LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Elizabeth Bridget Pigot, 11 August 1807

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“London, August 11th, 1807.

“On Sunday next I set off for the Highlands*. A friend of mine accompanies me in my carriage to Edinburgh. There we shall leave it, and proceed in a tandem (a species of open carriage) through the

* This plan (which he never put in practice) had been talked of by him before he left Southwell, and is thus noticed in a letter of his fair correspondent to her brother:—“How can you ask if Lord B. Is going to visit the Highlands In the summer? Why, don’t you know that he never knows his own mind for ten minutes together? I tell him he is as fickle as the winds, and as uncertain as the waves.”

A. D. 1807. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 119
western passes to Inverary, where we shall purchase shelties, to enable us to view places inaccessible to vehicular conveyances. On the coast we shall hire a vessel and visit the most remarkable of the Hebrides, and, if we have time and favourable weather, mean to sail as far as Iceland, only 800 miles from the northern extremity of Caledonia, to peep at Hecla. This last intention you will keep a secret, as my nice mamma would imagine I was on a Voyage of Discovery, and raise the accustomed maternal warwhoop.

“Last week I swam in the Thames from Lambeth through the bridges, Westminster and Blackfriars, a distance, including the different turns and tacks made on the way, of 3 miles! You see I am in excellent training in case of a squall at sea. I mean to collect all the Erse traditions, poems, &c. &c., and translate, or expand the subject to fill a volume, which may appear next spring under the denomination of ‘The Highland Harp,’ or some title equally picturesque. Of Bosworth Field, one book is finished, another just began. It will be a work of 3 or 4 years, and most probably never conclude. What would you say to some stanzas on Mount Hecla? they would be written at least with fire. How is the immortal Bran? and the Phœnix of canine quadrupeds, Boatswain? I have lately purchased a thorough-bred bull-dog, worthy to be the coadjutor of the aforesaid celestials—his name is Smut!—‘bear it, ye breezes, on your balmy wings.’

“Write to me before I set off, I conjure you by the 5th rib of your grandfather. Ridge goes on well with the books—I thought that worthy had not done much in the country. In town they have been very successful; Carpenter (Moore’s publisher) told me a few days ago they sold all theirs immediately, and had several inquiries made since, which, from the books being gone, they could not supply. The Duke of York, the Marchioness of Headfort, the Duchess of Gordon, &c. &c. were among the purchasers, and Crosby says the circulation will be still more extensive in the winter; the summer season being very bad for a sale, as most people are absent from London. However, they have gone off extremely well altogether. I shall pass very near you on my journey through Newark, but cannot approach. Don’t tell this to Mrs. B., who supposes I travel a different road. If you have a letter, order it to be
120 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1807.
left at
Ridge’s shop, where I shall call, or the post-office, Newark, about 6 or 8 in the evening. If your brother would ride over, I should be devilish glad to see him—he can return the same night, or sup with us and go home the next morning—the Kingston Arms is my inn.

“Adieu, yours ever,