LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 28 September 1813

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Tuesday night, Sept. 28. 1813,
“My dear Edith,

“I have stolen away from a room full of people, that I might spend an hour in writing to you instead of wasting it at the card-table. Sunday I went by appointment to Lord William Gordon, who wanted to take me to see a young lady. Who should this prove to be but Miss Booth; the very actress whom we saw at Liverpool play so sweetly in Kotzebue’s comedy of the Birth-day. There was I taken to hear her recite Mary the Maid of the Inn! and if I had not interfered in aid of her own better sense. Lord W. and her mother and sisters would have made her act as well as recite it. As I know you defy the monster, I may venture to say that she is a sweet little girl, though a little spoilt by circumstances which would injure anybody; but what think you of this old lord asking permission for me to repeat my visit, and urging me to ‘take her under my protection,’ and show her what to recite, and instruct her how to recite it? And all this upon a Sunday! So I shall give her a book, and tell her what parts she should choose to appear in. And if she goes again to Edinburgh, be civil to her if she touches at the Lakes; she supports a mother and brother, and two or three sisters. When I returned to Queen Anne Street from the visit, I found Davy sitting with the Doctor, and awaiting my return. I could not dine with him to-morrow,
having an engagement, but we promised to go in the evening and take
Coleridge with us, and Elmsley, if they would go. It will be a party of lions, where the Doctor must for that evening perform the part of Daniel in the lion’s den.

“I dined on Sunday at Holland House, with some eighteen or twenty persons. Sharp was there, who introduced me with all due form to Rogers and to Sir James Mackintosh, who seems to be in a bad state of health. In the evening Lord Byron came in.* He had asked Rogers if I was ‘magnanimous,’ and requested him to make for him all sorts of amends honourable for having tried his wit upon me at the expense of his discretion; and in full confidence of the success of the apology, had been provided with a letter of introduction to me in case he had gone to the Lakes, as he intended to have done. As for me, you know how I regard things of this kind; so we met with all becoming courtesy on both sides, and I saw a man whom in voice, manner, and countenance I liked very much more than either his character or his writings had given me reason to expect. Rogers wanted me to dine with him on Tuesday (this day): only Lord Byron and Sharp were to have been of the party, but I had a pending engagement here, and was sorry for it.

“Holland House is a most interesting building.

* The following is Lord Byron’s account of this meeting:—“Yesterday, at Holland House, I was introduced to Southey, the best looking bard I have seen for some time. To have that poet’s head and shoulders I would almost have written his Sapphics. He is certainly a prepossessing-looking person to look at, and a man of talent and all that, and—there is his eulogy.”—Life of Byron, vol ii. p. 244.

The library is a sort of gallery, 109 feet in length; and, like my study, serves for drawing-room also. The dinner-room is pannelled with wood, and the pannels emblazoned with coats of arms, like the ceiling of one room in the palace at Cintra. The house is of
Henry the Eighth’s time. Good night, my dear Edith.

“We had a very pleasant dinner at Madame de Stael’s. Davy and his wife, a Frenchman whose name I never heard, and the Portuguese ambassador, the Conde de Palmella, a gentlemanly and accomplished man. I wish you had seen the animation with which she exclaimed against Davy and Mackintosh for their notions about peace.

“Once more farewell!

R. Southey.”