LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Francis Hodgson, 13 October 1811

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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“Newstead Abbey, Oct. 13th, 1811.

“You will begin to deem me a most liberal correspondent; but as my letters are free, you will overlook their frequency. I have sent you answers in prose and verse† to all your late communications, and though

* See the extract from one of his Journals, page 63.

† The verses in a preceding page, dated October 11th.

304 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1811.
I am invading your ease again, I don’t know why, or what to put down that you are not acquainted with already. I am growing nervous (how you will laugh!)—but it is true,—really, wretchedly, ridiculously, fine-ladically nervous. Your climate kills me; I can neither read, write, or amuse myself, or any one else. My days are listless, and my nights restless; I have very seldom any society, and when I have, I run out of it. At ‘this present writing’ there are in the next room three ladies, and I have stolen away to write this grumbling letter.—I don’t know that I sha’n’t end with insanity, for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes me strangely; but this looks more like silliness than madness, as
Scrope Davies would facetiously remark in his consoling manner. I must try the hartshorn of your company; and a session of Parliament would suit me well,—any thing to cure me of conjugating the accursed verb ‘ennuyer.

“When shall you be at Cambridge? You have hinted, I think, that your friend Bland is returned from Holland. I have always had a great respect for his talents, and for all that I have heard of his character; but of me, I believe, he knows nothing, except that he heard my 6th form repetitions ten months together, at the average of two lines a morning, and those never perfect. I remembered him and his ‘Slaves’ as I passed between Capes Matapan, St. Angelo, and his Isle of Ceriga, and I always bewailed the absence of the Anthology. I suppose he will now translate Vondel, the Dutch Shakspeare, and ‘Gysbert van Amstel’ will easily be accommodated to our stage in its present state; and I presume he saw the Dutch poem, where the love of Pyramus and Thisbe is compared to the passion of Christ; also the love of Lucifer for Eve, and other varieties of Low Country literature. No doubt you will think me crazed to talk of such things, but they are all in black and white and good repute on the banks of every canal from Amsterdam to Alkmaar.

“Yours ever,
A. D. 1811. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 305

“My Poesy is in the hands of its various publishers; but the ‘Hints from Horace’ (to which I have subjoined some savage lines on Methodism, and ferocious notes on the vanity of the triple Editory of the Edin. Annual Register), my ‘Hints,’ I say, stand still, and why?—I have not a friend in the world (but you and Drury) who can construe Horace’s Latin, or my English, well enough to adjust them for the press, or to correct the proofs in a grammatical way. So that, unless you have bowels when you return to town (I am too far off to do it for myself), this ineffable work will be lost to the world for—I don’t know how many weeks.

“‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ must wait till Murray’s is finished. He is making a tour in Middlesex, and is to return soon, when high matter may be expected. He wants to have it in quarto, which is a cursed unsaleable size; but it is pestilent long, and one must obey one’s bookseller. I trust Murray will pass the Paddington Canal without being seduced by Payne and Mackinlay’s example,—I say Payne and Mackinlay, supposing that the partnership held good. Drury, the villain, has not written to me; ‘I am never (as Mrs. Lumpkin says to Tony) to be gratified with the monster’s dear wild notes.’

“So you are going (going indeed!) into orders. You must make your peace with the Eclectic Reviewers—they accuse you of impiety, I fear, with injustice. Demetrius, the ‘Sieger of Cities,’ is here, with ‘Gilpin Horner.’ The painter* is not necessary, as the portraits he already painted are (by anticipation) very like the new animals.—Write, and send me your ‘Love Song’—but I want ‘paulo majora’ from you. Make a dash before you are a deacon, and try a dry publisher.

“Yours always,