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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Francis Hodgson, 16 July 1809

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
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“Lisbon, July 16th, 1809.

“Thus far have we pursued our route, and seen all sorts of marvellous sights, palaces, convents, &c.—which, being to be heard in my friend Hobhouse’s forthcoming Book of Travels, I shall not anticipate by smuggling any account whatsoever to you in a private and clandestine manner. I must just observe that the village of Cintra in Estremadura is the most beautiful, perhaps, in the world. * * *

“I am very happy here because I loves oranges, and talk bad Latin to the monks, who understand it, as it is like their own,—and I goes

* Lord Byron used sometimes to mention a strange story, which the commander of the packet, Captain Kidd, related to him on the passage. This officer stated that, being asleep, one night, in his birth, he was awakened by the pressure of something heavy on his limbs, and, there being a faint light in the room, could see, as he thought, distinctly, the figure of his brother, who was, at that time, in the naval service in the East Indies, dressed in his uniform and stretched across the bed. Concluding it to be an illusion of the senses, he shut his eyes and made an effort to sleep. But still the same pressure continued, and still, as often as he ventured to take another look, he saw the figure lying across him in the same position. To add to the wonder, on putting his hand forth to touch this form, he found the uniform, in which it appeared to be dressed, dripping wet. On the entrance of one of his brother officers, to whom he called out in alarm, the apparition vanished; but in a few months after, he received the startling intelligence that on that night his brother had been drowned in the Indian seas. Of the supernatural character of this appearance, Captain Kidd himself did not appear to have the slightest doubt.

194 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1809.
into society (with my pocket-pistols), and I swims in the Tagus all across at once, and I rides on an ass or a mule, and swears Portuguese, and have got a diarrhoea and bites from the mosquitoes. But what of that? Comfort must not be expected by folks that go a pleasuring. * * *

“When the Portuguese are pertinacious, I say, ‘Carracho!’—the great oath of the grandees, that very well supplies the place of ‘Damme,’—and, when dissatisfied with my neighbour, I pronounce him ‘Ambra di merdo.’ With these two phrases, and a third, ‘Avra Bouro,’ which signifieth ‘Get an ass,’ I am universally understood to be a person of degree and a master of languages. How merrily we lives that travellers be!—if we had food and raiment. But, in sober sadness, any thing is better than England, and I am infinitely amused with my pilgrimage as far as it has gone.

“To-morrow we start to ride post near 400 miles as far as Gibraltar, where we embark for Melita and Byzantium. A letter to Malta will find me, or to be forwarded, if I am absent. Pray embrace the Drury and Dwyer and all the Ephesians you encounter. I am writing with Butler’s donative pencil, which makes my bad hand worse. Excuse illegibility. * * *

Hodgson! send me the news, and the deaths and defeats and capital crimes and the misfortunes of one’s friends; and let us hear of literary matters, and the controversies and the criticisms. All this will be pleasant—‘Suave mari magno,’ &c. Talking of that, I have been seasick, and sick of the sea. Adieu. Yours faithfully, &c’