LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
William Roscoe to William Rathbone, [January? 1797]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

“This morning, and at this hour, I was to have had the superlative honour of being introduced to the Duchess of Gordon; but recollecting that I could appear before her Grace in no other capacity than as one of those puppies,
‘who dangle up and down,
To fetch and carry sing-song thro’ the town,’
I have thought proper to decline the challenge; and instead of acquiring new fashionable ac-
quaintance, shall devote this half hour to old solid friendship,

“How you will envy me, when I tell you, that last Saturday, I had an hour’s familiar conversation with Mr. Fox, at the Marquis of Lansdowne’s, where I before had accidentally met Mr. Grey. Of these rencontres, I put nothing on paper; not altogether because of the old proverbs, ‘Littera scripta manet,’ and ‘Nescit vox emissa reverti;’ nor yet because of the provisions of the two acts; but because it would occupy too much of my paper, and require more time than I can at present spare. I dine to-day with the Marquis; but think there will be no company. Should any thing interesting occur, either there or elsewhere, I will again take up my pen.

“The people here are of opinion the French will pay us a visit; but they have no doubt that British courage will, with God’s assistance, soon make them repent of their temerity. A shopkeeper in the Strand told me, that as God had fought for us when the enemy appeared off Ireland, He would not surely desert us when they attacked England. What can such a pious people have to fear from a nation of infidels? When miracles are daily performed in our favour, it seems absurd to have recourse to human means. A few days since, I sent a short paper to ‘The Morning Chronicle,’ pointing out the necessity
of immediately adverting to the alternative of peace, whilst it was yet practicable; but it has not been suffered to appear. In fact, every thing is matter of party; and as the ministry set up the cry of danger, the opposition papers take the other side of the question, and affect to consider their wailings as a further pretence to raise loans and impose taxes; and those who have only at heart the real good of the country, without regarding either ministry or opposition, cannot obtain even a hearing. I much fear the predominating idea of men of all parties is individual, personal aggrandisement, and that the welfare of the country is only a secondary consideration; or rather, perhaps, a cloak to cover their real purpose. There are only two classes of men; viz. those who would sacrifice themselves for their country, and those who would sacrifice their country to themselves. Which of these are the most numerous I shall not pretend to say; though I think I have in the course of my life met with an instance or two of the former.”