LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Duchess of Devonshire to Lady Melbourne, [17 December 1801]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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“I was quite ill yesterday & am not well today. I saw dr. L[or]d C[owper] however & Luttrel—& I cannot tell you how we all, aye, all, Ld. Morpeth & Granville included, regret him. As for Bess she has not yet been seen tho’ brilliant Hunting is going on & G.1 has just told me she believes that Calypso ne pent se consoler du depart d’ Ulysses.

1 Lady Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess’ daughter.


“He is indeed one of the most amiable creatures I ever knew & the one almost without exception who improves the most on acquaintance. His understanding is not only good but cultivated—& yet so unassuming that you must draw him out to know all he knows. His manners are so gentlemanlike & his good nature so evident that I defy him not to be lov’d—as to person, the Duke & all the young ladies have given it in his favour even thinking him handsomer than Ld. Granville—& Georgiana is quite, quite regretting him. Luttrel1 told me he should not wonder if I still found him in London. I do not know why I wish it, but I do. He is so amiable that I will not be selfish & if it is better for him to go I must wish it.

“For God’s sake write a letter to Adair2 for me—or he will be gloomier than ever and really, poor Devil, he means to keep to the letter of his duty & I shd. be miserable if he thought I had misrepresented him to you. I hear since my absence he has been very gloomy. He much dislikes C[owper]’s general success.

“I hope Ld. Cowper liked us as we did him. I was really quite nervous at his going. He entered so well into our way of life & seemed to mind so little our irregularities, that I feel as if we had lost one of ourselves. Luttrel has often opend about him. He said Ly. Harrington had taken the true mode of frightening him, & that she cried one day to Luttrel at Ld. Cowper’s change, tho in fact he said there was no change for that he never had any fancy about the girl

1 Henry Luttrel, wit and poet of Society, 1765-1851, natural son of Lord Carhampton.

2Sir Robert Adair, 1763-1855.

Ly. Andover. As to you he certainly feels most sensibly all the full power of your amabilite, & is no icicle in talking of you—but Luttrel I have no doubt keeps a good watch. What does he mean to do with him?

“He told me Ld. C. was the most open creature in the world & had no misterys and reserves. I like Luttrel. I think him very pleasant & Ld. C. has told me very noble traits of him—but how foolish it would be in him to try to keep him from all attachment or to fancy his own friendship is to suffer from any other inclination. Ld. Cowper will not marry early I daresay and Luttrel seems to dislike the idea of the 2 marriages I mention’d—in short they are rather riddles. But the woman will be happy whose fate depends on C. [MS. damaged] the only fear for him is that by being thrown [MS. damaged] these dinners &c., he may hurt his health.”