LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Mary Shelley, [16 November? 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
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TO MRS. ——
* * * * * * *

“I presume that you, at least, know enough of me to be sure that I could have no intention to insult Hunt’s poverty. On the contrary, I honour him for it; for, I know what it is, having been as much embarrassed as ever he was, without perceiving aught in it to diminish an honourable man’s self-respect. If you mean to say that, had he been a wealthy man, I would have joined in this Journal, I answer in the negative. * * * I engaged in the Journal from good-will towards him, added to respect for his character, literary and personal; and no less for his political courage, as well as regret for his present circumstances: I did this in the hope that he might, with the same aid from literary friends of literary contributions (which is requisite for all Journals of a mixed nature), render himself independent.

* * * * * * *

“I have always treated him, in our personal intercourse, with such scrupulous delicacy, that I have forborne intruding advice, which I thought might be disagreeable, lest he should impute it to what is called ‘taking advantage of a man’s situation.’

“As to friendship, it is a propensity in which my genius is very limited. I do not know the male human being, except Lord Clare, the friend of my infancy, for whom I feel any thing that deserves the name. All my others are men of the world friendships. I did not even feel it for Shelley, however much I admired and esteemed him; so that you see not even vanity could bribe me into it, for, of all men, Shelley thought highest of my talents,—and, perhaps, of my disposition.

“I will do my duty by my intimates, upon the principle of doing as you would be done by. I have done so, I trust, in most instances. I
630 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1823.
may be pleased with their conversation—rejoice in their success—be glad to do them service, or to receive their council and assistance in return. But, as for friends and friendship, I have (as I already said) named the only remaining male for whom I feel any thing of the kind, excepting, perhaps,
Thomas Moore. I have had, and may have still, a thousand friends, as they are called, in life, who are like one’s partners in the waltz of this world, not much remembered when the ball is over, though very pleasant for the time. Habit, business, and companionship in pleasure or in pain, are links of a similar kind, and the same faith in politics is another.” * * *