LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Lord Byron to Francis Hodgson, 17 December 1808

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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Produced by CATH
Newstead Abbey, Notts: Dec. 17, 1808.

My dear Hodgson,—I have just received your letter, and one from B. Drury, 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 of 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 intuition, but a petition for Robert Gregson, 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 any person 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.