LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Augusta Leigh to Francis Hodgson, 18 March 1815

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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Six Mile Bottom: Saturday, March 18.

Dear Mr. Hodgson,—I would not have delayed answering your letter even one post, but with the hope of procuring you a more welcome reply than mine can possibly be. I flatter myself, however, that before this letter comes to an end you will pronounce me a more agreeable correspondent than you expected to find me, for I’ve nothing but agreeables to communicate, on a subject of the greatest interest to you as well as to me. B. and Lady B. arrived here last Sunday, on their way from the North to London, where they have taken a very good house of the Duke of Devonshire in Piccadilly. I hope they will stay some days longer with me, and shall regret their departure, whenever it takes place, as much as I now delight in their society. B. is looking particularly well, and of Lady B. I scarcely know how to write, for I have a sad trick of being struck dumb when I am most happy and pleased. The expectations I had formed
could not be exceeded, but at least they are fully answered. I think I never saw or heard or read of a more perfect being in mortal mould than she appears to be, and scarcely dared flatter myself such a one would fall to the lot of my dear B. He seems quite sensible of her value, and as happy as the present alarming state of public and the tormenting uncertainties of his own private affairs will admit of. Poor Newstead is still unsold, and it seems doubtful whether
Claughton can complete the purchase. Now, dear Mr. H., for the subject of your letter,1 which distresses me only as it appears so distressing to you. I can assure you, with the utmost truth, that I do not even see the shadow of a foundation for your apprehensions. The night before your letter arrived, B. was talking of you in the most friendly and affectionate of terms, describing you in the highest possible of praise to Lady B., talking over our sèjour at Hastings, and, among other things, I have treasured the following as most satisfactory to you. He said that in all the years he had been acquainted with you he never had had a moment’s disagreement with you: ‘I have quarrelled with Hobhouse, with everybody but

1 Hodgson had expressed anxiety lest he should in some manner have offended Byron, who had not written to him for some months.

Hodgson,’ were his own words. When I received your letter I showed it to him and Lady B. He first exclaimed, ‘Oh dear! do tell him I am married and cannot write. I have not answered a single letter since that event;’ and begged I would tell you that he was not, could not be angry. Indeed I would not deceive you on this point, and I can well enter into your fears, they are too like my own whenever he is unusually silent to me. Lady B. has done her best to procure you a few lines of consolation from himself, but you know him too well to expect much from persuasion or entreaty till the lazy fit is over. I have just asked him for a message, and am desired to tell you he does not write because he is ‘lazy and has got a wife.’ Many thanks for your kind inquiries. My bairns are well, and delighted at being able to scream ‘Oh, Byron!’ again, and approve much of their new aunt. I am not quite sure that
Georgiana is not a little jealous of this formidable rival in B.’s affections. Adieu, dear Mr. H.! this is a long epistle, but you will forgive me, and

Believe me,
Most sincerely and truly yours,
Augusta Leigh.

Col. L. is in the North.