LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Becher, 28 March 1808

Life of Byron: to 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
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Dorant’s, March 28th, 1808.

“I have lately received a copy of the new edition from Ridge, and it is high time for me to return my best thanks to you for the trouble you have taken in the superintendence. This I do most sincerely, and only regret that Ridge has not seconded you as I could wish,—at least, in the bindings, paper, &c. of the copy he sent to me. Perhaps those for the public may be more respectable in such articles.

“You have seen the Edinburgh Review, of course. I regret that Mrs. Byron is so much annoyed. For my own part, these ‘paper bullets of the brain’ have only taught me to stand fire; and, as I have been lucky enough upon the whole, my repose and appetite are not discomposed. Pratt, the gleaner, author, poet, &c. &c. addressed a long rhyming epistle to me on the subject, by way of consolation; but it was not well done, so I do not send it, though the name of the man might make it go down. The E. Rs. have not performed their task well;—at least, the literati tell me this, and I think I could write a more sarcastic critique on myself than any yet published. For instance, instead of the remark,—ill-natured enough, but not keen,—about Macpherson, I (quoad reviewers) could have said, ‘Alas, this imitation only proves the assertion of Doctor Johnson, that many men, women, and children, could write such poetry as Ossian’s.’

“I am thin and in exercise. During the spring or summer I trust we shall meet. I hear Lord Ruthyn leaves Newstead in April. * * * As soon as he quits it for ever, I wish much you would take a ride over, survey the mansion, and give me your candid opinion on the most advisable mode of proceeding with regard to the house. Entre nous, I am cursedly dipped; my debts, every thing inclusive, will be nine or ten thousand before I am twenty-one. But I have reason to think my property will turn out better than general expectation may conceive. Of Newstead I have little hope or care; but Hanson, my agent, intimated
146 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1808.
my Lancashire property was worth three Newsteads. I believe we have it hollow; though the defendants are protracting the surrender, if possible, till after my majority, for the purpose of forming some arrangement with me, thinking I shall probably prefer a sum in hand to a reversion. Newstead I may sell;—perhaps I will not,—though of that more anon. I will come down in May or June. * * * *

“Yours most truly, &c.”