LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Conversations on Religion, with Lord Byron
Lord Byron to James Kennedy, 4 March 1824

First Conversation
Kennedy on Scripture
Second Conversation
Third Conversation
Fourth Conversation
Fifth Conversation
Memoir of Byron
Byron’s Character
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Missolunghi, March 4, 1824.
My Dear Doctor,

I have to thank you for your two very kind letters, both received at the same time, and one long after its date. I am not unaware of the precarious state of my health, nor am, nor have been, deceived on that subject. But it is proper that I should remain in Greece; and it were better to die doing something than nothing. My presence here has been supposed so far useful as to have prevented confusion from becoming worse confounded, at least for the present. Should I become, or be deemed useless or superfluous, I am ready to retire; but in the interim I am not to consider personal consequences; the rest is in the hands of Providence,—as indeed are all things. I shall, however, observe your instructions, and indeed did so, as far as regards abstinence, for some time past. Besides the tracts, &c., which you have sent for distribution, one of the English artificers (hight Brownbill, a tinman) left to my charge a number of Greek Testaments, which I will endeavour to distribute properly. The Greeks complain that the translation is not correct, nor in good Romaic: Bambas
can decide on that point. I am trying to reconcile the clergy to the distribution, which (without due regard to their hierarchy) they might contrive to impede or neutralize in the effect, from their power over their people*. Mr. Brownbill has gone to the islands, having some apprehension for his life (not from the priests however), and apparently preferring rather to be a saint than a martyr, although his apprehensions of becoming the latter were probably unfounded. All the English artificers accompanied him, thinking themselves in danger, on account of some troubles here, which have apparently subsided.

I have been interrupted by a visit from P. Mavrocordato and others since I began this letter, and must close it hastily, for the boat is announced as ready to sail. Your future convert, Hato, or Hatagée, appears to me lively, and intelligent, and promising, and possesses an interesting countenance. With regard to her disposition I can say little, but Millingen, who has the mother (who is a middle-aged woman of good character) in his house as a domestic (although their family was in good worldly circumstances previous to the revolution), speaks well of both, and he is to be relied on. As far as I know, I have only seen the child a few times with her mother, and what I have seen is favourable, or I should not take so much interest in her behalf. If she turns out well, my idea would be to send her to my daughter in England

* That this was not the case, see Dr. Meyer’s Letter.

(if not to respectable persons in Italy), and so to provide for her as to enable her to live with reputation either singly or in marriage, if she arrive at maturity. I will make proper arrangements about her expenses through Messrs.
Barff and Hancock, and the rest I leave to your discretion and to Mrs. K.’s, with a great sense of obligation for your kindness in undertaking her temporary superintendence.

Of public matters here I have little to add to what you will already have heard. We are going on as well as we can, and with the hope and the endeavour to do better. Believe me,

Ever and truly,
Yours very faithfully,
(Signed) N. Bn.
Dr. Kennedy, &c. &c.
Argostoli, Cepholonia.