equal to a duchess. Certainly they are
  fascinating; but their minds have only one idea, and the business of
  their lives is intrigue.
  I have seen Sir John Carr [2] at Seville and Cadiz, and, like Swift’s
  barber, have been down on my knees to beg he would not put me into
  black and white [3]. Pray remember me [4] to the Drurys and the Davies,
  and all of that stamp who are yet extant. Send me a letter and news to
  Malta. My next epistle shall be from Mount Caucasus or Mount Sion. I
  shall return to Spain before I see England, for I am enamoured of the
  country. Adieu, and believe me, etc.
[Footnote 1: In ‘Childe Harold’ (Canto I., after stanza lxxxiv.),
instead of the song “To Inez,” Byron originally wrote the song beginning
  “Oh never talk again to me
    Of northern climes and British ladies,
  It has not been your lot to see,
    Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz.”]
[Footnote 2: Sir John Carr (1772-1832), a native of Devonshire, and a
barrister of the Middle Temple, was knighted by the Duke of Bedford as
Viceroy of Ireland about 1807. He published ‘The Fury of Discord, a
Poem’ (1803); ‘The Sea-side Hero, a Drama in 3 Acts’ (1804); and
‘Poems'(1809). But he is best known by his travels, which gained him the
nickname of “Jaunting Carr,” and considerable profit. ‘The Stranger in
France’ (1803) was bought by Johnson for £100. ‘A Northern Summer, or
Travels round the Baltic, etc._(1805), ‘The Stranger in Ireland’
(1806), and ‘A Tour through Holland_(1807), were bought for £500,
£700, and £600 respectively by Sir Richard Phillips, who, but for the
ridicule cast upon Carr by Edward Dubois (in ‘My Pocket Book; or Hints
for a Ryhte Merrie and Conceited Tour in Quarto, to be called “The
Stranger in Ireland in 1805,” by a Knight Errant’), would have given
£600 for his ‘Caledonian Sketches’ (1808). In spite, however, of this
proof of damages, the jury found, in Carr’s action against Messrs. Hood
and Sharpe, the publishers of ‘My Pocket Book’, that the criticism was
fair and justifiable (1808). Carr published, in 1811, his ‘Descriptive
Travels in the Southern and Eastern Parts of Spain’, without mentioning
Byron’s name. Byron concluded his MS. of ‘Childe Harold’, Canto I. with
three stanzas on “Green Erin’s Knight and Europe’s Wandering Star” (see,
for the lines, ‘Childe Harold’, at the end of Canto I.). In letter vii.
of ‘Intercepted Letters; or the Twopenny Post-bag’, by Thomas Brown the
Younger (1813), occur the following lines:–
  “Since the Chevalier C–rr took to marrying lately,
  The Trade is in want of a ‘Traveller’ greatly–
  No job, Sir, more easy–your ‘Country’ once plann’d,
  A month aboard ship and a fortnight on land
  Puts your Quarto of Travels, Sir, clean out of hand.”]
[Footnote 3:
  “Once stopping at an inn at Dundalk, the Dean was so much amused with
  a prating barber, that rather than be alone he invited him to dinner.
  The fellow was rejoiced at this unexpected honour, and being dressed
  out in his best apparel came to the inn, first inquiring of the groom
  what the clergyman’s name was who had so kindly invited him. ‘What the
  vengeance!’ said the servant,’ don’t you know Dean Swift?’ At which
  the barber turned pale, and, running into the house, fell upon his
  knees and intreated the Dean ‘not to put him into print; for that he
  was a poor barber, had a large family to maintain, and if his
  reverence put him into black and white he should lose all his
  customers.’ Swift laughed heartily at the poor fellow’s simplicity,
  bade him sit down and eat his dinner in peace, for he assured him he
  would neither put him nor his wife in print.”
Sheridan’s ‘Life of Swift’.–(Moore).]
[Footnote 4:
  “This sort of passage,” says the Rev. Francis Hodgson, in a note on
  his copy of this letter, “constantly occurs in his correspondence. Nor
  was his interest confined to mere remembrances and inquiries after
  health. Were it possible to state ‘all’ he has done for numerous
  friends, he would appear amiable indeed. For myself, I am bound to
  acknowledge, in the fullest and warmest manner, his most generous and
  well-timed aid; and, were my poor friend Bland alive, he would as
  gladly bear the like testimony;–though I have most reason, of all
  men, to do so.”
128.–To his Mother.
  Gibraltar, August 11th, 1809.
  Dear Mother,-I have been so much occupied since my departure from
  England, that till I could address you at length I have forborne
  writing altogether. As I have now passed through Portugal, and a
  considerable part of Spain, and have leisure at this place, I shall
  endeavour to give you a short detail of my movements.
  We sailed from Falmouth on the 2nd of July, reached Lisbon after a
  very favourable passage of four days and a half, and took up our abode
  in that city. It has been often described without being worthy of
  description; for, except the view from the Tagus, which is beautiful,
  and some fine churches and convents, it contains little but filthy
  streets, and more filthy inhabitants. To make amends for this, the
  village of Cintra, about fifteen miles from the capital, is, perhaps
  in every respect, the most delightful in Europe; it contains beauties
  of every description, natural and artificial. Palaces and gardens
  rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts, and precipices; convents on
  stupendous heights–a distant view of the sea and the Tagus; and,
  besides (though that is a secondary consideration), is remarkable as
  the scene of Sir Hew Dalrymple’s Convention.[1] It unites in itself
  all the wildness of the western highlands, with the verdure of the
  south of France. Near this place, about ten miles to the right, is the
  palace of Mafra, the boast of Portugal, as it might be of any other
  country, in point of magnificence without elegance. There is a convent
  annexed; the monks, who possess large revenues, are courteous enough,
  and understand Latin, so that we had a long conversation: they have a
  large library, and asked me if the _English_ had _any books_ in their
  I sent my baggage, and part of the servants, by sea to Gibraltar, and
  travelled on horseback from Aldea Galbega (the first stage from
  Lisbon, which is only accessible by water) to Seville (one of the most
  famous cities in Spain), where the Government called the Junta is now
  held. The distance to Seville is nearly four hundred miles, and to
  Cadiz almost ninety farther towards the coast. I had orders from the
  governments, and every possible accommodation on the road, as an
  English nobleman, in an English uniform, is a very respectable
  personage in Spain at present. The horses are remarkably good, and the
  roads (I assure you upon my honour, for you will hardly believe it)
  very far superior to the best English roads, without the smallest toll
  or turnpike. You will suppose this when I rode post to Seville, in
  four days, through this parching country in the midst of summer,
  without fatigue or annoyance.
  Seville is a beautiful town; though the streets are narrow, they are
  clean. We lodged in the house of two Spanish unmarried ladies, who
  possess _six_ houses in Seville, and gave me a curious specimen of
  Spanish manners. They are women of character, and the eldest a fine
  woman, the youngest pretty, but not so good a figure as Donna Josepha.
  The freedom of manner, which is general here, astonished me not a
  little; and in the course of further observation, I find that reserve
  is not the characteristic of the Spanish belles, who are, in general,
  very handsome, with large black eyes, and very fine forms. The eldest
  honoured your _unworthy_ son with very particular attention, embracing
  him with great tenderness at parting (I was there but three days),
  after cutting off a lock of his hair, and presenting him with one of
  her own, about three feet in length, which I send, and beg you will
  retain till my return. Her last words were, _Adios, tu hermoso! me
  gusto mucho_–“Adieu, you pretty fellow! you please me much.” She
  offered me a share of her apartment, which my _virtue_ induced me to
  decline; she laughed, and said I had some English _amante_ (lover),
  and added that she was going to be married to an officer in the
  Spanish army.
  I left Seville, and rode on to Cadiz, through a beautiful country. At
  _Xeres_, where the sherry we drink is made, I met a great merchant–a
  Mr. Gordon of Scotland–who was extremely polite, and favoured me with
  the inspection of his vaults and cellars, so that I quaffed at the
  fountain head.
  Cadiz, sweet Cadiz, is the most delightful town I ever beheld, very
  different from our English cities in every respect except cleanliness
  (and it is as clean as London), but still beautiful, and full of the
  finest women in Spain, the Cadiz belles being the Lancashire witches
  of their land. Just as I was introduced and began to like the
  grandees, I was forced to leave it for this cursed place; but before I
  return to England I will visit it again. The night before I left it, I
  sat in the box at the opera with Admiral Cordova’s family; [2] he is
  the commander whom Lord St. Vincent defeated in 1797, and has an aged
  wife and a fine daughter, Sennorita Cordova. The girl is very pretty,
  in the Spanish style; in my opinion, by no means inferior to the
  English in charms, and certainly superior in fascination. Long black
  hair, dark languishing eyes, _clear_ olive complexions, and forms more
  graceful in motion than can be conceived by an Englishman used to the
  drowsy, listless air of his countrywomen, added to the most becoming
  dress, and, at the same time, the most decent in the world, render a
  Spanish beauty irresistible.
  I beg leave to observe that intrigue here is the business of life;
  when a woman marries she throws off all restraint, but I believe their
  conduct is chaste enough before. If you make a proposal, which in
  England will bring a box on the ear from the meekest of virgins, to a
  Spanish girl, she thanks you for the honour you intend her, and
  replies, “Wait till I am married, and I shall be too happy.” This is
  literally and strictly true.
  Miss Cordova and her little brother understood a little French, and,
  after regretting my ignorance of the Spanish, she proposed to become
  my preceptress in that language. I could only reply by a low bow, and
  express my regret that I quitted Cadiz too soon to permit me to make
  the progress which would doubtless attend my studies under so charming
  a directress. I was standing at the back of the box, which resembles
  our Opera boxes, (the theatre is large and finely decorated, the music
  admirable,) in the manner which Englishmen generally adopt, for fear
  of incommoding the ladies in front, when this fair Spaniard
  dispossessed an old woman (an aunt or a duenna) of her chair, and
  commanded me to be seated next herself, at a tolerable distance from
  her mamma. At the close of the performance I withdrew, and was
  lounging with a party of men in the passage, when, _en passant,_ the
  lady turned round and called me, and I had the honour of attending her
  to the admiral’s mansion. I have an invitation on my return to Cadiz,
  which I shall accept if I repass through the country on my return from
  Asia. [3]
  I have met Sir John Carr, Knight Errant, at Seville and Cadiz. He is a
  pleasant man. I like the Spaniards much. You have heard of the battle
  near Madrid, [4] and in England they would call it a victory–a pretty
  victory! Two hundred officers and five thousand men killed, all
  English, and the French in as great force as ever. I should have
  joined the army, but we have no time to lose before we get up the
  Mediterranean and Archipelago. I am going over to Africa tomorrow; it
  is only six miles from this fortress. My next stage is Cagliari in
  Sardinia, where I shall be presented to His Majesty. I have a most
  superb uniform as a court dress, indispensable in travelling.
  _August 13._–I have not yet been to Africa–the wind is contrary–but
  I dined yesterday at Algesiras, with Lady Westmorland, [5] where I met
  General Castanos, the celebrated Spanish leader in the late and
  present war. To-day I dine with him. He has offered me letters to
  Tetuan in Barbary, for the principal Moors, and I am to have the house
  for a few days of one of the great men, which was intended for Lady
  W., whose health will not permit her to cross the Straits.
  _August 15_.–I could not dine with Castanos [6] yesterday, but this
  afternoon I had that honour. He is pleasant and, for aught I know to
  the contrary, clever. I cannot go to Barbary. The Malta packet sails
  to-morrow, and myself in it. Admiral Purvis, with whom I dined at
  Cadiz, gave me a passage in a frigate to Gibraltar, but we have no
  ship of war destined for Malta at present. The packets sail fast, and
  have good accommodation. You shall hear from me on our route.
  Joe Murray delivers this; I have sent him and the boy back. Pray show
  the lad kindness, as he is my great favourite; I would have taken him
  on. And say this to his father, who may otherwise think he has behaved
  ill. I hope this will find you well. Believe me,
  Yours ever sincerely,
  P.S.–So Lord G—-[7] is married to a rustic. Well done! If I wed, I
  will bring home a Sultana, with half a dozen cities for a dowry, and
  reconcile you to an Ottoman daughter-in-law, with a bushel of pearls
  not larger than ostrich eggs, or smaller than walnuts.
[Footnote 1: Sir Hew Whitefoord Dalrymple (1750-1830) took command of
the British forces in the Peninsular War, August 22, 1808, and signed
the Convention of Cintra (August 31), by which Junot, whom Sir Arthur
Wellesley had defeated at Vimeira, evacuated Portugal, and surrendered
Elvas and Lisbon. The Convention was approved by a court of general
officers ordered to sit at Chelsea Hospital; but Dalrymple never again
obtained a command.
The so-called Convention of Cintra was signed at the palace of the
Marquis de Marialva, thirty miles distant.]
[Footnote 2: Admiral Cordova commanded the Spanish Fleet, defeated,
February 14, 1797, off Cape St. Vincent, by Sir John Jervis, afterwards
Earl St. Vincent.]
[Footnote 3: To these adventures in his hasty passage through Spain
Byron briefly alludes in the early part of his _Memoranda._
  “For some time,” he said, “I went on prosperously both as a linguist
  and a lover, till at length the lady took a fancy to a ring which I
  wore, and set her heart on my giving it to her, as a pledge of my
  sincerity. This, however, could not be:–any thing but the ring, I
  declared, was at her service, and much more than its value,–but the
  ring itself I had made a vow never to give away.” The young Spaniard
  grew angry as the contention went on, and it was not long before the
  lover became angry also; till, at length, the affair ended by their
  separating. “Soon after this,” said he, “I sailed for Malta, and there
  parted with both my heart and ring.”
(‘Life’, p.93). He also alludes to the incident in ‘Don Juan’, Canto II,
stanza clxiv.–
  “‘Tis pleasing to be school’d in a strange tongue
  By female lips and eyes–that is, I mean,
  When both the teacher and the taught are young,
  As was the case, at least, where I have been,”
[Footnote 4: The battle of Talavera, July 27 and 28, 1809, in which Sir
Arthur Wellesley defeated Marshal Victor. In Cuesta’s despatch to the
Spanish Government, dated Seville, August 7, the British loss is
mentioned as 260 officers and 5000 men.]
[Footnote 5: Lady Westmorland, _nee_ Jane Saunders, daughter of Dr. R.
H. Saunders, married, in 1800, as his second wife, John, tenth Earl of
Westmorland (1759-1841). At her house Lady Caroline Lamb refused to be
introduced to Byron (_Life of Lord Melbourne,_ vol. i. p.103).
[Footnote 6: General Francisco de Castanos, Duke of Baylen (1758-1852)
defeated General Dupont at Baylen in 1808, and distinguished himself at
Vittoria in 1813. He was guardian to Queen Isabella in 1843.]
[Footnote 7: Lord Grey de Ruthyn. (See page 23 [Letter 8], [Foot]note 1.)]
129.–To Mr. Rushton.
  Gibraltar, August 15, 1809.
  Mr. Rushton,–I have sent Robert home with Mr. Murray, because the
  country which I am about to travel through is in a state which renders
  it unsafe, particularly for one so young. I allow you to deduct
  five-and-twenty pounds a year for his education for three years,
  provided I do not return before that time, and I desire he may be
  considered as in my service. Let every care be taken of him, and let
  him be sent to school. In case of my death I have provided enough in
  my will to render him independent. He has behaved extremely well, and
  has travelled a great deal for the time of his absence. Deduct the
  expense of his education from your rent.
130.–To his Mother.
  Malta, September 15, 1809.
  Dear Mother,–Though I have a very short time to spare, being to sail
  immediately for Greece, I cannot avoid taking an opportunity of
  telling you that I am well. I have been in Malta [1] a short time, and
  have found the inhabitants hospitable and pleasant.
  This letter is committed to the charge of a very extraordinary woman,
  whom you have doubtless heard of, Mrs. Spencer Smith, of whose escape
  the Marquis de Salvo published a narrative a few years ago. [2] She
  has since been shipwrecked, and her life has been from its
  commencement so fertile in remarkable incidents, that in a romance
  they would appear improbable. She was born at Constantinople, where
  her father, Baron Herbert, was Austrian Ambassador; married unhappily,
  yet has never been impeached in point of character; excited the
  vengeance of Buonaparte by a part in some conspiracy; several times
  risked her life; and is not yet twenty-five. She is here on her way to
  England, to join her husband, being obliged to leave Trieste, where
  she was paying a visit to her mother, by the approach of the French,
  and embarks soon in a ship of war. Since my arrival here, I have had
  scarcely any other companion. I have found her very pretty, very
  accomplished, and extremely eccentric. Buonaparte is even now so
  incensed against her, that her life would be in some danger if she
  were taken prisoner a second time.
  You have seen Murray and Robert by this time, and received my letter.
  Little has happened since that date. I have touched at Cagliari in
  Sardinia, and at Girgenti in Sicily, and embark to-morrow for Patras,
  from whence I proceed to Yanina, where Ali Pacha holds his court. So I
  shall soon be among the Mussulmans. Adieu. Believe me, with sincerity,
  yours ever,
[Footnote 1: At Gibraltar, John Galt, who was travelling for his health,
met Byron, whom he did not know by sight, but by whose appearance he was
  “His dress indicated a Londoner of some fashion, partly by its
  neatness and simplicity, with just so much of a peculiarity of style
  as served to show that, although he belonged to the order of
  metropolitan beaux, he was not altogether a common one … His
  physiognomy was prepossessing and intelligent, but ever and anon his
  brows lowered and gathered–a habit, as I then thought, with a degree
  of affectation in it, probably first assumed for picturesque effect
  and energetic expression, but which I afterwards discovered was
  undoubtedly the scowl of some unpleasant reminiscence; it was
  certainly disagreeable, forbidding, but still the general cast of his
  features was impressed with elegance and character.”
Afterwards Galt was a fellow-passenger on board the packet from
Gibraltar to Malta.
  “In the little bustle and process of embarking their luggage, his
  Lordship affected, as it seemed to me, more aristocracy than befitted
  his years, or the occasion; and then I thought of his singular scowl,
  and suspected him of pride and irascibility. The impression that
  evening was not agreeable, but it was interesting; and that forehead
  mark, the frown, was calculated to awaken curiosity, and beget
  conjectures … Byron held himself aloof, and sat on the rail, leaning
  on the mizzen shrouds, inhaling, as it were, poetical sympathy from
  the gloomy rock, then dark and stern in the twilight. There was, in
  all about him that  evening, much waywardness. He spoke petulantly to
  Fletcher, his valet, and was evidently ill at ease with himself, and
  fretful towards others. I thought he would turn out an unsatisfactory
  shipmate; yet there was something redeeming in the tones of his voice,
  and when, some time after having indulged his sullen meditation he
  again addressed Fletcher; so that, instead of finding him ill-natured,
  I was soon convinced he was only capricious.”
On the voyage,
  “about the third day, Byron relented from his rapt mood, as if he felt
  it was out of place, and became playful, and disposed to contribute
  his fair proportion to the general endeavour to while away the
  tediousness of the dull voyage.”
But yet throughout the whole passage,
  “if,” says Galt, “my remembrance is not treacherous, he only spent one
  evening in the cabin with us–the evening before we came to anchor at
  Cagliari; for, when the lights were placed, he made himself a man
  forbid, took his station on the railing, between the pegs on which the
  sheets are belayed and the shrouds, and there, for hours, sat in
  silence, enamoured, it may be, of the moon. All these peculiarities,
  with his caprices, and something inexplicable in the cast of his
  metaphysics, while they served to awaken interest, contributed little
  to conciliate esteem. He was often strangely rapt–it may have been
  from his genius; and, had its grandeur and darkness been then
  divulged, susceptible of explanation; but, at the time, it threw, as
  it were, around him the sackcloth of penitence. Sitting amid the
  shrouds and rattlings, in the tranquillity of the moonlight, churning
  an inarticulate melody, he seemed almost apparitional, suggesting dim
  reminiscences of him who shot the albatross”
(Galt’s ‘Life of Byron’, pp. 57-61).]
[Footnote 2: Byron’s “new Calypso.” Mrs. Spencer Smith (born about 1785)
was the daughter of Baron Herbert, Austrian Ambassador at
Constantinople, wife of Spencer Smith, the British Minister at
Stuttgart, and sister-in-law of Sir Sidney Smith, the hero of Acre. In
1805 she was staying, for her health, at the baths of Valdagno, near
Vicenza, when the Napoleonic wars overspread Northern Italy, and she
took refuge with her sister, the Countess Attems, at Venice. In 1806
General Lauriston took over the government of the city in the name of
Napoleon, and M. de La Garde was appointed Prefect of the Police. A few
days after their arrival, on April 18, Mrs. Smith was arrested, and,
guarded by ‘gendarmes’, conveyed towards the Italian frontier, to be
confined, as La Garde told a Sicilian nobleman, the Marquis de Salvo, at
Valenciennes. Mrs. Smith’s beauty and impending fate deeply impressed
the marquis, who determined to rescue her. The prisoner and her guard
had reached Brescia, and were lodged at the ‘Albergo delle due Torre’,
The  opportunity seemed favourable. Once across the Guarda Lake, and in
the passes of Tyrol, it would be easy to reach Styria. The marquis made
his arrangements–hired two boats, one for the fugitives, the other for
their post-chaise and horses; procured for Mrs. Smith a boy’s dress, as
a disguise; made a ladder long enough to reach her window in the inn,
and succeeded in making known his plan to the prisoner. The escape was
effected; but all along the road the danger continued, for their way lay
through a country which was practically French territory. It was not
till they reached Gratz, and Mrs. Smith was under the roof of her
sister, the Countess Strassoldo, that she was safe. The story is told in
detail by the Marquis de Salvo, in his ‘Travels in the Year 1806 from
Italy to England’ (1807), and by the Duchesse d’Abrantes (‘Memoires,’
vol. xv. pp. 1-74).
To Mrs. Spencer Smith are addressed the “Lines to Florence,” the
“Stanzas composed during a Thunderstorm” (near Zitza, in October, 1809),
and stanzas xxx.-xxxii. of the second canto of ‘Childe Harold.’ The
Duchesse d’Abrantés (‘Mémoires’, vol. xv. pp. 4, 5) thus describes her:
  “Une jeune femme, dont la délicate et elégante tournure, la peau
  blanche et diaphane, les cheveux blonds, les mouvemens onduleux, toute
  une tournure impossible à décrire autrement qu’en disant qu’elle était
  de toutes les créatures la plus gracieuse, lui donnaient l’aspect
  d’une de ces apparitions amenées par un rêve heureux… il y avail de
  la Sylphide en elle. Sa vue excessivement basse n’etait qu’un charme
  de plus.”
Moore (‘Life,’ p. 95) thinks that Byron was less in love with Mrs.
Smith than with his recollection of her. According to Gait (‘Life of
Byron,’ p. 66),
  “he affected a passion for her, but it was only Platonic. She,
  however, beguiled him of his valuable yellow diamond ring.”]
131.–To his Mother.
  Prevesa, November 12, 1809.
  My Dear Mother,–I have now been some time in Turkey: this place is on
  the coast, but I have traversed the interior of the province of
  Albania on a visit to the Pacha. I left Malta in the _Spider,_ a brig
  of war, on the 21st of September, and arrived in eight days at
  Prevesa. I thence have been about 150 miles, as far as Tepaleen, his
  Highness’s country palace, where I stayed three days. The name of the
  Pacha is _Ali_ [1] and he is considered a man of the first abilities:
  he governs the whole of Albania (the ancient Illyricum), Epirus, and
  part of Macedonia. His son, Vely Pacha, [2] to whom he has given me
  letters, governs the Morea, and has great influence in Egypt; in
  short, he is one of the most powerful men in the Ottoman empire. When
  I reached Yanina, the capital, after a journey of three days over the
  mountains, through a country of the most picturesque beauty, I found
  that Ali Pacha was with his army in Illyricum, besieging Ibrahim Pacha
  in the castle of Berat. He had heard that an Englishman of rank was in
  his dominions, and had left orders in Yanina with the commandant to
  provide a house, and supply me with every kind of necessary _gratis_;
  and, though I have been allowed to make presents to the slaves, etc.,
  I have not been permitted to pay for a single article of household
  I rode out on the vizier’s horses, and saw the palaces of himself and
  grandsons: they are splendid, but too much ornamented with silk and
  gold. I then went over the mountains through Zitza, [3] a village with
  a Greek monastery (where I slept on my return), in the most beautiful
  situation (always excepting Cintra, in Portugal) I ever beheld. In
  nine days I reached Tepaleen. Our journey was much prolonged by the
  torrents that had fallen from the mountains, and intersected the
  roads. I shall never forget the singular scene on entering Tepaleen at
  five in the afternoon, as the sun was going down. It brought to my
  mind (with some change of _dress_, however) Scott’s description of
  Branksome Castle in his _Lay_, and the feudal system. [4] The
  Albanians, in their dresses, (the most magnificent in the world,
  consisting of a long _white kilt_, gold-worked cloak, crimson velvet
  gold-laced jacket and waistcoat, silver-mounted pistols and daggers,)
  the Tartars with their high caps, the Turks in their vast pelisses and
  turbans, the soldiers and black slaves with the horses, the former in
  groups in an immense large open gallery in front of the palace, the
  latter placed in a kind of cloister below it, two hundred steeds ready
  caparisoned to move in a moment, couriers entering or passing out with
  the despatches, the kettle-drums beating, boys calling the hour from
  the minaret of the mosque, altogether, with the singular appearance of
  the building itself, formed a new and delightful spectacle to a
  stranger. I was conducted to a very handsome apartment, and my health
  inquired after by the vizier’s secretary, ‘à-la-mode Turque’!
  The next day I was introduced to Ali Pacha. I was dressed in a full
  suit of staff uniform, with a very magnificent sabre, etc. The vizier
  received me in a large room paved with marble; a fountain was playing
  in the centre; the apartment was surrounded by scarlet ottomans. He
  received me standing, a wonderful compliment from a Mussulman, and
  made me sit down on his right hand. I have a Greek interpreter for
  general use, but a physician of Ali’s named Femlario, who understands
  Latin, acted for me on this occasion. His first question was, why, at
  so early an age, I left my country?–(the Turks have no idea of
  travelling for amusement). He then said, the English minister, Captain
  Leake, [5] had told him I was of a great family, and desired his
  respects to my mother; which I now, in the name of Ali Pacha, present
  to you. He said he was certain I was a man of birth, because I had
  small ears, curling hair, and little white hands, and expressed
  himself pleased with my appearance and garb. He told me to consider
  him as a father whilst I was in Turkey, and said he looked on me as
  his son. Indeed, he treated me like a child, sending me almonds and
  sugared sherbet, fruit and sweetmeats, twenty times a day. He begged
  me to visit him often, and at night, when he was at leisure. I then,
  after coffee and pipes, retired for the first time. I saw him thrice
  afterwards. It is singular that the Turks, who have no hereditary
  dignities, and few great families, except the Sultans, pay so much
  respect to birth; for I found my pedigree more regarded than my title.
  To-day I saw the remains of the town of Actium, [6] near which Antony
  lost the world, in a small bay, where two frigates could hardly
  manoeuvre: a broken wall is the sole remnant. On another part of the
  gulf stand the ruins of Nicopolis, built by Augustus in honour of his
  victory. Last night I was at a Greek marriage; but this and a thousand
  things more I have neither time nor _space_ to describe.
  His highness is sixty years old, very fat, and not tall, but with a
  fine face, light blue eyes, and a white beard; his manner is very
  kind, and at the same time he possesses that dignity which I find
  universal amongst the Turks. He has the appearance of anything but his
  real character, for he is a remorseless tyrant, guilty of the most
  horrible cruelties, very brave, and so good a general that they call
  him the Mahometan Buonaparte. Napoleon has twice offered to make him
  King of Epirus, but he prefers the English interest, and abhors the
  French, as he himself told me. He is of so much consequence, that he
  is much courted by both, the Albanians being the most warlike subjects
  of the Sultan, though Ali is only nominally dependent on the Porte; he
  has been a mighty warrior, but is as barbarous as he is successful,
  roasting rebels, etc., etc. Buonaparte sent him a snuff-box with his
  picture. He said the snuff-box was very well, but the picture he could
  excuse, as he neither liked it nor the original. His ideas of judging
  of a man’s birth from ears, hands, etc., were curious enough. To me he
  was, indeed, a father, giving me letters, guards, and every possible
  accommodation. Our next conversations were of war and travelling,
  politics and England. He called my Albanian soldier, who attends me,
  and told him to protect me at all hazard; his name is Viseillie, and,
  like all the Albanians, he is brave, rigidly honest, and faithful; but
  they are cruel, though not treacherous, and have several vices but no
  meannesses. They are, perhaps, the most beautiful race, in point of
  countenance, in the world; their women are sometimes handsome also,
  but they are treated like slaves, _beaten_, and, in short, complete
  beasts of burden; they plough, dig, and sow. I found them carrying
  wood, and actually repairing the highways. The men are all soldiers,
  and war and the chase their sole occupations. The women are the
  labourers, which after all is no great hardship in so delightful a
  climate. Yesterday, the 11th of November, I bathed in the sea; to-day
  is so hot that I am writing in a shady room of the English consul’s,
  with three doors wide open, no fire, or even _fireplace_, in the
  house, except for culinary purposes.
  I am going to-morrow, with a guard of fifty men, to Patras in the
  Morea, and thence to Athens, where I shall winter. [7] Two days ago I
  was nearly lost in a Turkish ship of war, owing to the ignorance of
  the captain and crew, though the storm was not violent. Fletcher
  yelled after his wife, the Greeks called on all the saints, the
  Mussulmans on Alla; the captain burst into tears and ran below deck,
  telling us to call on God; the sails were split, the main-yard
  shivered, the wind blowing fresh, the night setting in, and all our
  chance was to make Corfu, which is in possession of the French, or (as
  Fletcher pathetically termed it) “a watery grave.” I did what I could
  to console Fletcher, but finding him incorrigible, wrapped myself up
  in my Albanian capote (an immense cloak), and lay down on deck to wait
  the worst. I have learnt to philosophise in my travels; and if I had
  not, complaint was useless. Luckily the wind abated, and only drove us
  on the coast of Suli, on the main land, where we landed, and
  proceeded, by the help of the natives, to Prevesa again; but I shall
  not trust Turkish sailors in future, though the Pacha had ordered one
  of his own galliots to take me to Patras. I am therefore going as far
  as Missolonghi by land, and there have only to cross a small gulf to
  get to Patras.
  Fletcher’s next epistle will be full of marvels. We were one night
  lost for nine hours in the mountains in a thunder-storm, and since
  nearly wrecked. In both cases Fletcher was sorely bewildered, from
  apprehensions of famine and banditti in the first, and drowning in the
  second instance. His eyes were a little hurt by the lightning, or
  crying (I don’t know which), but are now recovered. When you write,
  address to me at Mr. Strané’s, English consul, Patras, Morea.
  I could tell you I know not how many incidents that I think would
  amuse you, but they crowd on my mind as much as they would swell my
  paper, and I can neither arrange them in the one, nor put them down on
  the other, except in the greatest confusion. I like the Albanians
  much; they are not all Turks; some tribes are Christians. But their
  religion makes little difference in their manner or conduct. They are
  esteemed the best troops in the Turkish service. I lived on my route,
  two days at once, and three days again, in a barrack at Salora, and
  never found soldiers so tolerable, though I have been in the garrisons
  of Gibraltar and Malta, and seen Spanish, French, Sicilian, and
  British troops in abundance. I have had nothing stolen, and was always
  welcome to their provision and milk. Not a week ago an Albanian chief,
  (every village has its chief, who is called Primate,) after helping us
  out of the Turkish galley in her distress, feeding us, and lodging my
  suite, consisting of Fletcher, a Greek, two Athenians, a Greek priest,
  and my companion, Mr. Hobhouse, refused any compensation but a written
  paper stating that I was well received; and when I pressed him to
  accept a few sequins, “No,” he replied; “I wish you to love me, not to
  pay me.” These are his words.
  It is astonishing how far money goes in this country. While I was in
  the capital I had nothing to pay by the vizier’s order; but since,
  though I have generally had sixteen horses, and generally six or seven
  men, the expense has not been _half_ as much as staying only three
  weeks in Malta, though Sir A. Ball, [8] the governor, gave me a house
  for nothing, and I had only _one servant_. By the by, I expect Hanson
  to remit regularly; for I am not about to stay in this province for
  ever. Let him write to me at Mr. Strané’s, English consul, Patras. The
  fact is, the fertility of the plains is wonderful, and specie is
  scarce, which makes this remarkable cheapness. I am going to Athens,
  to study modern Greek, which differs much from the ancient, though
  radically similar. I have no desire to return to England, nor shall I,
  unless compelled by absolute want, and Hanson’s neglect; but I shall
  not enter into Asia for a year or two, as I have much to see in
  Greece, and I may perhaps cross into Africa, at least the Egyptian
  part. Fletcher, like all Englishmen, is very much dissatisfied, though
  a little reconciled to the Turks by a present of eighty piastres from
  the vizier, which, if you consider every thing, and the value of
  specie here, is nearly worth ten guineas English. He has suffered
  nothing but from cold, heat, and vermin, which those who lie in
  cottages and cross mountains in a cold country must undergo, and of
  which I have equally partaken with himself; but he is not valiant, and
  is afraid of robbers and tempests. I have no one to be remembered to
  in England, and wish to hear nothing from it, but that you are well,
  and a letter or two on business from Hanson, whom you may tell to
  write. I will write when I can, and beg you to believe me,
  Your affectionate son,
  P.S.–I have some very “magnifiques” Albanian dresses, the only
  expensive articles in this country. They cost fifty guineas each, and
  have so much gold, they would cost in England two hundred. I have been
  introduced to Hussein Bey, [9] and Mahmout Pacha, [9] both little
  boys, grandchildren of Ali, at Yanina; they are totally unlike our
  lads, have painted complexions like rouged dowagers, large black eyes,
  and features perfectly regular. They are the prettiest little animals
  I ever saw, and are broken into the court ceremonies already. The
  Turkish salute is a slight inclination of the head, with the hand on
  the heart; intimates always kiss. Mahmout is ten years old, and hopes
  to see me again; we are friends without understanding each other, like
  many other folks, though from a different cause. He has given me a
  letter to his father in the Morea, to whom I have also letters from
  Ali Pacha.
[Footnote 1: Ali Pasha (1741-1822) was born in Albania, at Tepeleni, a
town 75 miles north of Janina, of which his father was governor. This
“Mahometan Buonaparte,” or “Rob Roy of Albania,” made himself the
supreme ruler of Epirus and Albania, acquired a predominance over the
Agas of Thessaly, and pushed his troops to the frontiers of ancient
Attica (see Raumer’s ‘Historisches Taschenbuch,’ pp. 87-175). A
merciless and unscrupulous tyrant, he was also a fine soldier and a born
administrator. Intriguing now with the Porte, now with Buonaparte, now
with the English, using the rival despots of the country against each
other, hand in glove with the brigands while commanding the police for
their suppression, he extended his power by using conflicting interests
to aggrandize himself. The Venetian possessions on the eastern shores of
the Adriatic, which had passed in 1797 to France, by the treaty of Campo
Formio, were wrested from the French by Ali, who defeated General La
Salsette (1798) in the plains of Nicopolis, and, with the exception of
Parga, seized and held the principal towns in the name of the Sultan.
Byron speaks of his “aged venerable face” in ‘Childe Harold’ (Canto II.
stanza lxii.; see also stanza xlvii.), and of the delicacy of his hand
in ‘Don Juan’ (Canto IV. stanza xlv.), and finds in his treatment of
“Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro or Scutari (I am not sure which),” the
material for stanzas xiv., xv. of Canto II. of ‘The Bride of Abydos’.
Hobhouse (‘Journey through Albania’, edit. 1854, vol. i. pp. 96, 97)
describes Ali as
  “a short man, about five feet five inches in height, and very fat,
  though not particularly corpulent. He had a very pleasing face, fair
  and round, with blue quick eyes, not at all settled into a Turkish
  gravity. His beard was long and white, and such a one as any other
  Turk would have been proud of; though he, who was more taken up with
  his guests than himself, did not continue looking at it, nor smelling
  and stroking it, as is usually the custom of his country-men, to fill
  up the pauses of conversation.”
Dr. (afterwards Sir Henry) Holland, in his ‘Travels in the Ionian Isles,
Albania, Thessaly, and Greece in 1812-13′, pp. 125, 126 (1815), gives an
account of his first interview with Ali:
  “Were I to attempt a description of Ali, I should speak of his face as
  large and full; the forehead remarkably broad and open, and traced by
  many deep furrows; the eye penetrating, yet not expressive of
  ferocity; the nose handsome and well formed; the mouth and lower part
  of the face concealed, except when speaking, by his mustachios and the
  long beard which flows over his breast. His complexion is somewhat
  lighter than that usual among the Turks, and his general appearance
  does not indicate more than his actual age … The neck is short and
  thick, the figure corpulent and unwieldy; his stature I had afterwards
  the means of ascertaining to be about five feet nine inches. The
  general character and expression of the countenance are unquestionably
  fine, and the forehead especially is a striking and majestic feature.
  Much of the talent of the man may be inferred from his exterior; the
  moral qualities, however, may not equally be determined in this way;
  and to the casual observation of the stranger I can conceive from my
  own experience, that nothing may appear but what is open, placid, and
  alluring. Opportunities were afterwards afforded me of looking beneath
  this exterior of expression; it is the fire of a stove burning
  fiercely under a smooth and polished surface…. The inquiries he made
  respecting our journey to Joannina, gave us the opportunity of
  complimenting him on the excellent police of his dominions, and the
  attention he has paid to his roads. I mentioned to him generally Lord
  Byron’s poetical description of Albania, the interest it had excited
  in England, and Mr. Hobhouse’s intended publication of his travels in
  the same country. He seemed pleased with these circumstances, and
  stated his recollection of Lord Byron.”
Dr. Holland brought back to England a letter to Byron from Ali (see
Letter to Moore, September 8, 1813).
A further account of Ali, together with a portrait, will be found in
Hughes’s ‘Travels in Sicily, etc.’ (pp. 446-449). He again (1813) “asked
with much apparent interest respecting Lord Byron.” At the close of the
Napoleonic struggle, the interest of this country was excited by the
resistance of Parga to his arms, especially as, during the late war, the
Pargiotes had received the protection of Great Britain. After the fall
of Parga (1819), Ali’s power roused the jealousy of the Sultan, and it
was partly in consequence of his open defiance of the Porte, that
insurrections broke out in Wallachia, and that Ypsilanti proclaimed
himself the liberator of Greece. The Turkish troops, under Kurchid
Pasha, gradually overpowered Ali, and, at the end of 1821, shut him up
in his citadel of Janina. In the following January he surrendered, and
was at first treated with respect. But on February 5, 1822, Ali was
informed that the Sultan demanded his head. His answer was to fire his
pistol at the messenger. In the fray that followed he was killed.
Another and better account (Walsh’s ‘Narrative of a Journey from
Constantinople to England’, p. 62) says that he was stabbed in the back
as he was bowing to the departing messenger, who had solemnly assured
him of the Sultan’s pardon and favour. His head was cut off, sent to
Constantinople, and fixed on the grand gate of the Seraglio, with the
sentence of death by its side. Recently fresh interest has been aroused
in Ali by the publication of Mr. Bain’s translation of Maurus Jókai’s
semi-historical novel ‘Janicsárok végnapjai’, under the title of ‘The
Lion of Janina’ (1897).]
[Footnote 2: Veli Pasha was the son of Ali by a daughter of Coul Pasha,
the governor of Berat, in whose army Ali had served as a young man. He
was married (1798) to a daughter of Ibrahim Pasha, who had succeeded
Coul Pasha in the pashalik of Berat. The war with Ibrahim, to which
Byron alludes, ended in his defeat, and the transference of his pashalik
to Ali. Veli, at this time Vizier of the Morea, resided at Tripolizza,
when he was visited by Galt, who describes him as sitting
  “on a crimson velvet cushion, wrapped in a superb pelisse; on his head
  was a vast turban, in his belt a dagger encrusted with jewels, and on
  the little finger of his right hand he wore a solitaire which was said
  to have cost two thousand five hundred pounds sterling. In his left
  hand he held a string of small coral beads, a comboloio which he
  twisted backwards and forwards during the greater part of the visit.”
  “In his manners,” says Galt, “I found him free and urbane, with a
  considerable tincture of humour and drollery”
(‘Life of Byron’, p. 83). Hobhouse (‘Journey through Albania, etc.’,
vol. i. p. 193) says,
  “The Vizier, for he is a Pasha of three tails, is a lively young man;
  and besides the Albanian, Greek, and Turkish languages, speaks
  Italian–an accomplishment not possessed, I should think, by any other
  man of his high rank in Turkey. It is reported that he, as well as his
  father, is preparing, in case of the overthrow of the Ottoman power,
  to establish an independent sovereignty.”
Veli, in his father’s struggle with the Sultan, betrayed Prevesa to the
Turks. He was executed in 1822, and is buried at the Silivria Gate of
[Footnote 3: For “monastic Zitza,” see ‘Childe Harold’, Canto II. stanza
xlviii., and Byron’s note.]
[Footnote 4: See ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel’, canto i.]
[Footnote 5: William Martin Leake (1777-1860) received his commission as
second lieutenant in the artillery in 1794, became a captain in 1799,
major in 1809, and lieutenant-colonel in 1813. His professional life, up
to 1815, was spent abroad, chiefly at Constantinople, in Egypt, or in
various parts of European Turkey. In 1808 he had been sent by the
British Government with stores of artillery, ammunition, and Congreve
rockets, to Ali, Pasha of Albania, and he remained at Preveza, or
Janina, as the representative of Great Britain, till 1810. During his
travels he collected the vases, gems, bronzes, marbles, and coins now
placed in the British Museum, and in the Fitzwilliam Museum at
Cambridge. At the same time, he accumulated the materials which, during
his literary life (1815-59), he embodied in numerous books. Of these the
more important are–‘The Topography of Athens’ (1821); ‘Journal of a
Tour in Asia Minor’ (1824); ‘An Historical Outline of the Greek
Revolution’ (1825); ‘Travels in the Morea’ (1830); ‘Travels in Northern
Greece’ (1835); ‘Numismata Hellenica’ (1854-59). As a diplomatist he was
remarkably successful; but his reputation mainly rests on his
topographical works. With his antiquarian labours Byron would have had
little sympathy; but Leake was also a warm-hearted advocate of the
Christian population of Greece against their Turkish rulers.]
[Footnote 6: The battle of Actium (B.C. 31) was fought at the entrance
of the Gulf of Arta, and Nicopolis, the city of victory, the
‘Palaio-Kastro’ of the modern Greek, was founded by Augustus on an
isthmus connecting Prevesa with the mainland to commemorate his triumph.
Leake (‘Travels in Northern Greece’, vol. i. p. 175) identifies Actium
with Punda ([Greek (transliterated: aktae], “the head of a promontory”)
on the headland opposite Prevesa (see ‘Childe Harold’, Canto II. stanza
[Footnote 7: “Upon Parnassus going to the fountain of Delphi (Castri) in
1809,” writes Byron, in his ‘Diary’ for 1821 (‘Life’, pp. 99, 100),
  “I saw a flight of twelve eagles (H. says they were vultures–at least
  in conversation), and I seized the omen. On the day before I composed
  the lines to Parnassus (in ‘Childe Harold’), and, on beholding the
  birds, had a hope that Apollo had accepted my homage. I have at least
  had the name and fame of a poet during the poetical part of life (from
  twenty to thirty);–whether it will ‘last’ is another matter.”
(For the lines to Parnassus, see ‘Childe Harold’, Canto I. stanzas
lx.-lxii.) To this journey belongs another incident, recorded by Byron.
  “The last bird I ever fired at was an eaglet, on the shore of
  the Gulf of Lepanto, near Vostizza. It was only wounded, and I tried
  to save it,–the eye was so bright. But it pined, and died in a few
  days; and I never did since, and never will, attempt the death of
  another bird.”]
[Footnote 8: Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander John Ball (1757-1809), who
belonged to a Gloucestershire family, entered the navy, inspired by
‘Robinson Crusoe’. A lieutenant in 1778, he distinguished himself with
Rodney in 1782 (post-captain, 1783; rear-admiral, 1805), and at the
battle of the Nile, when he commanded the ‘Alexander’. Nelson had no
liking for Ball until the latter saved the dismasted ‘Vanguard’ from
going on shore by taking her in tow. Henceforward they were friends, and
Nelson spoke of him as one of his “three right arms.” By his skill in
blockading Valetta (1798-1800), Ball was the hero of the siege of Malta,
and (June 6, 1801) was created a baronet for his services, and received
the Order of Merit from Ferdinand IV of Naples. When Byron met him, Ball
was “His Majesty’s Civil Commissioner for the Island of Malta and its
Dependencies, and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Order of St. John.”
S.T. Coleridge, who was with him as secretary from May, 1804, to
October, 1805, wrote enthusiastically of him in his letters, and in ‘The
Friend’ (3rd edit., vol. i. essay i., and vol. iii. pp. 226-301). But
his picture of the admiral would have been more definite had he
remembered the spirit of the remark (quoted in ‘The Friend’) which Ball
once made to him:
  “The distinction is just, and, now I understand you, abundantly
  obvious; but hardly worth the trouble of your inventing a puzzle of
  words to make it appear otherwise.”]
[Footnote 9: Hussein Bey, then a boy of ten years old, son of Mouctar
Pasha, the eldest son of Ali, in after years (1820-22) remained faithful
to his grandfather, when his father, uncles, and cousin had gone over to
the Sultan, and held Tepeleni for Ali in his last struggle against the
Turks. Mahomet Pasha, son of Veli Pasha, second son of Ali, though only
twelve years old, was already in possession of a pashalik. In Ali’s
contest with Turkey, he betrayed Parga to the Sultan, and persuaded his
father to surrender Prevesa. He was, however, rewarded for his treachery
by execution, and is among the five members of his family who lie buried
at the Silivria Gate at Constantinople (Walsh’s ‘Narrative’, p. 67).]
132.–To his Mother.
  Smyrna, March 19, 1810.
  DEAR MOTHER,–I cannot write you a long letter; but as I know you will
  not be sorry to receive any intelligence of my movements, pray accept
  what I can give. I have traversed the greatest part of Greece, besides
  Epirus, etc., etc., resided ten weeks at Athens, and am now on the
  Asiatic side on my way to Constantinople. I have just returned from
  viewing the ruins of Ephesus, a day’s journey from Smyrna. [1] I
  presume you have received a long letter I wrote from Albania, with an
  account of my reception by the Pacha of the Province.
  When I arrive at Constantinople, I shall determine whether to proceed
  into Persia or return, which latter I do not wish, if I can avoid it.
  But I have no intelligence from Mr. Hanson, and but one letter from
  yourself. I shall stand in need of remittances whether I proceed or
  return. I have written to him repeatedly, that he may not plead
  ignorance of my situation for neglect. I can give you no account of
  any thing, for I have not time or opportunity, the frigate sailing
  immediately. Indeed the further I go the more my laziness increases,
  and my aversion to letter-writing becomes more confirmed. I have
  written to no one but to yourself and Mr. Hanson, and these are
  communications of business and duty rather than of inclination.
  Fletcher is very much disgusted with his fatigues, though he has
  undergone nothing that I have not shared. He is a poor creature;
  indeed English servants are detestable travellers. I have, besides
  him, two Albanian soldiers and a Greek interpreter; all excellent in
  their way. Greece, particularly in the vicinity of Athens, is
  delightful;–cloudless skies and lovely landscapes. But I must reserve
  all account of my adventures till we meet. I keep no journal, but my
  friend Hobhouse scribbles incessantly. Pray take care of Murray and
  Robert, and tell the boy it is the most fortunate thing for him that
  he did not accompany me to Turkey. Consider this as merely a notice of
  my safety, and believe me,
  Yours, etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: It was at Smyrna that the two first cantos of ‘Childe
Harold’  were completed. To his original MS. of the poem is prefixed the
following memorandum:–
  “Byron, Ioannina in Albania.
  Begun October 31st, 1809;
  Concluded Canto 2d, Smyrna,
    March 28th, 1810.
133.–To his Mother.
  Smyrna, April 9, 1810.
  Dear Mother,–I know you will be glad to hear from me: I wish I could
  say I am equally delighted to write. However, there is no great loss
  in my scribbles, except to the portmanteau-makers, who, I suppose,
  will get all by and by.
  Nobody but yourself asks me about my creed,–what I am, am not, etc.,
  etc. If I were to begin _explaining_, God knows where I should leave
  off; so we will say no more about that, if you please.
  I am no “good soul,” and not an atheist, but an English gentleman, I
  hope, who loves his mother, mankind, and his country. I have not time
  to write more at present, and beg you to believe me,
  Ever yours, etc.,
  P.S.-Are the Miss—-anxiously expecting my arrival and
  contributions to their gossip and _rhymes_, which are about as bad as
  they can be?
134.–To his Mother.
  Smyrna, April 10, 1810.
  Dear Mother,–To-morrow, or this evening, I sail for Constantinople in
  the ‘Salsette’ frigate, of thirty-six guns. She returns to England
  with our ambassador, [1] whom she is going up on purpose to receive. I
  have written to you short letters from Athens, Smyrna, and a long one
  from Albania. I have not yet mustered courage for a second large
  epistle, and you must not be angry, since I take all opportunities of
  apprizing you of my safety; but even that is an effort, writing is so
  I have been traversing Greece, and Epirus, Illyria, etc., etc., and
  you see by my date, have got into Asia. I have made but one excursion
  lately to the ruins of Ephesus. Malta is the rendez-vous of my
  letters, so address to that island. Mr. Hanson has not written, though
  I wished to hear of the Norfolk sale, [2] the Lancashire law-suit,
  etc., etc., I am anxiously expecting fresh remittances. I believe you
  will like Nottinghamshire, at least my share of it. [3] Pray accept my
  good wishes in lieu of a long letter, and believe me,
  Yours sincerely and affectionately,
[Footnote 1: Robert (afterwards the Right Hon. Sir Robert) Adair
(1763-1855), son of Sergeant-Surgeon Adair and Lady Caroline Keppel,
described by an Austrian aristocrat as “le fils du plus grand ‘Seigneur’
d’Angleterre,” was educated at Westminster and the University of
Gottingen.” At the latter place Adair, always, as his kinsman Lord
Albemarle said of him, “an enthusiastic admirer of the fair sex”
(‘Recollections’, vol. i. p. 229), fell in love with his tutor’s
daughter. He did not, however, marry “Sweet Matilda Pottingen,” but
Angélique Gabrielle, daughter of the Marquis d’Hazincourt. He is
supposed to have contributed to the ‘Rolliad’; and the “Dedication to
Sir Lloyd Kenyon,” “Margaret Nicholson” (‘Political Eclogues’, p. 207),
and the “Song of Scrutina” (‘Probationary Odes’, p. 285), have been
attributed to him. He, however, denied (Moore’s ‘Journal and
Correspondence’, vol. ii. p. 304) that he wrote any part of the
‘Rolliad’. A Whig, and an intimate friend and follower of Fox, he was in
1791 at St. Petersburg, where the Tories believed that he had been sent
by his chief on “half a mission” to intrigue with Russia against Pitt.
The charge was published by Dr. Pretyman, Bishop of Winchester, in his
‘Life of Pitt’ (1821), who may have wished to pay off old scores, and to
retaliate on one of the reputed authors of the ‘Rolliad’ for the
“Pretymaniana,” and was answered in ‘Two Letters from Mr. Adair to the
Bishop of Winchester’. It is to this accusation that Ellis and Frere, in
the ‘Anti-Jacobin’, refer in “A Bit of an Ode to Mr. Fox” (‘Poetry of
the Anti-Jacobin’, edit. 1854, pp. 71-73):–
  “I mount, I mount into the sky,
  Sweet bird, to ‘Petersburg’ I’ll fly,
    Or, if you bid, to ‘Paris’.
  Fresh missions of the ‘Fox’ and ‘Goose’
  Successful ‘Treaties’ may produce,
    Though Pitt in all miscarries.”
Sir James Mackintosh, speaking of the story, told Moore (‘Journals and
Correspondence’, vol. iv. p. 267) that a private letter from Adair,
reporting his conversations with a high official in St. Petersburg, fell
into the hands of the British Government; that some members of the
Council were desirous of taking proceedings upon it; but that Lord
Grenville and Pitt threatened to resign, if any use was made of such a
document so obtained. (See also the “Translation of a Letter from
Bawba-Dara-Adul-Phoola,” etc.–‘i.e.’ “Bob Adair, a dull fool”–in the
‘Anti-Jacobin’, p. 208.) Adair was in 1806 sent by Fox as Ambassador to
Vienna, and in 1809 was appointed by Canning Ambassador Extraordinary at
Constantinople, where, with Stratford Canning as his secretary, he
negotiated the Treaty of the Dardanelles. For his services, on his
return in 1810, he was made a K.C.B. He was subsequently (1831-35)
employed on a mission to the Low Countries, when war appeared imminent
between William, Prince of Orange and King Leopold. He was afterwards
sworn a member of the Privy Council, and received a pension. George
Ticknor (‘Life’, vol. i. p. 269), who met him at Woburn in 1819, speaks
of his great conversational charms, and Moore (‘Journals and
Correspondence’, vol. vii. p. 216) describes him, in 1838, as a man
“from whom one gets, now and then, an agreeable whiff of the days of
Fox, Tickell, and Sheridan.” Many years after Fox’s death, Adair was at
a fête at Chiswick House. “‘In which room,’ he asked of Samuel Rogers,
‘did Fox expire?’ ‘In this very room,’ I replied. Immediately, Adair
burst into tears with a vehemence of grief such as I hardly ever saw
exhibited by a man” (‘Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers’,
p. 97).]
[Footnote 2: The sale of Wymondham and other property in Norfolk, which
had come to him through his great-uncle.]
[Footnote 3: Probably an allusion to his mother leaving Burgage Manor
and taking up her residence at Newstead.]
135.–To his Mother.
  _Salsette Frigate, off the Dardanelles_, April 17, 1810.
  Dear Madam,–I write at anchor (on our way to Constantinople) off the
  Troad, which I traversed ten days ago. All the remains of Troy are the
  tombs of her destroyers, amongst which I saw that of Antilochus from my
  cabin window. These are large mounds of earth, like the barrows of the
  Danes in your island. There are several monuments, about twelve miles
  distant, of the Alexandrian Troas, which I also examined, but by no
  means to be compared with the remnants of Athens and Ephesus. This will
  be sent in a ship of war, bound with despatches for Malta. In a few days
  we shall be at Constantinople, barring accidents. I have also written
  from Smyrna, and shall, from time to time, transmit short accounts of my
  movements, but I feel totally unequal to long letters.
  Believe me, yours very sincerely,
  P.S.–No accounts from Hanson!!! Do not complain of short letters; I
  write to nobody but yourself and Mr. H.
136.–To Henry Drury.
  _Salsette_ frigate, May 3, 1810.
  My Dear Drury,–When I left England, nearly a year ago, you requested
  me to write to you–I will do so. I have crossed Portugal, traversed
  the south of Spain, visited Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, and thence passed
  into Turkey, where I am still wandering. I first landed in Albania,
  the ancient Epirus, where we penetrated as far as Mount Tomarit–
  excellently treated by the chief Ali Pacha,–and, after journeying
  through Illyria, Chaonia, etc., crossed the Gulf of Actium, with a
  guard of fifty Albanians, and passed the Achelous in our route through
  Acarnania and Ætolia. We stopped a short time in the Morea, crossed
  the Gulf of Lepanto, and landed at the foot of Parnassus;–saw all
  that Delphi retains, and so on to Thebes and Athens, at which last we
  remained ten weeks.
  His Majesty’s ship, _Pylades_, brought us to Smyrna; but not before we
  had topographised Attica, including, of course, Marathon and the
  Sunian promontory. From Smyrna to the Troad (which we visited when at
  anchor, for a fortnight, off the tomb of Antilochus) was our next
  stage; and now we are in the Dardanelles, waiting for a wind to
  proceed to Constantinople.
  This morning I _swam_ from _Sestos_ to _Abydos_. [1] The immediate
  distance is not above a mile, but the current renders it
  hazardous;–so much so that I doubt whether Leander’s conjugal
  affection must not have been a little chilled in his passage to
  Paradise. I attempted it a week ago, and failed,–owing to the north
  wind, and the wonderful rapidity of the tide,–though I have been from
  my childhood a strong swimmer. But, this morning being calmer, I
  succeeded, and crossed the “broad Hellespont” in an hour and ten
  Well, my dear sir, I have left my home, and seen part of Africa and
  Asia, and a tolerable portion of Europe. I have been with generals and
  admirals, princes and pashas, governors and ungovernables,–but I have
  not time or paper to expatiate. I wish to let you know that I live
  with a friendly remembrance of you, and a hope to meet you again; and
  if I do this as shortly as possible, attribute it to any thing but
  Greece, ancient and modern, you know too well to require description.
  Albania, indeed, I have seen more of than any Englishman (except a Mr.
  Leake), for it is a country rarely visited, from the savage character
  of the natives, though abounding in more natural beauties than the
  classical regions of Greece,–which, however, are still eminently
  beautiful, particularly Delphi and Cape Colonna in Attica. Yet these
  are nothing to parts of Illyria and Epirus, where places without a
  name, and rivers not laid down in maps, may, one day, when more known,
  be justly esteemed superior subjects, for the pencil and the pen, to
  the dry ditch of the Ilissus and the bogs of Boeotia.
  The Troad is a fine field for conjecture and snipe-shooting, and a
  good sportsman and an ingenious scholar may exercise their feet and
  faculties to great advantage upon the spot;–or, if they prefer
  riding, lose their way (as I did) in a cursed quagmire of the
  Scamander, who wriggles about as if the Dardan virgins still offered
  their wonted tribute. The only vestige of Troy, or her destroyers, are
  the barrows supposed to contain the carcasses of Achilles, Antilochus,
  Ajax, etc.;–but Mount Ida is still in high feather, though the
  shepherds are now-a-days not much like Ganymede. But why should I say
  more of these things? are they not written in the _Boke_ of _Gell_?
  [2] and has not Hobhouse got a journal? I keep none, as I have
  renounced scribbling.
  I see not much difference between ourselves and the Turks, save that
  we have—-and they have none–that they have long dresses, and we
  short, and that we talk much, and they little. They are sensible
  people. Ali Pacha told me he was sure I was a man of rank, because I
  had _small ears_ and _hands_, and _curling hair_. By the by, I speak
  the Romaic, or modern Greek, tolerably. It does not differ from the
  ancient dialects so much as you would conceive; but the pronunciation
  is diametrically opposite. Of verse, except in rhyme, they have no
  I like the Greeks, who are plausible rascals,–with all the Turkish
  vices, without their courage. However, some are brave, and all are
  beautiful, very much resembling the busts of Alcibiades;–the women
  not quite so handsome. I can swear in Turkish; but, except one
  horrible oath, and “pimp,” and “bread,” and “water,” I have got no
  great vocabulary in that language. They are extremely polite to
  strangers of any rank, properly protected; and as I have two servants
  and two soldiers, we get on with great éclat. We have been
  occasionally in danger of thieves, and once of shipwreck,–but always
  Of Spain I sent some account to our Hodgson, but have subsequently
  written to no one, save notes to relations and lawyers, to keep them
  out of my premises. I mean to give up all connection, on my return,
  with many of my best friends–as I supposed them-and to snarl all my
  life. But I hope to have one good-humoured laugh with you, and to
  embrace Dwyer, and pledge Hodgson, before I commence cynicism.
  Tell Dr. Butler I am now writing with the gold pen he gave me before I
  left England, which is the reason my scrawl is more unintelligible
  than usual. I have been at Athens, and seen plenty of these reeds for
  scribbling, some of which he refused to bestow upon me, because
  topographic Gell had brought them from Attica. But I will not
  describe,–no–you must be satisfied with simple detail till my
  return, and then we will unfold the floodgates of colloquy. I am in a
  thirty-six gun frigate, going up to fetch Bob Adair from
  Constantinople, who will have the honour to carry this letter.
  And so Hobhouse’s _boke_ is out, [3] with some sentimental sing-song
  of my own to fill up,–and how does it take, eh? and where the devil
  is the second edition of my Satire, with additions? and my name on the
  title page? and more lines tagged to the end, with a new exordium and
  what not, hot from my anvil before I cleared the Channel? The
  Mediterranean and the Atlantic roll between me and criticism; and the
  thunders of the Hyperborean Review are deafened by the roar of the
  Remember me to Claridge, [4] if not translated to college, and present
  to Hodgson assurances of my high consideration. Now, you will ask,
  what shall I do next? and I answer, I do not know. I may return in a
  few months, but I have intents and projects after visiting
  Constantinople. Hobhouse, however, will probably be back in September.
  On the 2d of July we have left Albion one year–_oblitus meorum
  obliviscendus et illis_. I was sick of my own country, and not much
  prepossessed in favour of any other; but I “drag on my chain” without
  “lengthening it at each remove.” [5] I am like the Jolly Miller,
  caring for nobody, and not cared for. [6] All countries are much the
  same in my eyes. I smoke, and stare at mountains, and twirl my
  mustachios very independently. I miss no comforts, and the musquitoes
  that rack the morbid frame of H. have, luckily for me, little effect
  on mine, because I live more temperately.
  I omitted Ephesus in my catalogue, which I visited during my sojourn
  at Smyrna; but the Temple has almost perished, and St. Paul need not
  trouble himself to epistolise the present brood of Ephesians, who have
  converted a large church built entirely of marble into a mosque, and I
  don’t know that the edifice looks the worse for it.
  My paper is full, and my ink ebbing–good afternoon! If you address to
  me at Malta, the letter will be forwarded wherever I may be. H. greets
  you; he pines for his poetry,–at least, some tidings of it. I almost
  forgot to tell you that I am dying for love of three Greek girls at
  Athens, sisters. I lived in the same house. Teresa, Mariana, and
  Katinka, [7] are the names of these divinities,–all of them under
  Your [Greek (transliterated): tapeinotatos doulos], BYRON.
[Footnote 1: Byron made two attempts to swim across the Hellespont from
Abydos to Sestos. The first, April 16, failed; the second, May 3, in
warmer weather, succeeded.
  “Byron was one hour and ten minutes in the water; his companion, Mr.
  Ekenhead, five minutes less … My fellow-traveller had before made a
  more perilous, but less celebrated, passage; for I recollect that,
  when we were in Portugal, he swam from Old Lisbon to Belem Castle,
  and, having to contend with a tide and counter-current, the wind
  blowing freshly, was but little less than two hours in crossing the
(Hobhouse, ‘Travels in Albania’, etc., vol. ii. p. 195). In Hobhouse’s
journal, Byron made the following note:
  “The whole distance E. and myself swam was more than four miles–the
  current very strong and cold–some large fish near us when half
  across–we were not fatigued, but a little chilled–did it with little
  difficulty.–May 26, 1810. BYRON.”
Of his feat Byron was always proud. See the “Lines Written after
Swimming from Sestos to Abydos” (“by the by, from Abydos to Sestos would
have been more correct”), and ‘Don Juan’, Canto II. stanza cv.:–
  “A better swimmer you could scarce see ever;
  He could, perhaps, have pass’d the Hellespont,
  As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided)
  Leander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did.”
In a note to the “Lines Written after Swimming from Sestos to  Abydos,”
Byron writes,
  “Chevalier says that a young Jew swam the same distance for his
  mistress; and Oliver mentions its having been done by a Neapolitan;
  but our consul, Tarragona, remembered neither of these circumstances,
  and tried to dissuade us from the attempt. A number of the
  ‘Salsette”s crew were known to have accomplished a greater distance;
  and the only thing that surprised me was that, as doubts had been
  entertained of the truth of Leander’s story, no traveller had ever
  endeavoured to ascertain its practicability.”
Lieutenant Ekenhead, of the Marines, was afterwards killed by a fall
from the fortifications of Malta.]
[Footnote 2: Sir William Gell (1777-1836) published the ‘Topography of
Troy’ (1804); ‘Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca’ (1807); the
‘Itinerary of Greece’ (1810); and many other subsequent works. (For
Byron’s review of ‘Ithaca’ and ‘Greece’, in the ‘Monthly Review’ for
August, 1811, see Appendix III.) In the MS. of ‘English Bards, and
Scotch Reviewers’ (line 1034) he called him “coxcomb Gell;” but, having
made his personal acquaintance before the Satire was printed, he changed
the epithet to “classic.” After seeing the country himself, he again
altered the epithet–
  “Of Dardan tours let Dilettanti tell,
  I leave topography to rapid Gell.”
To these lines is appended the following note:
  “‘Rapid,’ indeed! He topographised and typographised King Priam’s
  dominions in three days! I called him ‘classic’ before I saw the
  Troad, but since have learned better than to tack to his name what
  don’t belong to it.”
To this passage Byron, in 1816, added the further expression of his
opinion, that “Gell’s survey was hasty and superficial.” One of two
suppressed stanzas in ‘Childe Harold’ (Canto II. stanza xiii.) refers to
Gell and his works:–
  “Or will the gentle Dilettanti crew
  Now delegate the task to digging Gell?
  That mighty limner of a bird’s-eye view,
      How like to Nature let his volumes tell;
    Who can with him the folio’s limits swell
      With all the Author saw, or said he saw?
    Who can topographise or delve so well?
      No boaster he, nor impudent and raw,
  His pencil, pen, and shade, alike without a flaw.”]
[Footnote 3: ‘Imitations and Translations from the Ancient and Modern
Classics, etc.’ (London, 1809, 8vo). Of the sixty-five pieces, nine were
by Byron (see ‘Poems’, vol. i., Bibliographical note; and vol. vi.,
Bibliographical note). The second and enlarged edition of ‘English
Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, with Byron’s name attached, appeared in
October, 1809.]
[Footnote 4: Two boys of this name, sons of J. Claridge, of Sevenoaks,
entered Harrow School in April, 1805. George became a. solicitor, and
died at Sevenoaks in 1841; John (afterwards Sir John) went to Christ
Church, Oxford, became a barrister, and died in 1868. John Claridge
seems to have been one of Byron’s “juniors and favourites,” whom he
“spoilt by indulgence.”]
[Footnote 5:
  “Still to my brother turns with ceaseless pain,
  And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.”
GOLDSMITH’S Traveller, lines 9, 10.]
[Footnote 6: The allusion is to the familiar lines inserted by Isaac
Bickerstaffe in ‘Love in a Village’ (1762), act i. sc. 3–
  “There was a jolly miller once,
    Liv’d on the river Dee;
  He work’d and sung from morn till night;
    No lark more blithe than he.
  “And this the burden of his song,
    For ever us’d to be–
  I care for nobody, not I,
    If no one cares for me.”]
[Footnote 7:
  “During our stay at Athens,” writes Hobhouse (‘Travels in Albania,
  etc.’, vol. i. pp. 242, 243), “we occupied two houses separated from
  each other only by a single wall, through which we opened a doorway.
  One of them belongs to a Greek lady, whose name is Theodora Macri, the
  daughter of the late English Vice-Consul, and who has to show many
  letters of recommendation left in her hands by several English
  travellers. Her lodgings consisted of a sitting-room and two bedrooms,
  opening into a court-yard where there were five or six lemon-trees,
  from which, during our residence in the place, was plucked the fruit
  that seasoned the pilaf and other national dishes served up at our
  frugal table.”
The beauty of the Greek women is transient. Hughes (‘Travels
in Sicily, etc.’, vol. i. p. 254, published in 1820) speaks of the three
daughters of Madame Macri as “the ‘belles’ of Athens.” Of Theresa,
the eldest, he says that “her countenance was extremely interesting,
and her eye retained much of its wonted brilliancy; but the roses
had already deserted the cheek, and we observed the remains only
of that loveliness which elicited such strains from an impassioned
poet.” Walsh, in his ‘Narrative of a Resident in Constantinople’
(vol. i. p. 122), speaks of Theresa Macri, the “Maid of Athens,”
whom he saw in 1821, as “still very elegant in her person, and
gentle and ladylike in her manners,” but adds that “she has
lost all pretensions to beauty, and has a countenance singularly
marked by hopeless sadness.” On the other hand, Williams, in
his ‘Travels in Italy, etc.’ (vol. ii. pp. 290, 291), speaks, in 1820,
with an artist’s enthusiasm, of the beauty of the three daughters of
Theodora Macri. He quotes from the “Visitors’ Book,” to which
Hobhouse alludes, four lines written by Byron in answer to an
anonymous versifier–
  “This modest bard, like many a bard unknown,
  Rhymes on our names, but wisely hides his own;
  But yet, whoe’er he be, to say no worse,
  His name would bring more credit than his verse.”
Theresa and Mariana Macri were dark; Katinka was fair. The latter name
Byron uses as that of the fair Georgian in ‘Don Juan’ (Canto VI. stanza
  “It was,” says Moore, “if I recollect right, in making love to one of
  these girls that he had recourse to an act of courtship often
  practised in that country;–namely, giving himself a wound across the
  breast with his dagger. The young Athenian, by his own account, looked
  on very coolly during the operation, considering it a fit tribute to
  her beauty, but in no degree moved to gratitude.”
Theresa, sometimes called Thyrza, Macri married an Englishman named
Black, employed in H.M.’s Consular service at Missolonghi. She survived
her husband, and fell into great poverty. Finlay, the historian of
Greece, made an appeal on her behalf, which obtained the support of the
leading members of Athenian society, including M. Charilaus Tricoupi,
for some time Prime Minister at Athens, the son of Spiridion
Tricoupi–Byron’s intimate friend. In the ‘New York Times’ for October
22, 1875, Mr. Anthony Martelaus, United States Consular Agent at Athens,
describes Mrs. Black, whom he visited in August, 1875, as “a tall old
lady, with features inspiring reverence, and showing that at a time past
she was a beautiful woman.” Theresa Black died October 15, 1875, aged 80
years. (See letters to the ‘Times’, October 25 and October 27, 1875, by
Richard Edgcumbe and Neocles Mussabini respectively.)]
137.–To Francis Hodgson.
  ‘Salsette’ frigate, in the Dardanelles, off Abydos, May 5, 1810.
  I am on my way to Constantinople, after a tour through Greece, Epirus,
  etc., and part of Asia Minor, some particulars of which I have just
  communicated to our friend and host, H. Drury. With these, then, I shall
  not trouble you; but as you will perhaps be pleased to hear that I am
  well, etc., I take the opportunity of our ambassador’s return to forward
  the few lines I have time to despatch. We have undergone some
  inconveniences, and incurred partial perils, but no events worthy of
  communication, unless you will deem it one that two days ago I swam from
  Sestos to Abydos. This, with a few alarms from robbers, and some danger
  of shipwreck in a Turkish galliot six months ago, a visit to a Pacha, a
  passion for a married woman at Malta, [1] a challenge to an officer, an
  attachment to three Greek girls at Athens, with a great deal of
  buffoonery and fine prospects, form all that has distinguished my
  progress since my departure from Spain.
  Hobhouse rhymes and journalises; I stare and do nothing–unless smoking
  can be deemed an active amusement. The Turks take too much care of their
  women to permit them to be scrutinised; but I have lived a good deal
  with the Greeks, whose modern dialect I can converse in enough for my
  purposes. With the Turks I have also some male acquaintances–female
  society is out of the question. I have been very well treated by the
  Pachas and Governors, and have no complaint to make of any kind.
  Hobhouse will one day inform you of all our adventures–were I to
  attempt the recital, neither _my_ paper nor _your_ patience would hold
  out during the operation.
  Nobody, save yourself, has written to me since I left England; but
  indeed I did not request it. I except my relations, who write quite as
  often as I wish. Of Hobhouse’s volume I know nothing, except that it is
  out; and of my second edition I do not even know _that_, and certainly
  do not, at this distance, interest myself in the matter. I hope you and
  Bland [2] roll down the stream of sale with rapidity.
  Of my return I cannot positively speak, but think it probable Hobhouse
  will precede me in that respect. We have been very nearly one year
  abroad. I should wish to gaze away another, at least, in these evergreen
  climates; but I fear business, law business, the worst of employments,
  will recall me previous to that period, if not very quickly. If so, you
  shall have due notice.
  I hope you will find me an altered personage,–I do not mean in body,
  but in manner, for I begin to find out that nothing but virtue will do
  in this damned world. I am tolerably sick of vice, which I have tried in
  its agreeable varieties, and mean, on my return, to cut all my dissolute
  acquaintance, leave off wine and carnal company, and betake myself to
  politics and decorum. I am very serious and cynical, and a good deal
  disposed to moralise; but fortunately for you the coming homily is cut
  off by default of pen and defection of paper.
  Good morrow! If you write, address to me at Malta, whence your letters
  will be forwarded. You need not remember me to any body, but believe me,
  Yours with all faith,
  Constantinople, May 15, 1810.
  P.S.–My dear H.,–The date of my postscript “will prate to you of my
  whereabouts.” We anchored between the Seven Towers and the Seraglio on
  the 13th, and yesterday settled ashore. [3] The ambassador [4] is laid
  up; but the secretary [5] does the honours of the palace, and we have a
  general invitation to his palace. In a short time he has his leave of
  audience, and we accompany him in our uniforms to the Sultan, etc., and
  in a few days I am to visit the Captain Pacha with the commander of our
  frigate. [6] I have seen enough of their Pashas already; but I wish to
  have a view of the Sultan, the last of the Ottoman race.
  Of Constantinople you have Gibbon’s description, very correct as far
  as I have seen. The mosques I shall have a firman to visit. I shall
  most probably (‘Deo volente’), after a full inspection of Stamboul,
  bend my course homewards; but this is uncertain. I have seen the most
  interesting parts, particularly Albania, where few Franks have ever
  been, and all the most celebrated ruins of Greece and Ionia.
  Of England I know nothing, hear nothing, and can find no person better
  informed on the subject than myself. I this moment drink your health in
  a bumper of hock; Hobhouse fills and empties to the same; do you and
  Drury pledge us in a pint of any liquid you please–vinegar will bear
  the nearest resemblance to that which I have just swallowed to your
  name; but when we meet again the draught shall be mended and the wine
  Yours ever,
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Spencer Smith (see page 244 [Letter 130], [Foot]note 1
  “In the mean time,” writes Galt, who was at Malta with him, “besides
  his “Platonic dalliance with Mrs. Spencer Smith, Byron had involved
  himself in a quarrel with an officer; but it was satisfactorily
  (‘Life of Byron’, p. 67).]
[Footnote 2: The Rev. Robert Bland (1780-1825), the son of a well-known
London doctor, educated at Harrow and Pembroke College, Cambridge, was
an assistant-master at Harrow when Byron was a schoolboy. There he
became one of a “social club or circle,” to which belonged J. Herman
Merivale, Hodgson, Henry Drury, Denman (afterwards Lord Chief Justice),
Charles Pepys (afterwards Lord Chancellor), Launcelot Shadwell
(afterwards Vice-Chancellor), Walford (afterwards Solicitor to the
Customs), and Paley, a son of the archdeacon. A good singer, an amusing
companion, and a clever, impulsive, eccentric creature, he was nicknamed
by his friends “Don Hyperbolo” for his humorous extravagances. Some of
his letters, together with a sketch of his life, are given in the ‘Life
of the Rev. Francis Hodgson’, vol. i. pp. 226-250. In the ‘Monthly
Magazine’ for March, 1805, he and Merivale began to publish a series of
translations from the Greek minor poets and epigrammatists, which were
afterwards collected, with additions by Denman, Hodgson, Drury, and
others, and published (1806) under the title of ‘Translations, chiefly
from the Greek Anthology, with Tales and Miscellaneous Poems’. Bland and
Merivale (1779-1844) are addressed by Byron (‘English Bards, and Scotch
Reviewers’, lines 881-890) as “associate bards,” and adjured to “resign
Achaia’s lyre, and strike your own.” The two friends also collaborated
in the ‘Collections from the Greek Anthology’ (1813), and ‘A Collection
of the most Beautiful Poems of the Minor Poets of Greece’ (1813). Bland
also published two volumes of original verse: ‘Edwy and Elgiva’ (1808),
and ‘The Four Slaves of Cythera, a Poetical Romance’ (1809). Several
generations of schoolboys have learned to write Latin verse from his
‘Elements of Latin Hexameters and Pentameters’. A lover of France, and
of the French nation and of French acting, he spoke the language like a
native, travelled in disguise over the countries occupied by Napoleon’s
armies, and (1813) published, in collaboration with Miss Plumptre, a
translation of the ‘Memoirs’ of Baron Grimm and Diderot. He was
appointed Chaplain at Amsterdam, whence he returned in 1811. (For the
circumstances of his quarrel with Hodgson, see page 195 [Letter 102],
[Foot]note 1.) He was successively Curate of Prittlewell and Kenilworth.
At the latter place, where he eked out a scanty income by taking pupils,
he died in 1825 from breaking a blood-vessel.]
[Footnote 3: Byron and Hobhouse landed on May 14, and rode to their inn.
  “This,” says Hobhouse (‘Travels in Albania, etc.’, vol. ii pp. 216,
  217), “was situated at the corner of the main street of Pera, here
  four ways meet, all of which were not less mean and dirty than the
  lanes of Wapping. The hotel, however (kept by a Mons. Marchand), was a
  very comfortable mansion, containing many chambers handsomely
  furnished, and a large billiard-room, which is the resort of all the
  idle young men of the place. Our dinners there were better served, and
  composed of meats more to the English taste, than we had seen at any
  tavern since our departure from Falmouth; and the butter of Belgrade
  (perfectly fresh, though not of a proper consistency) was a delicacy
  to which we had long been unaccustomed. The best London porter, and
  nearly every species of wine, except port, were also to be procured in
  any quantity. To this eulogy cannot be added the material
  recommendation of cheapness.”]
[Footnote 4: Robert Adair. (See page 260 [Letter 134], [Foot]note 1.)]
[Footnote 5: Stratford Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe.]
[Footnote 6: Captain Bathurst, and the officers of the ‘Salsette’,
anxious to see the arsenal and the Turkish fleet, paid a visit with
Byron to Ali, the Capudan-Pasha, or Lord High Admiral.
  “He was,” writes Hobhouse (‘Travels in Albania, etc.’, vol. ii. p.
  279), “in his kiosk of audience at Divan-Hane, a splendid chamber,
  surrounded by his attendants, and, contrary to custom, received us
  sitting. He is reported to be a ferocious character, and certainly had
  the appearance of being so.”]
138.–To his Mother.
  Constantinople, May 18, 1810.
  Dear Madam,–I arrived here in an English frigate from Smyrna a few
  days ago, without any events worth mentioning, except landing to view
  the plains of Troy, and afterwards, when we were at anchor in the
  Dardanelles, _swimming_ from Sestos to Abydos, in imitation of
  Monsieur Leander, whose story you, no doubt, know too well for me to
  add anything on the subject except that I crossed the Hellespont
  without so good a motive for the undertaking. As I am just going to
  visit the Captain-Pacha, you will excuse the brevity of my letter.
  When Mr. Adair takes leave I am to see the Sultan and the mosques,
  Believe me, yours ever,
139.–To his Mother.
  Constantinople, May 24, 1810.
  Dear Mother,–I wrote to you very shortly the other day on my arrival
  here, and, as another opportunity avails, take up my pen again, that
  the frequency of my letters may atone for their brevity. Pray did you
  ever receive a picture of me in oil by _Sanders_ in _Vigo Lane_,
  London? (a noted limner); if not, write for it immediately; it was
  paid for, except the frame (if frame there be), before I left England.
  I believe I mentioned to you in my last that my only notable exploit
  lately has been swimming from Sestos to Abydos in humble imitation of
  _Leander_, of amorous memory; though I had no _Hero_ to receive me on
  the other shore of the Hellespont.
  Of Constantinople you have of course read fifty descriptions by sundry
  travellers, which are in general so correct that I have nothing to add
  on the subject. When our ambassador takes his leave I shall accompany
  him to see the Sultan, and afterwards probably return to Greece. I
  have heard nothing of Mr. H—-, but one remittance without any letter
  from that legal gentleman. If you have occasion for any pecuniary
  supply, pray use my funds as far as they _go_, without reserve; and
  lest there should not be enough, in my next to Mr. H—-I will direct
  him to advance any sum you want, leaving at your discretion how much,
  in the present state of my affairs, you may think proper to require.
  I have already seen the most interesting part of Turkey in Europe and
  Asia Minor, but shall not proceed further till I hear from England. In
  the mean time I shall expect occasional supplies, according to
  circumstances, and shall pass my summer amongst my friends the Greeks
  of the Morea. You will direct to Malta, where my letters are
  And believe me, with great sincerity, yours ever,
  P.S.–Fletcher is well. Pray take care of my boy Robert and the old
  man Murray. It is fortunate they returned; neither the youth of the
  one nor the age of the other would have suited the changes of climate
  and fatigue of travelling.
140.–To Henry Drury.
  Constantinople, June 17, 1810.
  Though I wrote to you so recently, I break in upon you again to
  congratulate you on a child being born, [1] as a letter from Hodgson
  apprizes me of that event, in which I rejoice.
  I am just come from an expedition through the Bosphorus to the Black
  Sea and the Cyanean Symplegades, up which last I scrambled with as
  great risk as ever the Argonauts escaped in their hoy. You remember
  the beginning of the nurse’s dole in the ‘Medea’, of which I beg you
  to take the following translation, done on the summit:–
    “Oh how I wish that an embargo
    Had kept in port the good ship Argo!
    Who, still unlaunched from Grecian docks,
    Had never passed the Azure rocks;
    But now I fear her trip will be a
    Damned business for my Miss Medea, etc., etc.,” [2]
  as it very nearly was to me;–for, had not this sublime passage been
  in my head, I should never have dreamed of ascending the said rocks,
  and bruising my carcass in honour of the ancients.
  I have now sat on the Cyaneans, swam from Sestos to Abydos (as I
  trumpeted in my last), and, after passing through the Morea again,
  shall set sail for Santa Maura, and toss myself from the Leucadian
  promontory;–surviving which operation, I shall probably join you in
  England. Hobhouse, who will deliver this, is bound straight for these
  parts; and, as he is bursting with his travels, I shall not anticipate
  his narratives, but merely beg you not to believe one word he says,
  but reserve your ear for me, if you have any desire to be acquainted
  with the truth.
  I am bound for Athens once more, and thence to the Morea; but my stay
  depends so much on my caprice, that I can say nothing of its probable
  duration. I have been out a year already, and may stay another; but I
  am quicksilver, and say nothing positively. We are all very much
  occupied doing nothing, at present. We have seen every thing but the
  mosques, which we are to view with a firman on Tuesday next. But of
  these and other sundries let H. relate, with this proviso, that
  ‘I’ am to be referred to for authenticity; and I beg leave to
  contradict all those things whereon he lays particular stress. But, if
  he soars at any time into wit, I give you leave to applaud, because
  that is necessarily stolen from his fellow-pilgrim. Tell Davies [3]
  that Hobhouse has made excellent use of his best jokes in many of his
  Majesty’s ships of war; but add, also, that I always took care to
  restore them to the right owner; in consequence of which he (Davies)
  is no less famous by water than by land, and reigns unrivalled in the
  cabin as in the “Cocoa Tree.” [4]
  And Hodgson has been publishing more poesy–I wish he would send me
  his ‘Sir Edgar’, [5] and Bland’s ‘Anthology’, to Malta,
  where they will be forwarded. In my last, which I hope you received, I
  gave an outline of the ground we have covered. If you have not been
  overtaken by this despatch, Hobhouse’s tongue is at your service.
  Remember me to Dwyer, who owes me eleven guineas. Tell him to put them
  in my banker’s hands at Gibraltar or Constantinople. I believe he paid
  them once, but that goes for nothing, as it was an annuity.
  I wish you would write. I have heard from Hodgson frequently. Malta is
  my post-office. I mean to be with you by next Montem. You remember the
  last,–I hope for such another; but after having swam across the
  “broad Hellespont,” I disdain Datchett. [6] Good afternoon!
  I am yours, very sincerely,
[Footnote 1: Henry Drury, afterwards Archdeacon of Wilts.]
[Footnote 2: Euripides, ‘Medea’, lines 1-7–
[Greek (transliterated)]:
  Eith _ophel Argous mae diaptasthai skaphos
  Kolch_on es aian kuaneas Symplaegadas,
  maed en napaisi Paeliou pedein pote
  tmaetheisa peukae, maed eretm_osai cheras
  andr_on ariste_on, oi to pagchryson deros
  Pelia metaelthon ou gar an despoin emae
  Maedeia pyrgous gaes epleus I_olkias k.t.l.]]
[Footnote 3: For Scrope Berdmore Davies, see page 165 [Letter 86],
[Foot]note 2.]
[Footnote 4: “The Cocoa Tree,” now 64, St. James’s Street, formerly in
Pall Mall, was, in the reign of Queen Anne, the Tory Chocolate House. It
became a club about 1745, and was then regarded as the headquarters of
the Jacobites. Probably for this reason Gibbon, whose father professed
Jacobite opinions, belonged to it on coming to live in London (see his
journal for November, 1762, and his letter to his stepmother, January
18, 1766: “The Cocoa Tree serves now and then to take off an idle
hour”). Byron was a member.]
[Footnote 5: Hodgson’s ‘Sir Edgar’ was published in 1810.]
[Footnote 6: Alluding to his having swum across the Thames with Henry
Drury, after the Montem, to see how many times they could make the
passage backwards and forwards without touching land. In this trial
Byron was the conqueror.]
141.–To his Mother.
  Constantinople, June 28, 1810.
  My dear Mother,–I regret to perceive by your last letter that several
  of mine have not arrived, particularly a very long one written in
  November last from Albania, where I was on a visit to the Pacha of
  that province. Fletcher has also written to his spouse perpetually.
  Mr. Hobhouse, who will forward or deliver this, and is on his return
  to England, can inform you of our different movements, but I am very
  uncertain as to my own return. He will probably be down in Notts, some
  time or other; but Fletcher, whom I send back as an incumbrance
  (English servants are sad travellers), will supply his place in the
  interim, and describe our travels, which have been tolerably
  I have written twice briefly from this capital, from Smyrna, from
  Athens and other parts of Greece; from Albania, the Pacha of which
  province desired his respects to my mother, and said he was sure I was
  a man of high birth because I had small ears, curling hair, and white
  hands!!! He was very kind to me, begged me to consider him as a
  father, and gave me a guard of forty soldiers through the forests of
  Acarnania. But of this and other circumstances I have written to you
  at large, and yet hope you will receive my letters.
  I remember Mahmout Pacha, the grandson of Ali Pacha, at Yanina, (a
  little fellow of ten years of age, with large black eyes, which our
  ladies would purchase at any price, and those regular features which
  distinguish the Turks,) asked me how I came to travel so young,
  without anybody to take care of me. This question was put by the
  little man with all the gravity of threescore. I cannot now write
  copiously; I have only time to tell you that I have passed many a
  fatiguing, but never a tedious moment; and all that I am afraid of is
  that I shall contract a gypsy like wandering disposition, which will
  make home tiresome to me: this, I am told, is very common with men in
  the habit of peregrination, and, indeed, I feel it so. On the 3rd of
  May I swam from _Sestos_ to _Abydos_. You know the story of Leander,
  but I had no _Hero_ to receive me at landing.
  I also passed a fortnight on the Troad. The tombs of Achilles and
  Æsyetes still exist in large barrows, similar to those you have
  doubtless seen in the North. The other day I was at Belgrade (a
  village in these environs), to see the house built on the same site as
  Lady Mary Wortley’s.[1] By-the-by, her ladyship, as far as I can
  judge, has lied, but not half so much as any other woman would have
  done in the same situation.
  I have been in all the principal mosques by the virtue of a firman:
  this is a favor rarely permitted to Infidels, but the ambassador’s
  departure obtained it for us. I have been up the Bosphorus into the
  Black Sea, round the walls of the city, and, indeed, I know more of it
  by sight than I do of London. I hope to amuse you some winter’s
  evening with the details, but at present you must excuse me;–I am not
  able to write long letters in June. I return to spend my summer in
  Greece. I write often, but you must not be alarmed when you do not
  receive my letters; consider we have no regular post farther than
  Malta, where I beg you will in future send your letters, and not to
  this city.
  Fletcher is a poor creature, and requires comforts that I can dispense
  with. He is very sick of his travels, but you must not believe his
  account of the country. He sighs for ale, and idleness, and a wife,
  and the devil knows what besides. I have not been disappointed or
  disgusted. I have lived with the highest and the lowest. I have been
  for days in a Pacha’s palace, and have passed many a night in a
  cowhouse, and I find the people inoffensive and kind. I have also
  passed some time with the principal Greeks in the Morea and Livadia,
  and, though inferior to the Turks, they are better than the Spaniards,
  who, in their turn, excel the Portuguese. Of Constantinople you will
  find many descriptions in different travels; but Lady Mary Wortley
  errs strangely when she says, “St. Paul’s would cut a strange figure
  by St. Sophia’s.” [2]  I have been in both, surveyed them inside and
  out attentively. St. Sophia’s is undoubtedly the most interesting from
  its immense antiquity, and the circumstance of all the Greek emperors,
  from Justinian, having been crowned there, and several murdered at the
  altar, besides the Turkish Sultans who attend it regularly. But it is
  inferior in beauty and size to some of the mosques, particularly
  “Soleyman,” etc., and not to be mentioned in the same page with St.
  Paul’s (I speak like a _Cockney_). However, I prefer the Gothic
  cathedral of Seville to St. Paul’s, St. Sophia’s, and any religious
  building I have ever seen.
  The walls of the Seraglio are like the walls of Newstead gardens, only
  higher, and much in the same _order_; but the ride by the walls of the
  city, on the land side, is beautiful. Imagine four miles of immense
  triple battlements, covered with ivy, surmounted with 218 towers, and,
  on the other side of the road, Turkish burying-grounds (the loveliest
  spots on earth), full of enormous cypresses. I have seen the ruins of
  Athens, of Ephesus, and Delphi. I have traversed great part of Turkey,
  and many other parts of Europe, and some of Asia; but I never beheld a
  work of nature or art which yielded an impression like the prospect on
  each side from the Seven Towers to the end of the Golden Horn. [3]
  Now for England. I am glad to hear of the progress of ‘English Bards’,
  etc. Of course, you observed I have made great additions to the new
  edition. Have you received my picture from Sanders, Vigo Lane, London?
  It was finished and paid for long before I left England: pray, send
  for it. You seem to be a mighty reader of magazines: where do you pick
  up all this intelligence, quotations, etc., etc.? Though I was happy
  to obtain my seat without the assistance of Lord Carlisle, I had no
  measures to keep with a man who declined interfering as my relation on
  that occasion, and I have done with him, though I regret distressing
  Mrs. Leigh, [4] poor thing!–I hope she is happy.
  It is my opinion that Mr. B—-ought to marry Miss R—-. Our first
  duty is not to do evil; but, alas! that is impossible: our next is to
  repair it, if in our power. The girl is his equal: if she were his
  inferior, a sum of money and provision for the child would be some,
  though a poor, compensation: as it is, he should marry her. I will
  have no gay deceivers on my estate, and I shall not allow my tenants a
  privilege I do not permit myself–_that_ of debauching each other’s
  daughters. God knows, I have been guilty of many excesses; but, as I
  have laid down a resolution to reform, and lately kept it, I expect
  this Lothario to follow the example, and begin by restoring this girl
  to society, or, by the beard of my father! he shall hear of it. Pray
  take some notice of Robert, who will miss his master; poor boy, he was
  very unwilling to return. I trust you are well and happy. It will be a
  pleasure to hear from you.
  Believe me, yours very sincerely,
  P.S.–How is Joe Murray?
  P.S.–I open my letter again to tell you that Fletcher having
  petitioned to accompany me into the Morea, I have taken him with me,
  contrary to the intention expressed in my letter.
[Footnote 1: Alluding to his having swum across the Thames with Henry
Drury, after the Montem, to see how many times they could make the
passage backwards and forwards without touching land. In this trial
Byron was the conqueror.]
[Footnote 2: Lady Mary describes the village of Belgrade in a letter to
Pope, dated June 17, 1717 (‘Letters’, edit. 1893, vol. i. pp. 331-333).
But Walsh (‘Narrative of a Residence in Constantinople’, vol. ii. 108,
109), who visited Belgrade in 1821, says that no trace of her
description was then to be seen–no view of the Black Sea, no houses of
the wealthy Christians, no fountains, and no fruit-trees. “The very
tradition” of the house, which had disappeared before Dallaway visited
Belgrade in 1794, had perished.]
[Footnote 3: Lady Mary does not compare St. Paul’s with St. Sophia’s,
but with the mosque of the Valide,
  “the largest of all, built entirely of marble, the most prodigious,
  and, I think, the most beautiful structure I ever saw, be it spoken to
  the honour of our sex, for it was founded by the mother of Mahomet IV.
  Between friends, “St. Paul’s Church would make a pitiful figure near
(‘Letters’, vol. i. p. 356).
[Footnote 4:
  “The European with the Asian shore
    Sprinkled with palaces; the ocean stream
  Here and there studded with a seventy-four;
    Sophia’s cupola with golden gleam;
  The cypress groves; Olympus high and hoar;
  The twelve isles, and the more than I could dream,
  Far less describe, present the very view
  Which charm’d the charming Mary Montagu.”
_Don Juan_, Canto V. stanza 3.]
[Footnote 5: For Mrs. Leigh, ‘née’ Augusta Byron, see page 18 [Letter
7], [Foot]note 1.]
142.–To his Mother.
  Constantinople, July 1, 1810.
  My dear Mother,–I have no wish to forget those who have any claim
  upon me, and shall be glad of the good wishes of R—-when he can
  express them in person, which it seems will be at some very indefinite
  date. I shall perhaps essay a speech or _two_ in the House when I
  return, but I am not ambitious of a parliamentary career, which is of
  all things the most degrading and unthankful. If I could by my own
  efforts inculcate the truth, that a man is not intended for a despot
  or a machine, but as an individual of a community, and fit for the
  society of kings, so long as he does not trespass on the laws or rebel
  against just governments, I might attempt to found a new Utopia; but
  as matters are at present, in course you will not expect me to
  sacrifice my health or self to your or anyone’s ambition.
  To quit this new idea for something you will understand better, how
  are Miss R’s, the W’s, and Mr. R’s blue bastards? for I suppose he
  will not deny their _authorship_, which was, to say the least,
  imprudent and immoral. Poor Miss—-: if he does not marry, and marry
  her speedily, he shall be no tenant of mine from the day that I set
  foot on English shores.
  I am glad you have received my portrait from Sanders. It does not
  _flatter_ me, I think, but the subject is a bad one, and I must even
  do as Fletcher does over his Greek wines–make a face and hope for
  better. What you told me of—-is not _true_, which I regret for
  your sake and your gossip-seeking neighbours, whom present with my
  good wishes, and believe me,
  Yours, etc.,
143.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Constantinople, July 4, 1810.
  My Dear Hodgson,–Twice have I written–once in answer to your last,
  and a former letter when I arrived here in May. That I may have
  nothing to reproach myself with, I will write once more–a very
  superfluous task, seeing that Hobhouse is bound for your parts full of
  talk and wonderment. My first letter went by an ambassadorial express;
  my second by the _Black John_ lugger; my third will be conveyed by
  Cam, the miscellanist.
  I shall begin by telling you, having only told it you twice before,
  that I swam from Sestos to Abydos. I do this that you may be impressed
  with proper respect for me, the performer; for I plume myself on this
  achievement more than I could possibly do on any kind of glory,
  political, poetical, or rhetorical. Having told you this, I will tell
  you nothing more, because it would be cruel to curtail Cam’s
  narrative, which, by-the-by, you must not believe till confirmed by
  me, the eye-witness. I promise myself much pleasure from contradicting
  the greatest part of it. He has been plaguily pleased by the
  intelligence contained in your last to me respecting the reviews of
  his hymns. I refreshed him with that paragraph immediately, together
  with the tidings of my own third edition, which added to his
  recreation. But then he has had a letter from a Lincoln’s Inn Bencher,
  full of praise of his harpings, and vituperation of the other
  contributions to his _Missellingany_, which that sagacious person is
  pleased to say must have been put in as FOILS (_horresco referens!_);
  furthermore he adds that Cam “is a genuine pupil of Dryden,”
  concluding with a comparison rather to the disadvantage of Pope.
  I have written to Drury by Hobhouse; a letter is also from me on its
  way to England intended for that matrimonial man. Before it is very
  long, I hope we shall again be together; the moment I set out for
  England you shall have intelligence, that we may meet as soon as
  possible. Next week the frigate sails with Adair; I am for Greece,
  Hobhouse for England. A year together on the 2nd July since we sailed
  from Falmouth. I have known a hundred instances of men setting out in
  couples, but not one of a similar return. Aberdeen’s [1] party split;
  several voyagers at present have done the same. I am confident that
  twelve months of any given individual is perfect ipecacuanha.
  The Russians and Turks are at it, [2] and the Sultan in person is soon
  to head the army. The Captain Pasha cuts off heads every day, and a
  Frenchman’s ears; the last is a serious affair. By-the-by I like the
  Pashas in general. Ali Pasha called me his son, desired his
  compliments to my mother, and said he was sure I was a man of birth,
  because I had “small ears and curling hair.” He is Pasha of Albania
  six hundred miles off, where I was in October–a fine portly person.
  His grandson Mahmout, a little fellow ten years old, with large black
  eyes as big as pigeon’s eggs, and all the gravity of sixty, asked me
  what I did travelling so young without a _Lala_ (tutor)?
  Good night, dear H. I have crammed my paper, and crave your
  indulgence. Write to me at Malta. I am, with all sincerity,
  Yours affectionately,
[Footnote 1: George Hamilton Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860),
afterwards Prime Minister (1852-55), succeeded his grandfather as fourth
earl in 1801. Grandson of the purchaser of Mrs. Byron’s old home of
Gight, and writer of an article in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ (July, 1805)
on Gell’s ‘Topography of Troy,’ he has a place in ‘English Bards, and
Scotch Reviewers’ (lines 508, 509). He also appears as “sullen
Aberdeen,” in a suppressed stanza of ‘Childe Harold’, Canto II., which
in the MS. follows stanza xiii., among those who
  “—-pilfer all the Pilgrim loves to see,
  All that yet consecrates the fading scene.”
After leaving Harrow, and before entering St. John’s College, Cambridge,
he spent two years (1801-3) in Greece. On his return he founded the
Athenian Society, and became President of the Society of Antiquaries
from 1812 to 1846. It may be added that he was Foreign Secretary when
the Porte acknowledged the independence of Greece by the Treaty of
Adrianople (1829).]
[Footnote 2: In this war, the scene of which lay chiefly in Wallachia,
Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Servia, the main episodes were the two battles of
Rustchuk (July 4 and October 14, 1811), the recapture of Silistria by
the Russians, and the Convention of Giurgevo between the contending
forces (October 28, 1811).]g
144.–To his Mother.
  Athens, July 25, 1810.
  Dear Mother,–I have arrived here in four days from Constantinople,
  which is considered as singularly quick, particularly for the season
  of the year. I left Constantinople with Adair, at whose adieux of
  leave I saw Sultan Mahmout, [1] and obtained a firman to visit the
  mosques, of which I gave you a description in my last letter, now
  voyaging to England in the _Salsette_ frigate, in which I visited the
  plains of Troy and Constantinople. Your northern gentry can have no
  conception of a Greek summer; which, however, is a perfect frost
  compared with Malta and Gibraltar, where I reposed myself in the shade
  last year, after a gentle gallop of four hundred miles, without
  intermission, through Portugal and Spain. You see, by my date, that I
  am at Athens again, a place which I think I prefer, upon the whole, to
  any I have seen.
  My next movement is to-morrow into the Morea, where I shall probably
  remain a month or two, and then return to winter here, if I do not
  change my plans, which, however, are very variable, as you may
  suppose; but none of them verge to England.
  The Marquis of Sligo, [2] my old fellow-collegian, is here, and wishes
  to accompany me into the Morea. We shall go together for that purpose;
  but I am woefully sick of travelling companions, after a year’s
  experience of Mr. Hobhouse, who is on his way to Great Britain. Lord
  S. will afterwards pursue his way to the capital; and Lord B., having
  seen all the wonders in that quarter, will let you know what he does
  next, of which at present he is not quite certain. Malta is my
  perpetual post-office, from which my letters are forwarded to all
  parts of the habitable globe:–by the bye, I have now been in Asia,
  Africa, and the east of Europe, and, indeed, made the most of my time,
  without hurrying over the most interesting scenes of the ancient
  world. Fletcher, after having been toasted and roasted, and baked, and
  grilled, and eaten by all sorts of creeping things, begins to
  philosophise, is grown a refined as well as a resigned character, and
  promises at his return to become an ornament to his own parish, and a
  very prominent person in the future family pedigree of the Fletchers,
  who I take to be Goths by their accomplishments, Greeks by their
  acuteness, and ancient Saxons by their appetite. He (Fletcher) begs
  leave to send half-a-dozen sighs to Sally his spouse, and wonders
  (though I do not) that his ill-written and worse spelt letters have
  never come to hand; as for that matter, there is no great loss in
  either of our letters, saving and except that I wish you to know we
  are well, and warm enough at this present writing, God knows. You must
  not expect long letters at present, for they are written with the
  sweat of my brow, I assure you. It is rather singular that Mr. Hanson
  has not written a syllable since my departure. Your letters I have
  mostly received as well as others; from which I conjecture that the
  man of law is either angry or busy.
  I trust you like Newstead, and agree with your neighbours; but you
  know _you_ are a _vixen_–is not that a dutiful appellation? Pray,
  take care of my books and several boxes of papers in the hands of
  Joseph; and pray leave me a few bottles of champagne to drink, for I
  am very thirsty;–but I do not insist on the last article, without you
  like it. I suppose you have your house full of silly women, prating
  scandalous things. Have you ever received my picture in oil from
  Sanders, London? It has been paid for these sixteen months: why do you
  not get it? My suite, consisting of two Turks, two Greeks, a Lutheran,
  and the nondescript, Fletcher, are making so much noise, that I am
  glad to sign myself
  Yours, etc., etc.,
[Footnote 1: On July 10, 1810, the British ambassador, Robert Adair, had
his audience of Sultan Mahmoud II, and on the 14th the ‘Salsette’ set
sail. She touched at the island of Zea to land Byron, who thence made
his way to Athens.
It was in making war against Mahmoud II, the conqueror of Ali Pasha and
the destroyer of the Janissaries, that Byron lost his life. The
following description of the Sultan is given by Hobhouse (‘Travels in
Albania, etc.,’ vol. ii. pp. 364, 365):–
  “The chamber was small and dark, or rather illumined with a gloomy
  artificial light, reflected from the ornaments of silver, pearls, and
  other white brilliants, with which it is thickly studded on every side
  and on the roof. The throne, which is supposed the richest in the
  world, is like a four-posted bed, but of a dazzling splendour; the
  lower part formed of burnished silver and pearls, and the canopy and
  supporters encrusted with jewels. It is in an awkward position, being
  in one corner of the room, and close to a fireplace.
  “Sultan Mahmoud was placed in the middle of the throne, with his feet
  upon the ground, which, notwithstanding the common form of squatting
  upon the hams, seems the seat of ceremony. He was dressed in a robe of
  yellow satin, with a broad border of the darkest sable; his dagger,
  and an ornament on his breast, were covered with diamonds; the front
  of his white and blue turban shone with a large treble sprig of
  diamonds, which served as a buckle to a high, straight plume of
  bird-of-paradise feathers. He, for the most part, kept a hand on each
  knee, and neither moved his body nor head, but rolled his eyes from
  side to side, without fixing them for an instant upon the ambassador
  or any other person present. Occasionally he stroked and turned up his
  beard, displaying a milk-white hand glittering with diamond rings. His
  eyebrows, eyes, and beard, being of a glossy jet black, did not appear
  natural, but added to that indescribable majesty which it would be
  difficult for any but an Oriental sovereign to assume; his face was
  pale, and regularly formed, except that his nose (contrary to the
  usual form of that feature in the Ottoman princes) was slightly turned
  up and pointed; his whole physiognomy was mild and benevolent, but
  expressive and full of dignity. He appeared of a short and small
  stature, and about thirty years old, which is somewhat more than his
  actual age.”
Byron, at the audience, claimed some precedence in the procession as a
peer. On May 23, 1819, Moore sat at dinner next to Stratford Canning
(afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe), who
  “gave a ludicrous account of Lord Byron’s insisting upon taking
  precedence of the ‘corps diplomatique’ in a procession at
  Constantinople (when Canning was secretary), and upon Adair’s refusing
  it, limping, with as much swagger as he could muster, up the hall,
  cocking a foreign military hat on his head. He found, however, he was
  wrong, and wrote a very frank letter acknowledging it, and offering to
  take his station anywhere”
  (‘Journals, etc., of Thomas Moore’, vol. ii. p. 313).
An incident of the voyage from Constantinople to Zea is mentioned by
Moore (‘Life’, p. 110). Picking up a Turkish dagger on the deck, Byron
looked at the blade, and then, before replacing it in the sheath, was
overheard to say to himself, “I should like to know how a person feels
after committing a murder.” In ‘Firmilian; a Spasmodic Tragedy’ (scene
ix.) the sentiment is parodied. Firmilian determines to murder his
friend, in order to shriek “delirious at the taste of sin!” He had
already blown up a church full of people; but–
      “I must have
  A more potential draught of guilt than this
  With more of wormwood in it! …
  Courage, Firmilian! for the hour has come
  When thou canst know atrocity indeed,
  By smiting him that was thy dearest friend.
  And think not that he dies a vulgar death–
  ‘Tis poetry demands the sacrifice!”
And he hurls Haverillo from the summit of the Pillar of St. Simeon
[Footnote 3: For Lord Sligo, see page 100 [Letter 51], [Foot]note 2 [4].
Lord Sligo was at Athens with a 12-gun brig and a crew of fifty men. At
Athens, also, were Lady Hester Stanhope and Michael Bruce, on their way
through European Turkey. As the party were passing the Piraeus, they saw
a man jump from the mole-head into the sea. Lord Sligo, recognizing the
bather as Byron, called to him to dress and join them. Thus began what
Byron, in his Memoranda, speaks of as “the most delightful acquaintance
which I formed in Greece.” From Lord Sligo Moore heard the following
Weakened and thinned by his illness at Patras, Byron returned to Athens.
There, standing one day before a looking-glass, he said to Lord Sligo,
“How pale I look! I should like, I think, to die of a consumption.” “Why
of a consumption?” asked his friend. “Because then,” he answered, “the
women would all say, ‘See that poor Byron–how interesting he looks in
He often spoke of his mother to Lord Sligo, who thought that his feeling
towards her was little short of aversion. “Some time or other,” he said,
“I will tell you why I feel thus towards her.” A few days after, when
they were bathing together in the Gulf of Lepanto, pointing to his naked
leg and foot, he exclaimed,
  “Look there! It is to her false delicacy at my birth I owe that
  deformity; and yet as long as I can remember, she has never ceased to
  taunt and reproach me with it. Even a few days before we parted, for
  the last time, on my leaving England, she, in one of her fits of
  passion, uttered an imprecation upon me, praying that I might prove as
  ill formed in mind as I am in body!”
Relics of ancient art only appealed to Byron’s imagination among their
original and natural surroundings. For collections and collectors he had
a contempt which, like everything he thought or felt, was unreservedly
expressed. Lord Sligo wished to spend some money in digging for
antiquities, and Byron offered to act as his agent, and to see the money
honestly applied. “You may safely trust ‘me'” he said; “I am no
dilettante. Your connoisseurs are all thieves; but I care too little for
these things ever to steal them.”
His system of thinning himself, which he had begun before he left
England, was continued abroad. While at Athens, where he stayed at the
Franciscan Convent, he took a Turkish bath three times a week, his usual
drink being vinegar and water, and his food seldom more than a little
rice. The result was that, when he returned to England, he weighed only
9 stone 11-1/2 lbs. (see page 127 [Letter 71], [Foot]note 1).
Moore’s account of the “cordial friendship” between Byron and Lady
Hester Stanhope requires modification. Lady Hester (see page 302, note
I) thus referred in after-life to her meeting with Byron, if her
physician’s recollection is to be trusted (‘Memoirs’, by Dr. Meryon,
vol. iii. pp. 218, 219)–
  “‘I think he was a strange character: his generosity was for a motive,
  his avarice for a motive; one time he was mopish, and nobody was to
  speak to him; another, he was for being jocular with everybody. Then
  he was a sort of Don Quixote, fighting with the police for a woman of
  the town; and then he wanted to make himself something great … At
  Athens I saw nothing in him but a well-bred man, like many others;
  for, as for poetry, it is easy enough to write verses; and as for the
  thoughts, who knows where he got them? … He had a great deal of vice
  in his looks–his eyes set close together, and a contracted brow–so’
  (imitating it). ‘Oh, Lord! I am sure he was not a liberal man,
  whatever else he might be. The only good thing about his looks was
  this part’ (drawing her hand under the cheek down the front of her
  neck), ‘and the curl on his forehead.'”
Michael Bruce, with the help of Sir Robert Wilson and Capt. Hutchinson,
assisted Count Lavallette to escape from Paris in January, 1816. For an
account, see Wilson’s intercepted letter to Lord Grey (‘Memoires du
Comte Lavallette’, vol. ii. p. 132) and the story of their trial,
conviction, and sentence before the Assize Court of the Department of
the Seine (April 22-24, 1816), given in the ‘Annual Register’ for 1816,
pp. 329-336.]
145.–To his Mother.
  Athens, July 27, 1810.
  Dear Mother,–I write again in case you have not received my letters.
  To-day I go into the Morea, which will, I trust, be colder than this
  place, where I have tarried in the expectation of obtaining rest.
  Sligo has very kindly proposed a union of our forces for the occasion,
  which will be perhaps as uncomfortable to him as to myself, judging
  from previous experience, which, however, may be explained by my own
  irritability and hurry.
  At Constantinople I visited the Mosques, plains, and grandees of that
  place, which, in my opinion, cannot be compared with Athens and its
  neighbourhood; indeed I know of no Turkish scenery to equal this,
  which would be civilised and Celtic enough with a little alteration in
  situation and inhabitants. An usual custom here, as at Cadiz, is to
  part with wives, daughters, etc., for a trifling present of gold or
  English arms (which the Greeks set a high value upon). The women are
  generally of the middle height, with Turkish eyes, straight hair, and
  clear olive complexion, but are not nearly so amorous as the Spanish
  belles, whom I have described to you in former letters. I have some
  feats to boast of when I return, which is undesired and undesirable–I
  always except you from my complaints, and hope you will expect me with
  the same delight that I anticipate meeting you. You can have no
  conception of Lord S.’s ecstasy when I informed him of my probable
  movements. The man is well enough and sensible enough by himself; but
  the swarm of attendants, Turks, Greeks, Englishmen that he carries
  with him, makes his society, or rather theirs, an intolerable
  annoyance. If you will read this letter to—-, you may imagine in
  what capacity I believe you excel.
  Before I left England I promised to give my silver-mounted whip (in
  your chamber) to Charles. Present it to him, poor boy, for I should
  not like him to suppose me as unfaithful as his _amante_, who, by the
  way is no better than she should be, and no great loss to himself or
  his family. Hobhouse is silent, and has, I suppose, not yet returned;
  indeed, like myself, he appears to love the world better than England,
  and the Devil more than either, who I regret is not present to be
  informed of this. Do not fail, if you see him (Hobhouse, I mean), to
  repeat it, and the assurance that I am to him, with yourself,
  Ever affectionately,
146.–To his Mother.
  Patras, July 30, 1810.
  DEAR MADAM,–In four days from Constantinople, with a favourable wind,
  I arrived in the frigate at the island of Teos, from whence I took a
  boat to Athens, where I met my friend the Marquis of Sligo, who
  expressed a wish to proceed with me as far as Corinth. At Corinth we
  separated, he for Tripolitza, I for Patras, where I had some business
  with the consul, Mr. Strané, in whose house I now write. He has
  rendered me every service in his power since I quitted Malta on my way
  to Constantinople, whence I have written to you twice or thrice. In a
  few days I visit the Pacha[1] at Tripolitza, make the tour of the
  Morea, and return again to Athens, which at present is my
  head-quarters. The heat is at present intense. In England, if it
  reaches 98° you are all on fire: the other day, in travelling between
  Athens and Megara, the thermometer was at 125°!!! Yet I feel no
  inconvenience; of course I am much bronzed, but I live temperately,
  and never enjoyed better health.
  Before I left Constantinople, I saw the Sultan (with Mr. Adair), and
  the interior of the mosques, things which rarely happen to travellers.
  Mr. Hobhouse is gone to England: I am in no hurry to return, but have
  no particular communications for your country, except my surprise at
  Mr. Hanson’s silence, and my desire that he will remit regularly. I
  suppose some arrangement has been made with regard to Wymondham and
  Rochdale. Malta is my post-office, or to Mr. Strané, consul-general,
  Patras, Morea. You complain of my silence–I have written twenty or
  thirty times within the last year: never less than twice a month, and
  often more. If my letters do not arrive, you must not conclude that we
  are eaten, or that there is war, or a pestilence, or famine: neither
  must you credit silly reports, which I dare say you have in Notts., as
  usual. I am very well, and neither more nor less happy than I usually
  am; except that I am very glad to be once more alone, for I was sick
  of my companion,–not that he was a bad one, but because my nature
  leads me to solitude, and that every day adds to this disposition. If
  I chose, here are many men who would wish to join me–one wants me to
  go to Egypt, another to Asia, of which I have seen enough. The greater
  part of Greece is already my own, so that I shall only go over my old
  ground, and look upon my old seas and mountains, the only
  acquaintances I ever found improve upon me.
  I have a tolerable suite, a Tartar, two Albanians, an interpreter,
  besides Fletcher; but in this country these are easily maintained.
  Adair received me wonderfully well, and indeed I have no complaints
  against any one. Hospitality here is necessary, for inns are not. I
  have lived in the houses of Greeks, Turks, Italians, and
  English–to-day in a palace, to-morrow in a cow-house; this day with a
  Pacha, the next with a shepherd. I shall continue to write briefly,
  but frequently, and am glad to hear from you; but you fill your
  letters with things from the papers, as if English papers were not
  found all over the world. I have at this moment a dozen before me.
  Pray take care of my books, and believe me, my dear mother,
  Yours very faithfully,
[Footnote 1: For Veli Pasha, see page 248 [Letter 131], [Foot]note 1
147.–To his Mother.
  Patras, October 2, 1810.
  DEAR MADAM,–It is now several months since I have received any
  communication from you; but at this I am not surprised, nor indeed
  have I any complaint to make, since you have written frequently, for
  which I thank you; but I very much condemn Mr. Hanson, who has not
  taken the smallest notice of my many letters, nor of my request before
  I left England, which I sailed from on this very day _fifteen_ months
  ago. Thus one year and a quarter have passed away, without my
  receiving the least intelligence on the state of my affairs, and they
  were not in a posture to admit of neglect; and I do conceive and
  declare that Mr. Hanson has acted negligently and culpably in not
  apprising me of his proceedings; I will also add uncivilly. His
  letters, were there any, could not easily miscarry; the communications
  with the Levant are slow, but tolerably secure, at least as far as
  Malta, and there I left directions which I know would be observed.
  I have written to you several times from Constantinople and Smyrna.
  You will perceive by my date I am returned into the Morea,[1] of which
  I have been making the tour, and visiting the Pacha, who gave me a
  fine horse, and paid me all possible honours and attention. I have now
  seen a good portion of Turkey in Europe, and Asia Minor, and shall
  remain at Athens, and in the vicinity, till I hear from England.
  I have punctually obeyed your injunctions of writing frequently, but I
  shall not pretend to describe countries which have been already amply
  treated of. I believe before this time Mr. Hobhouse will have arrived
  in England, and he brings letters from me, written at Constantinople.
  In these I mention having seen the Sultan and the mosques, and that I
  swam from Sestos to Abydos, an exploit of which I take care to boast.
  I am here on business at present, but Athens is my head-quarters,
  where I am very pleasantly situated in a Franciscan convent. Believe
  me to be, with great sincerity, yours very affectionately,
  P.S.–Fletcher is well, and discontented as usual; his wife don’t
  write, at least her scrawls have not arrived. You will address to
  Malta. Pray have you never received my picture in oil from Sanders,
  Vigo Lane, London?
[Footnote 1: In a note upon the Advertisement prefixed to his ‘Siege of
Corinth’, Byron says,
  “I visited all three (Tripolitza, Napoli, and Argos) in 1810-11, and,
  in the course of journeying through the country, from my first arrival
  in 1809, I crossed the Isthmus eight times in my way from Attica to
  the Morea, over the mountains, or in the other direction, when passing
  from the Gulf of Athens to that of Lepanto.”]
148.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Patras, Morea, October 3, 1810.
  As I have just escaped from a physician and a fever, which confined me
  five days to bed, you won’t expect much _allegrezza_ in the ensuing
  letter. In this place there is an indigenous distemper, which when the
  wind blows from the Gulf of Corinth (as it does five months out of
  six), attacks great and small, and makes woful work with visiters.
  Here be also two physicians, one of whom trusts to his genius (never
  having studied)–the other to a campaign of eighteen months against
  the sick of Otranto, which he made in his youth with great effect.
  When I was seized with my disorder, I protested against both these
  assassins;–but what can a helpless, feverish, toast-and-watered poor
  wretch do? In spite of my teeth and tongue, the English consul, my
  Tartar, Albanians, dragoman, forced a physician upon me, and in three
  days vomited and glystered me to the last gasp. In this state I made
  my epitaph–take it:–
    Youth, Nature, and relenting Jove,
      To keep my lamp _in_ strongly strove:
    But Romanelli was so stout,
      He beat all three–and _blew_ it _out_.
  But Nature and Jove, being piqued at my doubts, did, in fact, at last,
  beat Romanelli, and here I am, well but weakly, at your service.
  Since I left Constantinople, I have made a tour of the Morea, and
  visited Veley Pacha, who paid me great honours, and gave me a pretty
  stallion. H. is doubtless in England before even the date of this
  letter:–he bears a despatch from me to your bardship. He writes to me
  from Malta, and requests my journal, if I keep one. I have none, or he
  should have it; but I have replied in a consolatory and exhortatory
  epistle, praying him to abate three and sixpence in the price of his
  next boke, seeing that half a guinea is a price not to be given for
  any thing save an opera ticket.
  As for England, it is long since I have heard from it. Every one at
  all connected with my concerns is asleep, and you are my only
  correspondent, agents excepted. I have really no friends in the world;
  though all my old school companions are gone forth into that world,
  and walk about there in monstrous disguises, in the garb of guardsmen,
  lawyers, parsons, fine gentlemen, and such other masquerade dresses.
  So, I here shake hands and cut with all these busy people, none of
  whom write to me. Indeed I ask it not;–and here I am, a poor
  traveller and heathenish philosopher, who hath perambulated the
  greatest part of the Levant, and seen a great quantity of very
  improvable land and sea, and, after all, am no better than when I set
  out–Lord help me!
  I have been out fifteen months this very day, and I believe my
  concerns will draw me to England soon; but of this I will apprise you
  regularly from Malta. On all points Hobhouse will inform you, if you
  are curious as to our adventures. [1] I have seen some old English
  papers up to the 15th of May. I see the _Lady of the Lake_[2]
  advertised. Of course it is in his old ballad style, and pretty. After
  all, Scott is the best of them. The end of all scribblement is to
  amuse, and he certainly succeeds there. I long to read his new
  And how does _Sir Edgar_? and your friend Bland? I suppose you are
  involved in some literary squabble. The only way is to despise all
  brothers of the quill. I suppose you won’t allow me to be an author,
  but I contemn you all, you dogs!–I do.
  You don’t know Dallas, do you? He had a farce [3] ready for the stage
  before I left England, and asked me for a prologue, which I promised,
  but sailed in such a hurry I never penned a couplet. I am afraid to
  ask after his drama, for fear it should be damned–Lord forgive me for
  using such a word! but the pit, Sir, you know the pit–they will do
  those things in spite of merit. I remember this farce from a curious
  circumstance. When Drury Lane [4] was burnt to the ground, by which
  accident Sheridan and his son lost the few remaining shillings they
  were worth, what doth my friend Dallas do? Why, before the fire was
  out, he writes a note to Tom Sheridan, [5] the manager of this
  combustible concern, to inquire whether this farce was not converted
  into fuel with about two thousand other unactable manuscripts, which
  of course were in great peril, if not actually consumed. Now was not
  this characteristic?–the ruling passions of Pope are nothing to it.
  Whilst the poor distracted manager was bewailing the loss of a
  building only worth £300,000., together with some twenty thousand
  pounds of rags and tinsel in the tiring rooms, Bluebeard’s elephants,
  [6] and all that–in comes a note from a scorching author, requiring
  at his hands two acts and odd scenes of a farce!!
  Dear H., remind Drury that I am his well-wisher, and let Scrope Davies
  be well affected towards me. I look forward to meeting you at
  Newstead, and renewing our old champagne evenings with all the glee of
  anticipation. I have written by every opportunity, and expect
  responses as regular as those of the liturgy, and somewhat longer. As
  it is impossible for a man in his senses to hope for happy days, let
  us at least look forward to merry ones, which come nearest to the
  other in appearance, if not in reality; and in such expectations I
  remain, etc.
[Footnote 1: Hobhouse, writing to Byron from Malta, July 31, 1810, says,
  “Mrs. Bruce picked out a pretty picture of a woman in a fashionable
  dress in Ackerman’s ‘Repository’, and observed it was vastly like Lord
  Byron. I give you warning of this, for fear you should make another
  conquest and return to England without a curl upon your head. Surely
  the ladies copy Delilah when they crop their lovers after this fashion.
    ‘Successful youth! why mourn thy ravish’d hair,
    Since each lost lock bespeaks a conquer’d fair,
    And young and old conspire to make thee bare?’
  This makes me think of my poor ‘Miscellany’, which is quite dead, if
  indeed that can be said to be dead which was never alive; not a soul
  knows, or knowing will speak of it.” Again, July 15, 1811, he writes:
  “The ‘Miscellany’ is so damned that my friends make it a point of
  politeness not to mention it ever to me.”]
[Footnote 2: ‘The Lady of the Lake’ was published in May, 1810.]
[Footnote 3: For Dallas, see page 168 [Letter 87], [Foot]note 1. His
farce, entitled, ‘Not at Home’, was acted at the Lyceum, by the Drury
Lane Company, in November, 1809. It was afterwards printed, with a
prologue (intended to have been spoken) written by Walter Rodwell
Wright, author of ‘Horae Ionicae’.]
[Footnote 4: Drury Lane Theatre, burned down in 1791, and reopened in
1794, was again destroyed by fire on February 24, 1809.]
[Footnote 5: Thomas Sheridan (1775-1817), originally in the army, was at
this time assisting his father, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as manager of
Drury Lane Theatre. His ‘Bonduca’ was played at Covent Garden in May,
1808. He married, in 1805, Caroline Henrietta Callender, who was “more
beautiful than anybody but her daughters,” afterwards Mrs. Norton, the
Duchess of Somerset, and Lady Dufferin. He died at the Cape of Good Hope
in 1817. “Tom Sheridan and his beautiful wife” were at Gibraltar in
1809, when Byron and Hobhouse landed on the Rock, and, as Galt states
(‘Life of Byron’, p. 58), brought the news to Lady Westmorland of their
arrival. (See ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, lines 572, 573, and
note 1.)]
[Footnote 6: ‘Bluebeard, or Female Curiosity’, by George Colman the
Younger (1762-1836), was being acted at Drury Lane in January, 1809.
“Bluebeard’s elephants” were wicker-work constructions. It was at Covent
Garden that the first live elephant was introduced two years later.
Johnstone, the machinist employed at Drury Lane, famous for the
construction of wooden children, wicker-work lions, and paste-board
swans, was present with a friend.
  “Among the attractions of this Christmas foolery, a _real_ elephant
  was introduced…. The friend, who sat close to Johnstone, jogged his
  elbow, whispering, ‘This is a bitter bad job for Drury! Why, the
  elephant’s _alive_! He’ll carry all before him, and beat you hollow.
  What do you think on’t, eh?’ ‘Think on’t?’ said Johnstone, in a tone
  of utmost contempt, ‘I should be very sorry if I couldn’t make a much
  better elephant than that, at any time'”
(George Colman the Younger, ‘Random Records’, vol. i. pp. 228, 229).]
149.–To John Cam Hobhouse.
  Patras, Morea, October 4th, 1810.
  MY Dear Hobhouse,–I wrote to you two days ago, but the weather and my
  friend Strané’s conversation being much the same, and my ally Nicola
  [1] in bed with a fever, I think I may as well talk to you, the
  rather, as you can’t answer me, and excite my wrath with impertinent
  observations, at least for three months to come.
  I will try not to say the same things I have set down in my other
  letter of the 2nd, but I can’t promise, as my poor head is still giddy
  with my late fever.
  I saw the Lady Hesther Stanhope [2] at Athens, and do not admire “that
  dangerous thing a female wit.” She told me (take her own words) that
  she had given you a good set-down at Malta, in some disputation about
  the Navy; from this, of course, I readily inferred the contrary, or in
  the words of an _acquaintance_ of ours, that “you had the best of it.”
  She evinced a similar disposition to _argufy_ with me, which I avoided
  by either laughing or yielding. I despise the sex too much to squabble
  with them, and I rather wonder you should allow a woman to draw you
  into a contest, in which, however, I am sure you had the advantage,
  she abuses you so bitterly.
  I have seen too little of the Lady to form any decisive opinion, but I
  have discovered nothing different from other she-things, except a
  great disregard of received notions in her conversation as well as
  conduct. I don’t know whether this will recommend her to our sex, but
  I am sure it won’t to her own. She is going on to Constantinople.
  Ali Pacha is in a scrape. Ibrahim Pacha and the Pacha of Scutari have
  come down upon him with 20,000 Gegdes and Albanians, retaken Berat,
  and threaten Tepaleni. Adam Bey is dead, Vely Pacha was on his way to
  the Danube, but has gone off suddenly to Yanina, and all Albania is in
  an uproar.
  The mountains we crossed last year are the scene of warfare, and there
  is nothing but carnage and cutting of throats. In my other letter I
  mentioned that Vely had given me a fine horse. On my late visit he
  received me with great pomp, standing, conducted me to the door with
  his arm round my waist, and a variety of civilities, invited me to
  meet him at Larissa and see his army, which I should have accepted,
  had not this rupture with Ibrahim taken place. Sultan Mahmout is in a
  phrenzy because Vely has not joined the army. We have a report here,
  that the Russians have beaten the Turks and taken Muchtar Pacha
  prisoner, but it is a Greek Bazaar rumour and not to be believed.
  I have now treated you with a dish of Turkish politics. You have by
  this time gotten into England, and your ears and mouth are full of
  “Reform Burdett, Gale Jones, [3] minority, last night’s division,
  dissolution of Parliament, battle in Portugal,” and all the cream of
  forty newspapers.
  In my t’other letter, to which I am perpetually obliged to refer, I
  have offered some moving topics on the head of your _Miscellany_, the
  neglect of which I attribute to the half guinea annexed as the
  indispensable equivalent for the said volume.
  Now I do hope, notwithstanding that exorbitant demand, that on your
  return you will find it selling, or, what is better, sold, in
  consequence of which you will be able to face the public with your new
  volume, if that intention still subsists.
  My journal, did I keep one, should be yours. As it is I can only offer
  my sincere wishes for your success, if you will believe it possible
  for a brother scribbler to be sincere on such an occasion.
  Will you execute a commission for me? Lord Sligo tells me it was the
  intention of Miller [4] in Albemarle Street to send by him a letter to
  me, which he stated to be of consequence. Now I have no concern with
  Mr. M. except a bill which I hope is paid before this time; will you
  visit the said M. and if it be a pecuniary matter, refer him to
  Hanson, and if not, tell me what he means, or forward his letter.
  I have just received an epistle from Galt, [5] with a Candist poem,
  which it seems I am to forward to you. This I would willingly do, but
  it is too large for a letter, and too small for a parcel, and besides
  appears to be damned nonsense, from all which considerations I will
  deliver it in person. It is entitled the “Fair Shepherdess,” or rather
  “Herdswoman;” if you don’t like the translation take the original
  title “[Greek (transliterated): hae boskopoula].” Galt also writes
  something not very intelligible about a “Spartan State paper” which by
  his account is everything but Laconic. Now the said Sparta having some
  years ceased to be a state, what the devil does he mean by a paper? he
  also adds mysteriously that the _affair_ not being concluded, he
  cannot at present apply for it.
  Now, Hobhouse, are you mad? or is he? Are these documents for Longman
  & Co.? Spartan state papers! and Cretan rhymes! indeed these
  circumstances super-added to his house at Mycone (whither I am
  invited) and his Levant wines, make me suspect his sanity. Athens is
  at present infested with English people, but they are moving, _Dio
  bendetto!_ I am returning to pass a month or two; I think the spring
  will see me in England, but do not let this transpire, nor cease to
  urge the most dilatory of mortals, Hanson. I have some idea of
  purchasing the Island of Ithaca; I suppose you will add me to the
  Levant lunatics. I shall be glad to hear from your Signoria of your
  welfare, politics, and literature.
  Your last letter closes pathetically with a postscript about a
  nosegay; [6] I advise you to introduce that into your next sentimental
  novel. I am sure I did not suspect you of any fine feelings, and I
  believe you were laughing, but you are welcome.
  _Vale_; “I can no more,” like Lord Grizzle. [7]
  [Greek (transliterated): Mpair_on]
[Footnote 1: Nicolo Giraud, from whom Byron was learning Italian.]
[Footnote 2: Hobhouse had written to Byron, speaking of Lady Hester
Stanhope “as the most superior woman, as Bruce says, of all the world.”
The daughter of Pitt’s favourite sister, Lady Hester (1776-1839) was her
uncle’s constant companion (1803-6). In character she resembled her
grandfather far more than her uncle, who owed his cool judgment to the
Grenville blood. Lady Hester inherited the overweening pride,
generosity, courage, and fervent heat of the “Great Commoner,” as well
as his indomitable will. Like him, she despised difficulties, and
ignored the word “impossibility.” Her romantic ideas were also combined
with keen insight into character, and much practical sagacity. These
were the qualities which made her for many years a power among the wild
tribes of Lebanon, with whom she was in 1810 proceeding to take up her
abode (1813-39).]
[Footnote 3: Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844), a lifelong friend of Lady
Hester Stanhope, was afterwards Hobhouse’s colleague as M.P. for
Westminster (1820-33). He was committed to the Tower in 1810 for
publishing a speech which he delivered in the House of Commons in
defence of John Gale Jones, whom the House (February, 1810) had sent to
Newgate for a breach of privilege. Sir Francis refused to obey the
warrant, and told the sergeant-at-arms that he would not go unless taken
by force. His refusal led to riots near his house (77, Piccadilly), in
which the Horse Guards, or “Oxford Blues” as they were called, gained
the name of “Piccadilly Butchers” (Lord Albemarle’s ‘Recollections’,
vol. i. pp. 317, 318).]
[Footnote 4: See page 319, ‘note 2.’]
[Footnote 5: John Galt (1779-1839), the novelist, was at this time
endeavouring to establish a place of business at Mycone, in the Greek
Archipelago. He published in 1812 his ‘Voyages and Travels in the Years’
1809, 1810, 1811. (For his meeting with Byron at Gibraltar, see page
243 [Letter 130], [Foot]note 1.)]
[Footnote 6: Hobhouse’s letter to Byron of July 31, 1810, ends with the
following postscript:–
  “I kept the half of your little nosegay till it withered entirely, and
  even then I could not bear to throw it away. I can’t account for this,
  nor can you either, I dare say.”]
[Footnote 7: Lord Grizzle, in Fielding’s ‘Tom Thumb’, is the first peer
in the Court of King Arthur, who, jealous of Tom Thumb and in love with
the Princess Huncamunca, turns traitor, and is run through the body by
Tom Thumb. It is the ghost, not Grizzle, who says, “I can no more.” (See
page 226 [Letter 124], [Foot]note 1.)]
150.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Athens, November 14, 1810.
  MY DEAR HODGSON,–This will arrive with an English servant whom I send
  homewards with some papers of consequence. I have been journeying in
  different parts of Greece for these last four months, and you may
  expect me in England somewhere about April, but this is very dubious.
  Hobhouse you have doubtless seen; he went home in August to arrange
  materials for a tour he talks of publishing. You will find him well
  and scribbling–that is, scribbling if well, and well if scribbling.
  I suppose you have a score of new works, all of which I hope to see
  flourishing, with a hecatomb of reviews. _My_ works are likely to have
  a powerful effect with a vengeance, as I hear of divers angry people,
  whom it is proper I should shoot at, by way of satisfaction. Be it so,
  the same impulse which made “Otho a warrior” will make me one also. My
  domestic affairs being moreover considerably deranged, my appetite for
  travelling pretty well satiated with my late peregrinations, my
  various hopes in this world almost extinct, and not very brilliant in
  the next, I trust I shall go through the process with a creditable
  _sang froid_ and not disgrace a line of cut-throat ancestors.
  I regret in one of your letters to hear you talk of domestic
  embarrassments, [1] indeed I am at present very well calculated to
  sympathise with you on that point. I suppose I must take to
  dram-drinking as a _succedaneum_ for philosophy, though as I am
  happily not married, I have very little occasion for either just yet.
  Talking of marriage puts me in mind of Drury, who I suppose has a
  dozen children by this time, all fine fretful brats; I will never
  forgive Matrimony for having spoiled such an excellent Bachelor. If
  anybody honours my name with an inquiry tell them of “my whereabouts”
  and write if you like it. I am living alone in the Franciscan
  monastery with one “fri_ar_” (a Capuchin of course) and one “fri_er_”
  (a bandy-legged Turkish cook), two Albanian savages, a Tartar, and a
  Dragoman. My only Englishman departs with this and other letters. The
  day before yesterday the Waywode (or Governor of Athens) with the
  Mufti of Thebes (a sort of Mussulman Bishop) supped here and made
  themselves beastly with raw rum, and the Padré of the convent being as
  drunk as _we_, my _Attic_ feast went off with great _éclat_. I have
  had a present of a stallion from the Pacha of the Morea. I caught a
  fever going to Olympia. I was blown ashore on the Island of Salamis,
  in my way to Corinth through the Gulf of Ægina. I have kicked an
  Athenian postmaster, I have a friendship with the French consul [2]
  and an Italian painter, and am on good terms with five Teutones and
  Cimbri, Danes and Germans, [2] who are travelling for an Academy.
  Yours, [Greek: Mpair_on] [3]
[Footnote 1: Hodgson’s father, Rector of Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire,
died in October, 1810, heavily in debt. Francis Hodgson undertook
to satisfy the claims of his father’s creditors (‘Life of the Rev. Francis
Hodgson’, vol. i. pp. 147, 148).]
[Footnote 2: M. Fauriel, the French Consul: Lusieri, an Italian artist
employed by Lord Elgin; Nicolo Giraud, from whom Byron learned Italian,
and to whose sister Lusieri proposed; Baron Haller, a Bavarian
‘savant’; and Dr. Bronstett, of Copenhagen, were among his friends
at Athens.]
[Footnote 3: The signature represents “Byron” in modern Greek, [Greek:
Mp] being the correct transliteration of ‘B’.]
151.–To his Mother.
  Athens, January 14, 1811.
  My Dear Madam,–I seize an occasion to write as usual, shortly, but
  frequently, as the arrival of letters, where there exists no regular
  communication, is, of course, very precarious. I have lately made
  several small tours of some hundred or two miles about the Morea,
  Attica, etc., as I have finished my grand giro by the Troad,
  Constantinople, etc., and am returned down again to Athens. I believe
  I have mentioned to you more than once that I swam (in imitation of
  Leander, though without his lady) across the Hellespont, from Sestos
  to Abydos. Of this, and all other particulars, Fletcher, whom I have
  sent home with papers, etc., will apprise you. I cannot find that he
  is any loss; being tolerably master of the Italian and modern Greek
  languages, which last I am also studying with a master, I can order
  and discourse more than enough for a reasonable man. Besides, the
  perpetual lamentations after beef and beer, the stupid, bigoted
  contempt for every thing foreign, and insurmountable incapacity of
  acquiring even a few words of any language, rendered him, like all
  other English servants, an incumbrance. I do assure you, the plague of
  speaking for him, the comforts he required (more than myself by far),
  the pilaws (a Turkish dish of rice and meat) which he could not eat,
  the wines which he could not drink, the beds where he could not sleep,
  and the long list of calamities, such as stumbling horses, want of
  _tea!!!_ etc., which assailed him, would have made a lasting source of
  laughter to a spectator, and inconvenience to a master. After all, the
  man is honest enough, and, in Christendom, capable enough; but in
  Turkey, Lord forgive me! my Albanian soldiers, my Tartars and
  Jannissary, worked for him and us too, as my friend Hobhouse can
  It is probable I may steer homewards in spring; but to enable me to do
  that, I must have remittances. My own funds would have lasted me very
  well; but I was obliged to assist a friend, who, I know, will pay me;
  but, in the mean time, I am out of pocket. At present, I do not care
  to venture a winter’s voyage, even if I were otherwise tired of
  travelling; but I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at
  mankind instead of reading about them, and the bitter effects of
  staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an islander, that I
  think there should be a law amongst us, to set our young men abroad,
  for a term, among the few allies our wars have left us.
  Here I see and have conversed with French, Italians, Germans, Danes,
  Greeks, Turks, Americans, etc., etc., etc.; and without losing sight
  of my own, I can judge of the countries and manners of others. Where I
  see the superiority of England (which, by the by, we are a good deal
  mistaken about in many things), I am pleased, and where I find her
  inferior, I am at least enlightened. Now, I might have stayed, smoked
  in your towns, or fogged in your country, a century, without being
  sure of this, and without acquiring any thing more useful or amusing
  at home. I keep no journal, nor have I any intention of scribbling my
  travels. I have done with authorship, and if, in my last production, I
  have convinced the critics or the world I was something more than they
  took me for, I am satisfied; nor will I hazard _that reputation_ by a
  future effort. It is true I have some others in manuscript, but I
  leave them for those who come after me; and, if deemed worth
  publishing, they may serve to prolong my memory when I myself shall
  cease to remember. I have a famous Bavarian artist taking some views
  of Athens, etc., etc., for me. This will be better than scribbling, a
  disease I hope myself cured of. I hope, on my return, to lead a quiet,
  recluse life, but God knows and does best for us all; at least, so
  they say, and I have nothing to object, as, on the whole, I have no
  reason to complain of my lot. I am convinced, however, that men do
  more harm to themselves than ever the devil could do to them. I trust
  this will find you well, and as happy as we can be; you will, at
  least, be pleased to hear I am so, and
  Yours ever.
152.–To his Mother.
  Athens, February 28, 1811.
  DEAR MADAM,–As I have received a firman for Egypt, etc., I shall
  proceed to that quarter in the spring, and I beg you will state to Mr.
  Hanson that it is necessary to [send] further remittances. On the
  subject of Newstead, I answer as before, _No_. If it is necessary to
  sell, sell Rochdale. Fletcher will have arrived by this time with my
  letters to that purport. I will tell you fairly, I have, in the first
  place, no opinion of funded property; if, by any particular
  circumstances, I shall be led to adopt such a determination, I will,
  at all events, pass my life abroad, as my only tie to England is
  Newstead, and, that once gone, neither interest nor inclination lead
  me northward. Competence in your country is ample wealth in the East,
  such is the difference in the value of money and the abundance of the
  necessaries of life; and I feel myself so much a citizen of the world,
  that the spot where I can enjoy a delicious climate, and every luxury,
  at a less expense than a common college life in England, will always
  be a country to me; and such are in fact the shores of the
  Archipelago. This then is the alternative–if I preserve Newstead, I
  return; if I sell it, I stay away. I have had no letters since yours
  of June, but I have written several times, and shall continue, as
  usual, on the same plan.
  Believe me, yours ever, BYRON.
  P.S.–I shall most likely see you in the course of the summer, but, of
  course, at such a distance, I cannot specify any particular month.
153.–To his Mother.
  ‘Volage’ frigate, at sea, June 25, 1811.
  DEAR MOTHER,–This letter, which will be forwarded on our arrival at
  Portsmouth, probably about the 4th of July, is begun about
  twenty-three days after our departure from Malta. I have just been two
  years (to a day, on the 2d of July) absent from England, and I return
  to it with much the same feelings which prevailed on my departure,
  viz. indifference; but within that apathy I certainly do not comprise
  yourself, as I will prove by every means in my power. You will be good
  enough to get my apartments ready at Newstead; but don’t disturb
  yourself, on any account, particularly mine, nor consider me in any
  other light than as a visiter. I must only inform you that for a long
  time I have been restricted to an entire vegetable diet, neither fish
  nor flesh coming within my regimen; so I expect a powerful stock of
  potatoes, greens, and biscuit; I drink no wine. I have two servants,
  middle-aged men, and both Greeks. It is my intention to proceed first
  to town, to see Mr. Hanson, and thence to Newstead, on my way to
  Rochdale. I have only to beg you will not forget my diet, which it is
  very necessary for me to observe. I am well in health, as I have
  generally been, with the exception of two agues, both of which I
  quickly got over.
  My plans will so much depend on circumstances, that I shall not
  venture to lay down an opinion on the subject. My prospects are not
  very promising, but I suppose we shall wrestle through life like our
  neighbours; indeed, by Hanson’s last advices, I have some apprehension
  of finding Newstead dismantled by Messrs. Brothers,[1] etc., and he
  seems determined to force me into selling it, but he will be baffled.
  I don’t suppose I shall be much pestered with visiters; but if I am,
  you must receive them, for I am determined to have nobody breaking in
  upon my retirement: you know that I never was fond of society, and I
  am less so than before. I have brought you a shawl, and a quantity of
  attar of roses, but these I must smuggle, if possible. I trust to find
  my library in tolerable order.
  Fletcher is no doubt arrived. I shall separate the mill from Mr. B–‘s
  farm, for his son is too gay a deceiver to inherit both, and place
  Fletcher in it, who has served me faithfully, and whose wife is a good
  woman; besides, it is necessary to sober young Mr. B–, or he will
  people the parish with bastards. In a word, if he had seduced a
  dairy-maid, he might have found something like an apology; but the
  girl is his equal, and in high life or low life reparation is made in
  such circumstances. But I shall not interfere further than (like
  Buonaparte) by dismembering Mr. B.’s _kingdom_, and erecting part of
  it into a principality for field-marshal Fletcher! I hope you govern
  my little _empire_ and its sad load of national debt with a wary hand.
  To drop my metaphor, I beg leave to subscribe myself
  Yours ever, BYRON.
  P.S. July 14.–This letter was written to be sent from Portsmouth,
  but, on arriving there, the squadron was ordered to the Nore, from
  whence I shall forward it. This I have not done before, supposing you
  might be alarmed by the interval mentioned in the letter being longer
  than expected between our arrival in port and my appearance at
[Footnote 1: Brothers, an upholsterer of Nottingham, had put in an
execution at Newstead for £1600.]
154.–To R. C. Dallas.
  _Volage_ Frigate, at sea, June 28, 1811.
  After two years’ absence (to a day, on the 2d of July, before which we
  shall not arrive at Portsmouth), I am retracing my way to England. I
  have, as you know, spent the greater part of that period in Turkey,
  except two months in Spain and Portugal, which were then accessible. I
  have seen every thing most remarkable in Turkey, particularly the
  Troad, Greece, Constantinople, and Albania, into which last region
  very few have penetrated so high as Hobhouse and myself. I don’t know
  that I have done anything to distinguish me from other voyagers,
  unless you will reckon my swimming from Sestos to Abydos, on May 3d,
  1810, a tolerable feat for a _modern_.
  I am coming back with little prospect of pleasure at home, and with a
  body a little shaken by one or two smart fevers, but a spirit I hope
  yet unbroken. My affairs, it seems, are considerably involved, and
  much business must be done with lawyers, colliers, farmers, and
  creditors. Now this, to a man who hates bustle as he hates a bishop,
  is a serious concern. But enough of my home department.
  I find I have been scolding Cawthorn without a cause, as I found two
  parcels with two letters from you on my return to Malta. By these it
  appears you have not received a letter from Constantinople, addressed
  to Longman’s, but it was of no consequence.
  My Satire, it seems, is in a fourth edition, a success rather above
  the middling run, but not much for a production which, from its
  topics, must be temporary, and of course be successful at first, or
  not at all. At this period, when I can think and act more coolly, I
  regret that I have written it, though I shall probably find it
  forgotten by all except those whom it has offended. My friend
  Hobhouse’s _Miscellany_ has not succeeded; but he himself writes so
  good-humouredly on the subject, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry
  with him. He met with your son at Cadiz, of whom he speaks highly.
  Yours and Pratt’s [1] _protégé_, Blacket, [2] the cobbler, is dead, in
  spite of his rhymes, and is probably one of the instances where death
  has saved a man from damnation. You were the ruin of that poor fellow
  amongst you: had it not been for his patrons, he might now have been
  in very good plight, shoe- (not verse-) making; but you have made him
  immortal with a vengeance. I write this, supposing poetry, patronage,
  and strong waters, to have been the death of him. If you are in town
  in or about the beginning of July, you will find me at Dorant’s, in
  Albemarle Street, glad to see you.[1] I have an imitation of Horace’s
  _Art of Poetry_ ready for Cawthorn, but don’t let that deter you, for
  I sha’n’t inflict it upon you. You know I never read my rhymes to
  visiters. I shall quit town in a few days for Notts., and thence to
  Rochdale. I shall send this the moment we arrive in harbour, that is a
  week hence.
  Yours ever sincerely, BYRON.
[Footnote 1: For Pratt, see page 186, note 1.]
[Footnote 2: Joseph Blacket (1786-1810) has his place in ‘English Bards’
(lines 765, 798) and ‘Hints from Horace’ (line 734). The son of a
labourer, and himself by trade a cobbler, he wrote verses in which Pratt
saw signs of genius. A volume of his poetry was published in 1809, under
the title of ‘Specimens’, edited by Pratt. Among those who befriended
him were Elliston the actor, Dallas, and Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady
Byron (see ‘English Bards’, lines 770, and note 1). His ‘Remains’ were
collected and published by Pratt in 1811 for the benefit of Blacket’s
orphan daughter, with a dedication to “the Duchess of Leeds, Lady
Milbanke and family” (see page 337, and ‘Hints from Horace’, line 734,
and Byron’s note). In the suppressed edition of Dallas’s
‘Correspondence of Lord Byron’ (pp. 127, 128) occurs the following
passage, from which, if Dallas’s grammar is to be trusted, it seems that
the famous epitaph on Blacket was not Byron’s composition. Dallas
  “was persuaded by Mr. Pratt’s warmth to see some sparkling of genius
  in the effusions of this young man (Blacket). It was upon this that
  Lord Byron and a young friend of his were sometimes playful in
  conversation, and in writing to me. ‘I see,’ says the latter, ‘that
  Blacket the Son of Crispin and Apollo is dead.’ Looking into Boswell’s
  ‘Life of Johnson’ the other day, I saw, ‘We were talking about the
  famous Mr. Wordsworth, the poetical Shoemaker.’ Now, I never before
  heard that there had been a Mr. Wordsworth a Poet, a Shoemaker, or a
  famous man; and I dare say you have never heard of him. Thus it will
  be with Bloomfield and Blackett–their names two years after their
  death will be found neither on the rolls of Curriers’ Hall nor of
  Parnassus. Who would think that anybody would be such a blockhead as
  to sin against an express proverb, ‘Ne sutor ultra crepidam’?
    ‘But spare him, ye Critics, his follies are past,
    For the Cobler is come, as he ought, to his ‘last’.’
  Which two lines, with a scratch under ‘last’, to show where the joke
  lies, I beg that you will prevail on Miss Milbanke to have inserted on
  the tomb of her departed Blacket.”
It should be added that the shoemaking poet was not Wordsworth, but
[Footnote 3: Dallas called on Byron at Reddish’s Hotel, St. James’s
Street, July 15, 1811, and received from him the MS. of ‘Hints from
Horace’. Byron finished the work March 12, 1811, at the Franciscan
Convent at Athens, where he found a copy of the ‘De Arte Poeticâ’.
(‘Hints from Horace’ were not, however, published till 1831.) On July 16
Dallas called again, and expressed surprise that Byron had written
nothing else. Byron then produced out of his trunk ‘Childe Harold’s
Pilgrimage’, saying, “They are not worth troubling you with, but you
shall have them all with you if you like.” He was as reluctant to
publish ‘Childe Harold’ as he was eager to publish ‘Hints from Horace’.]
155.–To Francis Hodgson.
  ‘Volage’ Frigate, at sea, June 29, 1811.
  In a week, with a fair wind, we shall be at Portsmouth, and on the 2d
  of July I shall have completed (to a day) two years of peregrination,
  from which I am returning with as little emotion as I set out. I
  think, upon the whole, I was more grieved at leaving Greece than
  England, which I am impatient to see, simply because I am tired of a
  long voyage.
  Indeed, my prospects are not very pleasant. Embarrassed in my private
  affairs, indifferent to public, solitary without the wish to be
  social, with a body a little enfeebled by a succession of fevers, but
  a spirit I trust, yet unbroken, I am returning _home_ without a hope,
  and almost without a desire. The first thing I shall have to encounter
  will be a lawyer, the next a creditor, then colliers, farmers,
  surveyors, and all the agreeable attachments to estates out of repair,
  and contested coal-pits. In short, I am sick and sorry, and when I
  have a little repaired my irreparable affairs, away I shall march,
  either to campaign in Spain, or back again to the East, where I can at
  least have cloudless skies and a cessation from impertinence.
  I trust to meet, or see you, in town, or at Newstead, whenever you can
  make it convenient–I suppose you are in love and in poetry as usual.
  That husband, H. Drury, has never written to me, albeit I have sent
  him more than one letter;–but I dare say the poor man has a family,
  and of course all his cares are confined to his circle.
    “For children fresh expenses yet,
    And Dicky now for school is fit.”
    WARTON. [1]
  If you see him, tell him I have a letter for him from Tucker, a
  regimental chirurgeon and friend of his, who prescribed for me,—-
  and is a very worthy man, but too fond of hard words. I should be too
  late for a speech-day, or I should probably go down to Harrow. I
  regretted very much in Greece having omitted to carry the _Anthology_
  with me–I mean Bland and Merivale’s.–What has _Sir Edgar_ done? And
  the _Imitations and Translations_–where are they? I suppose you don’t
  mean to let the public off so easily, but charge them home with a
  quarto. For me, I am “sick of fops, and poesy, and prate,” and shall
  leave the “whole Castalian state” to Bufo, or any body else. [2] But
  you are a sentimental and sensibilitous person, and will rhyme to the
  end of the chapter. Howbeit, I have written some 4000 lines, of one
  kind or another, on my travels.
  I need not repeat that I shall be happy to see you. I shall be in town
  about the 8th, at Dorant’s Hotel, in Albemarle Street, and proceed in
  a few days to Notts., and thence to Rochdale on business.
  I am, here and there, yours, etc.
[Footnote 1: Warton’s ‘Progress of Discontent’, lines 109, 110.]
[Footnote 2:
  “But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
  To Bufo left the whole Castalian state.”
Pope, ‘Prologue to the Satires’, lines 229, 230.]
156.–To Henry Drury.
  ‘Volage’ frigate, off Ushant, July 17, 1811.
  My Dear Drury,–After two years’ absence (on the 2d) and some odd days,
  I am approaching your country. The day of our arrival you will see by
  the outside date of my letter. At present, we are becalmed comfortably,
  close to Brest Harbour;–I have never been so near it since I left Duck
  Puddle. [1] We left Malta thirty-four days ago, and have had a tedious
  passage of it. You will either see or hear from or of me, soon after the
  receipt of this, as I pass through town to repair my irreparable
  affairs; and thence I want to go to Notts. and raise rents, and to
  Lanes. and sell collieries, and back to London and pay debts,–for it
  seems I shall neither have coals nor comfort till I go down to Rochdale
  in person.
  I have brought home some marbles for Hobhouse;–for myself, four
  ancient Athenian skulls, [2] dug out of sarcophagi–a phial of Attic
  hemlock [3]–four live tortoises–a greyhound (died on the
  passage)–two live Greek servants, one an Athenian, t’other a _Yaniote_,
  who can speak nothing but Romaic and Italian–and _myself_, as Moses in
  the _Vicar of Wakefield_ says, _slily_ [4] and I may say it too, for I
  have as little cause to boast of my expedition as he had of his to the
  I wrote to you from the Cyanean Rocks to tell you I had swam from Sestos
  to Abydos–have you received my letter? Hobhouse went to England to fish
  up his _Miscellany,_ which foundered (so he tells me) in the Gulph of
  Lethe. I daresay it capsized with the vile goods of his contributory
  friends, for his own share was very portable. However, I hope he will
  either weigh up or set sail with a fresh cargo, and a luckier vessel.
  Hodgson, I suppose, is four deep by this time. What would he have given
  to have seen, like me, the _real Parnassus,_ where I robbed the Bishop
  of Chrisso of a book of geography!–but this I only call plagiarism, as
  it was done within an hour’s ride of Delphi.
[Footnote 1: The swimming-bath at Harrow.]
[Footnote 2: Given afterwards to Sir Walter Scott.]
[Footnote 3: At present in the possession of Mr. Murray.]
[Footnote 4:
  “‘Welcome, welcome, Moses! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from
  the fair?’
  ‘I have brought you _myself_,’ cried Moses, with a sly look, and
  resting the box on the dresser.”
‘Vicar of Wakefield’, ch. xii.]
157.-To his Mother.
  Reddish’s Hotel, St. James’s Street, London, July 23, 1811.
  MY DEAR MADAM,–I am only detained by Mr. Hanson to sign some copyhold
  papers, and will give you timely notice of my approach. It is with
  great reluctance I remain in town. [1] I shall pay a short visit as we
  go on to Lancashire on Rochdale business. I shall attend to your
  directions, of course, and am, with great respect, yours ever,
  P.S.–You will consider Newstead as your house, not mine; and me only
  as a visiter.
[Footnote 1: On his way to London, Byron paid a visit, at Sittingbourne,
to Hobhouse, who was with his Militia Regiment, and under orders for
Ireland. He also stayed with H. Drury, at Harrow, for two or three days.]
158.–To William Miller. [1]
  Reddish’s Hotel, July 30th, 1811.
  SIR,–I am perfectly aware of the justice of your remarks, and am
  convinced that, if ever the poem is published, the same objections
  will be made in much stronger terms. But as it was intended to be a
  poem on _Ariosto’s plan,_ that _is_ to _say_ on _no plan_ at all, and,
  as is usual in similar cases, having a predilection for the worst
  passages, I shall retain those parts, though I cannot venture to
  defend them. Under these circumstances I regret that you decline the
  publication, on my own account, as I think the book would have done
  better in your hands; the pecuniary part, you know, I have nothing to
  do with. But I can perfectly conceive, and indeed _approve_ your
  reasons, and assure you my sensations are not _Archiepiscopal_ [2]
  enough as yet to regard the rejection of my Homilies.
  I am, Sir, your very obed’t humble serv’t,
[Footnote 1: William Miller (1769-1844), son of Thomas Miller,
bookseller, of Bungay (see Beloe’s ‘Sexagenarian,’ 2nd edit., vol. ii.
pp. 253, 254), served his apprenticeship in Hookham’s publishing house.
In 1790 he set up for himself as a bookselling publisher in Bond Street.
From 1804 onwards his place of business was at 50, Albemarle Street. But
in September, 1812, he sold his stock, copyrights, good will, and lease
to John Murray, and retired to a country farm in Hertfordshire. He
declined to publish ‘Childe Harold,’ on the grounds that it contained
“sceptical stanzas,” and attacked Lord Elgin as a plunderer. But on the
latter point, Byron, who was in serious earnest, was not likely to give
way. In Beloe’s ‘Sexagenarian’ (vol. ii. pp. 270, 271), Miller is
described as “the splendid bookseller,” who “was enabled to retire to
tranquillity and independence long before the decline of life, or
infirmities of age, rendered it necessary to do so. He was highly
respectable, but could drive a hard bargain with a poor author, as well
as any of his fraternity.”
[Footnote 2: Alluding to Gil Blas and the Archbishop of Grenada (see
page 121 [Letter 67], [Foot]note 3 [4]).]
159.–To John M. B. Pigot.
  Newport Pagnell, August 2, 1811.
  MY DEAR DOCTOR,–My poor mother died yesterday! and I am on my way
  from town to attend her to the family vault. I heard _one_ day of her
  illness, the _next_ of her death. [1] Thank God her last moments were
  most tranquil. I am told she was in little pain, and not aware of her
  situation. I now feel the truth of Mr. Gray’s observation, “That we
  can only have _one_ mother.” [2] Peace be with her! I have to thank
  you for your expressions of regard; and as in six weeks I shall be in
  Lancashire on business, I may extend to Liverpool and Chester,–at
  least I shall endeavour.
  If it will be any satisfaction, I have to inform you that in November
  next the Editor of the _Scourge_ [3] will be tried for two different
  libels on the late Mrs. B. and myself (the decease of Mrs. B. makes no
  difference in the proceedings); and as he is guilty, by his very
  foolish and unfounded assertion of a breach of privilege, he will be
  prosecuted with the utmost rigour.
  I inform you of this, as you seem interested in the affair, which is
  now in the hands of the Attorney-general.
  I shall remain at Newstead the greater part of this month, where I
  shall be happy to hear from you, after my two years’ absence in the
  I am, dear Pigot, yours very truly,
[Footnote 1: On the night after his arrival at Newstead, Mrs. Byron’s
maid, passing the room where the body lay, heard a heavy sigh from
within. Entering the room, she found Byron sitting in the dark beside
the bed. When she spoke to him, he burst into tears, and exclaimed,
  “Oh, Mrs. By, I had but one friend in the world, and she is gone!”
On the day of the funeral he refused to follow the corpse to the grave,
but watched the procession move away from the door of Newstead; then,
turning to Rushton, bade him bring the gloves, and began his usual
sparring exercise. Only his silence, abstraction, and unusual violence
betrayed to his antagonist, says Moore (‘Life’, p. 128), the state of
his feelings.]
[Footnote 2:
  “I had discovered a thing very little known, which is, that in one’s
  whole life one can never have more than a single mother. You may think
  this is obvious, and (what you call) a trite observation. You are a
  green gosling! I was at the same age (very near) as wise as you, and
  yet I never discovered this (with full evidence and conviction, I
  mean) till it was too late. It is thirteen years ago, … and every
  day I live it sinks deeper into my heart.”
Gray to Nicholls, ‘Works’, vol. i. p. 482.]
[Footnote 3: One of Byron’s first acts on returning to England was to
buy a copy of the ‘Scourge’, In Ridgway’s bill for books supplied from
Piccadilly to Byron on July 24, 1811, is a copy of the ‘Scourge’ at
2’s’. 6’d’. Hewson Clarke (1787-1832) was entered at Emanuel College,
Cambridge, apparently as a sizar, in 1806. Obliged to leave the
University before he had taken his degree, he supported himself in
London by his pen. He wrote two historical works–a continuation of
Hume’s ‘History of England’ (1832), and an ‘Impartial History of the
Naval, etc., Events in Europe’ from the French Revolution to the Peace
of 1815. It was, however, as a journalist that he came into collision
with Byron. In the ‘Satirist’, a monthly magazine, illustrated with
coloured cartoons, three attacks were made on Byron, which he attributed
to Clarke:
(1) October, 1807 (vol. i pp. 77-81), a review of ‘Hours of Idleness’;
(2) June, 1808 (vol. ii p. 368), verses on “Lord B–n to his Bear. To
the tune of ‘Lo chin y gair;'”
(3) August, 1808 (vol. iii pp. 78-86), a review of ‘Poems Original and
Byron’s reply was the passage in ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’
(lines 973-980; see also the notes), where Clarke is described as
  “A would-be satirist, a hired Buffoon,
   A monthly scribbler of some low Lampoon,” etc.;
and also the Postscript to the second edition (see ‘Poems’, vol. i. p.
382). In the ‘Scourge’ for March, 1811 (vol. i. pp. 191, ‘et seqq’.),
appeared an article headed “Lord Byron,” in which the alleged libel
  “We are unacquainted,” says the article, “with any act of cowardice
  that can be compared with that of keeping a libel ‘ready cut and
  dried’ till some favourable opportunity enable its author to disperse
  it without the hazard of personal responsibility, and under
  circumstances which deprive the injured party of every means of
  reparation … He confined the knowledge of his lampoon, therefore, to
  the circle of his own immediate friends, and left it to be given to
  the public as soon as he should have bid adieu to the shores of
  Britain. Whether his voyage was in reality no further than to Paris,
  in search of the proofs of his own legitimacy, or, as he asserts, to
  ‘Afric’s coasts, and Calpe’s adverse height’, was of little
  consequence to Mr. Clarke, who felt that to recriminate during his
  absence would be unworthy of his character … Considering the two
  parties not as writers, but as men, Mr. Clarke might confidently
  appeal to the knowledge and opinion of the whole university; but a
  character like his disdains comparison with that of his noble
  calumniator; a temper unruffled by malignant passions, a mind superior
  to vicissitude, are gifts for which the pride of doubtful birth, and
  the temporary possession of Newstead Abbey are contemptible
  equivalents …
  “It may be reasonably asked whether to be a denizen of
  Berwick-upon-Tweed be more disgraceful than to be the illegitimate
  descendant of a murderer; whether to labour in an honourable
  profession for the peace and competence of maturer age be less worthy
  of praise than to waste the property of others in vulgar debauchery;
  whether to be the offspring of parents whose only crime is their want
  of title, be not as honourable as to be the son of a profligate
  father, and a mother whose days and nights are spent in the delirium
  of drunkenness; and, finally, whether to deserve the kindness of his
  own college, to obtain its prizes, and to prepare himself for any
  examination that might entitle him to share the highest honours which
  the university can bestow, be less indicative of talent and virtue
  than to be held up to the derision and contempt of his
  fellow-students, as a scribbler of doggerel and a bear-leader; to be
  hated for malignity of temper and repulsiveness of manners, and
  shunned by every man who did not want to be considered a profligate
  without wit, and trifling without elegance. … We … shall neither
  expose the infamy of his uncle, the indiscretions of his mother, nor
  his personal follies and embarrassments. But let him not again obtrude
  himself on our attention as a moralist, etc.”
The Attorney-General, Sir Vicary Gibbs, gave his opinion against legal
proceedings, on the two grounds that a considerable time had elapsed
since the publication, and Byron himself had provoked the attack.]
160.–To John Hanson.
  Newstead Abbey, August 4th, 1811.
  MY DEAR SIR,–The _Earl_ of Huntley and the Lady _Jean_ Stewart,
  daughter of James 1st, of Scotland were the progenitors of Mrs. Byron.
  I think it would be as well to be correct in the statement. Every
  thing is doing that can be done, plainly yet decently, for the
  When you favour me with your company, be kind enough to bring down my
  carriage from Messrs. Baxter’s & Co., Long Acre. I have written to
  them, and beg you will come down in it, as I cannot travel
  conveniently or properly without it. I trust that the decease of Mrs.
  B. will not interrupt the prosecution of the Editor of the Magazine,
  less for the mere punishment of the rascal, than to set the question
  at rest, which, with the ignorant & weak-minded, might leave a wrong
  impression. I will have no stain on the Memory of my Mother; with a
  very large portion of foibles and irritability, she was without a
  _vice_ (and in these days that is much). The laws of my country shall
  do her and me justice in the first instance; but, if they were
  deficient, the laws of modern Honour should decide. Cost what it may,
  Gold or blood, I will pursue to the last the cowardly calumniator of
  an absent man and a defenceless woman.
  The effects of the deceased are sealed and untouched. I have sent for
  her agent, Mr. Bolton, to ascertain the proper steps and nothing shall
  be done precipitately. I understand her jewels and clothes are of
  considerable value. I shall write to you again soon, and in the
  meantime, with my most particular remembrance to Mrs. Hanson, my
  regards to Charles, and my _respects_ to the young ladies, I am, Dear
  Your very sincere and obliged servant,
161.–To Scrope Berdmore Davies.
  Newstead Abbey, August 7, 1811.
  MY DEAREST DAVIES,–Some curse hangs over me and mine. My mother lies
  a corpse in this house; one of my best friends is drowned in a ditch.
  [1] What can I say, or think, or do? I received a letter from him the
  day before yesterday. My dear Scrope, if you can spare a moment, do
  come down to me–I want a friend. Matthews’s last letter was written
  on _Friday._–on Saturday he was not. In ability, who was like
  Matthews? How did we all shrink before him? You do me but justice in
  saying, I would have risked my paltry existence to have preserved his.
  This very evening did I mean to write, inviting him, as I invite you,
  my very dear friend, to visit me. God forgive—-for his apathy! What
  will our poor Hobhouse feel? His letters breathe but of Matthews. Come
  to me, Scrope, I am almost desolate–left almost alone in the world
  [2]–I had but you, and H., and M., and let me enjoy the survivors
  whilst I can. Poor M., in his letter of Friday, speaks of his intended
  contest for Cambridge, and a speedy journey to London. Write or come,
  but come if you can, or one or both.
  Yours ever.
[Footnote 1: Charles Skinner Matthews (see page 150 [Letter 84],
[Foot]note 3 [2]).]
[Footnote 2: In 1811 Byron had lost, besides his mother and Matthews
(August), his Harrow friend Wingfield (see page 180, note 1), Hargreaves
Hanson (see page 54 [Letter 18], [Foot]note 1), and Edleston (see page
130 [Letter 74], [Foot]note 3 [2]).]
162.–To R. C. Dallas.
  Newstead Abbey, Notts., August 12, 1811.
  Peace be with the dead! Regret cannot wake them. With a sigh to the
  departed, let us resume the dull business of life, in the certainty
  that we also shall have our repose. Besides her who gave me being, I
  have lost more than one who made that being tolerable.–The best
  friend of my friend Hobhouse, Matthews, a man of the first talents,
  and also not the worst of my narrow circle, has perished miserably in
  the muddy waves of the Cam, always fatal to genius:–my poor
  school-fellow, Wingfield, at Coimbra–within a month; and whilst I had
  heard from _all three,_ but not seen _one._ Matthews wrote to me the
  very day before his death; and though I feel for his fate, I am still
  more anxious for Hobhouse, who, I very much fear, will hardly retain
  his senses: his letters to me since the event have been most
  incoherent. [1] But let this pass; we shall all one day pass along
  with the rest–the world is too full of such things, and our very
  sorrow is selfish.
  I received a letter from you, which my late occupations prevented me
  from duly noticing. [2]–I hope your friends and family will long hold
  together. I shall be glad to hear from you, on business, on
  commonplace, or any thing, or nothing–but death–I am already too
  familiar with the dead. It is strange that I look on the skulls which
  stand beside me (I have always had _four_ in my study) without
  emotion, but I cannot strip the features of those I have known of
  their fleshy covering, even in idea, without a hideous sensation; but
  the worms are less ceremonious.–Surely, the Romans did well when they
  burned the dead.–I shall be happy to hear from you, and am,
  Yours, etc.
[Footnote 1:
  “Just,” writes Hobhouse to Byron, in an undated letter from Dover, “as
  I was preparing to condole with you on your severe misfortune, an
  event has taken place, the details of which you will find in the
  enclosed letter from S. Davies. I am totally unable to say one word on
  the subject. He was my oldest friend, and, though quite unworthy of
  his attachment, I believe that I was an object of his regard.
  “I now fear that I have not been sufficiently at all times just and
  kind to him. Return me this fatal letter, and pray add, if it is but
  one line, a few words of your own.”
A second letter, dated August 8, 1811, is as follows:–
  “MY DEAR BYRON,–To-morrow morning we sail for Cork. It is with
  difficulty I bring myself to talk of my paltry concerns, but I cannot
  refuse giving you such information as may enable me to hear from one
  of the friends that I have still left. Pray do give me a line; nothing
  is more selfish than sorrow. His great and unrivalled talents were
  observable by all, his kindness was known to his friends. You
  recollect how affectionately he shook my hand at parting. It was the
  last time you ever saw him–did you think it would be the last? But
  three days before his death he told me in a letter that he had heard
  from you. On Friday he wrote to me again, and on Saturday–alas, alas!
  we are not stocks or stones,–every word of our friend Davies’ letter
  still pierces me to the soul–such a man and such a death! I would
  that he had not been so minute in his horrid details. Oh, my dear
  Byron, do write to me; I am very, very sick at heart indeed, and,
  after various efforts to write upon my own concerns, I still revert to
  the same melancholy subject. I wrote to Cawthorn to-day, but knew not
  what I said to him; half my incitement to finish that task is for ever
  gone. I can neither have his assistance during my labour, his comfort
  if I should fail, nor his congratulation if I should succeed. Forgive
  me, I do not forget you–but I cannot but remember him.
  Ever your obliged and faithful, JOHN C. HOBHOUSE.”
Byron had apparently suggested that Hobhouse should write some brief
record of his friend. Hobhouse replies from Enniscorthy, September 13,
  “The melancholy subject of your last, in spite of every effort,
  perpetually recurs to me. It is indeed a hard science to forget,
  though I cannot but think that it is the wisest and indeed the only
  remedy for grief. I should be quite incapable every way of doing what
  you mention, and I could not even set about such a melancholy task
  with spirit or prospect of success. The thing may be better done by a
  person less interested than myself in so cruel a catastrophe. Whatever
  you say in your book will be well said, and do credit both to your
  heart and head; how much would it have gratified him who shall ne’er
  hear it!”]
[Footnote 2: Dallas had written on July 29 to protest, on six grounds
which he gives (‘Correspondence of Lord Byron’, pp. 151-153), “against
the sceptical stanzas” of ‘Childe Harold’.]
  Newstead Abbey, August 12, 1811.
  Sir,–I enclose a rough draught of my intended will which I beg to
  have drawn up as soon as possible, in the firmest manner. The
  alterations are principally made in consequence of the death of Mrs.
  Byron. I have only to request that it may be got ready in a short
  time, and have the honour to be,
  Your most obedient, humble servant,
163. To—-Bolton.
  Newstead Abbey, August 12, 1811.
  The estate of Newstead to be entailed (subject to certain deductions)
  on George Anson Byron, heir-at-law, or whoever may be the heir-at-law
  on the death of Lord B. The Rochdale property to be sold in part or
  the whole, according to the debts and legacies of the present Lord B.
  To Nicolo Giraud of Athens, subject of France, but born in Greece, the
  sum of seven thousand pounds sterling, to be paid from the sale of
  such parts of Rochdale, Newstead, or elsewhere, as may enable the said
  Nicolo Giraud (resident at Athens and Malta in the year 1810) to
  receive the above sum on his attaining the age of twenty-one years.
  To William Fletcher, Joseph Murray, and Demetrius Zograffo [1] (native
  of Greece), servants, the sum of fifty pounds pr. ann. each, for their
  natural lives. To Wm. Fletcher, the Mill at Newstead, on condition
  that he payeth rent, but not subject to the caprice of the landlord.
  To Rt. Rushton the sum of fifty pounds per ann. for life, and a
  further sum of one thousand pounds on attaining the age of twenty-five
  To Jn. Hanson, Esq. the sum of two thousand pounds sterling.
  The claims of S. B. Davies, Esq. to be satisfied on proving the amount
  of the same.
  The body of Lord B. to be buried in the vault of the garden of
  Newstead, without any ceremony or burial-service whatever, or any
  inscription, save his name and age. His dog not to be removed from the
  said vault.
  My library and furniture of every description to my friends Jn. Cam
  Hobhouse, Esq., and S. B. Davies, Esq., my executors. In case of their
  decease, the Rev. J. Becher, of Southwell, Notts., and R. C. Dallas,
  Esq., of Mortlake, Surrey, to be executors. [2]
  The produce of the sale of Wymondham in Norfolk, and the late Mrs.
  B.’s Scotch property, [3] to be appropriated in aid of the payment of
  debts and legacies.
  This is the last will and testament of me, the Rt. Honble George
  Gordon, Lord Byron, Baron Byron of Rochdale, in the county of
  Lancaster.–I desire that my body may be buried in the vault of the
  garden of Newstead, without any ceremony or burial-service whatever,
  and that no inscription, save my name and age, be written on the tomb
  or tablet; and it is my will that my faithful dog may not be removed
  from the said vault. To the performance of this my particular desire,
  I rely on the attention of my executors hereinafter named.
    ==It is submitted to Lord Byron whether this clause relative to the
    funeral had not better be omitted. The substance of it can be given
    in a letter from his Lordship to the executors, and accompany the
    will; and the will may state that the funeral shall be performed in
    such manner as his Lordship may by letter direct, and, in default of
    any such letter, then at the discretion of his executors== [4].
  It must stand.
  I do hereby specifically order and direct that all the claims of the
  said S. B. Davies upon me shall be fully paid and satisfied as soon as
  conveniently may be after my decease, on his proving {by vouchers, or
  otherwise, to the satisfaction of my executors hereinafter named} [5]
  the amount thereof, and the correctness of the same.
    ==If Mr, Davies has any unsettled claims upon Lord Byron, that
    circumstance is a reason for his not being appointed executor; each
    executor having an opportunity of paying himself his own debt
    without consulting his co-executors.==
  So much the better–if possible, let him be an executor.
[Footnote 1:
  “If the papers lie not (which they generally do), Demetrius Zograffo
  of Athens is at the head of the Athenian part of the Greek
  insurrection. He was my servant in 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, at
  different intervals of those years (for I left him in Greece when I
  went to Constantinople), and accompanied me to England in 1811: he
  returned to Greece, spring, 1812. He was a clever, but not
  _apparently_ an enterprising man; but circumstances make men. His two
  sons (_then_ infants) were named Miltiades and Alcibiades: may the
  omen be happy!”
Byron’s MS. Journal, quoted by Moore, ‘Life’, p. 131.]
[Footnote 2: In the clause enumerating the names and places of abode of
the executors, the solicitor had left blanks for the Christian names of
these gentlemen, and Lord Byron, having filled up all but that of
Dallas, writes in the margin, “I forget the Christian name of Dallas
–cut him out.”]
[Footnote 3: On the death of Mrs. Byron, the sum of £4200, the remains
of the price of the estate of Gight were paid over to Byron by her
[Footnote 4: The passages printed ==thus== are suggestions made by the
[Footnote 5: Over the words placed {between brackets}, Byron drew his pen.]
  Newstead Abbey, August 16, 1811.
  SIR,–I have answered the queries on the margin. I wish Mr. Davies’s
  claims to be most fully allowed, and, further, that he be one of my
  executors. I wish the will to be made in a manner to prevent all
  discussion, if possible, after my decease; and this I leave to you as
  a professional gentleman.
  With regard to the few and simple directions for the disposal of my
  _carcass_, I must have them implicitly fulfilled, as they will, at
  least, prevent trouble and expense;–and (what would be of little
  consequence to me, but may quiet the conscience of the survivors) the
  garden is _consecrated_ ground. These directions are copied verbatim
  from my former will; the alterations in other parts have arisen from
  the death of Mrs. B. I have the honour to be,
  Your most obedient, humble servant,
Newstead Abbey, August 20, 1811.
Sir,–The witnesses shall be provided from amongst
my tenants, and I shall be happy to see you on any day
most convenient to yourself. I forgot to mention, that
it must be specified by codicil, or otherwise, that my
body is on no account to be removed from the vault
where I have directed it to be placed; and in case any
of my successors within the entail (from bigotry, or
otherwise) might think proper to remove the carcass,
such proceeding shall be attended by forfeiture of the
estate, which in such case shall go to my sister, the
Hon’ble Augusta Leigh and her heirs on similar conditions.
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your very obedient, humble servant,
166.–To the Hon. Augusta Leigh.
  Newstead Abbey, August 21st, 1811.
  My Dear Sister,–I ought to have answered your letter before, but when
  did I ever do any-thing that I ought?
  I am losing my relatives & you are adding to the number of yours; but
  which is best, God knows;–besides poor Mrs. Byron, I have been
  deprived by death of two most particular friends within little more
  than a month; but as all observations on such subjects are superfluous
  and unavailing, I leave the dead to their rest, and return to the dull
  business of life, which however presents nothing very pleasant to me
  either in prospect or retrospection.
  I hear you have been increasing his Majesty’s Subjects, which in these
  times of War and tribulation is really patriotic. Notwithstanding
  Malthus [1] tells us that, were it not for Battle, Murder, and Sudden
  death, we should be overstocked, I think we have latterly had a
  redundance of these national benefits, and therefore I give you all
  credit for your matronly behaviour.
  I believe you know that for upwards of two years I have been rambling
  round the Archipelago, and am returned just in time to know that I
  might as well have staid away for any good I ever have done, or am
  likely to do at home, and so, as soon as I have somewhat _repaired_ my
  _irreparable_ affairs I shall een go abroad again, for I am heartily
  sick of your climate and every thing it _rains_ upon, always save and
  except _yourself_ as in _duty bound_.
  I should be glad to see you here (as I think you have never seen the
  place) if you could make it convenient. Murray is still like a Rock,
  and will probably outlast some six Lords Byron, though in his 75th
  Autumn. I took him with me to Portugal & sent him round by sea to
  Gibraltar whilst I rode through the Interior of Spain, which was then
  (1809) accessible.
  You say you have much to communicate to me, let us have it by all
  means, as I am utterly at a loss to guess; whatever it may be it will
  meet with due attention.
  Your trusty and well beloved cousin F. Howard [2] is married to a Miss
  Somebody, I wish him joy on your account, and on his own, though
  speaking generally I do not affect that Brood.
  By the bye, I shall marry, if I can find any thing inclined to barter
  money for rank within six months; after which I shall return to my
  friends the Turks.
  In the interim I am, Dear Madam,
  [Signature cut out.]
[Footnote 1: The Rev. T. R. Malthus (1766-1834) published, in 1798, his
‘Essay on the Principle of Population’.]
[Footnote 2: The Hon. Frederick Howard (see page 55 [Letter 19],
[Foot]note 1) married, August 6, 1811, Frances Susan Lambton, only
daughter of William Lambton, formerly M.P. for Durham.]
167.–To R. C. Dallas.
  Newstead, August 21, 1811.
  Your letter gives me credit for more acute feelings than I possess;
  for though I feel tolerably miserable, yet I am at the same time
  subject to a kind of hysterical merriment, or rather laughter without
  merriment, which I can neither account for nor conquer, and yet I do
  not feel relieved by it; but an indifferent person would think me in
  excellent spirits. “We must forget these things,” and have recourse to
  our old selfish comforts, or rather comfortable selfishness.
  I do not think I shall return to London immediately, and shall
  therefore accept freely what is offered courteously–your mediation
  between me and Murray. [1] I don’t think my name will answer the
  purpose, and you must be aware that my plaguy Satire will bring the
  north and south Grub Streets down upon the _Pilgrimage_;–but,
  nevertheless, if Murray makes a point of it, and you coincide with
  him, I will do it daringly; so let it be entitled “_By the author of
  English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.” My remarks on the Romaic, etc.,
  once intended to accompany the _Hints from Horace_, shall go along
  with the other, as being indeed more appropriate; also the smaller
  poems now in my possession, with a few selected from those published
  in Hobhouse’s _Miscellany_. I have found amongst my poor mother’s
  papers all my letters from the East, and one in particular of some
  length from Albania. From this, if necessary, I can work up a note or
  two on that subject. As I kept no journal, the letters written on the
  spot are the best. But of this anon, when we have definitively
  Has Murray shown the work to any one? He may–but I will have no
  traps for applause. Of course there are little things I would wish to
  alter, and perhaps the two stanzas of a buffooning cast on London’s
  Sunday are as well left out. I much wish to avoid identifying Childe
  Harold’s character with mine, and that, in sooth, is my second
  objection to my name appearing in the title-page. When you have made
  arrangements as to time, size, type, etc., favour me with a reply. I
  am giving you an universe of trouble, which thanks cannot atone for. I
  made a kind of prose apology for my scepticism at the head of the MS.,
  which, on recollection, is so much more like an attack than a defence,
  that, haply, it might better be omitted–perpend, pronounce. After
  all, I fear Murray will be in a scrape with the orthodox; but I cannot
  help it, though I wish him well through it. As for me, “I have supped
  full of criticism,” and I don’t think that the “most dismal treatise”
  will stir and rouse my “fell of hair” till “Birnam wood do come to
  I shall continue to write at intervals, and hope you will pay me in
  kind. How does Pratt get on, or rather get off, Joe Blackett’s
  posthumous stock? You killed that poor man amongst you, in spite of
  your Ionian friend [2] and myself, who would have saved him from
  Pratt, poetry, present poverty, and posthumous oblivion. Cruel
  patronage! to ruin a man at his calling; but then he is a divine
  subject for subscription and biography; and Pratt, who makes the most
  of his dedications, has inscribed the volume to no less than five
  families of distinction.
  I am sorry you don’t like Harry White: [3] with a great deal of cant,
  which in him was sincere (indeed it killed him as you killed Joe
  Blackett), certes there is poesy and genius. I don’t say this on
  account of my simile and rhymes; but surely he was beyond all the
  Bloomfields [4] and Blacketts, and their collateral cobblers, whom
  Lofft [5] and Pratt have or may kidnap from their calling into the
  service of the trade. You must excuse my flippancy, for I am writing I
  know not what, to escape from myself. Hobhouse is gone to Ireland. Mr.
  Davies has been here on his way to Harrowgate.
  You did not know Matthews: he was a man of the most astonishing
  powers, as he sufficiently proved at Cambridge, by carrying off more
  prizes and fellowships, against the ablest candidates, than any other
  graduate on record; but a most decided atheist, indeed noxiously so,
  for he proclaimed his principles in all societies. I knew him well,
  and feel a loss not easily to be supplied to myself–to Hobhouse
  never. Let me hear from you, and
  Believe me, etc.
[Footnote 1: In 1793 John Murray the first (born 1745) died, leaving a
widow, two daughters, and one son, John Murray the second (1778-1843),
then a boy of fifteen. The bookselling and publishing business at 32,
Fleet Street, which the first John Murray had purchased in 1768 from
William Sandby, was for two years carried on by the chief assistant,
Samuel Highley. From 1795, when John Murray the second joined it, it was
conducted as a partnership, under the title of Murray and Highley. But
in 1803 John Murray cancelled the partnership, and started for himself
at 32, Fleet Street. Relieved from a timorous partner, he at once
displayed his shrewdness, energy, and literary enthusiasm. He rapidly
became, as Byron called him, “the [Greek (transliterated): Anax] of
Publishers,” or, as he was nicknamed, “The Emperor of the West.” In
February, 1809, he had launched the ‘Quarterly Review’; in March, 1812,
he published ‘Childe Harold’; in the following September, he moved to
50, Albemarle Street, the lease of which, with the stock, good will, and
copyrights, he purchased from William Miller (see page 319 [Letter 158],
[Foot]note 2 [1]). The remarkable position which the second John Murray
created for himself, has two aspects, one commercial, the other social.
He was not only the publisher, but the friend, of the most distinguished
men of the day; and he was both by reason, partly of his honourable
character, partly of his personal attractiveness. Sir Walter Scott,
writing, October 30, 1828, to Lockhart, speaks of Murray in words which
sum up his character:
  “By all means do what the Emperor says. He is what Emperor Nap was
  not, ‘much a gentleman.'”
Murray was the first to divorce the business of publishing from that of
selling books; the first to see, as he wrote to Sir Walter Scott,
October 13, 1825 (‘A Publisher and his Friends’, vol. ii. p. 199), that
  “the business of a publishing bookseller is not in his shop, or even
  his connection, but in his brains.”
Quick-tempered and warm-hearted, he was endowed with a strong sense of
humour, and a gift of felicitous expression, which made him at once an
admirable talker and an excellent letter-writer, and enabled him to hold
his own among the noted wits and brilliant men of letters whom he
gathered under his roof. A man of ideas more than a man of business, of
enterprise rather than of calculation, he was always on the watch for
new writers and new openings. But his imagination and impulsive
temperament were checked by his fine taste for sound literature, and
controlled by high principles in matters of trade. Thus he was saved
from those disastrous speculations which involved Scott in ruin, and
might otherwise have appealed with fatal force to his own sanguine
nature. His close relations with Byron, which began in 1811, and lasted
till the poet’s death, are set forth in the numerous letters which
follow, and were never embittered even when he refused to continue the
publication of ‘Don Juan’. Their names are inseparably associated in the
history of literature. A generous paymaster, he was also an hospitable
host. Round him gathers much of the literary history of a half-century
which includes such names as those of Scott, Byron, Southey, Coleridge,
Hallam, Milman, Mahon, Carlyle, Grote, Benjamin Disraeli, Sir Robert
Peel, Canning, and Mr. Gladstone. His literary dinners were famous, and
his drawing-room was the rallying-place of all that was witty and
agreeable in society. At the same time, he was the acknowledged head of
the publishing trade, unswerving in the rectitude of his commercial
dealings, and in the maintenance of the honourable traditions of his
most distinguished predecessors, as well as sincere in his enthusiasm
for English letters.]
[Footnote 2: Walter Rodwell Wright, author of ‘Horae Ionicae, a Poem
descriptive of the Ionian Islands, and part of the adjacent coast of
Greece,’ (1809), had been Consul-General of the Seven Islands. On his
return he became Recorder of Bury St. Edmund’s. He was subsequently
President of the Court of Appeals in Malta, where he died in 1826. (See
Byron’s address to him in ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, lines
[Footnote 3: Henry Kirke White (1785-1806) published ‘Clifton Grove’ and
other poems in 1803. He died at Cambridge in 1806. His ‘Remains’ were
published by Southey in 1807. (See ‘English Bards’, and Scotch
Reviewers’, lines 831-848, and note 2.)]
[Footnote 4: The three brothers, George Bloomfield, a shoemaker,
Nathaniel, a tailor, and Robert, also a shoemaker, were the sons of a
tailor at Honington, in Suffolk, whose wife kept the village school.
(For further details as to George and Nathaniel, see ‘English Bards, and
Scotch Reviewers’, lines 765-798, and ‘notes’.)
Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823) achieved a success with his ‘Farmer’s Boy’
(1800), of which thousands of copies were sold in England, and which was
translated into French and Italian. But however creditable the lines may
have been to the author, Byron’s opinion of the merits of the poet was
the true one. Bloomfield’s subsequent volumes, of which there were
seven, were inferior to ‘The Farmer’s Boy’. ‘Good Tidings, or News from
the Farm’ (1804), is perhaps the best known. A collected edition of
Bloomfield’s ‘Works’ was published in 1824.]
[Footnote 5: Capel Lofft (1751-1824), educated at Eton and Cambridge,
was called to the Bar in 1775. Succeeding in 1781 to the family estates
near Bury St. Edmund’s, he lived for some years at Troston Hall. Crabb
Robinson (‘Diary’, vol. i. p. 29) describes him, in 1795, as
  “a gentleman of good family and estate–an author on an infinity of
  subjects; his books were on Law, History, Poetry, Antiquities,
  Divinity, and Politics. He was then an acting magistrate, having
  abandoned the profession of the Bar. He was one of the numerous
  answerers of Burke; and, in spite of a feeble voice and other
  disadvantages, was an eloquent speaker.”
His boyish figure, slovenly dress, and involved sentences were well
known on the platforms where he advocated parliamentary reform. On May
17, 1784, Johnson dined at Mr. Dilly’s. Among the guests was
  “Mr. Capel Lofft, who, though a most zealous Whig, has a mind so full
  of learning and knowledge, and so much in exercise in various
  exertions, and withal so much liberality, that the stupendous powers
  of the literary Goliath, though they did not frighten this little
  David of popular spirit, could not but excite his admiration.”
Lofft held strong opinions in favour of the French Revolution, which he
admired. He, “Godwin, and Thelwall are the only three persons I know
(except Hazlitt) who grieve at the late events;” so writes Crabb
Robinson, after the battle of Waterloo (‘Diary’, vol. i. p. 491). He
published numerous works on law and politics, besides four volumes of
poetry: ‘The Praises of Poetry, a Poem’ (1775); ‘Eudosia, or a Poem on
the Universe’ (1781); ‘The first and second Georgics of Virgil’ (in
blank verse, 1803); ‘Laura, or an Anthology of Sonnets’ (1814). He also
edited Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. In November, 1798, Lofft read the
manuscript of ‘The Farmer’s Boy’, written by Robert Bloomfield in a
London garret, where he worked as a shoemaker. Interested in the poem
and the Suffolk poet, Lofft had it published in 1800, with cuts by
Bewick, and a preface by himself.]
168.–To Francis Hodgson.
  Newstead Abbey, August 22, 1811.
  You may have heard of the sudden death of my mother, and poor
  Matthews, which, with that of Wingfield (of which I was not fully
  aware till just before I left town, and indeed hardly believed it,)
  has made a sad chasm in my connections. Indeed the blows followed each
  other so rapidly that I am yet stupid from the shock; and though I do
  eat, and drink, and talk, and even laugh, at times, yet I can hardly
  persuade myself that I am awake, did not every morning convince me
  mournfully to the contrary.–I shall now wave the subject,–the dead
  are at rest, and none but the dead can be so.
  You will feel for poor Hobhouse,–Matthews was the “god of his
  idolatry;” and if intellect could exalt a man above his fellows, no
  one could refuse him preeminence. I knew him most intimately, and
  valued him proportionably; but I am recurring–so let us talk of life
  and the living.
  If you should feel a disposition to come here, you will find “beef and
  a sea-coal fire,” and not ungenerous wine. Whether Otway’s two other
  requisites for an Englishman or not, I cannot tell, but probably one
  of them [1].–Let me know when I may expect you, that I may tell you
  when I go and when return. I have not yet been to Lancs. Davies has
  been here, and has invited me to Cambridge for a week in October, so
  that, peradventure, we may encounter glass to glass. His gaiety (death
  cannot mar it) has done me service; but, after all, ours was a hollow
  You will write to me? I am solitary, and I never felt solitude irksome
  before. Your anxiety about the critique on—-‘s book is amusing; as
  it was anonymous, certes it was of little consequence: I wish it had
  produced a little more confusion, being a lover of literary malice.
  Are you doing nothing? writing nothing? printing nothing? why not your
  Satire on Methodism? the subject (supposing the public to be blind to
  merit) would do wonders. Besides, it would be as well for a destined
  deacon to prove his orthodoxy.–It really would give me pleasure to
  see you properly appreciated. I say _really_, as, being an author, my
  humanity might be suspected.
  Believe me, dear H., yours always.
[Footnote 1:
  “Give but an Englishman his whore and ease,
  Beef and a sea-coal fire, he’s yours for ever.”
‘Venice Preserved’, act ii. sc. 3]
2 VOLS. 1807.
(From ‘Monthly Literary Recreations’ for July, 1807.)
The volumes before us are by the author of Lyric Ballads, a collection
which has not undeservedly met with a considerable share of public
applause. The characteristics of Mr. Wordsworth’s muse are simple and
flowing, though occasionally inharmonious verse; strong, and sometimes
irresistible appeals to the feelings, with unexceptionable sentiments.
Though the present work may not equal his former efforts, many of the
poems possess a native elegance, natural and unaffected, totally devoid
of the tinsel embellishments and abstract hyperboles of several
contemporary sonneteers. The last sonnet in the first volume, p. 152, is
perhaps the best, without any novelty in the sentiments, which we hope
are common to every Briton at the present crisis; the force and
expression is that of a genuine poet, feeling as he writes–
  Another year! another deadly blow!
  Another mighty empire overthrown!
  And we are left, or shall be left, alone–
  The last that dares to struggle with the foe.
  ‘Tis well!–from this day forward we shall know
  That in ourselves our safety must be sought,
  That by our own right-hands it must be wrought;
  That we must stand unprop’d, or be laid low.
  O dastard! whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
  We shall exult, if they who rule the land
  Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
  Wise, upright, valiant, not a venal band,
  Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
  And honour which they do not understand.
The song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, the Seven Sisters, the
Affliction of Margaret—-of—-, possess all the beauties, and few
of the defects, of the writer: the following lines from the last are in
his first style:–
  “Ah! little doth the young one dream,
  When full of play and childish cares,
  What power hath e’en his wildest scream,
  Heard by his mother unawares:
  He knows it not, he cannot guess:
  Years to a mother bring distress,
  But do not make her love the less.”
The pieces least worthy of the author are those entitled “Moods of my
own Mind.” We certainly wish these “Moods” had been less frequent, or
not permitted to occupy a place near works which only make their
deformity more obvious; when Mr. W. ceases to please, it is by
“abandoning” his mind to the most commonplace ideas, at the same time
clothing them in language not simple, but puerile. What will any reader
or auditor, out of the nursery, say to such namby-pamby as “Lines
written at the Foot of Brother’s Bridge”?
  “The cock is crowing,
  The stream is flowing,
  The small birds twitter,
  The lake doth glitter,
  The green field sleeps in the sun;
  The oldest and youngest,
  Are at work with the strongest;
  The cattle are grazing,
  Their heads never raising,
  There are forty feeding like one.
  Like an army defeated,
  The snow hath retreated,
  And now doth fare ill,
  On the top of the bare hill.”
“The ploughboy is whooping anon, anon,” etc., etc., is in the same
exquisite measure. This appears to us neither more nor less than an
imitation of such minstrelsy as soothed our cries in the cradle, with
the shrill ditty of
  “Hey de diddle,
  The cat and the fiddle:
  The cow jump’d over the moon,
  The little dog laugh’d to see such sport,
  And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
On the whole, however, with the exception of the above, and other
INNOCENT odes of the same cast, we think these volumes display a genius
worthy of higher pursuits, and regret that Mr. W. confines his muse to
such trifling subjects. We trust his motto will be in future “Paulo
majora canamus.” Many, with inferior abilities, have acquired a loftier
seat on Parnassus, merely by attempting strains in which Wordsworth is
more qualified to excel.
‘Hours of Idleness; a Series of Poems, original and translated.’
By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a Minor. 8vo, pp. 200. Newark, 1807.
The poesy of this young lord belongs to the class which neither gods nor
men are said to permit. Indeed, we do not recollect to have seen a
quantity of verse with so few deviations in either direction from that
exact standard. His effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no
more get above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant
water. As an extenuation of this offence, the noble author is peculiarly
forward in pleading minority. We have it in the title-page, and on the
very back of the volume; it follows his name like a favourite part of
his ‘style’. Much stress is laid upon it in the preface; and the poems
are connected with this general statement of his case, by particular
dates, substantiating the age at which each was written. Now, the law
upon the point of minority we hold to be perfectly clear. It is a plea
available only to the defendant; no plaintiff can offer it as a
supplementary ground of action. Thus, if any suit could be brought
against Lord Byron, for the purpose of compelling him to put into court
a certain quantity of poetry, and if judgment were given against him, it
is highly probable that an exception would be taken, were he to deliver
‘for poetry’ the contents of this volume. To this he might plead
‘minority’; but, as he now makes voluntary tender of the article, he
hath no right to sue, on that ground, for the price in good current
praise, should the goods be unmarketable.
This is our view of the law on the point; and, we dare to say, so will
it be ruled. Perhaps, however, in reality, all that he tells us about
his youth is rather with a view to increase our wonder than to soften
our censures. He possibly means to say, “See how a minor can write! This
poem was actually composed by a young man of eighteen, and this by one
of only sixteen!” But, alas! We all remember the poetry of Cowley at
ten, and Pope at twelve; and so far from hearing, with any degree of
surprise, that very poor verses were written by a youth from his leaving
school to his leaving college, inclusive, we really believe this to be
the most common of all occurrences; that it happens in the life of nine
men in ten who are educated in England; and that the tenth man writes
better verse than Lord Byron.
His other plea of privilege our author rather brings forward in order to
waive it. He certainly, however, does allude frequently to his family
and ancestry–sometimes in poetry, sometimes in notes; and, while giving
up his claim on the score of rank, he takes care to remember us of Dr.
Johnson’s saying, that when a nobleman appears as an author, his merit
should be handsomely acknowledged. In truth, it is this consideration
only that induces us to give Lord Byron’s poems a place in our review,
beside our desire to counsel him, that he do forthwith abandon poetry,
and turn his talents, which are considerable, and his opportunities,
which are great, to better account.
With this view, we must beg leave seriously to assure him, that the mere
rhyming of the final syllable, even when accompanied by the presence of
a certain number of feet,–nay, although (which does not always happen)
those feet should scan regularly, and have been all counted accurately
upon the fingers,–is not the whole art of poetry. We would entreat him
to believe, that a certain portion of liveliness, somewhat of fancy, is
necessary to constitute a poem, and that a poem in the present day, to
be read, must contain at least one thought, either in a little degree
different from the ideas of former writers, or differently expressed. We
put it to his candour, whether there is any thing so deserving the name
of poetry in verses like the following, written in 1806; and whether, if
a youth of eighteen could say any thing so uninteresting to his
ancestors, a youth of nineteen should publish it;–
  “Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing
     From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu!
  Abroad or at home, your remembrance imparting
     New courage, he’ll think upon glory and you.
  “Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
     ‘Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret;
  Far distant he goes, with the same emulation;
     The fame of his fathers he ne’er can forget.
  “That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish;
     He vows that he ne’er will disgrace your renown;
  Like you will he live, or like you will he perish;
     When decay’d, may he mingle his dust with your own.”
Now, we positively do assert, that there is nothing better than these
stanzas in the whole compass of the noble minor’s volume.
Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting what the greatest poets
have done before him, for comparisons (as he must have had occasion to
see at his writing-master’s) are odious. Gray’s Ode on Eton College
should really have kept out the ten hobbling stanzas “On a distant View
of the Village and School of Harrow.”
  “Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance
    Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied,
  How welcome to me your ne’er-fading remembrance,
    Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied.”
In like manner, the exquisite lines of Mr. Rogers, “On a Tear,” might
have warned the noble author off those premises, and spared us a whole
dozen such stanzas as the following:–
  “Mild Charity’s glow, to us mortals below,
    Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
  Compassion will melt where this virtue is felt,
    And its dew is diffused in a Tear.
  “The man doom’d to sail with the blast of the gale,
    Through billows Atlantic to steer,
  As he bends o’er the wave, which may soon be his grave,
    The green sparkles bright with a Tear.”
And so of instances in which former poets have failed. Thus we do not
think Lord Byron was made for translating, during his nonage, “Adrian’s
Address to his Soul,” when Pope succeeded so indifferently in the
attempt. If our readers, however, are of another opinion, they may look
at it.
  “Ah! gentle, fleeting, wavering sprite,
  Friend and associate of this clay!
    To what unknown region borne
  Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight?
  No more with wonted humour gay,
    But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.”
However, be this as it may, we fear his translations and imitations are
great favourites with Lord Byron. We have them of all kinds, from
Anacreon to Ossian; and, viewing them as school exercises, they may
pass. Only, why print them after they have had their day and served
their turn? And why call the thing in p. 79 (see p. 380) a translation,
where ‘two’ words [Gr.](‘thel_o legein’) of the original are expanded
into four lines, and the other thing in p. 81 (see ‘ibid’.) where [Gr.]
‘mesonuktiais poth h_orais’ is rendered by means of six hobbling verses?
As to his Ossianic poesy, we are not very good judges, being in truth,
so moderately skilled in that species of composition, that we should, in
all probability, be criticizing some bit of the genuine Macpherson
itself, were we to express our opinion of Lord Byron’s rhapsodies. If,
then, the following beginning of a “Song of Bards” is by his lordship,
we venture to object to it, as far as we can comprehend it. “What form
rises on the roar of clouds? whose dark ghost gleams on the red stream
of tempests? His voice rolls on the thunder; ’tis Orla, the brown chief
of Oithona. He “was,” etc. After detaining this “brown chief” some time,
the bards conclude by giving him their advice to “raise his fair locks;”
then to “spread them on the arch of the rainbow;” and to “smile through
the tears of the storm.”  Of this kind of thing there are no less than
_nine_ pages; and we can so far venture an opinion in their favour, that
they look very like Macpherson; and we are positive they are pretty
nearly as stupid and tiresome.
It is a sort of privilege of poets to be egotists; but they should “use
it as not abusing it;” and particularly one who piques himself (though
indeed at the ripe age of nineteen) on being “an infant bard,”–(“The
artless Helicon I boast is youth”)–should either not know, or should
seem not to know, so much about his own ancestry. Besides a poem above
cited, on the family seat of the Byrons, we have another of eleven
pages, on the self-same subject, introduced with an apology, “he
certainly had no intention of inserting it,” but really “the particular
request of some friends,” etc., etc. It concludes with five stanzas on
himself, “the last and youngest of a noble line.” There is a good deal
also about his maternal ancestors, in a poem on Lachin y Gair, a
mountain where he spent part of his youth, and might have learnt that
pibroch is not a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle.
As the author has dedicated so large a part of his volume to immortalise
his employments at school and college, we cannot possibly dismiss it
without presenting the reader with a specimen of these ingenious
effusions. In an ode with a Greek motto, called “Granta,” we have the
following magnificent stanzas:–
  There, in apartments small and damp,
    The candidate for college prizes,
  Sits poring by the midnight lamp,
    Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
  Who reads false quantities in Sele,
    Or puzzles o’er the deep triangle,
  Deprived of many a wholesome meal,
    In barbarous Latin doom’d to wrangle:
  Renouncing every pleasing page,
    From authors of historic use;
  Preferring to the letter’d sage,
    The square of the hypothenuse.
  Still harmless are these occupations,
    That hurt none but the hapless student,
  Compared with other recreations,
    Which bring together the imprudent.”
We are sorry to hear so bad an account of the college psalmody as is
contained in the following Attic stanzas:–
  “Our choir would scarcely be excused
    Even as a band of raw beginners;
  All mercy now must be refused
    To such a set of croaking sinners.
  If David, when his toils were ended,
    Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
  To us his psalms had ne’er descended:
    In furious mood he would have tore ’em!”
But, whatever judgment may be passed on the poems of this noble minor,
it seems we must take them as we find them, and be content; for they are
the last we shall ever have from him. He is, at best, he says, but an
intruder into the groves of Parnassus: he never lived in a garret, like
thorough-bred poets; and “though he once roved a careless mountaineer in
the Highlands of Scotland,” he has not of late enjoyed this advantage.
Moreover, he expects no profit from his publication; and, whether it
succeeds or not, “it is highly improbable, from his situation and
pursuits hereafter,” that he should again condescend to become an
author. Therefore, let us take what we get, and be thankful. What right
have we poor devils to be nice? We are well off to have got so much from
a man of this lord’s station, who does not live in a garret, but “has
the sway” of Newstead Abbey. Again, we say, let us be thankful; and,
with honest Sancho, bid God bless the giver, nor look the gift horse in
the mouth.
(From the Monthly Review for August, 1811.)
That laudable curiosity concerning the remains of classical antiquity,
which has of late years increased among our countrymen, is in no
traveller or author more conspicuous than in Mr. Gell. Whatever
difference of opinion may yet exist with regard to the success of the
several disputants in the famous Trojan controversy [1], or, indeed,
relating to the present author’s merits as an inspector of the Troad, it
must universally be acknowledged that any work, which more forcibly
impresses on our imaginations the scenes of heroic action, and the
subjects of immortal song, possesses claims on the attention of every
Of the two works which now demand our report, we conceive the former to
be by far the most interesting to the reader, as the latter is
indisputably the most serviceable to the traveller. Excepting, indeed,
the running commentary which it contains on a number of extracts from
Pausanias and Strabo, it is, as the title imports, a mere itinerary of
Greece, or rather of Argolis only, in its present circumstances. This
being the case, surely it would have answered every purpose of utility
much better by being printed as a pocket road-book of that part of the
Morea; for a quarto is a very unmanageable travelling companion. The
maps [2] and drawings, we shall be told, would not permit such an
arrangement; but as to the drawings, they are not in general to be
admired as specimens of the art; and several of them, as we have been
assured by eye-witnesses of the scenes which they describe, do not
compensate for their mediocrity in point of execution, by any
extraordinary fidelity of representation. Others, indeed, are more
faithful, according to our informants. The true reason, however, for
this costly mode of publication is in course to be found in a desire of
gratifying the public passion for large margins, and all the luxury of
typography; and we have before expressed our dissatisfaction with Mr.
Gell’s aristocratical mode of communicating a species of knowledge,
which ought to be accessible to a much greater portion of classical
students than can at present acquire it by his means:–but, as such
expostulations are generally useless, we shall be thankful for what we
can obtain, and that in the manner in which Mr. Gell has chosen to
present it.
The former of these volumes, we have observed, is the most attractive in
the closet. It comprehends a very full survey of the far-famed island
which the hero of the ‘Odyssey’ has immortalized; for we really are
inclined to think that the author has established the identity of the
modern ‘Theaki’ with the ‘Ithaca’ of Homer. At all events, if it be an
illusion, it is a very agreeable deception, and is effected by an
ingenious interpretation of the passages in Homer that are supposed to
be descriptive of the scenes which our traveller has visited. We shall
extract some of these adaptations of the ancient picture to the modern
scene, marking the points of resemblance which appear to be strained and
forced, as well as those which are more easy and natural; but we must
first insert some preliminary matter from the opening chapter. The
following passage conveys a sort of general sketch of the book, which
may give our readers a tolerably adequate notion of its contents:–
  “The present work may adduce, by a simple and correct survey of the
  island, coincidences in its geography, in its natural productions, and
  moral state, before unnoticed. Some will be directly pointed out; the
  fancy or ingenuity of the reader may be employed in tracing others;
  the mind familiar with the imagery of the ‘Odyssey’ will
  recognise with satisfaction the scenes themselves; and this volume is
  offered to the public, not entirely without hopes of vindicating the
  poem of Homer from the scepticism of those critics who imagine that
  the ‘Odyssey’ is a mere poetical composition, unsupported by
  history, and unconnected with the localities of any particular
  “Some have asserted that, in the comparison of places now existing
  with the descriptions of Homer, we ought not to expect coincidence in
  minute details; yet it seems only by these that the kingdom of
  Ulysses, or any other, can be identified, as, if such an idea be
  admitted, every small and rocky island in the Ionian Sea, containing a
  good port, might, with equal plausibility, assume the appellation of
  “The Venetian geographers have in a great degree contributed to raise
  those doubts which have existed on the identity of the modern with the
  ancient Ithaca, by giving, in their charts, the name of Val di Compare
  to the island. That name is, however, totally unknown in the country,
  where the isle is invariably called Ithaca by the upper ranks, and
  Theaki by the vulgar. The Venetians have equally corrupted the name of
  almost every place in Greece; yet, as the natives of Epactos or
  Naupactos never heard of Lepanto, those of Zacynthos of Zante, or the
  Athenians of Settines, it would be as unfair to rob Ithaca of its
  name, on such authority, as it would be to assert that no such island
  existed, because no tolerable representation of its form can be found
  in the Venetian surveys.
  “The rare medals of the Island, of which three are represented in the
  title-page, might be adduced as a proof that the name of Ithaca was
  not lost during the reigns of the Roman emperors. They have the head
  of Ulysses, recognised by the pileum, or pointed cap, while the
  reverse of one presents the figure of a cock, the emblem of his
  vigilance, with the legend [Greek:IThAK_ON]. A few of these medals are
  preserved in the cabinets of the curious, and one also, with the cock,
  found in the island, is in the possession of Signor Zavo, of Bathi.
  The uppermost coin is in the collection of Dr. Hunter; the second is
  copied from Newman; and the third is the property of R.P. Knight, Esq.
  “Several inscriptions, which will be hereafter produced, will tend to
  the confirmation of the idea that Ithaca was inhabited about the time
  when the Romans were masters of Greece; yet there is every reason to
  believe that few, if any, of the present proprietors of the soil are
  descended from ancestors who had long resided successively in the
  island. Even those who lived, at the time of Ulysses, in Ithaca, seem
  to have been on the point of emigrating to Argos, and no chief
  remained, after the second in descent from that hero, worthy of being
  recorded in history. It appears that the isle has been twice colonised
  from Cephalonia in modern times, and I was informed that a grant had
  been made by the Venetians, entitling each settler in Ithaca to as
  much land as his circumstances would enable him to cultivate.”
Mr. Gell then proceeds to invalidate the authority of previous writers
on the subject of Ithaca. Sir George Wheeler and M. le Chevalier fall
under his severe animadversion; and, indeed, according to his account,
neither of these gentlemen had visited the island, and the description
of the latter is “absolutely too absurd for refutation.” In another
place, he speaks of M. le C. “disgracing a work of such merit by the
introduction of such fabrications;” again, of the inaccuracy of the
author’s maps; and, lastly, of his inserting an island at the southern
entry of the channel between Cephalonia and Ithaca, which has no
existence. This observation very nearly approaches to the use of that
monosyllable which Gibbon [3], without expressing it, so adroitly
applied to some assertion of his antagonist, Mr. Davies. In truth, our
traveller’s words are rather bitter towards his brother tourist; but we
must conclude that their justice warrants their severity.
In the second chapter, the author describes his landing in Ithaca, and
arrival at the rock Korax and the fountain Arethusa, as he designates it
with sufficient positiveness.–This rock, now known by the name of
Korax, or Koraka Petra, he contends to be the same with that which Homer
mentions as contiguous to the habitation of Eumæus, the faithful
swineherd of Ulysses.–We shall take the liberty of adding to our
extracts from Mr. Gell some of the passages in Homer to which he
_refers_ only, conceiving this to be the fairest method of exhibiting
the strength or the weakness of his argument.
  “Ulysses,” he observes, “came to the extremity of the isle to visit
  Eumæus, and that extremity was the most southern; for Telemachus,
  coming from Pylos, touched at the first south-eastern part of Ithaca
  with the same intention.”
  Kai tote dae r Odysaea kakos pothen aegage daim_on
  Agrou ep eschatiaen, hothi d_omata naie sub_otaes
  Enth aelthen philos uhios Odyssaeos theioio,
  Ek Pylon aemathoentos i_on sun naei melainae.
  Odyssei _O.
  Autar epaen pr_otaen aktaen Ithakaes aphikaeai,
  Naea men es polin otrunai kai pantas etairous
  Autos de pr_otista sub_otaen eisaphikesthai, k.t.l.
  Odyssei O.]
These citations, we think, appear to justify the author in his attempt
to identify the situation of his rock and fountain with the place of
those mentioned by Homer. But let us now follow him in the closer
description of the scene.–After some account of the subjects in the
plate affixed, Mr. Gell remarks:
  “It is impossible to visit this sequestered spot without being struck
  with the recollection of the Fount of Arethusa and the rock Korax,
  which the poet mentions in the same line, adding, that there the swine
  ate the _sweet_ [4] acorns, and drank the black water.”
  Daeeis ton ge suessi paraemenon ai de nemontai
  Par Korakos petrae, epi te kraenae Arethousae,
  Esthousai balanon menoeikea, kai melan hud_or
  Odyssei N.]
  “Having passed some time at the fountain, taken a drawing, and made
  the necessary observations on the situation of the place, we proceeded
  to an examination of the precipice, climbing over the terraces above
  the source among shady fig-trees, which, however, did not prevent us
  from feeling the powerful effects of the mid-day sun. After a short
  but fatiguing ascent, we arrived at the rock, which extends in a vast
  perpendicular semicircle, beautifully fringed with trees, facing to
  the south-east. Under the crag we found two caves of inconsiderable
  extent, the entrance of one of which, not difficult of access, is seen
  in the view of the fount. They are still the resort of sheep and
  goats, and in one of them are small natural receptacles for the water,
  covered by a stalagmatic incrustation.
  “These caves, being at the extremity of the curve formed by the
  precipice, open toward the south, and present us with another
  accompaniment of the fount of Arethusa, mentioned by the poet, who
  informs us that the swineherd Eumæus left his guests in the house,
  whilst he, putting on a thick garment, went to sleep near the herd,
  under the hollow of the rock, which sheltered him from the northern
  blast. Now we know that the herd fed near the fount; for Minerva tells
  Ulysses that he is to go first to Eumæus, whom he should find with
  the swine, near the rock Korax and the fount of Arethusa. As the swine
  then fed at the fountain, so it is necessary that a cavern should be
  found in its vicinity; and this seems to coincide, in distance and
  situation, with that of the poem. Near the fount also was the fold or
  stathmos of Eumæus; for the goddess informs Ulysses that he should
  find his faithful servant at or above the fount.
  “Now the hero meets the swineherd close to the fold, which was
  consequently very near that source. At the top of the rock, and just
  above the spot where the waterfall shoots down the precipice, is at
  this day a stagni, or pastoral dwelling, which the herdsmen of Ithaca
  still inhabit, on account of the water necessary for their cattle. One
  of these people walked on the verge of the precipice at the time of
  our visit to the place, and seemed so anxious to know how we had been
  conveyed to the spot, that his inquiries reminded us of a question
  probably not uncommon in the days of Homer, who more than once
  represents the Ithacences demanding of strangers what ship had brought
  them to the island, it being evident they could not come on foot. He
  told us that there was, on the summit where he stood, a small cistern
  of water, and a kalybea, or shepherd’s hut. There are also vestiges of
  ancient habitations, and the place is now called Amarâthia.
  “Convenience, as well as safety, seems to have pointed out the lofty
  situation of Amarâthia as a fit place for the residence of the
  herdsmen of this part of the island from the earliest ages. A small
  source of water is a treasure in these climates; and if the
  inhabitants of Ithaca now select a rugged and elevated spot, to secure
  them from the robbers of the Echinades, it is to be recollected that
  the Taphian pirates were not less formidable, even in the days of
  Ulysses, and that a residence in a solitary part of the island, far
  from the fortress, and close to a celebrated fountain, must at all
  times have been dangerous, without some such security as the rocks of
  Korax. Indeed, there can be no doubt that the house of Eumæus was on
  the top of the precipice; for Ulysses, in order to evince the truth of
  his story to the swineherd, desires to be thrown from the summit if
  his narration does not prove correct.
  “Near the bottom of the precipice is a curious natural gallery, about
  seven feet high, which is expressed in the plate. It may be fairly
  presumed, from the very remarkable coincidence between this place and
  the Homeric account, that this was the scene designated by the poet as
  the fountain of Arethusa, and the residence of Eumæus; and, perhaps,
  it would be impossible to find another spot which bears, at this day,
  so strong a resemblance to a poetic description composed at a period
  so very remote. There is no other fountain in this part of the island,
  nor any rock which bears the slightest resemblance to the Korax of
  “The stathmos of the good Eumæus appears to have been little
  different, either in use or construction, from the stagni and kalybea
  of the present day. The poet expressly mentions that other herdsmen
  drove their flocks into the city at sunset,–a custom which still
  prevails throughout Greece during the winter, and that was the season
  in which Ulysses visited Eumæus. Yet Homer accounts for this deviation
  from the prevailing custom, by observing that he had retired from the
  city to avoid the suitors of Penelope. These trifling occurrences
  afford a strong presumption that the Ithaca of Homer was something
  more than the creature of his own fancy, as some have supposed it; for
  though the grand outline of a fable may be easily imagined, yet the
  consistent adaptation of minute incidents to a long and elaborate
  falsehood is a task of the most arduous and complicated nature.”
After this long extract, by which we have endeavoured to do justice to
Mr. Gell’s argument, we cannot allow room for any farther quotations of
such extent; and we must offer a brief and imperfect analysis of the
remainder of the work. In the third chapter the traveller arrives at the
capital, and in the fourth he describes it in an agreeable manner. We
select his account of the mode of celebrating a Christian festival in
the Greek Church:–
  “We were present at the celebration of the feast of the Ascension,
  when the citizens appeared in their gayest dresses, and saluted each
  other in the streets with demonstrations of pleasure. As we sate at
  breakfast in the house of Signer Zavo, we were suddenly roused by the
  discharge of a gun, succeeded by a tremendous crash of pottery, which
  fell on the tiles, steps, and pavements, in every direction. The bells
  of the numerous churches commenced a most discordant jingle; colours
  were hoisted on every mast in the port, and a general shout of joy
  announced some great event. Our host informed us that the feast of the
  Ascension was annually commemorated in this manner at Bathi, the
  populace exclaiming [Greek: anestae o Christos, alaethinos o Theos],
  Christ is risen, the true God.”
In another passage, he continues this account as follows:–
  “In the evening of the festival, the inhabitants danced before their
  houses; and at one we saw the figure which is said to have been first
  used by the youths and virgins of Delos, at the happy return of
  Theseus from the expedition of the Cretan Labyrinth. It has now lost
  much of that intricacy which was supposed to allude to the windings of
  the habitation of the Minotaur,”
etc., etc. This is rather too much for even the inflexible gravity of
our censorial muscles. When the author talks, with all the ‘reality’ (if
we may use the expression) of a Lemprière, on the stories of the
fabulous ages, we cannot refrain from indulging a momentary smile; nor
can we seriously accompany him in the learned architectural detail by
which he endeavours to give us, from the ‘Odyssey’, the ground-plot of
the house of Ulysses,–of which he actually offers a plan in drawing!
“showing how the description of the house of Ulysses in the ‘Odyssey’
may be supposed to correspond with the foundations yet visible on the
hill of Aito!”–Oh, Foote! Foote! why are you lost to such inviting
subjects for your ludicrous pencil!–In his account of this celebrated
mansion, Mr. Gell says, one side of the court seems to have been
occupied by the Thalamos, or sleeping apartments of the men, etc., etc.;
and, in confirmation of this hypothesis, he refers to the 10th
‘Odyssey’, line 340. On examining his reference, we read–
  [Greek: ‘Es thalamon t’ ienai, kai saes epibaemenai eunaes’]
where Ulysses records an invitation which he received from Circe to take
a part of her bed. How this illustrates the above conjecture, we are at
a loss to divine: but we suppose that some numerical error has occurred
in the reference, as we have detected a trifling mistake or two of the
same nature.
Mr. G. labours hard to identify the cave of Dexia near Bathi (the
capital of the island), with the grotto of the Nymphs described in the
13th ‘Odyssey’. We are disposed to grant that he has succeeded; but we
cannot here enter into the proofs by which he supports his opinion; and
we can only extract one of the concluding sentences of the chapter,
which appears to us candid and judicious:–
  “Whatever opinion may be formed as to the identity of the cave of
  Dexia with the grotto of the Nymphs, it is fair to state, that Strabo
  positively asserts that no such cave as that described by Homer
  existed in his time, and that geographer thought it better to assign a
  physical change, rather than ignorance in Homer, to account for a
  difference which he imagined to exist between the Ithaca of his time
  and that of the poet. But Strabo, who was an uncommonly accurate
  observer with respect to countries surveyed by himself, appears to
  have been wretchedly misled by his informers on many occasions.
  “That Strabo had never visited this country is evident, not only from
  his inaccurate account of it, but from his citation of Apollodorus and
  Scepsius, whose relations are in direct opposition to each other on
  the subject of Ithaca, as will be demonstrated on a future
We must, however, observe that “demonstration” is a strong term.–In his
description of the Leucadian Promontory (of which we have a pleasing
representation in the plate), the author remarks that it is “celebrated
for the _leap_ of Sappho, and the _death_ of Artemisia.” From this
variety in the expression, a reader would hardly conceive that both the
ladies perished in the same manner; in fact, the sentence is as proper
as it would be to talk of the decapitation of Russell, and the death of
Sidney. The view from this promontory includes the island of Corfu; and
the name suggests to Mr. Gell the following note, which, though rather
irrelevant, is of a curious nature, and we therefore conclude our
citations by transcribing it:–
  “It has been generally supposed that Corfu, or Corcyra, was the
  Phæacia of Homer; but Sir Henry Englefield thinks the position of that
  island inconsistent with the voyage of Ulysses as described in the
  ‘Odyssey’. That gentleman has also observed a number of such
  remarkable coincidences between the courts of Alcinous and Solomon,
  that they may be thought curious and interesting. Homer was familiar
  with the names of Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt; and, as he lived about the
  time of Solomon, it would not have been extraordinary if he had
  introduced some account of the magnificence of that prince into his
  poem. As Solomon was famous for wisdom, so the name of Alcinous
  signifies strength of knowledge; as the gardens of Solomon were
  celebrated, so are those of Alcinous (‘Od’. 7. 112); as the kingdom of
  Solomon was distinguished by twelve tribes under twelve princes (1
  Kings ch. 4), so that of Alcinous (‘Od’. 8. 390) was ruled by an equal
  number: as the throne of Solomon was supported by lions of gold (1
  Kings ch. 10), so that of Alcinous was placed on dogs of silver and
  gold (‘Od’. 7. 91); as the fleets of Solomon were famous, so were
  those of Alcinous. It is perhaps worthy of remark, that Neptune sate
  on the mountains of the SOLYMI, as he returned from Æthiopia to Ægæ,
  while he raised the tempest which threw Ulysses on the coast of
  Phæacia; and that the Solymi of Pamphylia are very considerably
  distant from the route.–The suspicious character, also, which
  Nausicaa attributes to her countryman agrees precisely with that which
  the Greeks and Romans gave of the Jews.”
The seventh chapter contains a description of the Monastery of Kathara,
and several adjacent places. The eighth, among other curiosities, fixes
on an imaginary site for the Farm of Laertes; but this is the agony of
conjecture indeed!–and the ninth chapter mentions another Monastery,
and a rock still called the School of Homer. Some sepulchral
inscriptions of a very simple nature are included.–The tenth and last
chapter brings us round to the Port of Schoenus, near Bathi; after we
have completed, seemingly in a very minute and accurate manner, the tour
of the island.
We can certainly recommend a perusal of this volume to every lover of
classical scene and story. If we may indulge the pleasing belief that
Homer sang of a real kingdom, and that Ulysses governed it, though we
discern many feeble links in Mr. Gell’s chain of evidence, we are on the
whole induced to fancy that this is the Ithaca of the bard and of the
monarch. At all events, Mr. Gell has enabled every future traveller to
form a clearer judgment on the question than he could have established
without such a “Vade-mecum to Ithaca,” or a “Have with you, to the House
of Ulysses,” as the present. With Homer in his pocket, and Gell on his
sumpter-horse or mule, the Odyssean tourist may now make a very
classical and delightful excursion; and we doubt not that the advantages
accruing to the Ithacences, from the increased number of travellers who
will visit them in consequence of Mr. Gell’s account of their country,
will induce them to confer on that gentleman any heraldic honours which
they may have to bestow, should he ever look in upon them again.–‘Baron
Bathi’ would be a pretty title:–
  “‘Hoc’ Ithacus ‘velit, et magno mercentur Atridae’.”
For ourselves, we confess that all our old Grecian feelings would be
alive on approaching the fountain of Melainudros, where, as the
tradition runs, or as the priests relate, Homer was restored to sight.
We now come to the “Grecian Patterson,” or “Cary,” which Mr. Gell has
begun to publish; and really he has carried the epic rule of concealing
the person of the author to as great a length as either of the
above-mentioned heroes of itinerary writ. We hear nothing of his
“hair-breadth ‘scapes” by sea or land; and we do not even know, for the
greater part of his journey through Argolis, whether he relates what he
has seen or what he has heard. From other parts of the book, we find the
former to be the case; but, though there have been tourists and
“strangers” in other countries, who have kindly permitted their readers
to learn rather too much of their sweet selves, yet it is possible to
carry delicacy, or cautious silence, or whatever it may be called, to
the contrary extreme. We think that Mr. Gell has fallen into this error,
so opposite to that of his numerous brethren. It is offensive, indeed,
to be told what a man has eaten for dinner, or how pathetic he was on
certain occasions; but we like to know that there is a being yet living
who describes the scenes to which he introduces us; and that it is not a
mere translation from Strabo or Pausanias which we are reading, or a
commentary on those authors. This reflection leads us to the concluding
remark in Mr. Gell’s preface (by much the most interesting part of his
book) to his ‘Itinerary of Greece’, in which he thus expresses himself:–
  “The confusion of the modern with the ancient names of places in this
  volume is absolutely unavoidable; they are, however, mentioned in such
  a manner, that the reader will soon be accustomed to the
  indiscriminate use of them. The necessity of applying the ancient
  appellations to the different routes, will be evident from the total
  ignorance of the public on the subject of the modern names, which,
  having never appeared in print, are only known to the few individuals
  who have visited the country.
  “What could appear less intelligible to the reader, or less useful to
  the traveller, than a route from Chione and Zaracca to Kutchukmadi,
  from thence by Krabata to Schoenochorio, and by the mills of Peali,
  while every one is in some degree acquainted with the names of
  Stymphalus, Nemea, Mycenæ, Lyrceia, Lerna, and Tegea?”
Although this may be very true inasmuch as it relates to the reader, yet
to the traveller we must observe, in opposition to Mr. Gell, that
nothing can be less useful than the designation of his route according
to the ancient names. We might as well, and with as much chance of
arriving at the place of our destination, talk to a Hounslow post-boy
about making haste to ‘Augusta’, as apply to our Turkish guide in modern
Greece for a direction to Stymphalus, Nemea, Mycenæ, etc., etc. This is
neither more nor less than classical affectation; and it renders Mr.
Gell’s book of much more confined use than it would otherwise have
been:–but we have some other and more important remarks to make on his
general directions to Grecian tourists; and we beg leave to assure our
readers that they are derived from travellers who have lately visited
Greece. In the first place, Mr. Cell is absolutely incautious enough to
recommend an interference on the part of English travellers with the
Minister at the Porte, in behalf of the Greeks.
  “The folly of such neglect (page 16, preface), in many instances,
  where the emancipation of a district might often be obtained by the
  present of a snuff-box or a watch, at Constantinople, _and without the
  smallest danger of exciting the jealousy of such a court as that of
  Turkey_, will be acknowledged when we are no longer able to rectify
  the error.”
We have every reason to believe, on the contrary, that the folly of half
a dozen travellers, taking this advice, might bring us into a war.
“Never interfere with any thing of the kind,” is a much sounder and more
political suggestion to all English travellers in Greece.
Mr. Gell apologizes for the introduction of “his panoramic designs,” as
he calls them, on the score of the great difficulty of giving any
tolerable idea of the face of a country in writing, and the ease with
which a very accurate knowledge of it may be acquired by maps and
panoramic designs. We are informed that this is not the case with many
of these designs. The small scale of the single map we have already
censured; and we have hinted that some of the drawings are not
remarkable for correct resemblance of their originals. The two nearer
views of the Gate of the Lions at Mycenæ are indeed good likenesses of
their subject, and the first of them is unusually well executed; but the
general view of Mycenæ is not more than tolerable in any respect; and
the prospect of Larissa, etc., is barely equal to the former. The view
_from_ this last place is also indifferent; and we are positively
assured that there are no windows at Nauplia which look like a box of
dominos,–the idea suggested by Mr. Gell’s plate. We must not, however,
be too severe on these picturesque bagatelles, which, probably, were
very hasty sketches; and the circumstances of weather, etc., may have
occasioned some difference in the appearance of the same objects to
different spectators. We shall therefore return to Mr. Gell’s preface;
endeavouring to set him right in his directions to travellers, where we
think that he is erroneous, and adding what appears to have been
omitted. In his first sentence, he makes an assertion which is by no
means correct. He says, “_We_ are at present as ignorant of Greece, as
of the interior of Africa.” Surely not quite so ignorant; or several of
our Grecian _Mungo Parks_ have travelled in vain, and some very
sumptuous works have been published to no purpose! As we proceed, we
find the author observing that “Athens is ‘now’ the most polished
city of “Greece,” when we believe it to be the most barbarous, even to a
  [Greek: _O Athaena, pr_otae ch_ora,
  Ti gaidarous trepheis t_ora;] [5]
is a couplet of reproach _now_ applied to this once famous city; whose
inhabitants seem little worthy of the inspiring call which was addressed
to them within these twenty years, by the celebrated Riga:–
  [Greek: Deute paides t_on Hellaen_on, k.t.l.]
Iannina, the capital of Epirus, and the seat of Ali Pacha’s government,
‘is’ in truth deserving of the honours which Mr. Gell has improperly
bestowed on degraded Athens. As to the correctness of the remark
concerning the fashion of wearing the hair cropped in ‘Molossia’, as Mr.
Gell informs us, our authorities cannot depose; but why will he use the
classical term of Eleuthero-Lacones, when that people are so much better
known by their modern name of Mainotes? “The court of the Pacha of
Tripolizza” is said “to realise the splendid visions of the Arabian
Nights.” This is true with regard to the ‘court’; but surely the
traveller ought to have added that the city and palace are most
miserable, and form an extraordinary contrast to the splendour of the
court.–Mr. Gell mentions ‘gold’ mines in Greece: he should have
specified their situation, as it certainly is not universally known.
When, also, he remarks that “the first article of necessity ‘in Greece’
is a firman, or order from the Sultan, permitting the traveller to pass
unmolested,” we are much misinformed if he be right. On the contrary, we
believe this to be almost the only part of the Turkish dominions in
which a firman is not necessary; since the passport of the Pacha is
absolute within his territory (according to Mr. G.’s own admission), and
much more effectual than a firman.–
“Money,” he remarks, “is easily procured at Salonica, or Patrass, where
the English have consuls.” It is much better procured, we understand,
from the Turkish governors, who never charge discount. The consuls for
the English are not of the most magnanimous order of Greeks, and far
from being so liberal, generally speaking; although there are, in
course, some exceptions, and Strané of Patras has been more honourably
mentioned.–After having observed that “horses seem the best mode of
conveyance in Greece,” Mr. Gell proceeds: “Some travellers would prefer
an English saddle; but a saddle of this sort is always objected to by
the owner of the horse, _and not without reason_,” etc. This, we learn,
is far from being the case; and, indeed, for a very simple reason, an
English saddle must seem to be preferable to one of the country, because
it is much lighter. When, too, Mr. Gell calls the _postillion_
“Menzilgi,” he mistakes him for his betters; _Serrugees_ are
postillions; _Menzilgis_ are postmasters.–Our traveller was fortunate
in his Turks, who are hired to walk by the side of the baggage-horses.
They “are certain,” he says, “of performing their engagement without
grumbling.” We apprehend that this is by no means certain:–but Mr. Gell
is perfectly right in preferring a Turk to a Greek for this purpose; and
in his general recommendation to take a Janissary on the tour: who, we
may add, should be suffered to act as he pleases, since nothing is to be
done by gentle means, or even by offers of money, at the places of
accommodation. A courier, to be sent on before to the place at which the
traveller intends to sleep, is indispensable to comfort; but no tourist
should be misled by the author’s advice to suffer the Greeks to gratify
their curiosity, in permitting them to remain for some time about him on
his arrival at an inn. They should be removed as soon as possible; for,
as to the remark that “no stranger would think of intruding when a room
is pre-occupied,” our informants were not so well convinced of that
Though we have made the above exceptions to the accuracy of Mr. Gell’s
information, we are most ready to do justice to the general utility of
his directions, and can certainly concede the praise which he is
desirous of obtaining,–namely, “of having facilitated the researches of
future travellers, by affording that local information which it was
before impossible to obtain.” This book, indeed, is absolutely necessary
to any person who wishes to explore the Morea advantageously; and we
hope that Mr. Gell will continue his Itinerary over that and over every
other part of Greece. He allows that his volume “is only calculated to
become a book of reference, and not of general entertainment;” but we do
not see any reason against the compatibility of both objects in a survey
of the most celebrated country of the ancient world. To that country, we
trust, the attention not only of our travellers, but of our legislators,
will hereafter be directed. The greatest caution will, indeed, be
required, as we have premised, in touching on so delicate a subject as
the amelioration of the possessions of an ally: but the field for the
exercise of political sagacity is wide and inviting in this portion of
the globe; and Mr. Gell, and all other writers who interest us, however
remotely, in its extraordinary _capabilities_, deserve well of the
British empire. We shall conclude by an extract from the author’s work:
which, even if it fails of exciting that general interest which we hope
most earnestly it may attract towards its important subject, cannot, as
he justly observes, “be entirely uninteresting to the scholar;” since it
is a work “which gives him a faithful description of the remains of
cities, the very existence of which was doubtful, as they perished
before the æra of authentic history.” The subjoined quotation is a good
specimen of the author’s minuteness of research as a topographer; and we
trust that the credit which must accrue to him from the present
performance will ensure the completion of his _Itinerary_:–
  “The inaccuracies of the maps of Anacharsis are in many respects very
  glaring. The situation of Phlius is marked by Strabo as surrounded by
  the territories of Sicyon, Argos, Cleonæ, and Stymphalus. Mr. Hawkins
  observed, that Phlius, the ruins of which still exist near Agios
  Giorgios, lies in a direct line between Cleonæ and Stymphalus, and
  another from Sicyon to Argos; so that Strabo was correct in saying
  that it lay between those four towns; yet we see Phlius, in the map of
  Argolis by M. Barbie du Bocage, placed ten miles to the north of
  Stymphalus, contradicting both history and fact. D’Anville is guilty
  of the same error.
  “M. du Bocage places a town named Phlius, and by him Phlionte, on the
  point of land which forms the port of Drepano; there are not at
  present any ruins there. The maps of D’Anville are generally more
  correct than any others where ancient geography is concerned. A
  mistake occurs on the subject of Tiryns, and a place named by him
  Vathia, but of which nothing can be understood. It is possible that
  Vathi, or the profound valley, may be a name sometimes used for the
  valley of Barbitsa, and that the place named by D’Anville Claustra may
  be the outlet of that valley called Kleisoura, which has a
  corresponding signification.
  “The city of Tiryns is also placed in two different positions, once by
  its Greek name, and again as Tirynthus. The mistake between the
  islands of Sphæria and Calaura has been noticed in page 135. The
  Pontinus, which D’Anville represents as a river, and the Erasinus, are
  equally ill placed in his map. There was a place called Creopolis,
  somewhere toward Cynouria; but its situation is not easily fixed. The
  ports called Bucephalium and Piræus seem to have been nothing more
  than little bays in the country between Corinth and Epidaurus. The
  town called Athenæ, in Cynouria, by Pausanias, is called Anthena by
  ‘Thucydides’, book 5. 41.
  “In general, the map of D’Anville will be found more accurate than
  those which have been published since his time; indeed, the mistakes
  of that geographer are in general such as could not be avoided without
  visiting the country. Two errors of D’Anville may be mentioned, lest
  the opportunity of publishing the itinerary of Arcadia should never
  occur. The first is, that the rivers Malætas and Mylaon, near
  Methydrium, are represented as running toward the south, whereas they
  flow northwards to the Ladon; and the second is, that the Aroanius,
  which falls into the Erymanthus at Psophis, is represented as flowing
  from the lake of Pheneos; a mistake which arises from the ignorance of
  the ancients themselves who have written on the subject. The fact is
  that the Ladon receives the waters of the lakes of Orchomenos and
  Pheneos; but the Aroanius rises at a spot not two hours distant from
In furtherance of our principal object in this critique, we have only to
add a wish that some of our Grecian tourists, among the fresh articles
of information concerning Greece which they have lately imported, would
turn their minds to the language of the country. So strikingly similar
to the ancient Greek is the modern Romaic as a written language, and so
dissimilar in sound, that even a few general rules concerning
pronunciation would be of most extensive use.
End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and
Journals, Vol. 1, by Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero
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5 comments on “Free e-book Project Gutenberg: Letters of Lord Byron Vol.1

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    August 25, 2014

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  2. Froglich Wunder
    July 22, 2013

    Superb, you may earned some fresh visitors. Just what exactly could you suggest to read regarding other post about Hunger in poor countries that you just responded to the Belgium, a couple of days prior to now? Is anyone convinced?


    • ceciliawyu
      July 22, 2013

      He is Dutch, I think…but has an honorary doctorate from Belgium…Zzz…

      Actually I enjoy his enthusiasm with growing in buckets and self-generated food sources so much, I have my own x2 Urban Garden Projects…with some volunteers…but I do not need to convince anyome that his views of 3rd world is wrong.

      Further, those who wanted to be Asia’s drug dealers in the 19th century, at the height of their empire (aka england) right now in 2013, have the worst drug related crime/riots/social problems in the world with some of them at least 5 generations addicts and permanently unemployed….so Karma Bites so hard…in spite of such big asses! hahahaha.