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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 9 April 1814

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
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Life of Byron: 1824
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“2, Albany, April 9th, 1814.

Viscount Althorpe is about to be married, and I have gotten his spacious bachelor apartments in Albany, to which you will, I hope, address a speedy answer to this mine epistle.

“I am but just returned to town, from which you may infer that I have been out of it; and I have been boxing, for exercise, with Jackson for this last month daily. I have also been drinking, and. on one occasion, with three other friends at the Cocoa Tree, from six till four, yea, unto five in the matin. We clareted and champagned till two—then supped, and finished with a kind of regency punch composed of madeira, brandy, and green tea, no real water being admitted therein. There was a night for you!—without once quitting the table, except to ambulate home, which I did alone, and in utter contempt of a hackney-coach and my own vis, both of which were deemed necessary for our conveyance. And so,—I am very well, and they say it will hurt my constitution.

“I have also, more or less, been breaking a few of the favourite commandments; but I mean to pull up and marry,—if any one will have me. In the mean time, the other day I nearly killed myself with a collar of brawn, which I swallowed for supper, and indigested for I don’t know how long;—but that is by the by. All this gourmandise was in honour of Lent; for I am forbidden meat all the rest of the year,—but it is strictly enjoined me during your solemn fast. I have been, and am, in very tolerable love;—but of that hereafter, as it may be.

A. D. 1814. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 541

“My dear Moore, say what you will in your Preface; and quiz any thing, or any body,—me, if you like it. Oons! dost thou think me of the old, or rather elderly, school? If one can’t jest with one’s friends, with whom can we be facetious? You have nothing to fear from * *, whom I have not seen, being out of town when he called. He will be very correct, smooth, and all that, but I doubt whether there will be any ‘grace beyond the reach of art;’—and, whether there is or not, how long will you be so d—d modest? As for Jeffrey, it is a very handsome thing of him to speak well of an old antagonist,—and what a mean mind dared not do. Any one will revoke praise; but—were it not partly my own case—I should say that very few have strength of mind to unsay their censure, or follow it up with praise of other things.

“What think you of the review of Levis? It beats the Bag and my hand-grenade hollow, as an invective, and hath thrown the Court into hysterics, as I hear from very good authority. Have you heard from * * * * * * * *.

“No more rhyme for—or rather, from—me. I have taken my leave of that stage, and henceforth will mountebank it no longer. I have had my day, and there’s an end. The utmost I expect, or even wish, is to have it said in the Biographia Britannica, that I might perhaps have been a poet, had I gone on and amended. My great comfort is, that the temporary celebrity I have wrung from the world has been in the very teeth of all opinions and prejudices. I have flattered no ruling powers; I have never concealed a single thought that tempted me. They can’t say I have truckled to the times, nor to popular topics (as Johnson, or somebody, said of Cleveland), and whatever I have gained has been at the expenditure of as much personal favour as possible; for I do believe never was a bard more unpopular, quoad homo, than myself. And now I have done;—‘ludite nunc alios.’ Every body may be d—d, as they seem fond of it, and resolved to stickle lustily for endless brimstone.

“Oh—by the by, I had nearly forgot. There is a long Poem, an ‘Anti-Byron,’ coming out, to prove that I have formed a conspiracy to overthrow, by rhyme, all religion and government, and have already made great progress! It is not very scurrilous, but serious and ethereal. I never felt myself important, till I saw and heard of my being such a
542 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1814.
Voltaire as to induce such a production. Murray would not publish it, for which he was a fool, and so I told him; but some one else will, doubtless. ‘Something too much of this.’

“Your French scheme is good, but let it be Italian; all the Angles will be at Paris. Let it be Rome, Milan, Naples, Florence, Turin, Venice, or Switzerland, and ‘egad!’ (as Bayes saith), I will connubiate and join you; and we will write a new ‘Inferno’ in our Paradise. Pray, think of this—and I will really buy a wife and a ring, and say the ceremony, and settle near you in a summer-house upon the Arno, or the Po, or the Adriatic.

“Ah! my poor little pagod, Napoleon, has walked off his pedestal. He has abdicated, they say. This would draw molten brass from the eyes of Zatanai. What! ‘kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, and then be baited by the rabble’s curse!’ I cannot bear such a crouching catastrophe. I must stick to Sylla, for my modern favourites don’t do,—their resignations are of a different kind. All health and prosperity, my dear Moore. Excuse this lengthy letter. Ever, &c.

“P.S. The Quarterly quotes you frequently in an article on America; and every body I know asks perpetually after you and yours. When will you answer them in person?”