LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 19 January 1821

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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“January 19th, 1821.

“Rode. Winter’s wind somewhat more unkind than ingratitude itself, though Shakspeare says otherwise. At least, I am so much more accustomed to meet with ingratitude than the north wind, that I thought the latter the sharper of the two. I had met with both in the course of the twenty-four hours, so could judge.

“Thought of a plan of education for my daughter Allegra, who ought to begin soon with her studies. Wrote a letter—afterwards a postscript. Rather in low spirits—certainly hippish—liver touched—will take a dose of salts.

“I have been reading the Life, by himself and daughter, of Mr. R. L. Edgeworth, the father of the Miss Edgeworth. It is altogether a great name. In 1813, I recollect to have met them in the fashionable world of London (of which I then formed an item, a fraction, the segment of a circle, the unit of a million, the nothing of something) in the assemblies of the hour, and at a breakfast of Sir Humphry and Lady Davy’s, to which I was invited for the nonce. I had been the lion of 1812; Miss Edgeworth and Madame de Staël, with ‘the Cossack,’ towards the end of 1813, were the exhibitions of the succeeding year.

“I thought Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but active, brisk, and endless. He was seventy, but did not look fifty—no, nor forty-eight even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not very long before—a man of pleasure, wit, eloquence, all things. He tottered—but still talked like a gentleman, though feebly. Edgeworth
412 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
bounced about, and talked loud and long; but he seemed neither weakly nor decrepit, and hardly old.

“He began by telling ‘that he had given Dr. Parr a dressing, who had taken him for an Irish bogtrotter,’ &c. &c. Now I, who know Dr. Parr, and who know (not by experience—for I never should have presumed so far as to contend with him—but by hearing him with others, and of others) that it is not so easy a matter to ‘dress him,’ thought Mr. Edgeworth an asserter of what was not true. He could not have stood before Parr an instant. For the rest, he seemed intelligent, vehement, vivacious, and full of life. He bids fair for a hundred years.

He was not much admired in London, and I remember a ‘ryghte merrie’ and conceited jest which was rife among the gallants of the day,—viz. a paper had been presented for the recall of Mrs. Siddons to the stage (she having lately taken leave, to the loss of ages,—for nothing ever was, or can be, like her), to which all men had been called to subscribe. Whereupon, Thomas Moore, of profane and poetical memory, did propose that a similar paper should be subscribed and circumscribed ‘for the recall of Mr. Edgeworth to Ireland*.’

“The fact was—every body cared more about her. She was a nice little unassuming ‘Jeanie Deans’-looking bodie,’ as we Scotch say—and, if not handsome, certainly not ill-looking. Her conversation was as quiet as herself. One would never have guessed she could write her name; whereas her father talked, not as if he could write nothing else, but as if nothing else was worth writing.

“As for Mrs. Edgeworth, I forget—except that I think she was the youngest of the party. Altogether, they were an excellent cage of the kind; and succeeded for two months, till the landing of Madame de Staël.

“To turn from them to their works, I admire them; but they excite no feeling, and they leave no love—except for some Irish steward or postilion. However, the impression of intellect and prudence is profound—and may be useful.