LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Francis Hodgson to Susanna Tayler Hodgson, [October? 1814]

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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It is most natural that Byron should be absorbed by the thought even, much more by the society, of one of the most divine beings upon earth. He was on his way to Seaham, Sir Ralph Milbanke’s seat. His sister, in her last sweet letter, says, ‘I have not heard from him for some time, and am uneasy about it; but it is very selfish to be so, for I know he is happy, and what more can I wish.’ Well, on Friday evening, after I had put my letter to you in the post, and one to Harry Drury, and one to my cousin, I was tired with writing, and thought I would go to the coffee-room and read the papers. With nothing then, for the moment, but Colonel Quintin and Hanoverianism in my head, I was passing by the Sun Inn, literally passing by if, and at a quick pace, when a carriage and four drove up to the door. A sudden thought struck me; I cried out ‘Byron!’ and was answered by a hearty
‘Hodgson!’ He was about to send to me at King’s. He would not have found me there, as I should have been detained for an hour at least with Colonel Quintin. Consequently, he would have gone on to his sister’s, and I should not have seen him. As it was, we supped together and sate till a late hour over our claret, talking of many and delightful things. He told me all that could be told of his visit to Seaham, and, in a word, for I can say no more if I talk for ever on the subject, he is likely to be as happy as I am. Oh! how I glowed with indignation at the base reporters of his Fortune-hunting. I will tell you the particulars when we meet. Meanwhile, entre nous, he is sacrificing a great deal too much. Not to Miss M.—that is impossible—because nothing is too much for her, and (as is usual in these cases) she would require nothing. But her parents (although B. speaks of them with the most beautiful respect) certainly to me appear to be most royally selfish persons. Her fortune is not large at present, but he settles £60,000 upon her. This he cannot do without selling Newstead again; and with a look and manner that I cannot easily forget he said: ‘You know we must think of these things as little as possible.’ ‘But,’ I replied, ‘I am certain, if she saw Newstead
she would not let you part with it.’ ‘Bless her! she has nothing to do with it. Nor would I excite a feeling in her mind that may be prejudicial to her interests.’ Now where, where are the hearts of those who can under-value, who can depreciate this man? Besides this, Miss M.’s principal expectations are from
Lord Wentworth, her uncle, an old and very infirm man, whom I have often met at Rugby. Perfectly disposed to pay him every respect, B. would not go out of his road to visit him. To meet him he would have been very glad, but he went straight to Miss M. He is returning to town for the purpose of settling all legal affairs, and returns to the North in a fortnight, straight to be married. He fully explained to Miss M. his feeling about Lord W. She was satisfied, and that is enough. As to herself, I have much indeed to tell you. The whole story is an interesting one. B. knows that the lawyers will not be ready for him for this day or two, and therefore, although he was going immediately to London, he means to stay in the neighbourhood till’ Wednesday to vote for his friend Clark,1 of Trinity, at the election for the Anatomical Professor. He promised . . . .

1 The Traveller.


P.S.—I open my letter to say that when Lord Byron went to give his vote just now in the Senate House, the young men burst out into the most rapturous applause.

Mine of yesterday mentioned in the postscript the nattering manner in which Lord Byron was received in the Senate House. I should add that as I was going to vote I met him coming away, and presently saw that something had happened, by his extreme paleness and agitation. Dr. Clark, who was with him, told me the cause, and I returned with B. to my room. There I begged him to sit down and write a letter and communicate this event, which he did not feel up to, but wished I would. So down I sate and commenced my acquaintance with Miss Milbanke by writing her an account of this most pleasing event, which, although nothing at Oxford, is here very unusual indeed; and, as I told you, had occasioned the dismissal of the young men from the Senate House only a few days ago. I also wrote to his sister, and thus I have two more female friends, or one at least, to introduce.

We dined with Dr. Clark and saw a very sweet woman in his wife; himself the most natural, pleasing, and kind of men. But more upon this subject when we meet. This morning Lord B. and Mr.
Hobhouse departed. B. is to send me word about —— as a pupil.