LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to William Bankes, 28 September 1812

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Cheltenham, September 28th, 1812.

“When you point out to one how people can be intimate at the distance of some seventy leagues, I will plead guilty to your charge, and accept your farewell, but not wittingly, till you give me some better reason than my silence, which merely proceeded from a notion founded on your own declaration of old, that you hated writing and receiving letters. Besides, how was I to find out a man of many residences? If I had addressed you now, it had been to your borough, where I must have conjectured you were amongst your constituents. So now, in despite of Mr. N. and Lady W., you shall be as ‘much better’ as the Hexham post-office will allow me to make you. I do assure you I am much indebted to you for thinking of me at all, and can’t spare you even from amongst the superabundance of friends with whom you suppose me surrounded.

“You heard that Newstead* is sold—the sum £140,000; sixty to remain in mortgage on the estate for three years, paying interest, of course. Rochdale is also likely to do well—so my worldly matters are mending. I have been here some time drinking the waters, simply because there are waters to drink, and they are very medicinal, and sufficiently disgusting. In a few days I set out for Lord Jersey’s, but return here, where I am quite alone, go out very little, and enjoy in its fullest extent the ’dolce far niente.’ What you are about, I cannot guess, even from your date;—not dauncing to the sound of the gitourney in the Halls of the Lowthers? one of whom is here, ill, poor thing, with a

* “Early in the autumn of 1812,” says Mr. Dallas, “he told me that he was urged by his man of business, and that Newstead must be sold.” It was accordingly brought to the hammer at Garraway’s, but not, at that time, sold, only £90,000 being offered for it. The private sale to which he alludes in this letter took place soon after,—Mr. Claughton, the agent for Mr. Leigh, being the purchaser. It was never, however, for reasons which we shall see, completed.

378 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1812.
phthisic. I heard that you passed through here (at the sordid inn where I first alighted), the very day before I arrived in these parts. We had a very pleasant set here; at first the
Jerseys, Melbournes, Cowpers, and Hollands, but all gone; and the only persons I know are the Rawdons and Oxfords, with some later acquaintances of less brilliant descent.

“But I do not trouble them much; and as for your rooms and your assemblies, ‘they are not dreamed of in our philosophy!!’—Did you read of a sad accident in the Wye t’ other day? a dozen drowned, and Mr. Rossoe, a corpulent gentleman, preserved by a boat-hook or an eel-spear, begged, when be heard his wife was saved—no—lost—to be thrown in again!!—as if he could not have thrown himself in, had he wished it; but this passes for a trait of sensibility. What strange beings men are, in and out of the Wye!

“I have to ask you a thousand pardons for not fulfilling some orders before I left town; but if you knew all the cursed entanglements I had to wade through, it would be unnecessary to beg your forgiveness.—When will Parliament (the new one) meet?—in sixty days, on account of Ireland, I presume; the Irish election will demand a longer period for completion than the constitutional allotment. Yours, of course, is safe, and all your side of the question. Salamanca is the ministerial watchword, and all will go well with you. I hope you will speak more frequently, I am sure at least you ought, and it will be expected. I see Portman means to stand again. Good night.

“Ever yours most affectionately,