LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Douglas Kinnaird, 6 February 1822

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
TO ——*
“Pisa, February 6th, 1822.

“‘Try back the deep lane,’ till we find a publisher for ‘the Vision;’ and if none such is to be found, print fifty copies at my expense, distribute them amongst my acquaintance, and you will soon see that the booksellers will publish them, even if we opposed them. That they are now afraid is natural; but I do not see that I ought to give way on that account. I know nothing of Rivington’s ‘Remonstrance’ by the ‘eminent Churchman;’ but I suppose he wants a living. I once heard of a preacher at Kentish Town against ‘Cain.’ The same outcry was raised against Priestley, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, and all the men who dared to put tithes to the question.

“I have got S——’s pretended reply, to which I an surprised that you do not allude. What remains to be done is, to call him out. The question is, would he come? for, if he would not, the whole thing would appear ridiculous, if I were to take a long and expensive journey to no purpose.

“You must be my second, and, as such, I wish to consult you.

“I apply to you, as one well versed in the duello, or monomachie. Of course I shall come to England as privately as possible, and leave it (supposing that I was the survivor) in the same manner; having no other object which could bring me to that country except to settle quarrels accumulated during my absence.

“By the last post I transmitted to you a letter upon some Rochdale toll business, from which there are moneys in prospect. My agent says two thousand pounds, but supposing it to be only one, or even one hundred, still they be moneys; and I have lived long enough to have an exceeding respect for the smallest current coin of any realm, or the least sum, which, although I may not want it myself, may do something for others who may need it more than I.

* This letter has been already published, with a few others, in a periodical work, and is known to have been addressed to the late Mr. Douglas Kinnaird.

A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 573

“They say that ‘Knowledge is Power;’—I used to think so; but I now know that they meant ‘money:’ and when Socrates declared, ‘that all he knew was, that he knew nothing,’ he merely intended to declare, that he had not a drachm in the Athenian world.

“The circulars are arrived, and circulating like the vortices (or vortex’s) of Descartes. Still I have a due care of the needful, and keep a look out ahead, as my notions upon the score of moneys coincide with yours, and with all men’s who have lived to see that every guinea is a philosopher’s-stone, or at least his touch-stone. You will doubt me the less, when I pronounce my firm belief, that Cash is Virtue.

“I cannot reproach myself with much expenditure: my only extra expense (and it is more than I have spent upon myself) being a loan of two hundred and fifty pounds to ——; and fifty pounds’ worth of furniture, which I have bought for him; and a boat which I am building for myself at Genoa, which will cost about a hundred pounds more.

“But to return. I am determined to have all the moneys I can, whether by my own funds, or succession, or lawsuit, or MSS. or any lawful means whatever.

“I will pay (though with the sincerest reluctance) my remaining creditors, and every man of law, by instalments from the award of the arbitrators.

“I recommend to you the notice in Mr. Hanson’s letter, on the demand of moneys for the Rochdale tolls.

“Above all, I recommend my interests to your honourable worship.

“Recollect, too, that I expect some moneys for the various MSS., (no matter what); and, in short, ‘Rem, quocunque modo, Rem!’—the noble feeling of cupidity grows upon us with our years.

“Yours ever, &c.”