LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 5 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“January 5th, 1821.

“Rose late—dull and drooping—the weather dripping and dense. Snow on the ground, and sirocco above in the sky, like yesterday. Roads up to the horse’s belly, so that riding (at least for pleasure) is not very feasible. Added a postscript to my letter to Murray. Read the conclusion, for the fiftieth time (I have read all W. Scott’s novels at least fifty times) of the third series of ‘Tales of my Landlord,’—grand work—Scotch Fielding, as well as great English poet—wonderful man! I long to get drunk with him.

“Dined versus six o’ the clock. Forgot that there was a plum-pudding (I have added, lately, eating to my ‘family of vices’), and had dined before I knew it. Drank half a bottle of some sort of spirits—probably spirits of wine; for, what they call brandy, rum, &c. &c. here is nothing but spirits of wine, coloured accordingly. Did not eat two apples, which were placed, by way of dessert. Fed the two cats, the hawk, and the tame (but not tamed) crow. Read Mitford’s History of GreeceXenophon’s Retreat of the Ten Thousand. Up to this present moment writing, 6 minutes before eight o’ the clock—French hours, not Italian.

“Hear the carriage—order pistols and great coat, as usual—necessary articles. Weather cold—carriage open, and inhabitants somewhat savage—rather treacherous and highly inflamed by politics. Fine fellows, though—good materials for a nation. Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people.

“Clock strikes—going out to make love. Somewhat perilous, but not disagreeable. Memorandum—a new screen put up to-day. It is rather antique, but will do with a little repair.

“Thaw continues—hopeful that riding may be practicable to-morrow. Sent the papers to Alli—grand events coming.

“11 o’ the clock and nine minutes. Visited La Contessa G. Nata G. G. Found her beginning my letter of answer to the thanks of
398 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
Alessio del Pinto of Rome for assisting his brother the late Commandant in his last moments, as I had begged her to pen my reply for the purer Italian, I being an ultra-montane, little skilled in the set phrase of Tuscany. Cut short the letter—finish it another day. Talked of Italy, patriotism. Alfieri, Madame Albany, and other branches of learning. Also Sallust’s Conspiracy of Catiline, and the War of Jugurtha. At 9 came in her brother, Il Conte Pietro—at 10, her father, Conte Ruggiero.

“Talked of various modes of warfare—of the Hungarian and Highland modes of broadsword exercise, in both whereof I was once a moderate ‘master of fence.’ Settled that the R. will break out on the 7th or 8th of March, in which appointment I should trust, had it not been settled that it was to have broken out in October, 1820. But those Bolognese shirked the Romagnuoles.

“‘It is all one to Ranger.’ One must not be particular, but take rebellion when it lies in the way. Came home—read the ‘Ten Thousand’ again, and will go to bed.

“Mem.—Ordered Fletcher (at four o’clock this afternoon) to copy out 7 or 8 apophthegms of Bacon, in which I have detected such blunders as a schoolboy might detect, rather than commit. Such are the sages! What must they be, when such as I can stumble on their mistakes or mistatements? I will go to bed, for I find that I grow cynical.