LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to the Earl of Blessington, 14 April 1823

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
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Life of Byron: 1817
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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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“April 14th, 1823.

“I am truly sorry that I cannot accompany you in your ride this morning, owing to a violent pain in my face, arising from a wart to which I by medical advice applied a caustic. Whether I put too much, I do not know, but the consequence is, that not only I have been put to some pain, but the peccant part and its immediate environ are as black as if the printer’s devil had marked me for an author. As I do not wish to frighten your horses, or their riders, I shall postpone waiting upon you until six o’clock, when I hope to have subsided into a more christianlike resemblance to my fellow-creatures. My infliction has partially extended even to my fingers, for on trying to get the black from off my upper lip at least, I have only transfused a portion thereof to my right hand, and neither lemon juice nor eau de Cologne, nor any other eau, have been able as yet to redeem it also from a more inky appearance than is either proper or pleasant. But ‘out, damn’d spot’—you may have perceived something of the kind yesterday, for on my return, I saw that during my visit it had increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished; and I could not help laughing at the figure I must have cut before you. At any rate, I shall be with you at six, with the advantage of twilight.

“Ever most truly. &c.
“11 o’clock.

“P.S. I wrote the above at three this morning. I regret to say that the whole of the skin of about an inch square above my upper lip has come off; so that I cannot even shave or masticate, and I am equally unfit to appear at your table, and to partake of its hospitality. Will you therefore pardon me, and not mistake this rueful excuse for a ‘make-believe,’ as you will soon recognise whenever I have the pleasure of meeting you again, and I will call the moment I am, in the nursery phrase, ‘fit to be seen.’ Tell Lady B. with my compliments, that I am rummaging my papers for a MS. worthy of her acceptation. I have just seen the
A. D. 1823. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 641
Count Gamba, and as I cannot prevail on his infinite modesty to take the field without me, I must take this piece of diffidence on myself also, and beg your indulgence for both.”