LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Henry Fuseli to William Roscoe, [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.
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“The devil alone, at my back, bestriding the promontory of the fiery flood, can account for my silence. When Mr. Shepherd presented your friendly note, he found me wrestling with him; and I can but just now say that I have, I hope, got the better of him. Some other things have been done, indeed, in the mean time, when I wanted to recover breath, but still I wished not to write, till I could with decision, about him. All this, however, must be the subject of my next.

“I thank you for having made me acquainted with Shepherd. He is a man whom I think of as you do. I got as much of his company here as he thought proper to give me; we ate and drank together, but he went off without an adieu. If he was offended at my manner of pronouncing Greek verse, and confounding omicrons and omegas like Tros and Rutulus, I promise to make amends when we meet again. The infernal storm that inundates the street and bespatters my window whilst I am writing, equal to Dante’s ‘Pioggia maledetta eterna e greve,’ confounding all season, and cloaking the face of day, makes it indeed totally indifferent what month I picked for travel, even to those who have only to please themselves in choosing. My intention was, if I do come, to choose the time
I can best spare—the twilight, the ‘brindle’ part of the year. As I come merely to see the face of my friends, the warm reflection of a genial fire is preferable to the watery, half-strangled beam of this month. But tell me, shall I come? Will it be my advantage to come? I must sacrifice time, and—you know what—what I have not now the spirit to talk about, and must reserve for my next. In a few days, at least in little more than a month, I shall be able to pronounce whether an exhibition will be in my power next year. The pleasure I feel in hearing your assurances of support, through the means of your friend, is not superior to the caution I use, and shall use, in applying for it.”