LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Henry Drury, 13 January 1808

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
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Life of Byron: 1808
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Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
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Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
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Life of Byron: 1824
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“Dorant’s Hotel, January 13th, 1808.

“Though the stupidity of my servants, or the porter of the house, in not showing you up stairs (where I should have joined you directly) prevented me the pleasure of seeing you yesterday, I hoped to meet you at some public place in the evening. However, my stars decreed otherwise, as they generally do, when I have any favour to request of them. I think you would have been surprised at my figure, for, since our last meeting, I am reduced four stone in weight. I then weighed fourteen stone seven pound, and now only ten stone and a half. I have disposed of my superfluities by means of hard exercise and abstinence. * * *

“Should your Harrow engagements allow you to visit town between
A. D. 1808. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 139
this and February, I shall be most happy to see you in Albemarle-street. If I am not so fortunate, I shall endeavour to join you for an afternoon at Harrow, though, I fear, your cellar will by no means contribute to my cure. As for my worthy preceptor,
Dr. B., our encounter would by no means prevent the mutual endearments he and I were wont to lavish on each other. We have only spoken once since my departure from Harrow in 1805, and then he politely told Tatersall I was not a proper associate for his pupils. This was long before my strictures in verse: but, in plain prose, had I been some years older, I should have held my tongue on his perfections. But, being laid on my back, when that schoolboy thing was written—or rather dictated—expecting to rise no more, my physician having taken his sixteenth fee, and I his prescription, I could not quit this earth without leaving a memento of my constant attachment to Butler in gratitude for his manifold good offices.

“I meant to have been down in July; but thinking my appearance, immediately after the publication, would be construed into an insult, I directed my steps elsewhere. Besides, I heard that some of the boys had got hold of my Libellus, contrary to my wishes certainly, for I never transmitted a single copy till October, when I gave one to a boy, since gone, after repeated importunities. You will, I trust, pardon this egotism. As you had touched on the subject, I thought some explanation necessary. Defence I shall not attempt, ‘Hic murus aheneus esto, nil conscire sibi’—and ‘so on’ (as Lord Baltimore said on his trial for a rape)—I have been so long at Trinity as to forget the conclusion of the line; but, though I cannot finish my quotation, I will my letter, and entreat you to believe me, gratefully and affectionately, &c.

“P.S. I will not lay a tax on your time by requiring an answer, lest you say, as Butler said to Tatersall (when I had written his reverence an impudent epistle on the expression before mentioned), viz.—‘that I wanted to draw him into a correspondence.’”