LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 4 February 1814

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
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Life of Byron: 1824
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“Newstead Abbey, February 4th, 1814.

“I need not say that your obliging letter was very welcome, and not the less so for being unexpected.

“It doubtless gratifies me much that our finale has pleased, and that the curtain drops gracefully*. You deserve it should, for your promptitude and good nature in arranging immediately with Mr. Dallas; and I can assure you that I esteem your entering so warmly into the subject, and writing to me so soon upon it, as a personal obligation. We shall now part, I hope, satisfied with each other. I was and am quite in earnest in my prefatory promise not to intrude any more; and this not from any affectation, but a thorough conviction that it is the best policy, and is at least respectful to my readers, as it shows that I would not willingly run the risk of forfeiting their favour in future. Besides, I have other views and objects, and think that I shall keep this resolution; for, since I left London, though shut up, snow-bound, thaw-bound, and tempted with all kinds of paper, the dirtiest of ink, and the bluntest of pens, I have not even been haunted by a wish to put them to their combined uses, except in letters of business. My rhyming propensity is quite gone, and I feel much as I did at Patras on recovering from my fever—weak, but in health, and only afraid of a relapse. I do most fervently hope I never shall.

“I see by the Morning Chronicle there hath been discussion in the Courier; and I read in the Morning Post a wrathful letter about Mr. Moore, in which some Protestant Reader has made a sad confusion about India and Ireland.

“You are to do as you please about the smaller poems; but I think removing them now from the Corsair looks like fear; and if so, you must allow me not to be pleased. I should also suppose that, alter the fuss of these newspaper esquires, they would materially assist the circulation of

* It will be recollected that be hod announced the Corsair as “the last production with which he should trespass on public patience for some years.”

A. D. 1814. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 523
the Corsair; an object I should imagine at present of more importance to yourself than
Childe Harold’s seventh appearance. Do as you like; but don’t allow the withdrawing that poem to draw any imputation of dismay upon me.

“Pray make my respects to Mr. Ward, whose praise I value most highly, as you well know; it is in the approbation of such men that fame becomes worth having. To Mr. Gifford I am always grateful, and surely not less so now than ever. And no good night to my authorship.

“I have been sauntering and dozing here very quietly, and not unhappily. You will be happy to hear that I have completely established my title-deeds as marketable, and that the purchaser has succumbed to the terms, and fulfils them, or is to fulfil them forthwith. He is now here, and we go on very amicably together—one in each wing of the Abbey. We set off on Sunday—I for town, he for Cheshire.

Mrs. Leigh is with me—much pleased with the place, and less so with me for parting with it, to which not even the price can reconcile her. Your parcel has not yet arrived—at least the Mags. &c.; but I have received Childe Harold and the Corsair. I believe both are very correctly printed, which in a great satisfaction.

“I thank you for wishing me in town; but I think one’s success is most felt at, a distance, and I enjoy my solitary self-importance in an agreeable sulky way of my own, upon the strength of your letter—for which I once more thank you, and am, very truly, &c.

“P.S. Don’t you think Buonaparte’s next publication will be rather expensive to the Allies? Perry’s Paris letter of yesterday looks very reviving. What a Hydra and Briareus it is! I wish they would pacify: there is no end to this campaigning.”