LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to the Earl of Blessington, 6 April 1823

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1811
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Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
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Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“April 6th, 1823.

It would be worse than idle, knowing, as I do, the utter worthlessness of words on such occasions, in me to attempt to express what I ought to feel, and do feel for the loss you have sustained†; and I must thus dismiss the subject, for I dare not trust myself further with it for your sake, or for my own. I shall endeavour to see you as soon as it may not appear intrusive. Pray excuse the levity of my yesterday’s scrawl—I little thought under what circumstances it would find you.

“I have received a very handsome and flattering note from Count * *. He must excuse my apparent rudeness and real ignorance in replying to it in English, through the medium of your kind interpretation. I would not on any account deprive him of a production, of which I really think more than I have even said, though you are good enough not to be dissatisfied even with that; but whenever it is completed, it would give me the greatest pleasure to have a copy—but how to keep it secret? literary secrets are like others. By changing the names, or at least omitting several, and altering the circumstances indicative of the writer’s

† The death of Lord B * *’s son, which had been long expected, but of which the account had just then arrived.

A. D. 1823. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 639
real station or situation, the author would render it a most amusing publication. His countrymen have not been treated either in a literary or personal point of view with such deference in English recent works, as to lay him under any very great national obligation of forbearance; and really the remarks are so true and so piquante that I cannot bring myself to wish their suppression; though, as Dangle says, ‘He is my friend,’ many of these personages ‘were my friends,’ but much such friends as Dangle and his allies.

“I return you Dr. Parr’s letter—I have met him at Payne Knight’s and elsewhere, and he did me the honour once to be a patron of mine, although a great friend of the other branch of the House of Atreus, and the Greek teacher (I believe), of my moral Clytemnestra—I say moral, because it is true, and is so useful to the virtuous, that it enables them to do any thing without the aid of an Ægisthus.

“I beg my compliments to Lady B., Miss P., and to your Alfred. I think, since his Majesty of the same name, there has not been such a learned surveyor of our Saxon society.

“Ever yours most truly,
“N. B.
“April 9th, 1823.
* * * * * *

“P.S. I salute Miledi, Mademoiselle Mama, and the illustrious Chevalier Count * *; who, I hope, will continue his history of ‘his own times.’ There are some strange coincidences between a part of his remarks and a certain work of mine, now in MS. in England (I do not mean the hermetically scaled Memoirs, but a continuation of certain Cantos of a certain poem), especially in what a man may do in London with impunity while he is ‘à la mode;’ which I think it well to state, that he may not suspect me of taking advantage of his confidence. The observations are very general.”