LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Lord Byron to Francis Hodgson, 27 November 1808

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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Produced by CATH
Newstead Abbey, Notts: Nov. 27, 1808.

My dear Sir,—Boatswain is to be buried in a vault waiting for myself. I have also written an epitaph, which I would send, were it not for two reasons: one is, that it is too long for a letter; and the other, that I hope you will some day read it on the spot where it will be engraved.

You discomfit me with the intelligence of the real orthodoxy of the ‘Arch-fiend’s’ name, but alas! it must stand with me at present; if ever I have an opportunity of correcting, I shall liken him to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a noted liar in his way, and perhaps a more correct prototype than the Carnifex of James II.

I do not think the composition of your poem ‘a sufficing reason’ for not keeping your promise of a Christmas visit. Why not come? I will never disturb you in your moments of inspiration; and if you wish to collect any materials for the scenery, Hardwicke (where Mary was confined for several years) is not eight miles distant, and, independent of the interest you must take in it as her vindicator,1 is a most beautiful and venerable object of curiosity. I shall take it very ill if you do not come;

1 Hodgson was writing a poem at this time on Mary Queen of Scots.

my mansion is improving in comfort, and, when you require solitude, I shall have an apartment devoted to the purpose of receiving your poetical reveries.

I have heard from our Drury; he says little of the Row, which I regret: indeed I would have sacrificed much to have contributed in any way (as a schoolboy) to its consummation; but Butler survives, and thirteen boys have been expelled in vain. Davies is not here, but Hobhouse hunts as usual, and your humble servant ‘drags at each remove a lengthened chain.’ I have heard from his Grace of Portland on the subject of my expedition: he talks of difficulties; by the gods! if he throws any in my way I will next session ring such a peal in his ears,
That he shall wish the fiery Dane
Had rather been his guest again.

You do not tell me if Gifford is really my commentator: it is too good to be true, for I know nothing would gratify my vanity so much as the reality; even the idea is too precious to part with.

I still expect you here; let me have no more excuses. Hobhouse desires his best remembrance. We are now lingering over our evening potations.
I have extended my letter further than I ought, and beg you will excuse it; on the opposite page I send you some stanzas I wrote off on being questioned by a former flame as to my motives for quitting this country. You are the first reader. Hobhouse hates everything of the kind, therefore I do not show them to him. Adieu!

Believe me yours very sincerely,