LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Francis Hodgson to Henry Drury, [1801 c.]

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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Dear Drury,—I am heartily glad to hear that you have recovered your health so far as to go into school. Bethell2 reports this, and your brother3 tells me you hoped to do so when you last wrote to him. I hope you are now in no danger of a relapse, and have dismissed your glomy ideas as to retaining an enemy within:
Musis amicus tristitiam et metus
Tradas severis in caput hostium
Portare curis.
I promised you last night the conclusion of my long strain of nonsense.

Here follow some half-humorous, half-serious lines on matters of mutual interest, a few of which may be quoted as an amusing comment on public school manners and customs of the period, and as proving the writer’s early desire for their amendment.

Yes, I could wish our rich and noble fools
Restrain’d in vices and curtail’d in dress;
Much could I wish that all our public schools 4
Were better managed or encouraged less.

1 Afterwards Vicar of Broad Chalke, Wilts, and uncle to Provost Hawtrey.

2 Fellow of Eton.

3Benjamin Drury, Master at Eton. 4 Except Harrow, of course.—F. H.

If learning’s stores were open to the mind,
If emulation woke the dormant flame,
If labour nerved us, ere we simply dined,
And weekly washings exercised my dame.
If holy worship claim’d respectful awe,
If good example taught the young to pray,
If Decency did not proceed from Law,
Nor discipline usurp the Sabbath Day.

You shall have no more original farrago for some time. But now you have got into school again, I shall hope to hear oftener from you; perhaps you’ll say you are more engaged, but I know at night you can find time to send me some poetry. I mean to begin the study of history from the Creation—old A. recommends Josephus. Is it not better to read in English what is not well done in Greek or Latin? Prettyman and Prideaux are surely preferable to Josephus and Dio Cassius. Dr. A. has written a plan of study, and says from Lipsius ‘Triennii res est.’ Now two years of my scholarship are over, and I don’t think ten would suffice to get through the doctor’s plan. It was sent from Croydon to a young nobleman here many years ago. He never looked into it, and I must confess it frightens me. Enough of Mr. Erskine’s monosyllable here, you’ll say. Is not Wegotism a good name for that style, which, in-
stead of ‘Ego et mea,’ pesters you with ‘nos nostraque’ when used by only one author? B. is very correct, and as good-natured and stupid as ever. Adieu, and believe me yours sincerely,

F. H.

P.S. Pray send me your translations from Statius. I don’t mind double or even treble letters.