LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Francis Hodgson, 3 October 1810

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
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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“Patras, Morea, October 3d, 1810.

“As I have just escaped from a physician and a fever, which confined me five days to bed, you won’t expect much ‘allegrezza’ in the ensuing letter. In this place there is an indigenous distemper, which, when the wind blows from Gulf of Corinth (as it does five months

* In a note upon the Advertisement prefixed to his Siege of Corinth, he says—“I visited all three (Tripolitza, Napoli, and Argos) in 1810-11, and in the course of journeying through the country, from my first arrival 1809, crossed the Isthmus eight times in my way from Attica to the Morea, over the mountains, or in the other direction, when passing from the Gulf of Athens to that of Lepanto.”

240 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1810.
out of six) attacks great and small, and makes woeful work with visitors. Here be also two physicians, one of whom trusts to his genuine (never having studied)—the other to a campaign of eighteen months against the sick of Otranto, which he made in his youth with great effect.

“When I was seized with my disorder, I protested against both these assassins;—but what can a helpless, feverish, toasted-and-watered poor wretch do? In spite of my teeth and tongue, the English consul, my Tartar, Albanians, dragoman, forced a physician upon me, and in three days vomited and glystered me to the last gasp. In this state I made my epitaph—take it.
“Youth, Nature, and relenting Jove,
To keep my lamp in strongly strove;
But Romanelli was so stout
He beat all three—and blew it out.
But Nature and Jove, being piqued at my doubts, did, in fact, at last, beat Romanelli, and here I am, well but weakly, at your service.

“Since I left Constantinople, I have made a tour of the Morea, and visited Vely Pacha, who paid me great honours and gave me a pretty stallion. H. is doubtless in England before even the date of this letter—he bears a despatch from me to your bardship. He writes to me from Malta, and requests my journal, if I keep one. I have none, or he should have it; but I have replied, in a consolatory and exhortatory epistle, praying him to abate three and sixpence in the price of his next Boke, seeing that half-a-guinea is a price not to be given for any thing save an opera-ticket.

“As for England, it is long since I have heard from it. Every one at all connected with my concerns is asleep, and you are my only correspondent, agents excepted. I have really no friends in the world; though all my old school-companions are gone forth into that world, and walk about there in monstrous disguises, in the garb of guardsmen, lawyers, parsons, fine gentlemen, and such other masquerade dresses. So, I here shake hands and cut with all these busy people, none of whom write to me. Indeed, I asked it not;—and here I am, a poor traveller
A. D. 1810. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 241
and heathenish philosopher, who hath perambulated the greatest part of the Levant, and seen a great quantity of very improvable land and sea, and, after all, am no better than when I set out—Lord help me!

“I have been out fifteen months this very day, and I believe my concerns will draw me to England soon; but of this I will apprise you regularly from Malta. On all points, Hobhouse will inform you, if you are curious as to our adventures. I have seen some old English papers up to the 15th of May. I see the ‘Lady of the Lake’ advertised. Of course it is in his old ballad style, and pretty. After all, Scott is the best of them. The end of all scribblement is to amuse, and he certainly succeeds there. I long to read his new romance.

“And how does ‘Sir Edgar?’ and your friend, Bland? I suppose you are involved in some literary squabble. The only way is to despise all brothers of the quill. I suppose you won’t allow me to be an author, but I contemn you all, you dogs!—I do.

“You don’t know D—s, do you? He had a farce ready for the stage before I left England, and asked me for a prologue, which I promised, but sailed in such a hurry I never penned a couplet. I am afraid to ask after his drama, for fear it should be damned—Lord forgive me for using such a word!—but the pit, sir, you know, the pit—they will do those things, in spite of merit. I remember this farce from a curious circumstance. When Drury-lane was burnt to the ground, by which accident Sheridan and his son lost the few remaining shillings they were worth, what doth my friend D—— do? Why, before the fire was out, he writes a note to Tom Sheridan, the manager of this combustible concern, to inquire whether this farce was not converted into fuel, with about two thousand other unactable manuscripts, which of course were in great peril, if not actually consumed. Now, was not this characteristic—the ruling passions of Pope are nothing to it. Whilst the poor distracted manager was bewailing the loss of a building only worth £300,000, together with some twenty thousand pounds of rags and tinsel in the tiring rooms, Blue-beard’s elephants, and all that—in comes a note from a scorching author, requiring at his hands two acts and odd scenes of a farce!!

“Dear H., remind Drury that I am his well-wisher, and let Scrope
242 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1810.
Davies be well affected towards me. I look forward to meeting you at Newstead and renewing our old champagne evenings with all the glee of anticipation. I have written by every opportunity, and expect responses as regular as those of the liturgy, and somewhat longer. As it is impossible for a man in his senses to hope for happy days, let us at least look forward to merry ones, which come nearest to the other in appearance, if not in reality; and in such expectations I remain, &c.”