LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 28 September 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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“September 28th, 1821.

“I add another cover to request you to ask Moore to obtain (if possible) my letters to the late Lady Melbourne from Lady Cowper. They are very numerous, and ought to have been restored long ago, as

† The lines “Oh Wellington,” which I had missed in their original place at the opening of the Third Canto, and took for granted that they had been suppressed by his publisher.

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 537
I was ready to give back
Lady Melbourne’s in exchange. These latter are in Mr. Hobhouse’s custody with my other papers, and shall be punctually restored if required. I did not choose before to apply to Lady Cowper, as her mother’s death naturally kept me from intruding upon her feelings at the time of its occurrence. Some years have now elapsed, and it is essential that I should have my own epistles. They are essential as confirming that part of the ‘Memoranda’ which refers to the two periods (1812 and 1814) when my marriage with her niece was in contemplation, and will tend to show what my real views and feelings were upon that subject.

“You need not be alarmed; the ‘fourteen years†’ will hardly elapse without some mortality amongst us: it is a long lease of life to speculate upon. So your calculation will not be in so much peril, as the ‘argosie’ will sink before that time, and ‘the pound of flesh’ be withered previously to your being so long out of a return.

“I also wish to give you a hint or two (as you have really behaved very handsomely to Moore in the business, and are a fine fellow in your line) for your advantage. If by your own management you can extract any of my epistles from Lady ——, (* * * * * * *), they might be of use in your collection (sinking of course the names and all such circumstances as might hurt living feelings, or those of survivors); they treat of more topics than love occasionally.

* * * * * *

“I will tell you who may happen to have some letters of mine in their possession: Lord Powerscourt, some to his late brother; Mr. Long of—(I forget his place)—but the father of Edward Long of the Guards, who was drowned in going to Lisbon early in 1809; Miss Elizabeth Pigot, of Southwell, Notts (she may be Mistress by this time, for she had a year or two more than I): they were not love-letters, so that you might have them without scruple. There are, or, might be, some to the late Rev. J. C. Tattersall, in the hands of his brother (half-

† He here adverts to a passing remark, in one of Mr. Murray’s letters, that, as his lordship’s “Memoranda” were not to be published in his lifetime, the sum now paid for the work, 21001., would most probably, upon a reasonable calculation of survivorship, amount ultimately to no less than 8000l.

538 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
Mr. Wheatley, who resides near Canterbury, I think. There are some of Charles Gordon, now of Dulwich; and some few to Mrs. Chaworth; but these latter are probably destroyed or inaccessible.

* * * * * *

“I mention these people and particulars merely as chances. Most of them have probably destroyed the letters, which in fact are of little import, many of them written when very young, and several at school and college.

Peel (the second brother of the Secretary) was a correspondent of mine, and also Porter, the son of the Bishop of Clogher; Lord Clare a very voluminous one; William Harness (a friend of Milman’s) another; Charles Drummond (son of the banker); William Bankes (the voyager), your friend; R. C. Dallas, Esq.; Hodgson; Henry Drury; Hobhouse you were already aware of.

“I have gone through this long list† of
‘The cold, the faithless, and the dead,’
because I know that, like ‘the curious in fish-sauce,’ you are a researcher of such things.

“Besides these, there are other occasional ones to literary men and so forth, complimentary, &c. &c. &c. not worth much more than the rest. There are some hundreds, too, of Italian notes of mine, scribbled

† To all the persons upon this list who were accessible, application has, of course, been made,—with what success it is in the reader’s power to judge from the communications that have been laid before him. Among the companions of the poet’s boyhood there are (as I have already had occasion to mention and regret) but few traces of his youthful correspondence to be found; and of all those who knew him at that period, his fair Southwell correspondent alone seems to have been sufficiently endowed with the gift of second-sight to anticipate the Byron of a future day, and foresee the compound interest that Time and Fame would accumulate on every precious scrap of the young bard which she hoarded. On the whole, however, it is not unsatisfactory to be able to state that, with the exception of a very small minority (only one of whom is possessed of any papers of much importance), every distinguished associate and intimate of the noble poet, from the very outset to the close of his extraordinary career, have come forward cordially to communicate whatever memorials they possessed of him,—trusting, as I am willing to flatter myself, that they confided these treasures to one, who, if not able to do full justice to the memory of their common friend, would, at least, not willingly suffer it to be dishonoured in his hands.

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 539
with a noble contempt of the grammar and dictionary, in very English Etruscan; for I speak Italian very fluently, but write it carelessly and incorrectly to a degree.”